Imagine this: suddenly you see a perfectshot or you happen to witness an amazing event, yet you don’t have your beloved camera with you. It may seem that the moment is gone. But in the XXI century almost everybody carries around a phone with a built-in camera - a couple of taps and you’ve capture the desired image. Although, native camera apps may be easy to use, they usually don’t give photographers much of creative freedom. You can just focus on an object, set exposure and click the shutter button. For those who love photography and prefer to adjust the settings manually, this may not be enough . If you feel like you’re one of these people, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best camera-apps with the help of which you’ll be able to turn your phone into a real camera.
Lightroom Mobile App
If you know a little bit about editing software, then you’ve probably heard about Lightroom. It is an incredibly powerful and at the same time useful tool for editing photos, which has a desktop and a mobile version. The latter one is available for both iOS and Android. Don’t be surprised to see an editing app on our list, because Lightroom Mobile offers you a camera as well: in order to enable it you need to tap on the camera icon. In the app’s toolkit there is everything you might need: shutter speed, white balance and ISO. You can lock the focus on an object - the app is going to show you exactly what you’re focusing on - and change exposure by swiping left to right on the screen. Lightroom Mobile allows you to shoot in RAW; photos in this format have more information stored and are superior in quality than JPG images, hence you’re going to get better results at the post-processing stage. In the app you can change the size of images, set the timer and turn on the compositional grid. It also allows you to see highlight clippings - the parts of the image that are too bright.
The main benefit of Lightroom Mobile is that you’ll get a good camera and a powerful editing software in a single app. The free version is enough for comfortable use, but if you want, you can pay a fee to upgrade.
Moment Pro Camera App
This camera app was developed by the creators of probably the best lenses for smartphones on the American market. Perhaps, the name might seem familiar and it’s no coincidence, since on the peak of popularity of the Google Glass there was a special camera app, which was called Moment Camera. It was designed to make the usage of the Google Glass camera as simple as possible. You just had to enable it with your voice, then the camera would take care of adjusting the settings and figuring out the proper exposure, while you could simply enjoy the moment. However, Moment Pro Camera, which is available on both iOS and Android, has a word PRO in it for a good reason as it is the exact opposite of what was developed for Google Glass. Moment Pro Camera will give you the toolkit of a real DSLR.
First of all, you can choose the format and the size of your images, turn on the geolocation. Each photo has advanced metadata: information about technical details, date and time. Secondly, the app operates in fully manual mode, allowing you to adjust ISO, white balance, shutter speed, focus and exposition. The live histogram is going to become a real helper in your photo-creativity, showing you under- or overexposed parts of your image.
There is a free tryout version of Moment Pro Camera in the App Store, while Android users, unfortunately, will have to pay right away.
Available only on iOS, ProCamera has made it to our list thanks to relatively high ratings and good reviews on App Store. It comes with the basic toolkit, which can be used in semi-auto and manual modes. In addition, ProCamera offers a stabilization and an intuitive interface for better focusing and setting exposition. Aside from JPG it allows you to shoot in RAW and right off the bat, you can edit your pictures in the built-in editor. However, for a more detailed and advanced editing we suggest using apps, designed specifically for these purposes.
Perhaps one of the main advantages of ProCamera is the full-screen mode. When it’s enabled you can tap anywhere on the screen to take a photo. This can be very handy when shooting street photography. Among many features you’ll be able to find compositional grid, histogram, timer and rapid fire feature. ProCamera has a good portrait mode and an option of switching between two cameras, but, of course, only if you have one of the recent iphone models. Finally, you can use the app remotely via Apple Watch and connect to the Adobe Creative Cloud.
For this wonder of an app you’ll have to pay around $6, but without a doubt it’ll be worth every cent.
Many phone photography enthusiasts praise Halide for its convenience: you can tweak the setting with intuitive gestures. If fully manual mode with the basic toolkit scares you, it is possible to switch to auto. The interface of Halide is very similar to the native iphone camera, which can also be a benefit. Just like ProCamera, this app is available only on iOS.
Halide offers you an interesting feature called Focus Peeking that shows you which details of your image are in focus - they will highlighted with red. In addition, for users of iphones with dual-cameras there is another gizmo - Depth Peeking, which works in a similar way, except it displays the depth of field. In other words, you’ll see which part of your photo is detailed and which one is blurred. Moreover, in the last version of Halide there has appeared a Voice Trigger powered by Siri, so you can control the app remotely. This feature is enabled in your phone settings.
On App Store Halide costs about $6.
The last camera app on our list is only available for Android. Open Camera offers you different shooting modes, including the manual one. You won’t find detailed metadata in here, but there are features of geo-tagging and time-stamping. In addition to timer and auto-repeat mode with configurable delay, there is another option to control the app remotely by a specific voice command or making a noise. Even if you’re not used to this type of photography, you can try your hand at self-portraiture with the help of Open Camera. This app supports HDR and has the noise reduction feature, which can come in handy if you’re shooting in low-light conditions.
Open Camera has an easy to use interface and a great toolkit, which is going to make happy photographers of almost any skill-level. You can download this app entirely for free and it does not require any in-app purchases.
The idea that it is impossible to take good-quality pictures with your phone is a thing of the past. If you happen to take for a spin at least one of these camera apps, you’ll be undoubtedly convinced in it. We hope that you’ve learnt something new and that our list will help you take your mobile photography to the next level.