The onboard camera app in the newer iPads are great and very useful out in the field. That said there are some other apps out there that offer a bit more functionality than the onboard camera that you may want to check out. There are lots and lots of alternative camera apps in the apps store, some with very smiler sounding names. Many of them promise great results, but in the end are not very good and don’t offer any improvement over the default camera. Some of the camera apps are straight cameras and others offer some editing options and filters. So, to help you navigate this confusing sea of options, we’re going to be looking at alternative camera apps in this posting.
As always read up on these apps before you purchase them. Read the most recent reviews for any issues with updates etc. Make sure they will work on your device model and iOS.
What works well today may be totally different in 6 months. Do your research so you’re not disappointed.
Camera+ is a very popular app that is a great step up from the default camera. In addition to the basic focus, which can be repositioned anywhere on in the image frame, you also have the ability to add an exposure ring. You can also repositioned the exposure ring to adjust the light or dark area of the image and help decrease over and under exposed images.
Other features missing from the default camera but included in Camera+ are, a Stabilizer option, a Horizon Level, a Timer for self portraits and a burst mode as well as a front flash and an improved processor for the 6x zoom.
There are a bunch of image enhancement features included as well. You’ll find Clarity, which automatically brings out image details, Scene Mode, such as you would find on traditional digital cameras i.e. Sunset, Food, Beach and others. You’ll also find a lot image effects included too, you can add Retro styles, HDR and grunge effects, Hollywood Styles, as well as traditional adjustments and borders and vignettes. You have the ability to layer the effects with is a very nice feature.
There are lots of Cropping options from stand sizes to some uncommon ones, and you can even add captions. When you’re done editing your images you can easily share them through email or with your social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, right within the app.
There is a Lightbox interface that allows you to go through your images before being saved to your Camera Roll. This way you save only the images that you are pleased with. You can also use the iCloud Lightbox to sync your photos between your devices. You can modify how the Lightbox works in its settings preferences. You can even bypass it entirely if you don’t wish to use it.
This app is not universal so if you want it for both the iPad and your phone you will need to get both.
The price at the app store is 1.99.
There are a couple extra effects packs available as in app purchases for .99 each in the phone version, but they come with the iPad version.
Read about the app on the Developers Web Page: http://campl.us
Read more about it at the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id329670577?mt=8
Get it at the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera+/id329670577?mt=8
PureShot is a universal app and another stop up from Camera+. PureShot is a camera app that offers no filters for sprucing up your image. What it lacks in that department it makes up for in some very nice camera options. In addition to the ability to set your focus and white balance separately, you have a choice of standard multi-zone or spot metering, as well as single shot, 3 shot burst or 3 shot bracketing modes.
Other features enable you to view one of 4 real-time histogram options, shoot your images in some standard image formats, 4:3, 1:1 or 35mm 3:2 image ratios, and a night mode with up to 1 sec shutter speeds. There is a quality optimized 6x zoom a full printable User’s Guide and more.
One of the nicest features is is the ability to save your images in one of 4 quality settings, Hi Quality JPG, Max Quality JPG or dRAW TIFF. The dRAW TIFF should not be confused with a traditional RAW file which you would get from some higher end digital cameras. This is really an uncompressed TIFF file. Choosing this option will save a very large file to your camera roll.
The price at the app store is 1.99
Read about the app on the Developers Web Page: http://jag.gr/pureshot/
Read more about it at the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id591785487?mt=8
Get it at the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pureshot/id591785487?mt=8
645 ProMk II
The same maker of PureShot offers yet another step up. This camera was inspired by the classic medium format camera. With 645 ProMK II you’ll get a more digital SLR like interface.
The 645 Pro shares the same independent focus, exposure settings, metering and output options as the PureShot. You’ll also find the same bracketing and burst modes and anti-shake settings, as well as the same timer with up to 1 second, printable manual and social sharing options.
Super features that sets this apart from the PureShot include, seven film aspect ratios, square 6×6 – 6×17 inspired by Classic Medium Format cameras and the option to choose from nine classic film styles, and 21 traditional photo filters.
The interface looks like the back of an SLR, all the image setting information is visible on the back, iso, shutter speed, gps data, and the histogram.
If you are intimidated by SLR cameras, you may want to pass this app by. If on the other hand you are a seasoned SLR user, you may find the app to be just what you were looking for.
