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Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)


The iPhone has evolved to be a fantastic camera, but you can get even more out of it and develop your own photographic style with a few apps handy.

Camera replacement: ProCamera 7 ($3.99, on sale now for $0.99)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

ProCamera 7 is a surprisingly simple camera app at the surface, that also hides many advanced features in a way that is unobtrusive yet easy to access. Before we jump into them, though, it’s worth pointing out how stable and crash-free this app is, something very important given that even the most popular iPhone camera apps often crash.

In terms of shooting options, ProCamera 7 has independent focus and exposure controls that gives you a much deeper control over the looks of your photograph (you can lock focus and exposure). The app also displays shutter speed and ISO live, plus you get a live histogram. Other neat options include a tiltmeter, anti-shake option, and a self-timer, as well as select the right aspect ratio. If you’re aiming for maximum-quality, ProCamera 7 delivers with support for the lossless TIFF format, and not just the usual compressed JPEG.

Unlike other camera replacement apps, ProCamera 7 can also be used to record video and it has the neat built-in option to scan QR codes. All of this, makes Pro Camera 7 our favorite camera replacement to the stock iPhone app.

Runner-up: Camera+ ($1.99)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

Camera+ is a close runner-up to ProCamera 7. It’s a simpler app that supports some of the same features: separated exposure and focus controls, a tilt meter (horizon level), rapid shots, and so on. It comes with the benefit of allowing you to separately lock exposure, focus, or white balance, plus it also has rich image editing options, but we found it crashing more than once when we tried saving images at the highest quality setting, and it also notably cannot record video.

Retro: Hipstamatic ($1.99)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

The charm of Hipstamatic lies in the fact that unlike other apps, you apply the lens, filter and flash before taking the photo and cannot alter it afterwards. This is a welcome flash-back to analog-shooting days, requiring you to actually think about the shot you want to achieve before you push the shutter button. The key to Hipstamatic is enjoying experimenting with its various filters and lenses, but its rich variety of filters will reward you with some amazing results that might save you the time of later editing your photos. You also have a great enthusiast community over at Hipstamatic, and that’s always helpful for wanna-be photographers.

Filters and effects: VSCO Cam (Free, with in-app purchases)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

VSCO Cam is an by the Visual Supply Company, a firm known for developing some of the best film-emulation filters for Adobe Lightroom, and it’s no surprise that this expertise has resulted in a collection of some amazing filters that you can get in VSCO Cam. The beauty of VSCO’s filters (or presets rather) is in the subtle measure of the artistic effects that will help you get a sense of the right amount of touch-ups needed for a photo, and also help you avoid overediting your images. The full preset pack costs $5.99, and while you have some free presets, the app starts to truly shine when you unlock the potential of all the presets. VSCO Cam also allows you to edit the strength of each filter, as well as edit all aspects of an image non-destructively. Apart from its filters and effects, VSCO Cam also comes with a ‘journal’ with ideas for shooting, and the apps gets the job done as a camera replacement with separated exposure and focus controls, as well as tilt level.

Runner-up: Faded ($0.99, with in-app purchases)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

We’ve had a very rough time selecting our favorite filters and effect app this time around because of Faded. This new app is such a tough competitor to VSCO Cam, offering an amazing level of control and a smooth suave interface filled with neat options, but we tend to prefer VSCO Cam’s filter just a bit better. Just like VSCO, Faded shines truly after an in-app purchase that enables all its filters, but the app steps it up further with the option to create actions - steps of image adjustments that you can apply via a single action to a bunch of photographs, to achieve the same look on multiple pictures.

Best all-around photo editor: Snapseed (Free)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

Snapseed stands out with its extremely intuitive and touch-friendly interface, allowing you to tweak every aspect of an image with a precision and ease that no other mobile image editor can offer. It’s easier to point out the things it cannot do, rather than what it can: there’s no way to zoom in on an image when you do your edits (which can be inconvenient on the small screen of the iPhone), it cannot selective blur parts of an image, and it has not been updated to match the new flat looks that Apple introduced with iOS 7. Regardless of those minute shortcomings, it remains the most feature-rich editor out there and it’s completely free, unspoiled by any kind of in-app purchases or other bloat.

Runner-up: Photo Editor by Aviary (Free, with in-app purchases)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

Aviary’s Photo Editor has gathered a wide following for a good reason - it strikes the right balance between feature richness and simplicity in use. It is also regularly updated, with sleek visual style, and large image previews that allow you to have a good look of your edits as you do them. It has some unique capabilities too - you can remove blemishes from faces for better portraits, whiten teeth, add fun memes to your shots as well as stickers. On the downside, it’s an app that throws in-app purchases right in your face at the beginning, and it takes some getting used to the menus.

