So, I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for quite a while now, but I’ve been holding off since I was waiting to be able to get some hands-on experience first. Well, now that I’ve joined a few of the guys here in the iPhone cult, I can finally talk about the iPhone and how it’s relating to the life of the modern photographer. To start, why don’t we cover a few of the basic apps for people who like photography and own one of these life-sucking devices:
1. Snapture. This one’s apparently a cult favorite, having started out only for jailbroken phones it has now gone legit in the app store. I’m listing it first because it’s really quite popular, but it’s not my favorite camera-replacement app. Where Snapture rules on the iPhone is adding quick and easy photo review to teh camera. While normally you would have to leave shooting mode and review in the camera roll, Snapture keeps a running, collapsible stack of photos right in shooting mode so you can review, delete, and email them at any time. Wich is nice, no doubt. It’s now up to you to decide if that’s worth 2 bucks.
Oh, it also adds a few features to focus tapping and a virtual level, among others, but they aren’t as unique to Snapture as the workflow solution is.
2. Camera Genius. Now, this one if my preferred camera replacement for the iPhone. It lacks the thumbnail stacks of Snapture, but it adds an intervalometer, a steady shot mode (it measures your hand shake for 10 seconds or so and snaps the shot when the amount of shake is at its lowest, for the sharpest photo), noise shutter (it measures ambient noise and when it hears a loudish sound takes the picture. Recommended use if for group photos when everyone says “Cheese!”), 5x digital zoom, composition guideline overlays, and even a basic reference manual to help walk you through common shots and get the best out of your exposure.
OK, now, moving on past things that make your iPhone a better camera, and briefly into things that make your iPhone a better photo assistant, we have two apps from a German group called Ambertation designed to make field reference a lot easier.
3. Photo Buddy. This app is one I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s basically the ultimate guide to everything your DSLR doesn’t have an on-board reference for. Sunrise/sunset times, moon phases, depth of field calculators, exposure settings (complete with a lot of common presets), an HDR exposure calculator, grey cards, common color temperatures, distance measurer, sharpness, long exposure calculation, there’s not a heck of a lot it won’t help you out with. And, you can program it with the defaults settings for a camera. Mine for example loads ready to give me accurate calculations specific to my Olympus E-3, my weapon of choice.
I can’t suggest this app enough. If you own a camera with manual controls and an iPhone but not this app, you’ve lived your life wrong. Really, go now. Get it.
4. LightMeter. And, the last one for today, also from Ambertation, is LightMeter. I pretty specialized app, this uses the built-in camera to meter any scene between +3ev and +16 ev and then present you with a way of calculating equivalent correct exposures, and can even help you compensate your exposure for the use of different filters.