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The best iPhone camera apps

Apple’s digital camera app is solely fantastic. It’s speedy, and easy, and provides a couple of nifty options like landscape photographs and slow-motion video. However when you truly wish to take advantage of from your iPhone picture and video enjoy—if you need greater than “simply fantastic”—you’re going to need a third-party digital camera app. From actual skilled controls to top-notch filters and the facility to avoid wasting RAW photographs, there are many nice causes to stay a few digital camera apps on your house display.

Numerous those apps value a couple of dollars, or even the loose ones typically have paid add-ons. Don’t let that scare you off! Snapping footage is likely one of the maximum essential options of our iPhones, and the facility to do it higher is price a couple of dollars. We examined over a dozen widespread digital camera apps, and whilst a lot of them are nice, we really feel those are on the height of the pack.

Very best for professionals: ProCam five

If you understand your method round a DSLR, you’ll truly recognize ProCam five ($five.99, in-app purchases). There are many digital camera apps that purpose to copy the options of top-end cameras, however ProCam five edges them out with an intuitive and fluid interface.

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ProCam gives fine-grained regulate and contours generally present in DSLRs, however the interface by no means will get out of hand.

You get the entire options and modes you would be expecting, like publicity adjustment and locking, ISO precedence, shutter precedence, HDR, a number of lengthy publicity modes, shutter timers, anti-shake shutter, and naturally RAW and RAW+JPEG codecs. However the place different apps have a tendency to cover a few of these issues deep in an choices menu, maximum of ProCam five’s options are briefly out there in the principle interface.

I truly recognize the zebra striping and center of attention peaking options (two complex options I exploit steadily on my interchangeable lens digital camera). I additionally love the best way you’ll be able to alter the colours of interface parts and time stamps.

ProCam five has quite a few nice video modes too, from slo-mo to timelapse. Battery and space for storing signs at the primary interface are the type of considerate touches that you just’ll truly recognize when you use your digital camera so much.

The cost is affordable, too. $five.99 would possibly appear a little bit steep, however many competing digital camera apps require in-app purchases for numerous their core options, whilst ProCam five’s in-app purchases really feel really not obligatory: a few filter out packs for the picture editor, and a couple of super-high-quality 4K video recording modes (common 4K recording is incorporated within the base worth).

A step up from the default app: Halide Digicam

In case you don’t truly know your method round a large interchangeable-lens digital camera, however you’re able for one thing with extra choices and contours than Apple’s default digital camera app, I like to recommend Halide Digicam ($five.99).

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Among Halide’s many slick features is a cool portrait mode that shows depth like radar waves spreading forward from your iPhone. 

It’s not nearly as feature-rich (or daunting) as the apps that aim to simulate the DSLR experience on your phone, but it’s super-slick interface gives you plenty to work with. There’s a killer portrait mode camera (that supports the TrueDepth camera on iPhone X for selfies), and even a nifty AR mode to see those images stretched out into 3D space.

You can capture RAW, TIFF, HEIC, or JPG images. Dial in the manual focus with a helpful focus peaking mode. The grid view has a nice built-in level, and you can manually control shutter speed, white balance, and ISO if you want. Turn on the subtle histogram to get a feel for your shot’s exposure.

The whole thing is designed to give you more options while remaining simple enough to use with one hand. It’s the perfect app for those who are only used to taking photos with their phone and just want to take a nice step up from Apple’s default camera app.

Halide is all about photos, though. If you want to step up your video game, you’ll need to look elsewhere. That might make the $5.99 price feel a little high, but there are no in-app purchases, and the speedy and slick Halide interface makes taking photos with it a delight. That’s got to be worth the price of a latte.

Creative filters for social sharers: VSCO

VSCO has a lot of devotees, and with good reason: Its combination of filters, effects, and editing tools makes it easy and fun to get really creative with your photos. If you can’t stand the #nofilter life, VSCO is for you.

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VSCO is a cornucopia of filters and editing features, but you need a yearly subscription to unlock it all.

You get an absolutely crazy variety of image manipulation tools here. Exposure, contrast, clarity, skewing and straightening, temperature, skin tones, vignette, and a whole lot more. While VSCO focuses on the post-shot editing experience, its built-in camera is plenty capable. If you want, you can adjust focus, white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and exposure. Newer iPhones can shoot in RAW, too.

There’s one big catch: VSCO is a free download, but you only get a handful of filters in the free version. Because VSCO is trying to build a photo-sharing community, you have to sign up for a (free) account before you can even use the app. And then, if you want to unlock its real power, you have to subscribe to VSCO X, a $19.99 annual service that gives you access to all of VSCO’s filters and tools. There’s a ton of stuff there and it’s updated quite often, so the price isn’t crazy if you’re the kind of person who endlessly fiddles with your photos.

You can spend a few bucks at a time to buy packs of filters individually if you don’t want to subscribe, but $2.99 here and $3.99 there will add up quickly. If you can get past the sticker shock, VSCO can take your Instagram feed to the next level.

Pro tools for videographers: FiLMiC Pro

When Sean Baker shot Tangerine and Steven Soderbergh shot Unsane on iPhones, what app did they use? FiLMiC Pro ($14.99, in-app purchases).

There’s a reason that video intended for the big screen seems to always be shot with FiLMiC Pro, and it has nothing to do with the incredibly obnoxious capitalization in its name. This app gives you more control over your video recording process than just about anything else out there. It delivers truly professional tools for those that really know their way around a video camera.

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FiLMiC Pro is the go-to app for professional video shot on iPhone.

I’m talking about zebra stripes, false color, and focus peaking. Waveform monitoring. True LOG gamma color. Variable speed zoom. Cinematic aspect ratios like 17:9 and 2.39:1. Multiple frame rate options. You can even pick which of your iPhone’s microphones you want to record from (or use a Bluetooth mic) and choose from several different audio codecs.

If you’re not really into shooting video, you’re going to find FiLMiC Pro pretty daunting. But those are the sort of hardcore features that make the app stand out. If you need to shoot professional video that you’re going to take into Final Cut or Premiere, can get real work done with this.

Turning your iPhone into a pro video camera isn’t cheap. At $14.99, it’s one of the pricier options on the App Store. And if you want live adjustments for gamma curve controls, shadows and highlights, hue and saturation, and the like, you need to shell out another $9.99 for the Cinematographer Kit in-app purchase (which only works on iPhone 7 or later phones). It’s a small price to pay for getting the kind of footage you can turn into a truly professional finished product.

Other camera apps to consider

There are plenty of great camera apps for the iPhone. These didn’t make our short list of the very best, but they’re worth checking out.

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