Since it's release, Apple's iPhone has become one of the top selling mobile phones. At the same time it has emerged as one of the top tools for amateur photographers, with statistics showing that it is used as often as professional cameras from Canon! With thousands of different applications on the App Store, many of which are meant solely for photography, it is hard for one to choose a good set of apps for the purpose. This guide is meant to help narrow down your choice and showcase a selection of really great iPhone apps for photographers.
Camera Genius allows you to take the iPhone camera one step further by adding a host of useful features. It adds: Zoom, Sound Capture, Anti-shake, Big Button, Guides and Timer. Zoom, Anti-shake and Guides allow you to capture professional shots on the go. The zoom is excellent - just as good as many of the existing zoom apps. Anti-shake is based on the in-built accelerometer, and only takes the shot when there is least amount of shaking involved to make sure all shots are of the best possible quality. The guides allow you to use the rule of thirds, or just to align the picture correctly.
Overall I found the app excellent to be. Features are innovative and useful, and the guide that comes with the application is also quite useful for learning the very basics of iPhone photography. Overall I would say that this is a great app for both beginners and pros.
Much like "Camera Genius", "ProCamera" concentrates on enhancing the functionality of your camera. It has zoom functionality and steady mode (taking pictures only when there is the least amount of shaking), along with a timer and a full-screen camera button. Unlike "Camera Genius" it also has a tilt meter and grid guides to help you take better pictures. The app also claims to be good for macro and night photography.
Overall I found this app to be excellent for on-the-go photography, and taking pictures quickly. It's steady shoot mode and grids help a great deal with taking pictures the right way. But the best feature of all is the tilt meter, for ensuring that the iPhone is straight. The GUI is very intuitive and easy to get used to.
This application allows you to take excellent panoramic pictures on your iPhone. Pano is simple - all you have to do is take the first shot, and as you take the rest of them it brings up a handy semi-transparent guide for you to match the pictures correctly. You can take panoramic shots of up 16 pictures wide. Once you are done taking pictures, just press "Process" and the image correction algorithm will align your pictures, match the lighting and creating a panoramic shot.
This application provides quite a handy tool for taking excellent panoramic shots on the go. The final results look professional and the transition between the pictures is as good as it can get. I think that this app is an essential part of any iPhone photographer's arsenal.
Chances are that as an iPhone owner you have taken pictures of documents, business card and white boards. It probably took ages to get it right, or the result turned out to be blurry. With Jotnot, all you need to do is take a picture and drag the corners of the blue rectangle onto the document and let the app do the rest. After Processing you can export your scanned document as a PDF or an image and even use Jotnot's built in Wi-Fi server to access your documents on the computer.
I found that Jotnot soon became an irreplaceable part of my life - as a student I have saved loads of handouts and notes. It's image processing algorithm is also very good at scanning documents; while it does not eliminate all of the noise, it makes sure that all the text is nice and clean.
Have you ever wanted to have Photoshop on your iPhone? Well PhotoForge comes fairly close. It has all the tools that a typical desktop image editor has; adjustment tools such as Levels, Sharpen, Curves etc, and editing tools such as Brushes, Clone Stamp, and Eye Dropper. And if that's not enough it also has a vareity of different filters.
PhotoForge, with its great UI design and wide functionality, is a perfect tool for any photographer wanting to quickly edit iPhone shots on-the-go.
"Best Camera" is an excellent way of applying effects to your iPhone pictures. It has a set of 14 different styles, all of which are excellent. The main advantage of Best Camera is it's ability to apply multiple styles and re-arrange them in a way much similar to Photoshop's layers. It also allows you to easily share your pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
I found Best Camera to be an excellent tool when combined with others, since it has a solid set of styles that could make almost any picture look good.
ColorSplash recreates the dramatic look you get when you make the a photo black and white and just leave one object in colour. So how does it work? You load up a picture, and it goes black and white. You then use the color brush to give color to certain objects - there are 4 different brushes available and you can zoom in as much as you want to. You can also use the red mode to show the areas that will be coloured, in red; this is excellent for bright pictures.
