Camera+ 3 Is Smarter Than Ever, But Not Always Faster [Review]



Camera+ is one of the best photography apps available, period. And today sees the release of Camera+ 3, a major update with lots of new features.

One of the main changes is an optional new workflow. Previously, Camera+ worked like this: you snapped pictures, and they were saved in the app’s own internal Camera Roll, called the Lightbox. It was up to you to open the Lightbox and edit each image in turn. If you wanted to save it to the system Camera Roll, you could do that from here.

Workflow in Camera+3

The point was that shooting and editing were separate tasks. In Camera+ 3, you have the option of combining them.

The new workflow, called “Shoot and share”, pops up each image on screen as soon as you’ve taken it. From here you can apply effects and edits just as before, then hit the Share button.

Services to share with

This lets you save your edited image to the Lightbox, to the Camera Roll, or to social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Flickr are supported). What’s really neat about this is that you can set up multiple services in advance, then simply check the ones you want to share before hitting the Save button. Then, Camera+ will do all the sharing in one step – saving locally and uploading to the net with no further effort required on your part.

I really like this new workflow. Before, I used to take a bunch of pictures and edit one or two, but forget (or run out of time) to make my way through everything in the Lightbox and edit it all. This way, I edit as I go, and I prefer it that way.

Not everything’s perfect, though. I saw some weird crashes and bugs. When I used the Volume key as a shutter release button, the app made the shutter snapping sound twice – then informed me that an error had stopped it taking the picture. When I dismissed the error message, it had taken the picture. Erk.

Performance-wise, there were ups and downs. Starting up from scratch, it felt slow: as I test, I rebooted my iPhone and opened Camera+ 3 right away; it took 14 seconds before the app had finished loading and I was able to shoot an image. Switching from edit mode back to shooting mode required a wait of several seconds (I tested twice, and had to wait 10 seconds and 13 seconds). I tested on an iPhone 4, so perhaps things are faster on the 4S (let us know in the comments); but even so, the sluggishness was disappointing. On the upside, saving images to the Camera Roll was faster than before.

Another important new feature is one we’re not going to fully appreciate for a while yet. It’s an API, which means a built-in system that developers of other apps can hook into. Those apps might be photography related, or they might be something totally different. But thanks to the API, they’ll have access to Camera+ 3’s features. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of ideas people come up with for this.

Pro: Improved workflow options; simpler layout; rapid sharing.

Con: Sometimes slow, even on an iPhone 4. One or two odd bugs remain.

  • Blake Beavers

    I haven’t tried these issues yet, but I’m sure they will fix it soon if they persist.

  • raghiid

    how do they remove the carrier name? in my country my carrier name is a bit long and theres an (…) on the end? how can i do it but  without jailbreak i don’t like jail breaking

  • GP Sietzema

    iPhone 4S 32GB stats:
    – takes 2 secs to launch from scratch and take a picture
    – takes 1 sec from task management to launch and take a picture

    Pretty good imho. Maybe they forgot to optimize for the iPhone 4…

  • gettysburg11s

    I’m guessing that Camera + was not optimized for the iPhone 4, and also, the iPhone 4 is just slow with new apps.  I have an iPhone 4, and when I was using iOS 5.0.1, even the stock camera app was slow to launch.  iOS 5.1 seems  to have speeded it up.  I can slide to the camera app from the lock screen and have an open and ready shutter in about 3 seconds.  Its much better now.  Thanks Apple, and I’ll skip Camera + for now.

  • healeydave

    Huh, so they called it Camera+ 3 and not ‘the new Camera+’, they missed a trick there!

  • camera_fan

    Check out ProCamera for iPhone and iPad!
    This app has all the features of Camera+ and more. It’s a high-end app, great for professionals, and also easy to use for people like me who want to advance the skills. I can set focus and exposure on different objects. So easy. It takes exceptional pictures. Then apply filters, lighting and other adjustments. On top of that you can shoot videos and zoom videos while recording.
    It’s worth it. German engineered, rigorous while artistic. I am glad that I didn’t waste money to try many other camera apps!