Best photo apps for your iPhone
- Fri, 12 Jun 2009
Top photo apps for your iPhone
It’s been a long time coming, but finally version 3 of Apple’s iPhone OS software has become available, alongside the new iPhone 3G S model – offering greater functionality, camera improvements, picture messaging and even the option to tether your iPhone to a computer as a wireless modem (albeit with significant additional charges from O2).
So, with the iPhone continuing to steal the public’s attention once more, what benefits can we photographers take from what is, on the face of it, a smartphone? Perhaps surprisingly, quite a lot – with some advanced apps already available, the future holds the potential for manufacturers to deliver some rather special features. Tethering from iPhone to your DSLR for immediate 100% viewing of your Raw files anyone? It’s not as far away as you might think.
As well as the likes of Facebook’s iPhone app allowing you to browse your friends’ photos online, there are even third party Flickr app downloads that enable limited access to the service too. But there are some specifically-created apps that offer a seriously cool photographic edge. Here’s What Digital Camera’s top five iPhone apps…
1. DSLR Remote from onOne Software - £5.99
onOne’s DSLR Remote is an app that pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin – you can use your iPhone as a wireless cable release/remote shutter for your Canon EOS DSLR (this first version only supports Canon, but enough interest and we’re sure onOne will spread the love to other major manufacturers). You’ll need a laptop (or desktop) computer to run some free software that’s tethered to your DSLR via a USB cable, with the iPhone communicating to this via wifi. Whilst the tether is a bit of a hindrance, it does mean you can do some pretty cool stuff – activating Live View will send a live stream from the camera’s LCD to your iPhone’s screen, so you can determine when to fire the shutter for an ideal shot. You can even adjust exposure settings, white balance and other controls – all remotely! onOne’s test showed this to full effect when shooting some hoops on the basketball court.
2. Dr DoF - £3.99
Professional photographer Philip Andrew’s company Phozmo.com offers a variety of iPhone apps to help you with your photography. Dr DoF is a tool that helps you to determine and therefore control the depth of field in your images, whilst providing the underlying information and visual representations to enable your understanding to increase too. Dr DoF allows you to calculate the sharpness in your photos based on the lens and sensor size you are using. It runs from basic options, through to advanced, professional-level information that’s ideal for use in the field or studio. Should you want to understanding the relationship between an aperture and depth of field at the basic level or need to know the hyperfocal distance setting for any given camera set up, Dr DoF has you covered from the grass roots through to the high-end detail.
3. TiltShift - £1.19
Tilt/shift lenses used to be one of those luxuries that only medium and large format photographers could afford that allows you to angle the focal plane. If you’ve ever seen an images where the upper and lower portions are soft, making the subjects in the centre appear ‘miniature’, then that’s an example of how this technique can be used. More recently DSLRs have offered some top lenses too – but for the best part of £2K, you’ll be needing deep pockets as well as an understanding of how to use the controls! A similar effect can be achieved in post production and, whilst PhotoShop is a good starting point, that’ll set you back a lot more than imimux’s £1.19 TiltShift app. For a fun way to play around with your photos you can’t go wrong – transform a scene into a miniature world using linear or elliptical selection tools, much like PhotoShop’s masking tools. Plus with the iPhone’s multi-touch gesture controls, the control is literally directly at your fingertips.
4. CameraBag - £1.79
The CameraBag app is effectively a bunch of post-production techniques and filters that you can apply to your iPhone photos. If you’re feeling creative then CameraBag lets you crop, add borders, apply filters like pseudo-fisheye or even a black and white filter. A colour boost that makes photos look like found relics from the ‘70s or vignetting are other ways to creatively play with your shots. There are eight filters in total, which for £1.79 is more than reasonable, especially if you import your own JPEGs when synching your iPhone with iPhoto.
5. AutoStitch - £1.19
Making panoramas has become even easier with advancing digital technologies. Now it’s even possible to make decent panoramas using your iPhone with the AutoStitch app. Unlike other earlier and more primitive applications, AutoStitch is a relatively advanced app that stitches together adjacent photos right before your eyes. Simply take a snap using your iPhone camera, then a following shot with an overlap to the previous one - repeat this process depending on how long you want your panorama to be. It’s then possible to load a series of images into AutoStitch, which bends and blends the photos into one coherent panorama.