The best camera is the one you have with you, that's what Chase Jarvis said. For many of us, the best camera is the iPhone, since that's what a number of us have in our pockets. That means the best iPhone camera apps are the ones that are always on our iPhone, right?
Even the most casual iPhone photographers, or iPhoneographers, are taking mobile photography a little more seriously. As smartphone cameras get better, and photo editing apps improve, taking iPhone photos becomes more fun.
So you've started exploring different light, angles and unusual photo compositions, and now you're diving into editing them to give them just a little more spark. With the thousands of camera and photo editing apps out there, which ones should you use?
We've always taken our iPhoneography very seriously here at TechRadar, and over the years we've come to love and hate some photo apps. We're going to share with you the best camera apps for iPhone that we've always relied on, and the new ones that have caught our eye.
Pro Camera or Pro Camera 7
With the original iPhone and iPhone 3G, we were forced to find really good light and solid composition before snapping a photo. Image quality wasn't the best, but more importantly, we couldn't control exposure.
That all changed when the iPhone 3GS was released. With tap-to-focus capabilities, we also had spot metering. That means the camera would meter or light the photo based on where you were touching it on the display.
That changed everything in smartphone photography as Android, and eventually Windows Phone, copied the general idea.
With added control over the camera, app developers like Pro Camera took it a step further.
The one huge advantage that "real" cameras had over smartphones was the ability to finely control exposure and focus. With apps like Pro Camera, and the newer Pro Camera 7, you can now control your focus and exposure.
Having the ability to adjust these controls is so critical to photography, and that's why we're recommending this app. You can set focus, slide the exposure icon around until you have the right exposure, then snap away.
Pro Camera and Pro Camera 7 also have some lightweight photo editing features and a number of other goodies, like choosing aspect ratios and seeing live exposure settings.
If you want to take your iPhoneography a little more seriously, ditch the native camera app in favor of ones that give you more control, like Pro Camera.
Unless you have the perfect eye for light, color and composition, 99% of the time your photos will look a little flat. Even with the right moment in the right situation, the iPhone's amazing camera can only offer so much in terms of color and light.
Snapseed will help give your flat photos a little more punch and bite, or it can mellow out a scene and give you some interesting tones and textures.
Like other photo editing apps, Snapseed allows you to control basic things like brightness, contrast, saturation and white balance. But it also gives you features like fine-tuned exposure and color control, selective area control, frames, textures, filters, colors and more.
Why do we recommend Snapseed over other photo editing apps that do the same? It does the job quickly and it does it well, and it never crashes on us. For basic, quick and dirty editing and toning, you probably can't do much better than Snapseed.
For better or worse, the retro look is still in. And for that look, we can't think of a better app than VSCO Cam.
VSCO Cam offers a number of filters and effects that give your photos a classic, vintage film look, but with expanded control settings.