Camera+ 3 Is Smarter Than Ever, But Not Always Faster [Review] | Cult of Mac

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.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.