There’s an old adage amongst photographers that goes, “The best camera is the one you have with you.” The point being that when the perfect scene pops up, any camera is better than no camera at all. And since most of us carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go, more often than not the best camera we have just so happens to be an iPhone. Today’s iPhone cameras are just as powerful as the point-and-shoots of yesteryear, and with a massive selection of sophisticated applications, they’re arguably more versatile. If you want to make the most of your smartphone’s shooter, check out this list of the best photography apps for iPhone.
Even with the iOS 7 update, Apple’s native iOS camera app is rather anemic when it comes to features. Snag yourself this app if you want to get a wider range of exposure controls and advanced settings like continuous flash, touch-focus adjust, digital zoom, timer, and preset filters. The interface makes it a breeze to use.
ProCamera 7 ($0.99)
Rather that updating the existing ProCamera app for iOS 7, developer Cocologics decided to go ahead and make an entirely new app altogether. This might be off-putting to anyone who’s already got the old one, but hey, it’s only 99 cents, and we think the updated version is well worth the money. In addition to a fabulously minimalist interface, ProCamera 7 offers some of the most sophisticated features we’ve ever seen in an iOS camera app. With this app, you can do pretty much anything you want to your photos.
Luminance is yet another jack-of-all-trades type of camera app, but with a focus on post-processing and after-effects. Download it right now and you’ll be able to sift through photos you’ve previously taken and apply all manner of awesome touch-ups and corrections.
PhotoShop Touch ($5)
When it comes to photo editing software, nobody does it better than Adobe. This app is the mobile version of their renowned desktop software, and despite the fact that it offers a significantly smaller work space, it’s still one of the most capable after-effects programs you can have on your phone. It’s a bit pricey compared to most other photo editing apps, but considering its robust feature set, we think it’s totally worth it.
Not everyone is as photogenic as this guy, and more often than not, the images you snap of yourself and your friends aren’t as flattering as you’d prefer. That’s where Facetune comes in. The app allows you to perform specific touch-ups like teeth whitening, blemish removal, and color corrections so that your mug looks perfect when you post the pics to your social media profiles.
If you’re looking for a solid after-effects app that doesn’t cost anything up front, check out Aviary. It’s got plenty of advanced features and a sleek, minimalist interface, but rather than forcing you to pay upfront for all of the features (including ones you might not use), Aviary offers a different pricing model. The app itself is free, and allows you install only the effects you need via in-app purchases.
GorillaCam Pro ($2)
From the makers of the now-infamous GorillaPod tripod, this app equips your iPhone with a simple set of shutter timers, delays, and burst-mode capabilites. Despite being relatively basic functions, these settings transform your phone into a great tool for shooting stuff like stop-motion videos, time-lapse sequences, and photobooth-style clusters of shots.
There are a boatload of panoramic photo apps on the market, and the ability to capture 360-degree shots has been a stock iPhone feature ever since iOS 6 came out, but no other app does panoramas quite like Cycloramic. It takes great handheld pics, but it also comes with the super-unique ability: using the vibration motor, it can independently spin your phone in a circle while sitting on a flat surface. Check the video and see for yourself!
Magic Shutter ($3)
The ability to keep your camera’s shutter open and take long-exposure shots is great for a wide array of situations. You can use it to take clearer pictures in low-light situations, and it’s awesome for capturing light-trails from car headlights and fire poi. Sporting a robust set of intelligent features like image stabilization and overexposure safeguards, this app does long exposure better than any other we know of.
What would our photography app roundup be without any mention of the undisputed king of photo filters? There are dozens of apps out there that allow you to apply retro filters to your pics, but Instagram is arguably the best one out there for one simple fact: everybody uses it. The pics you snap have a much higher chance of being seen if you post them where all your followers can see them.