iPadReview

Is Camera+ the best iPad photography app?

There's now an iPad version of the brilliant Camera+ iPhone app: is it worth getting? Our review reveals all.

There are a hell of a lot of camera apps for the iPad - does Camera+ have what it takes to be the best?

We’ve been huge fans of Camera+ on the iPhone for a long time, so we’re delighted to see it arrive on the iPad, too. It’s not a Universal app, so if you’ve already bought it on the iPhone, you’ll still need to buy it again for the iPad. And we say that’s fine – not least because as we write, it’s still at a promotional launch price of 69p. That, as you’ll come to see, is an absolute bargain.

All the reasons we loved it on the iPhone are here, too – though the iPad version also gets some excellent additional features, and the whole thing benefits from the iPad’s bigger canvas. Camera+ essentially does three things: capture, editing and sharing.

When you’re taking photos, you get some terrific extras compared to the built-in Camera app – not for nothing is it called ‘Camera+’! Although traditional photographers would still like manual focussing, exposure and white balance controls, at least here you get the option to lock any combination of all three. Better still, if you have a new iPad (which has a proper movable lens system, and actually takes good photos), you can split the touch points for where you want the camera to focus and for where you want it to expose. This gives you much more control when taking photos, and for many, would be reason enough to buy Camera+. You also, though, get the option of shooting in burst mode (though the pictures are very low-res), shooting with a five-second time delay, or shooting automatically when the iPad detects it’s being held steadily.

There are a number of great adjustable effects that you can play with

Then you move to the meat of Camera+ – editing your photos. But before we get there, we need to mention iCloud syncing, a new feature that’s also been added to the iPhone version of the app. Now, pictures that you take with Camera+ on your iPhone, say, can appear on your iPad automatically, and vice versa; a boon, since you can combine the higher quality camera on modern iPhones with the less cramped interface of an iPad. (Note, mind you, that it won’t work on an original iPad.)

We also like that edited photos are transferred without being flattened - that is, the ‘raw’ photo is transferred along with the edits as metadata, so you can still tweak them.

If you have the latest iPad, you have a great deal of control over your shot

And so to the editing. Most people will turn first to the range of special effects you can apply, and sure enough, these are good. We’d like to see some new ones, but the original ones that are provided are good.

Even better, though, on the iPad you get even more creative control. You can stack up multiple effects, setting the intensity of each, or even brushing the effect on or off with a highly-configurable brush tool.

As you'd expect, images can be shared socially

What’s more, as well as flipping and cropping tools, the iPad version also adds proper controls for tweaking white balance, tone, sharpening and more, including a nicely intuitive straighten tool. (It’s a shame still not to see a noise-reduction tool, though.)

You can also apply Scenes, optimising the shot for modes such as Cloudy or Sunset, like you can on lots of cameras. It’s here that you’ll also find the Clarity filter that we adore – it gives most photos an instant lift.

Camera+'s interface is exceptional - intuitive and uncluttered

Any picture (or group) can be shared, though here the iPad version is behind the iPhone. On an iPhone, you can share to a range of accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr all at once, plus it hooks into the iOS-authorised social accounts, but here it’s one at a time, and you have to log in separately. On the other hand, you gain the option of importing photos from Flickr and Facebook.

The interface works really well in either portrait or landscape, though the silly decision to place the Delete button at the top left, where it can appear under your finger as you’re tapping ‘back’, led us to delete a few shots. (Happily, there’s a good Undo function.)

Photo editing is a simple and smooth experience

It’s questionable that any app could do everything that everybody would want it to do, and even if you buy this, you might still need to reach for Luminance, Snapseed, TouchUp, Photoshop Touch or iPhoto for some tasks – but we’d still recommend that this is the one you buy first.

Ultimately, this is a superb app, and the addition of grown-up image editing controls (the lack of which had us reaching for Luminance before) in addition to the effects and richer capture options make it a must-buy.

This review originally featured in Tap! Magazine issue 22.

Key info

  • Price: $0.99 (£0.69)
  • Works with: iPad
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • App size: 24.6MB
  • Developer: tap tap tap LLC
  • Age rating: 4+

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Our Verdict 10/10

A wonderful app. Polished, slick, packed with features, and a terrific complement to Camera+ on iPhone.
  • Superb interface
  • Proper image editing controls
  • Great effects
  • Rich capture options
  • Low price
  • Er...

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