iOS: Apple’s default camera app is a multifaceted photo capture tool, and simple enough to use. From panoramas to videos to HDR pictures, you can capture a variety of images, but can’t reach that granularity you might want if you’re trying to frame that perfect shot. Photographers looking for more control should check out Halide ($7.99), a great app for dedicated photographers who want controls at their fingertips, or amateurs who want to play with the principles of the medium.
Image credit: Halide
Halide puts the finer controls usually hidden away by multiple button taps at the forefront of the interface. To control exposure, slide up or down your screen. If you want to adjust your focus with more granularity, swipe your finger along the autofocus bar above the shutter button to reveal the manual focus setting and create artistic out-of-focus shots. It also supports focus peaking so you know which part of your image is sharpest.
On the bottom of the screen is your photo library, shutter button, and exposure value you can double-tap to reset. Reviewing photos means swiping left to add them to your favourites library or swiping right to delete them, Tinder style. Each photo has small bits of detail such as ISO and shutter speed beneath so you know at a glance the most essential data.
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My favourite feature has to be the grid overlay, which satisfies my urge to create perfectly level photos. It has a floating square in the centre of the grid that lights up when your photos are level either in portrait or landscape.
Up top there’s a histogram if you want to know even more about the scene you’re capturing, along with a camera toggle and an Automatic/Manual toggle, letting you adjust ISO and white balance with a swipe. Tapping the arrow up top reveals a few more settings, including flash, location, grid and RAW photo toggles. After taking photos, reviewing them means swiping left and right, marking them as favourites or trashing them.
A useful single-purpose tool
Halide is a camera app with a real focus on still photos. It doesn’t record video, nor does it offer any editing or filtering options like more comprehensive apps such as Camera+. But its simplicity is great if all you want to do, like me, is take some nice photos and adjust to your scene on the fly. It’s been my dedicated photo app for the past few weeks and I think I’ll keep it that way.