It seems that my whining prayers for native iPad photo apps have started to answered by the developing gods. And how! MiniatureCam is not only an iPad-specific tilt-shift app, it is fantastically designed, too.
MiniatureCam will shoot stills and video, with blur added to make the scene before you seem shrunken — the familiar tilt-shift effect that was pioneered with giant architectural cameras before it became a cellphone cliche.
The apps’s interface is wonderful, with lots of great little touches. On first run you see a handwritten overlay pointing out the functions of each switch and button, but you don’t really need them — it’s all very intuitive.
The screen is split into two parts. A square viewfinder above, and the control panel below. You can tweak the brightness, saturation, contrast and blur using a set of switches and a slider on the right, pick no blur, circular blur or linear blur, and choose to have the video shot at half-speed, which effectively makes it run at 2X speed on playback.
Blur size and direction can also be controlled by pinching and twisting two fingers on the viewfinder.
You can also toggle “Stop Motion.” This doesn’t let you actually make stop-motion movies, but instead adds a herky-jerky Ray Harryhausen-esque quality to your film.
To shoot, just tap the big red button. When you’re done, you are whisked over to the playback screen where you can reverse the direction of the clip and add (built-in) music. I like the silent-movie style piano.
The overall effect of the blur, the 2X speed and the jangly piano makes for a very cool little movie. These are great for sharing short moments (you can email, Tweet or Facebook the clips), and you could always switch over to iMovie to edit a few together.
And best of all, the app is currently free, which is ridiculous given the level of polish. Hopefully the developer will start charging, or at least add some filters for in-app purchase.