Looking for a “pro” camera app for your iPhone? There’s no shortage of options on the App Store. This week, we’re taking a look at one that has the most descriptive name: ProCamera.
ProCamera’s closest rival has got to be the much-lauded (not least by us here at Cult of Mac) Camera+. So how do the two stack up against each other? Pretty well. Feature-for-feature, it’s a pretty close race. Camera+ has more style, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a better-looking app all round. But looks aren’t everything. Camera+ is cheaper by a couple of dollars, but ProCamera is – at least on my iPhone 4 – noticeably faster.
One thing ProCamera does well is separating the camera mode from the edit mode and the settings mode. Yes, “settings mode”. That’s what I call it, anyway. There are so many different settings and prefs (it is a Pro camera after all), that they are sensibly tucked out of sight. Switching to them requires you to wait a couple of seconds, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to vary your photos frequently and rapidly.
What ProCamera offers is a decent degree of manual control – about as much as you’re going to get from an iPhone camera. You have command of the focus, exposure and, to some degree, white balance. All of these are done with simple on-screen buttons that don’t get in the way when composing a shot.
When you’re not in shooting mode, a camera icon always sits at the top-right corner, so you can jump back into it any time. The edit functions are nicely done, although tucked away. From shooting mode, you have to tap the “PRO” button, then “Album & Studios”, then another icon with a paintbrush on it, then one of the options it calls up. That’s a lot of taps before you start editing.
Having started editing, though, the controls are responsive and neatly laid out. There’s a nicely detailed view of the EXIF data for every image, oddly split into two tabs labelled “Pro” and “Expert”. I thought they were roughly the same thing. Anyway.
Finally, there are some built-in special FX, split into four categories. The thumbnails you see are thumbnails of the image you’re working on, which is particularly helpful. Few of the preset FX really appealed to me that much, but that’s just personal taste. There’s a decent choice on offer.
Pro: Does the job simply, quickly and without fuss
Con: More expensive than some just-as-well-equipped alternatives