There are about 10 million camera apps for iPhone (approximately). Some are great, some are specialised, and some are a complete waste of your time. The best, however, is Camera+ thanks to its fast operation, ability to make your iPhone feel like an actual camera, and great sharing features.
Platform: iPhone Price: $2.49 Download Page
- Stabilises photo
- Can turn on the iPhone 4's LED flash for continuous lighting
- Grid can help you align pictures better
- Enhanced digital zoom that sucks less than regular digital zoom
- Scene modes to help you take better pictures in certain situations
- Crop your photos
- Lots of effects
- Add borders to your photos
- Share your photos on social sites
- Clarity mode enhances your photos to provide more detail and better colour (and it actually works pretty well)
It's fast. Even Apple has acknowledged that its own camera app could be faster and is boosting its speed in iOS 5. Camera+ is already there. You can take a photo very quickly. Often this is the most important thing. But speed isn't the only thing that makes it a great app. Camera+ has an excellent and useful feature set. It takes practically every downside of using your mobile phone as a camera and seeks to improve it. It adds scene modes, like you'd expect to find on a regular digital camera. Digital zoom is slightly less crappy than it normally is. You have proper flash modes. You can edit your photos. Using its excellent Clarity mode, it can take a crappy photo and improve the lighting and colour in just a few seconds. There's just a lot to like.
Saving photos to your camera roll is slow. It's about the only slow thing in the app but it's particularly annoying if you like to have your photos in your camera roll. While having everything strewn about in your lightbox does look cool, it's also not the most ideal interface for a small screen. It's not a huge drawback, but sometimes you might wish for an interface that isn't trying to mimic reality. Other than that, Camera+ is a solid app.
Obviously you have the built-in Camera app, which does a pretty good job. When iOS 5 rolls out it'll even let you overlay a grid, use the volume buttons as a shutter, and be ready to take a picture almost instantly. Those are all things Camera+ can do (or, in the case of the volume button shutter, used to be able to do). The built-in app can also take HDR photos and record videos. It's not bulging with features, but it's still a pretty solid camera app.
Hipstamatic ($2.49) is the app that pretty much started the vintage camera emulation craze. If you want all of your photos to have old-school effects, it's a good choice and pretty fun (but you'll probably end up dumping a lot of money on new "lenses" and "film stocks"). For a free option that has a social component, try the very popular Instagram. Some people also prefer picplz (also free).
There are, of course, plenty of other worthwhile camera apps. For more, check out our list of the best photography apps for iPhone. Got a personal favourite not mentioned here? Share it in the comments.
Lifehacker's App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories. This week, we're focusing on camera apps.