Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 by Danny Davies
Whether or not you’re the proud owner of an iPhone or an Android smartphone, there’s a high chance that at least 1 Facebook photo in every 3 of yours was taken on one. Since the rise of the App Store the number of cool looking photography apps offering to edit your pictures into photo masterpieces has become almost mind-boggling. Cutting through the rubbish is what we do at All My Faves, so read this list of the top 10 best camera apps in the iPhone appstore and Android market before you download.
HDR photography used to be something reserved for professionals with huge cameras. Nowadays all you need is a smart phone, and if you own an Android, this excellent camera replacement app. HDR Camera+ is a premium app (costing a cool $3.99), built to make your old camera unnecessary.
It’s filled with cool features to add drama and beauty to your images with the true intensity of color you’d expect from a DSLR. It works by taking a series of photos in rapid succession, before mixing them together to create one picture in full high definition – and because it’s got a built-in image stabilizer, you don’t need to worry about blurry pictures. You can edit pictures with a host of features to make your photos even more impressive too. For the high quality of picture you’re going to be taking and creating on HDR Camera+, $3.99 will soon feel like a bargain!
While the iPhone comes armed with a pretty good camera, your photos will go from “pretty good” to “masterpiece” in a few seconds if you purchase Camera+. This app stands out as one of the best HDR photography apps in the App Store, particularly because no other app has been able to replicate Camera+’s brilliant ‘Clarity’ setting. The screenshots below are taken from my iPhone, and as you can see, it not only organises your snaps nicely (either after you use the app to take them or import from your library), but it’s got a great user interface that makes it easy to edit pictures and add a real sense of drama and clarity to any otherwise bog-standard image. Click here to visit Camera+’s website for more info.
With Smartphone technology making it easier to be more creative with photography on one device, it’s no wonder that a number of cool panorama apps have surfaced on Apple’s appstore and Android’s market.
360 Panorama is available on both and really is one of the most unique photography apps for Android or iPhone. It enables you to spin around with your smartphone, capturing a 360 panoramic image of everything around you, which you can then share instantly with friends and family by email or even Twitter. The most interesting feature of 360 Panorama is what you see above this: a stereographic projection – or in English, your panorama stitched together to create a sort of mini planet. Cute or what!
TourWrist has to be one of the most dynamic photography apps on the appstore. It combines augmented reality technology with the iPhone’s in-built camera to create a 360 degree panoramic tour of whatever’s around you. You can share your tour with friends as well as submit it to TourWrist’s panorama community, filled with tours on anything from hotels and homes to incredible scenery or even someone’s view at the Super Bowl. Click here to get acquainted with TourWrist’s innovative new brand of virtual tourism.
Sometimes you don’t want to take a wonderful HD image of amazing scenery. Sometimes you just want to have a bit of fun, and Paper Camera – one of the top photography apps for Android (and up-and-coming on the iPhone) – is built strictly for that. Created by JFDP Labs, who decided to appreciate the smartphone’s photographic limits rather than push them, it lets you take and edit photos using a number of cool arty effects, including ‘cartoon’, ‘sketch’ and my personal favourite, ‘comic boom’. If you’re looking for something a little less serious in a camera app, Paper Camera is definitely worth a second look (or a watch of the video below!).
PhotoArtista Oil is one of the best apps for the iPhone user who can’t decide between being a painter or a photographer. It does exactly what it says on the tin – edit your pictures into painted images from a range of 7 artistic styles (from impressionism to realism). You can fine tune your pictures to perfect them in your chosen painted style too. It’s not expensive, and can definitely give you surprisingly subtle and different results to the usual, more serious photo offered by the other cool apps on this list and beyond.
Like Hipstamatic on the iPhone, Retro Camera is not an app about serious photography, but about reviving old and much loved cameras of the past. It gives you the ability to stoke up some nostalgia by actually taking photos with virtual vintage cameras and their lenses. A cute touch is the handheld dark room that stores your retro handiwork until you’re ready to share out your attempts at bringing back the golden years of photography via the usual suspects (Twitter, Facebook and email).
One of the iPhone’s original – and best – photography apps, CameraBag still performs its main role of serving up amazing vintage photography straight off your phone. As an image editor goes, it’s as simple as it gets – like many of the other top camera apps you just scroll through your choice of different filters – but the results it serves up can be quite special. The pictures below were taken from CameraBag and both demonstrate how vintage photography doesn’t have to be a throwaway novelty, but can really enhance pictures and give them an added layer of character and charm. The New York photo on the left for example could have been taken in 1974 – coincidentally the name of the image editor filter used to create it! Click here to learn more before you download.
Well this one’s quite the revelation. Or not. I’m sure you already know about Instagram, and if you don’t, you’re about to, thanks to its acquisition by Facebook for an utterly unbelievable sum of $1billion (and it doesn’t even make a penny – Instagram is completely free to use!). We had to include Instagram on the list, because if nothing else, it’s pretty much the easiest way on both Android phones and the iPhone to take, edit and share photos and images that look at the very least cool, and at best, incredible! You share within Instagram’s standalone network, and of course on Facebook too now. Heck, half your Facebook pictures are probably already made on Instagram, and this is only going to increase… so if, like Facebook, you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
This final choice is almost the polar opposite of Instagram and what it stands now for as a part of Facebook. While Instagram is about taking a random picture and sharing it with the entire World on their network (and also on Facebook), CapsuleCam is an app about sharing your photos and memories with very specific people, from very specific events. It’s completely based around creating group photo and event albums that you and your specifically invited friends can add pictures to. After all, as we pointed out in our main review of Capsule, do you really want that guy you hastily added after a drunken encounter at the office Christmas party in 2009 to see every photo you take and upload from your phone? If the answer’s no, then you may want to start sharing your snaps more privately, with people who actually care, on CapsuleCam!
You can find all these photography apps and other photo editing tools in our Photos Faves for Mobile
What’s your favorite photography app? Did it make our list? Stand up for your faves that didn’t get a mention here in the comments box (or just enjoy downloading my suggestions ;))