Best video recording app: FiLMiC Pro ($4.99)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

FiLMiC Pro can truly unleash the video recording potential of the iPhone camera. It packs essential for videographers options: locking the exposure, focus, and white balance, and a fully customizable zoom levels. The real highlight, however, is how it allows users to up the bitrate to a whopping 50Mbps for a mesmerizing 1080p video capture. You can also see a live histogram, audio levels, stabilize your videos, and select cinematic, wide aspect ratios.
 

Runner-up: Kinomatic ($3.99, on sale now for $1.99)


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)

Kinomatic combines the most advanced manual video recording features along with a powerful built-in editor, all in a surprisingly simple, streamlined user interface. We’re smitten with the speed of edits and the ease with which you can re-arrange trim and mix clips into a finished video project. The powerful manual controls include separate buttons for focus, exposure, and white balance lock, plus you get to see audio levels live. All in all, Kinomatic is a new-comer to video editing apps, but it has become an instant favorite for iPhone videographers.

Best video editing app: Videocraft ($1.99) 


Best iPhone camera, photo and video editing apps (2014 edition)
This one is for the pros (as much as a pro would work on an iPhone that is): it gives full manual control over your video composition process with all the basics (trim, crop, pan, scale, slow the motion, reverse video, add and edit text) and more with separate tracks, overlays for images and - even better - no need to shell out tens of dollars on in-app purchases.


Over - Fragment

Over

Matter - Fragment

Matter

Waterlogue - Fragment

Waterlogue

Skrwt - Fragment

Skrwt

Slow Shutter Cam - Fragment

Slow Shutter Cam

Camera Noir - Fragment

Camera Noir

Union - Fragment

Union

Facetune - Fragment

Facetune

Glaze - Fragment

Glaze

Fragment

Fragment

Notable single-purpose photography apps


Text & artwork for images: Over ($1.99)
True hipsters require beautiful custom fonts, hand-drawn elements, and inspiring text to images, and if you’re one of them, Over is the app that delivers best to your needs.

Alien worlds: Matter ($1.99)
The creative minds from Pixite have created a few of our favorite iPhone apps, and their latest creation, Matter, brings 3D structures simple and complex, reflective and translucent, that add a queer, alien element to your images and even video.

Waterpainting: Waterlogue ($2.99)
The heart-warming art of waterpainting has been reserved for painters for decades, but the clever algorithms of recent apps make it possible to turn your photographs easily in waterpaintings. Waterlogue is one of our favorites in this regard, with a distinct humane touch with 12 pre-sets that you can fine tune and adjust.

Straighten all lines: SKRWT ($1.99)
The camera of the iPhone has a wide-angle lens that looks great for capturing all sorts of images (and is particularly great for landscapes), but often times it would slightly distort lines and otherwise straight buildings would appear to be leaning in like the tower of Pisa in Italy. SKRWT is an app that will straighten such irregularities without ruining your image, a task that is otherwise quite hard to achieve in even more advanced photo editors.

Blurred lines: Slow Shutter Cam ($0.99)
All of us have seen those images of trailing lights at night, conveying a sense of motion in the darkness. This type of photographs require you to manually slow down the shutter speed of your camera so that passing light objects like cars appear ‘flowing’ rather than ‘frozen’ in the frame. Slow Shutter Cam is quite unique in giving you such fine control that other apps lack.

Black & White: Camera Noir ($1.99)
The dramatism and style of black and white photographs can be a topic of a lengthy photographic discussion, but one thing most people would agree is that to take stylish B&W images, you need to think in black and white. Camera Noir comes with the single purpose to make you think about the world in those two colors, and adds a few fine adjustments allowing you to select the level of contrast.

Double exposure art: Union ($1.99)
Super-imposing images and achieving the trendy double exposure effect of images is something that requires a creative thought and some technique, and while Union cannot solve the creativity part, it does bring all you need to create stunning double exposure art.

Portraits: Facetune ($1.99)
If you’re shooting portraits as a hobby, you probably know that it often takes hours of Photoshop edits until you get a blemish-free face that looks fashionable and just good. Facetune aims to automate and bring down the editing effort to a bare minimum, and while it won’t create professional portraits, it’s doing a marvelous job at improving the faces of people in your iPhone photographs.

Paint art: Glaze (Free, with in-app purchases)
Glaze creates an effect that makes photographs looks as if they were oil-painted.

