Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lost in App Land

I admit it. I've made a few shots with my Big Girl camera over the last couple of weeks, but for the most part, I'm lost in Appland.

That's right, Apple had made more money off of me on photographic apps. I've downloaded a few new ones, and I've continued to play with the ones I wrote about in my last blog post on the subject, becoming more conversant with them. I've started to combine and layer the different apps, because they all have strengths and weaknesses.

TiltShiftGenerator - Fake DSLR offers just a few features, but one really makes it stand out. If any of you 2.3 regular readers of this blog are also fans of my artwork, you'll know that I dig a tight depth of field and a fully-blown aperture. TiltShiftGen enables me to get an extreme variation of that affect with my iPhone. A variable position and size "blur zone" lets the user close in on what they want to highlight; it reminds me of the Lensbaby, which my friend Mark Lindsay highlighted recently in a Facebook post. Other less-interesting settings enable the user to vary saturation, brightness, and contrast, as well as apply a variable-degree vignetting effect. Your source photo can be from your iPhone's Camera Roll or you can shoot on the fly. On the left you'll see the source photo; on the right, the same image after applying this app's effects. $1.99 by Art & Mobile.

Kim Criswell asked me recently about camera zoom apps. The lack of any sort of native zoom capability on the iPhone's camera is one of my biggest pet peeves; as far as I can tell, application developers have managed to make up for that absence only in a limited fashion. One I like for its simplicity is CameraZoom Pro. CamZoom Pro supplies no filters or effects, focusing instead on zoom, resolution, and "camera burst." You can select the size of your image (ranging from 640 x 480 to 1280 x 960) and customize "burst count" (ie, the number of "frames" shot), selecting from one, three, five or seven. The app offers gridlines to help you stabilize the camera as much as possible during the shot, and enables you to preview your image before saving it. The zoom function works reasonably well in very good light but basically dwindles down to "nearly useless" in very poor lighting or indoors ... which is what I expected. First you'll see the true distance image with the raw zoom below it, both shot at 800 x 600. Below that, two comparable zoomed images, on the left shot at 800 x 600, on the right shot at 1280 x 960. The final image, as a bonus, is the zoomed bird feeder image with applied effects using Best Camera. By Punicasoft, 99 cents. There's also a free version.

An app I've just recently downloaded but haven't had time to play with very much yet goes by the bold descriptive name of 7.0 Megapixel Camera + ZOOM. It uses a "custom algorithym" to boost your iPhone camera performance to what it estimates to be 7.0 and 5.0 megapixel resolutions in addition to zoom, a self-timer that can be set for 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds; and a time-lapse option from 15 seconds to 15 minutes. One major convenience already easily noticeable: you snap a picture by simply touching the screen anywhere, rather than having to aim for a small and sometimes awkwardly-placed button. By CrowdCafe, 99 cents.

More images and more apps coming. Do you have apps installed on your Droid or iPhone? Let's see some samples of your work! Send a couple of images to me via email along with a few details about the app and I'll post them here.

1 comment:

kc said...

Thanks, E Marie! I'm gonna check these out. I tweeted a link to this... & I'm looking forward to more of these camera app reviews.