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Better Photography on your iPhone with Camera+

There is an old saying among photographers, “Which is the best camera? Answer:  The one you have with you.”. This has never been more true since the iPhone came on the scene. Now millions of people have a digital camera at the ready any time a photo opportunity arises. But is the camera app that comes with the iPhone the best or is there a better app out there to make your iPhone a true digital camera?

Camera+ for the iPhone is the best camera app for the iPhone I have tested to date. There are other apps that attempt to replace the native camera app, and some that have photo editing features, but Camera+ combines both in to one great app.

Camera+ $1.99

Features:

  • Touch Exposure & Focus:
    • Set exposure separately from focus for the ultimate control of your shots… simply touch with a 2nd finger while focusing to adjust exposure until your shot is perfect. This feature is great for getting the photos exposed the way you want, not the way the camera chooses [available on iPhone 4 and 3GS on iOS4 only]
  • Photo Flashlight to brighten up your photos…
    • Use the iPhone 4 LED flash as a continuous fill light to improve photo quality, especially for portrait and macro shots.  Good feature for indoors, but the light is a little dim for outdoor fill.
  • No more blurry shots…
    • Use the stabilizer to steady your camera and get the sharpest pics you can.
  • Put an end to crooked pics…
    • Use the grid to line up your shots and eliminate unsightly angled photos.  The grid lines up over the display helping you apply the rule of thirds and line up the horizon.
  • Highest quality zoom…
    • Camera+ has a 5× digital zoom that simply blows away the competition in terms of quality.
  • Scene modes and flash…
    • Most modern digital cameras all have scene modes to help you get the best photos for your particular situation. And why shouldn’t your iPhone have this great feature? Well, with Camera+, you get to choose from several scene modes including Backlit, Sunset, Night, Portrait, Beach, and many more. If you just want great looking shots with the least amount of fuss, just tap Auto and watch your lifeless pics come alive. And for the times when your photos came out too dark, we have a high quality digital flash to make them look great.
  • Crops let you frame your pics perfectly…
    • If you didn’t line up your shot perfectly when you took it, you can easily fix that with Camera+. And when you want to get a bit creative, we setup a bunch of popular crop sizes for you. With a single tap, you can make your pics square, 4×6, 8×10, etc. We’ve even included a “golden ratio” crop to get the most aesthetically pleasing results.
  • Dozens of amazing effects…
    • We partnered with professional photographer, Lisa Bettany, to bring you a slew of stunningly beautiful effects. With a single tap, you can transform a soulless pic into a work of art. Make your photos shimmer with “HDR”… get down and dirty with “Grunge”… fill your pics with emotion and despair with “So Emo”. And this is just the tip of the iceberg… there are dozens of 1-touch effects for you to experiment with so that you can get the perfect result every time.
  • Wrap it all up with stylish borders…
    • With Camera+, you get several great border designs so that you can put the finishing touch on your photos.
  • Share your creations…
    • Whether you want to show your results to your friends and family or the whole world, Camera+ has got you covered. Share your pics on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Or go the simple route and email them from right within the app.

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I went out with camera+ and took some photos of one of my favorite past times, my motorcycle, to test out some of the features listed here.  The app offers a lot of camera features over the standard app that comes with the phone.  My favorites were: exposure control, fill light, and the stabilizer.  These three features turned the iPhone camera in to a functional digital camera.

The exposure control is huge because it allows the photographer to adjust the cameras exposure to the subject rather than letting the camera try to guess the exposure or subject.  Too many photos I have taken with the iPhone have a blown out subject or under exposed subject because the camera guessed wrong on what I was trying to shoot.  Exposure is set with a second finger on the display, similar to setting focus.  With the second finger you can easily tell the iPhone what is the subject and the camera will then set exposure accordingly.  Not quite manual controls but much better than nothing.

Another nice feature is the image stabilization.  This allows the camera to return fewer blurry shots when shooting in low light conditions.

Camera+ also has a cool light room table.  This table holds all of your photos after they have been taken and before they are sent to your Photo Gallery.  From here you can delete, edit, crop, add effects, add borders and more.  There are some really nice effects that can be applied easily to your photos and saved to the iPhones albums when you are done.

The only negative I see for this app is that it is strictly a still photo app.  If you want to shoot video you will have to exit the app and switch to the iPhone’s native camera app.  My solution to this was to place both apps is a new folder called Photography so I can easily switch between them.  Camera+ also supports multi tasking so you can quickly switch between apps by double clicking the home button.

I test a lot of apps writing reviews for iPhoneAppReview.com.  To be honest, not many of them keep a permanent place on my iPhone and even fewer find their way to the front page of apps on my home screen.  Camera+ is an exception.  It is a well thought out application that adds a great deal of value to the camera on your iPhone.  If you are having trouble getting photos you are happy with from your iPhone give Camera+ a try, you will not be disappointed.

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