Overall I found this app to be great for creating dramatic pictures. It's help section is excellent, providing detailed tutorials on how to use the app. Very easy to use and straight to the point.
Do you want something like Best Camera, but for free? Well FreeTheApps has brought you the answer. Filter FX contains a total of 9 effects which can be applied easily and quickly to any picture. The effects are basic but cover a broad range of different styles.
I found Filter FX to be an impressive offering for a free application. However, what disappointed me the most was the fact that you cannot apply more than one effect or re-arrange the effects.
Developer: More blu sky
App Store: Buy
Ever thought of kidnapping someone? Neither did I before I got this app... Ransom Letters allows you to use 500 different cut-out letters, each with a unique font and style, to create your own message. You can pinch to re-size and drag to re-arrange them, and also use your own pictures as backgrounds.
It's beautifully easy to use and the result always looks cool, so if you want to impress your friends or just add some fun to your pictures, this app is for you.
As a beginner in photography I am always in search of new locations to photograph, both whilst travelling and in my home town. Well this new augmented reality app for iPhone 3GS allows you to find the best locations to photograph near you. All you have to do is turn it on, and using the compass it will show you where some points of interest are around you.
I found this app to be great for showing me places in my own city that I didn't know existed, or looked this good. If you travel often, it's certainly worth taking a look at.
We all have secrets, and photos we don't want others to see. Private Pics allows you to save some of your pictures in a password protected image gallery. All you have to do is set up a password when you first install the app, and then add those pictures you don't want to be seen. The free version allows you to set up one gallery with ten pictures, and the paid version allows you to set up an unlimited number of galleries.
Private Pics is very useful to prevent nosy friends taking the liberty of going through your whole image gallery without even asking. No more!
We all love sending postcards to our friends and relatives when we are away, and the iPhone provides a great device for sending virtual postcards with your own pictures. Postman allows you to apply a variety of different styles to your pictures, change the font, and type a message on the back. You can also share your postcard via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and E-mail.
Postman is an excellent application for providing an extra use for your images, with a clean and effective user interface. If you want to stop spending your money on postcards, go ahead and buy this excellent app (though remember - your mum and dad might still appreciate a hand-written note!)
How would like to be able to print straight from your iPhone? Well HP's iPrint allows you to print 4x6/10x15 cm borderless photos, on your Wi-Fi enabled printer. It is fully compatible with Apple's Bonjour technology and Airport Express, as well as other industry standard Wi-Fi environments. What's more, it also improves your print quality with image noise filtering technology.
Although I don't own a wireless HP printer, this app has tempted me to get one. If any of you own a wireless HP printer, this free app is a no-brainer!
I expect most of you are already familiar with Flickr, and this app allows you to upload your iPhone pictures straight to the site. You can also browse Flickr, search for images, and check comments.
This free app is a great addition to your toolkit, and does exactly what you'd expect.
This app from Microsoft allows you to browse large numbers of photos of tourist attractions, maps, galaxies and even people's rooms. What is particularly interesting is the way this app displays pictures; it is, as Microsoft claim, the "next-generation visual experience".
It still needs a little work, but is worth trying out to judge for yourself.
So how many times have you tried to take a picture with your iPhone camera at night? Didn't work out very well did it? Night Camera claims to be your solution. It does a reasonable job, and also has a few extra perks such as an accelerometer based sensor that only takes the picture when there is the least amount of shaking, and a full screen camera button.
I have found this app to be quite handy for quick shots at night. That said, I did find some of the shots to be a little grainy.
DSLR Camera Remote Professional
This app is for professionals amongst you. Most of you have probably used a cable release for your camera, but now that you have the iPhone you no longer need one. All you need to do is connect your camera to a Wi-Fi enabled computer, and you can start adjusting different settings straight from your iPhone. You can fire the shutter, review the images, and even get a live viewfinder preview straight on the screen of your iPhone.
This app is a must-have for difficult angles and self-portraits. Obviously the caveat is that you need a supported camera. You can check whether you're in luck at their compatibility chart.
We've only scratched the surface in this article of the full range of apps out there. Please do let us know in the comments if we've missed one that you find particularly useful, and feel free to let us know your thoughts on those featured!