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5 Best camera apps for the iPhone

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Point and click with confidence

If you need a little more function to your iPhone camera, at least one of these five developers has created the app you need. Your mission is to choose just one!
iPhone apps
iPhone apps

Point and click with confidence

If you need a little more function to your iPhone camera, at least one of these five developers has created the app you need. Your mission is to choose just one!

There's not too much wrong with the iPhone's native camera app, but if you're looking for something more fully featured, here are a few that will give your digital camera a run for its money.

Camera+ 

What we like:

Camera+ 

  • Set exposure separately from focus
  • LED as continuous fill light
  • Professionally designed effects

One of the most popular camera apps on the iPhone, Camera+ is designed to make taking great photos as easy as possible. Set independent exposure and focus by touching; use the built-in LED as a continuous fill light; or take advantage of features like the advanced shooting modes, timer, high-quality zoom, scene modes and effects designed by a professional photographer. All this and more make it easy to see why this app has been at the top of the charts since its release. (tap tap tap, $1 for a limited time only)

Camera Awesome

What we like:

Camera Awesome

  • 1-tap Awesomize
  • 1-tap sharing (to a wide list of services)
  • Video "precording"

As one of the most powerful and easy-to-use camera apps available, Camera Awesome lives up to its name. A beautiful interface makes it a snap to take shots that don't look like they were taken from a smartphone — just tap Awesomize for sharper, better-exposed photos. With professionally designed filters, plenty of features and the ability to expand the default app functionality through an expansive list of add-on packs, Camera Awesome should delight photographers of any experience level. (SmugMug, Free)

CameraBag 2

What we like:

CameraBag 2

  • High-quality images
  • Minimalist interface
  • User-defined styles

CameraBag 2 is an elegant camera app that bills itself as the first "hi-fi" photo app. Built on the analog engine of the professional desktop app of the same name, CameraBag 2 boasts impressive image quality with extremely smooth color gradations, even on heavily filtered images. It also allows you to remix and play with each of the 24 different styles for endless variation. Over 50 more styles are available through in-app purchases. (Nevercenter Ltd. Co., Free)

645 Pro

What we like:

645 Pro

  • Extremely high image quality (dRAW/TIFF)
  • Unprecedented control
  • Professional film modes

Designed from the beginning to be the professional photographer's iPhone camera, 645 Pro works the way a camera works, with no layers of menus to maneuver through. All key settings are "on-camera" and provide an unprecedented level of control. Configurable spot metering and white balance, night mode, interchangeable backs and dRAW support all make for a daunting and impressive set of features. So much so that developer Michael Hardaker has created a simpler, more streamlined app named PureShot for users who want extremely high-quality photos without the complexity. (Michael Hardaker, $3)

Pris

What we like:

Pris

  • Full-screen shutter button
  • Streamlined focus and exposure controls
  • Live luminosity histogram

Pris takes a unique approach to camera apps by letting the user experience the moment, providing only what's needed to get the perfect shot. Pris is packed with thoughtful touches: tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture, swipe the live luminosity histogram to switch to video, and turn the iPhone on its side for panoramic stills. Use the histogram to fine-tune exposure in the app. Streamlined controls and gesture shortcuts make Pris a unique and creative camera app. (Digital Arch, $4)

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