Shapes and shades: Fragment ($1.99)
Sometimes casual shots of landscapes or people just get boring with time, and you want to add a little mystery to them. Fragments is one way to do this - the app adds stunning prismatic elements, as if you were looking at a scene from a kaleidoscope, or through the eyes of a strange alien craeture.

Textures galore: Mextures ($1.99)
A non-destructive way to add film grain, textures, light leaks and beautiful gradients to images in seconds, Mextures will help you experiment with adding style to your photographs.

Colorful waterpaintings: Popsicolor ($2.99)
Popsicolor is a fun little app dedicated to adding color in a pop-art-inspired way to your pictures, simplifying them and cheering you up with the results.

Strange lines: Lory Stripes ($1.99)
Lory Stripes adds colorful stripes going in all directions that will add a special vibe and character to shots.

Slo-mo: Slow Fast Slow ($1.99)
An app by the makers of Glif, the most popular iPhone stand/tripod mount, Slow Fast Slow allows you to get a slow-motion effect at twice slower speeds (1/8x) than the stock camera app, plus you can select how the video fades in and out of that effect. 

The opposite is also possible - you can speed up your video for time lapses.

Mextures
Popsicolor

Mextures

Popsicolor

Lory Stripes
Slow Fast Slow

Lory Stripes

Slow Fast Slow





29 Comments
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posted on 24 Jul 2014, 10:32 1

1. diehardnokian (Posts: 48; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)


much needed one! thanks:)

posted on 24 Jul 2014, 12:09

2. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


With the iPhone there's no need to ever own a camera unless you're a professional photographer. but even they're using iPhones now.

posted on 24 Jul 2014, 13:07 4

3. bucky (Posts: 1390; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Prior to my wife getting an iPhone she used to carry her (older) digital camera everywhere. Once we compared our honeymoon pics from California she has completely stopped carrying anything but her iPhone for pics. I really do love the camera on the 5s and can't wait to see what they do on the 6.

posted on 24 Jul 2014, 15:17 3

4. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I agree. Simple and functional is what makes it the best camera.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 09:02 1

13. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Yep, I agree Mxy. Best overall mobile camera I've used.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 16:40 1

27. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Yes clean simple and stupidly easy to use.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 21:47

28. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


+1...

posted on 24 Jul 2014, 19:36 4

5. AlikMalix (Posts: 402; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Bucky, we had the same experience right before we sold our few month old digital camera.. Both me and my wife had 3GS's but we brought the iPad 3 with us for intertainment on our trip to Monterey CA (with our daughter). At the end of the trip our battery in the digital camera died but there were still photos to be taken, so we used our iPad. You would not believe our shock as the iPad photos were quick to snap and sharp compared to a Sony Camera.

Within a week we bought my wife the iPhone 5 and 2 months later got myself an iPhone 5s when it came out... iPhone are now our only cameras in the house.

The best part is that iPhone camera is so quick we never miss our daughter's very untimely poses or cute things she did...

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 08:27 1

11. bucky (Posts: 1390; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Yea the camera is amazing for quick snaps. No fuss and 9/10 photos are perfect.

I have a little one due in 3 months and I'm grabbing the iPhone 6. Can't wait to see what they do.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 09:03 1

14. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Congrats bucky.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 10:35 1

18. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Okay. Now we have two options here. Either you're the dumbest, most idiotic person on earth with a serious eye infection or then your "digital camera" is some shi*ty box from around the year 2000...

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 10:36

19. bucky (Posts: 1390; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Why so angry? Lunch money taken again?

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 10:42

20. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Angry because stupid people really, like really piss me off.

BTW no need for lunch money in Finland.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 11:29

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


"Stupid people really, like really piss me off"
Why can't people just enjoy what they want, and like? They're simply sharing an experience they had while on vacation, and the tech they used, and they're stupid for that? Maybe they're not the ones that are stupid dude.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 12:43

23. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


He can enjoy eating poop if he wants, I wouldn't have a problem with that. But if he really thinks what he said, then he's stupid. iPad takes better pictures than a brand new Sony digital camera? Lmfao. Okay. The cheapest possible Sony camera most likely isn't any better or might even be worse than high end Android or Lumia phones. But an iPad? Or any tablet? lol NO.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 11:43 1

22. p51d007 (Posts: 57; Member since: 24 Nov 2013)


