Useful iPhone camera apps

There are gazillions of camera and photo apps for the iPhone – here’s a review of the ones I’ve tried on an iPhone 3GS, starting with the most useful. Thanks to Dave for pointing me in the direction of many of these in the first place.

William Norman & Chip
Hipstamatic
Hipstamatic – £1.59
An utterly beautiful, if slightly mad app. It’s possibly a bit too trendy for its own good, and is probably already responsible for even more wistful-arty-girlie photography on Flickr than ever… and hell, who’s to say that’s a bad thing?
It does not let you apply its filters to saved images, only photos you take while you’re using the app. This is slightly limiting, but it’s supposed to turn your iPhone into a lo-fi camera – and that’s what it does. You can load (and buy) different ‘films’ (borders), ‘flashes’ (which are like filters and add flares) and ‘lenses’ which can be warm or cool. All about making more money, but it’s all done with such panache and style I love it.

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The Map Approach to Modern History The Mother of Parliaments
Camerabag – £1.59
A simple set of effects that you can apply to either saved images or use it as a camera. I use this a lot, especially the ‘Helga’ and ‘Magazine’ settings. There are some Polaroid and black and white settings too.

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Flickr – free
The official Flickr app is ok. It geotags photos from where you upload them, rather than where you take them, which is a bit crap. And I still cannot work out how to rotate a photo on Flickr – not using this nor Safari.

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Crop for Free – er, free
Worth having just so you can crop a photo. That’s all it does.

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Camera – built-in, free
Yes, the iPhone’s built-in camera is very, very basic – but it seems solid and saves quickly. Worth keeping to hand.

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Gorillacam
Gorillacam – free
Great idea: spirit level, digital zoom, time-lapse etc… but I find it buggy – I lost about a dozen photos that it just didn’t save. Still, at that price you can’t complain I guess.

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Guess Where Lego?
Lego Photo – free
People grumble about this, but it was a huge hit keeping 10 year-olds entertained on a school trip. Take a photo or one from your camera roll and turn it into a Lego mosaic. Westy points out that you should then be able to order a physical Lego kit – like you used to be able to on their web site. They’re missing a trick here.

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Lo-Mob Saltford School
Lo-Mob – £1.59
On paper it sounds good – lots of different vintage effects and filters… but I hardly ever like the results enough to use them. Too many Polaroid-type effects and I find the results not quite to my taste. There’s also one ‘Instant Wide’ setting that always produces a blank white vignetted image.

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