Manual camera apps have increased in popularity recently, but there are few that stand out from the crowd. The most crucial things to consider when deciding between manual camera apps are simplicity and user experience. Obviously, features are important but if you have to spend too much time fiddling with an app you may miss that perfect moment.
Of course for snapping a quick photo, it’s hard to beat the quickness of using the iPhone’s built in Camera app, but if you want more control over your shots try out one of these apps.
Manual is a minimalist’s dream. No other manual camera app has come close to packing as many features into such a clean and simple user interface. Many other manual camera apps are clunky to use and hard to figure out, but Manual manages to provide every feature you may need in an approachable design.Manual gives you full control over exposure levels, white balance and focus in a way that is understandable and easy to use. The app’s marque feature is a histogram that is displayed at the bottom of the app which allows you to monitor exposure levels.
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Camera+ is the grandaddy of manual camera apps. It has been around for a long time and for good reason. The app provides both manual photo shooting and editing options.
It offers the control over shooting photos you would expect but also features a unique “macro” mode, which uses the iPhone’s digital zoom to create an impressive macro effect without the need for a specialized lens.
The app also offers a load of tools for editing images. There are preset adjustments, which make for quick and easy editing, but you can get as complex as you want with the manual editing features as well.
Filters can be found on most photo editing apps, but what is unique about Camera+ is the option to layer multiple filters. Camera+ is an excellent one stop shop for both shooting and editing photos.
Similar to the apps above, ProCam 3 offers a full range of manual control for shooting photos, but ProCam’s standout feature is HDR mode. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is used when the background of a photo is significantly lighter or darker than the subject in the foreground.
HDR mode in ProCam is significantly better than the HDR built into the iPhone’s default Camera app. If you shoot a significant amount of photos outside in bright sunlight, this app is definitely worth considering.
Another unique feature of ProCam is control over image quality. The iPhone natively takes high quality JPEG photos, but ProCam allows you to switch to a higher quality JPEG or to a TIFF format. The TIFF format offers better quality than JPEG at the cost of a much higher file size. If you need higher quality images for professional work or printing, ProCam is a compelling app.
The app also offers robust editing tools and is available for $4.99 on the App Store.
Manual camera apps are becoming a dime a dozen, but these three apps offer a better experience and unique features you won’t find elsewhere.