Agree! Anyone with 1/2 a brain knows that the only thing a pinhole camera, such as the ones on smartphones is good for is taking photos under normal lighting conditions, where things are still & you are within a normal range. Why they even bother putting digital zoom on these things is a joke. No cell phone camera can replace a "all in one" type camera. Maybe the 99 dollar pocket cameras, but not anything with an APS-C sensor. It's 20 times the size of the sensors on cell phones. The clarity, dynamic range of even the cheapest super zoom camera, would knock a cell phone camera out of the park. I've been a photographer for over 35 years with film SLR's and now dSLR's for over 5 years. Yeah, it's cumbersome to drag around a camera & a bag of lenses, flash, filters and such, but there isn't a cell phone, that can come close to the photos that come out of a dSLR. To say otherwise, would make you an absolute fool.
Until the day comes, they increase the sensor size, NOT the number of megapixels, install some adequate GLASS on the cell phone, snapshots under optimal conditions, will be about all you can expect from a phone pinhole camera.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 09:04

15. Damo579 (Posts: 188; Member since: 18 May 2013)


The same could be said for every high end phone.....

posted on 26 Jul 2014, 14:49 1

6. Cesar (Posts: 131; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


it miss the one of the best camera i used is the Cortex Cam! (does not appear like, dirty photos, appears very shard specially at black) and to record videos in 2K,3K (iPhone 5S) is the Ultrakam Pro! you will enjoy the best experience EVER!

posted on 15 Aug 2014, 08:27 1

7. TuanGugu (Posts: 44; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


Dear PhoneArena, please inform us if the ProCamera 7 app is on sale again! Really want that app sooo badly...

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 04:40

8. aditya.g0110 (Posts: 39; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


DeluxeFX app has also got some amazing filters ,try it ppl

some of the pics edited using the app http://instagram.com/deluxefx

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 07:11

9. Tritinum (Posts: 86; Member since: 06 May 2014)


There are more android users than iphone users on PA so an Android version of this topic will be highly appreciated by most of us.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 08:25

10. bucky (Posts: 1390; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


For those that want a pretty crazy hdr effect try "simply hdr".

It actually works really well on the right photo.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 09:00

12. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Don't have a need for 3rd party apps, deleted the one I did use as of iOS 6. The 5s is an awesome camera all by its self, 9-9-14 guys. It gets even better.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 09:41 1

16. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5736; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


"9-9-14 guys. It gets even better."

Not until OIS ships on the iP6 with the XL edition. There will be incremental improvements over the 5S, but the real game change needs true OIS. I have seen too many pics taken with iToys that have blurring in them. Almost the exact same subject that I took a pic of with my Canon PowerShot (with OIS) is free of blurring.

iPhone comes close, but it is not a replacement for high-end compact cameras. At least not yet. The best part is that iPhone has pushed the camera mfrs. to up their game to stay relevant.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 09:50

17. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I don't have an iToy, I have an iPhone, and the camera is an excellent replacement for any standalone camera. It's part of an overall excellent smartphone, that gets me thru my day, and handles the things I need it to handle. On top of all that, it takes beautiful pics/vids, that I can share and edit any way I like. Sorry, I've never heard of the iToy, and yes "9-9-14 it gets even better".

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 14:04

24. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5736; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


For any standalone camera? Puuuhlease. You must not be up to speed on the high-end compact cameras (Sony RX100, Canon PowerShot G16 come to mind; head on over to preview.com) - they put the iToy's camera to shame.

Something tells me that if you are patient enough to wait until the iToy XL edition ships, you will be raving about the betters pics you can take with the fabulous OIS.

If you are happy with what your present iToy is taking, good on you. There are better alternatives. Even Apple seems to be acknowledging that circumstance - the iToyXL is rumored to be equipped with a larger image sensor than what will be in the non-XL edition. Larger image sensor = better low light pics, for starters, so yes, Apple is improving the iToy camera.

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 15:31

25. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5736; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


dpreview.com* damn autocorrect. :-(

posted on 23 Aug 2014, 15:35

26. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Don't need one, I as most people am not a professional photographer. That's what makes a smart phone so convenient for the average Joe. Our pictures already on our phone and already in share mode think about it dude. Stop trying to make everything a war against Apple, and realize that the smart phone cameras come in handy man. Once again, I do not know what an iToy is

posted on 24 Aug 2014, 12:59 1

29. gregfox76 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Dec 2013)


In my opinion one of the best video editing apps for iPhone and iPad is Videocraft. It is a complete multi-track video editor and movie maker full of features, unlimited video clips and photos, trim crop, scale, add music, voice recording, sound effects, images from your camera roll, text with different fonts and sizes, blur to censor part of the videos, reverse, slow/fast motion, choose the aspect ratio, background color, etc.

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