IPhone photography apps are very impressive from a technology standpoint. There are apps that seamlessly blend multiple pictures into one panoramic photo, and others that include dozens of filters and special effects to create truly stunning pictures with what is a relatively low-quality camera (although the iPhone 4 makes great strides in this area). I'm still amazed at the technology behind some of these iPhone apps, and you can find a bunch of good examples at the App Store. Here are the photography apps that impressed us.
Pocketbooth (US$0.99) is one of the coolest photography apps I’ve seen in a long time. The app’s developers call it “the photo booth that fits in your pocket,” and it really does replicate that experience. The app includes lots of customization, including matte vs. glossy paper, as well as sepia, black and white, or color options. The app supports both back and user-facing cameras (only the iPhone 4 and latest iPod touch have a user-facing camera), and you can share your photos via email, Facebook, or Twitter. It is definitely a must-have for iPhone photography fans!
Instagram (free) is perhaps the most widely used iPhone photography app thanks to its powerful combination of filters and social media sharing options. With 15 built-in filters and the ability to post photos to numerous online services, as well as email them, photos created in Instagram are quickly becoming one of the most common sites online.
An impressivley powerful app that calls to mind a handheld version of Photoshop. FX Photo Studio ($1.99) not only includes nearly 200 built-in filters to stylize your photos, it also features a large number of other settings and tools to allow you to tweak the colors, contrast, cropping, and other aspects of your images. While its power may be overwhelming to beginning users, its comprehensiveness will make it a favorite of more advanced iPhone photographers.
When the iPhone was first released, who could have predicted that one day we would be taking panoramic photos with it? That’s exactly what you can do with the Pano iPhone app ($2.99). By using the app’s semi-transparent guide, multiple pictures can be fused automatically to create a panoramic image. I don’t know how exactly the app is able to fuse together the photos so seamlessly, but it really does work. Just check out the app’s Flickr page for proof.
The Hipstamatic app ($1.99) recreates the unique pictures of the past with a variety of lenses. The app includes three lenses, three film options, and two flash varieties. Once you get tired of those, there are a variety of 99-cent "Hipstapaks" that can be purchased directly from the app. These provide additional lenses, flashes, and films so you can create some cool retro-looking photos. Your work can then be shared via Facebook, email, or Flickr.
6. Color Splash
You can create some pretty stunning photos with the Color Splash app ($0.99). The app converts a photo to black and white while keeping some parts of the image in color so they really pop. It takes a little practice to edit correctly, but a helpful red tint makes it easy to identify the borders between color and black-and-white sections. Like many iPhone photography apps, this one also supports Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter sharing.
CameraBag ($1.99) makes applying filters to your photos very easy. Choose from 14 built-in filters that mimic classic cameras like the Helga, time periods like 1974, or common effects like fisheye to create your masterpiece and then save the photo to your device or email it. A lack of sharing options, and limited filter choices compared to some competitors hold CameraBag back, but it's a simple app that makes it easy to customize photos.
The Effects photography app (Free) has an insane number of filters -- more than 1,100 at last count -- that allow you to create nearly every effect imaginable. You can lighten or darken pictures, add color tints, change the color hues, and much more. The app also includes more than 40 picture frames to beautify your creation. Facebook and Twitter integration is another plus.
Unlike some other photography apps, which have a set amount of filters or effects, Infinicam ($1.99) offers unlimited camera styles. The app uses different algorithms to create “billions” of unique effects. Once you find one you like, you should save it to your favorites because you might not find it again! The app also includes 18 border styles to choose from.
The Mulletizer app ($1.99) is silly, but it is also a lot of fun. Take a picture of yourself or a friend, and use the app to add different mullets and accessories like cigarettes and beer helmets. Once your picture is sufficiently “mulletized,” you can email it to friends and family or post it on social networking sites.