Apple’s iPhone 4S (and the iPhone 4 before it) has a tremendous camera, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Camera+ does the best job I have seen at building on the iPhone 4S’s camera capabilities, and that’s why it has earned a permanent spot in my dock and the title of Best iPhone App Ever This Week.
Camera+ improves upon key functions of the iPhone’s camera interface, and speeds things up at the same time. It allows the shooter to choose a different area for exposure determination than focus, which is crucial for managing a shot in difficult lighting scenarios. It also provides an on-screen slider for zoom if you happen to not be a fan of iOS 5’s new pinch-to-zoom function in the camera app. Camera+ also allows some control over the automatic white balance function, and adds shooting modes for burst, self-timer, and digital image stabilization.
All of the functions that the native camera app on the iPhone are present in Camera+ too, including a grid for composure, geotagging, control over the flash (including a continuous, always-on flash mode), capture with the volume-up key (a feature pioneered by earlier versions of Camera+, but initially banned by Apple until it added it to iOS 5) and access to the front-facing camera. Camera+ is noticeably faster at snapping photos than the stock app as well - a bonus that can be appreciated by any smartphone photographer.
The features in Camera+ don’t end after you take the picture, either. Built in to the app are editing tools for adjusting color, effects, borders, and more. All of them are super easy to use and the user can see the effect in real-time as they tweak the sliders for each effect. By default, Camera+ saves all pictures to its own “Lightbox,” where the user can then choose the best of a series and edit them accordingly. You can also set it to save images directly to the iPhone’s Photo Roll, and then import the photos back into Camera+ for editing later.
On top of all of the editing functions, Camera+ also lets you easily share your images to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SMS, or email, and it has its own web interface for viewing photos after they are shared. The web view contains information like exposure data, effects used, and geotagging information.
The only downside to Camera+ is that this is for pictures only - you still have to use the native iOS camera app (or another third-party app) if you want to record video. But for me, I take far more photos with my phone than I shoot video with it, so it was a no-brainer to swap out the native camera app for Camera+ in my dock of apps.
Camera+ normally runs $2.99, which is totally worth it for the comprehensive features that it offers, but, for a limited time, it is on sale for $0.99. Grab it in the iTunes App Store now.