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Last night I downloaded the new addition to an already seemingly overcrowded group of camera apps for the iPhone – Camera Awesome – brought to us by the people at Smugmug. Sure the built in app for the iPhone leaves a lot to be desired, but with apps like Snapseed (read my review on this app), Camera+, 100 Cameras in 1 and countless others does Camera Awesome bring anything new to the table?
While many of the photo editing apps don’t even attempt to replace the iPhone Camera app a few, like Camera+, have succeeded in adding some features to the camera taking experience. That being said Camera Awesome is one of the best I’ve seen so far at making me want to take my photographs with something other than the built in iPhone Camera app – and it’s free!
The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate and there are some amazing features added to the camera taking experience. A few note worthy additions include vibration reduction, burst modes (high res and low res), and an interval timer. They also offer us multiple compositional framing options from the standard rule of thirds, to trisect, to the golden ratio.
On top of all that we’re also given the seperatable exposure/focus points which you can move around using multitouch. This enables you to focus on one location and expose for another. While these features aren’t necessarily new to camera apps for the iPhone, to my knowledge, they have typically been offered exclusively for paid apps like Camera+.
I’ve only been playing around with what’s offered for free – and to be honest it is quite a good amount to play around with.
You’re given nine of each of the following: effects, filters, textures and frames and while the 9 they offer are nothing compared to the tease they give you of their paid add-ons there is still plenty of stuff to work with here. If you get bored with what they give you you’re free to add on as many as 10 packages of 9 for $0.99 each. Using a bit of math it can be said that Camera Awesome Fully Loaded costs $9.90 – which is a bit on the expensive side.
However, you don’t have to buy all of the effects at once, or even at all which is nice.
Given the price for the features of the camera taking experience, basic editing abilities, and a decent set of effects, filters, textures and frames is free I’d say it’s a no brainer. Down the line if you find you’d like to spend a couple dollars on a camera app you could add another set of textures or filters and have a bunch more customization.
That being said, there is at least one drawback.
No slider for filter strength.
Personally I’d like just that tiny bit of additional customization to where I could either really crank up an effect or tone it down to be a subtle hint of texture into the photograph. It’s as simple as adding an opacity slider to the filters screen and something that should be easy to bring to the table in a future update – I just hope that the people at Smugmug are listening.
Finally to answer the question raised in the title – Game Changer or More of the Same? I’d say that given the price tag of the initial app download this is a borderline game changer. I’d like to see them add more than 9 effects for a dollar as that’s more than 10 cents an effect, but then again, they are giving a lot away for free.
Have you tried Camera Awesome for the iPhone? I’d love to see some photos you’ve taken leave a link below or share them on Phogropathy’s Facebook Page!