Best Photo Apps

Sections: How To, How To, Phoneography, Photo Apps

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Camera-AwesomeCamera Awesome (iOS)

The wildly popular Camera Awesome replacement camera app, by SmugMug, has a low cost of entry into phoneography—it’s free. In addition to a host of composition, filter and editing functions, Camera Awesome does video, including a sort-of time machine; it captures five seconds worth of action before shooters actually start video recording.

Plus, its on-screen menus are transparent, so they don’t block the view of what’s being shot. In fact, its entire interface is more intuitive than most iPhone/iPad replacement apps. Camera Awesome offers multiple shooting options, with high-end features even some expensive cameras lack, like a level for the horizon and the ability to focus on one spot and set exposure on another.

The app is designed to take sharper, better exposed shots and “awesomize” photos with various effects. Awesomize options include the ability to make your photos come alive with vibrant color with just one tap (O-Tap). The Awesomize correction, via the “Awesomize” button in the edit UI, is powered by Perfectly Clear technology, an advanced automatic image correction program. Perfectly Clear’s award-winning technology analyzes photos and applies more than 10 different corrections automatically.

The app also includes hundreds of professional effects, filters, textures, frames, and borders to transform your images from forgettable cameraphone snappies to works of art. And 
you can share the photos with one tap to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SmugMug, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, SMS and e-mail.

While Camera Awesome is free, you can buy more than 250 additional effects and filters: nine for $0.99 and 262—and 143 combinations—for $9.99.

Camera-ZOOM-FXCamera ZOOM FX (Android)

Camera ZOOM FX brings a full set of photography features to your smartphone, from powerful camera functions to more than 100 stunning photo effects. Considered the best replacement camera app for Android, it gives you a 10-burst shooting mode, 6x digital zoom to extend your phone’s zoom range, and the ability to customize your smartphone’s buttons.

It also provides DSLR-like camera controls, including ISO, focus metering, exposure, and saturation. There are multiple shooting modes that let you capture self-portraits using a customizable timer or create collages and even time-lapse photo sequences. And you can shoot 2×2-inch passport photo-style combos (although we’re not sure if these can be officially used) or use a host of effects, filters, frames, and editing functions, such as crop, rotate, add borders, and create a retro look with just one click.

You can quickly switch to video mode, and there’s an on-screen image stabilizer meter that measures how much you’re moving to help keep blur to a minimum. Camera ZOOM FX also adds a voice-activated shutter to your smartphone, allowing you to clap, whistle, or make a loud noise to snap a photo—great for group shots! $2.99.

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