The price at the app store is 3.99
Read about the app on the Developers Web Page: http://jag.gr/645pro/
Read more about it at the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/645-pro-mk-ii/id518235205?mt=8
Get it at the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/645-pro-mk-ii/id518235205?mt=8
Pro Camera HD
Pro Camera HD is another camera with DSLR like controls there is also Pro Camera for the iPhone. The app offers a number of nice pro features such as, image stabilizer, alignment grids, rapid fire and sports mode, geo tagging with full EXIF data, and independent controls for white balance, exposure, and focus. Note that controlling focus is not an option with iPad 2 as it has a fixed focus camera.
It uses the iPad’s 5-megapixel camera to take high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video (720p HD video on iPad 2). You can also use the 6x zoom while recoding video, and it even allows you to take snapshots while in video mode. You also have full control over focus adjustments while recording video. These are accessed in expert mode or with continuous focus mode set to on in automatic mode.
The App offers a SnapTrigger which is a movable control bar, an internal Lightbox for quickly reviewing, exporting photos and videos and sharing to a number os social networks, email or dropbox in full resolution.
Be sure to look at the setting options, this is where you will toggle all your settings off and on. Images are saved as JPG and you will need to set the output quality before you get started.
There are no options for traditional film format sizes. All images will have to be cropped to other formats after taken.
The price at the app store is .99
Read about the app on the Developers Web Page and blog: http://ipad.procamera-app.com
Read more about it at the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id549558641?mt=8
Get it at the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/procamera-hd/id549558641?mt=8
The ProCam XL App is another high end DSLR like app for iPad mini, iPad 3G, iPad 4G only. It offers an adjustable Anti-Shake feature, single and bust shot modes in full or VGA quality, Self-Timer, Time Lapse, an interval option, and night mode with timer option. There are also options for traditional film ratios, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1;1 and adjustable JPEG compression quality, Geo Location and Alignment Grids.
Other SLR like options include, -2 through +2 Exposure Compensation to manually compensate for over/under exposure, White Balance compensation, and a Saturation Adjustment that allows for more realistic colors or Black and White images and the ability to set white balance and focus with a pinch gesture.
There are a number of video options including, still image capture in video mode, 6x zoom, video stabilization, Time lapse video in Full HD 1080p, HD720p, VGA 640×480, and 480×360 resolutions, Video Audio Meter, Adjustable frame rates of 30, 24, 15 and 5 fps, a pause and resume feature
There is also a User Manual PDF that can be downloaded as well as in app help.
The price at the app store is 1.99
Developers Web Page and downloadable User Manual: http://procamapp.com/ProCam/ProCam_Support.html
Read more about it at the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id560483587?mt=8
Get it at the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/procam-xl/id560483587?mt=8
Slow Shutter Cam
The Slow Shutter Cam app is made for the iPhone, but will run on your iPad. It enables you to take photos with a slower shutter speed than the default onboard app. It offers three modes which enable you to capture images with light trails, soften moving water and just general blur for ghosting effects. It does all this with a real time preview of the scene and the ability to adjust the exposure and effect after the image is captured. The trick to being able to edit the photo is to turn off Auto-Save to Camera Roll in the Settings. The drawback to this app is the resolution. At this point in time is it limited to 3mp on the iPad 3 and 4. Hopefully that will be increased in future updates.
The first option is Automatic, this is the equivalent to the shutter priority mode on a DSLR, the Automatic mode is perfect for creating ghost images, waterfall effects or suggesting movement in your photographs by adding a blur. This mode also features automatic exposure compensation so that your pictures are always perfectly exposed, no matter the shutter speed selected!
Next is the Manual setting. Its best used in low light conditions. You can set the camera to keep the lens open much longer so the image gets more exposure. You fine-tune the image by using the exposure slider to achieve the exact effect you want! But you really do need a very dark situation to keep the manual settings from over exposing the image.
The last option is Light Trail. This mode allows you capture moving light into a blur, i.e streaky car light trails, and to paint with light, i.e flashlights and sparklers.
If you are into slow shutter camera effects this could be the app for you, with the after shot editing option turned on, you get a lot of control over the final image.
The price at the app store is .99
Read about the app on the Developers Web Page: http://www.cogitap.com/slowshutter/instructions.htm
Read more about it at the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id357404131?mt=8
Get it at the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slow-shutter-cam-long-exposure/id357404131?mt=8