Four months after being withdrawn from the app store, Tap Tap Tap’s Camera+ is back. The VolumeSnap feature, which was at the heart of the discord with Apple, was removed, clearing the way for version two’s triumphant release.
Camera+’s popularity can be attributed to its clutter-free design and multitude of features. The sheer number of editing tools alone makes iPhone’s own camera seem to pale in comparison.
It is worth noting that some effects that are presented as part of the main app, namely the I ♥ Analog filters, must be purchased separately. You can try out this set with the demo provided, or hit the shopping trolley icon to go straight to the app store. This collection of nine traditional photographic looks includes some striking effects like Silver Gelatin, Chromagenic, and my personal favorite, Pinhole.
For version 2, Tap Tap Tap has swapped the trademark SLR shell design for a lean new interface, but provides no user guide or link to online help. Without even tool tips to shed light, you really need to explore this one for yourself.
Camera+2’s has a professional air to it, with cool design touches throughout. There are sliders to adjust effects’ impact from 0 to 100%, and a stabilizer that actually allows you to witness the camera’s delay in releasing the shutter. When you take a picture, a message appears asking you to ‘hold steady to take a photo’. Your grasp of the camera is monitored by a light that progresses from red to amber, and finally to green when you are at your steadiest. Another great feature is the ability to single-handedly adjust Crop outlines and freely move the Crop outlining box around the image.
A major Camera+ 2 highlight is Touch Exposure where you adjust exposure and focus on the fly. The ability to tap to adjust exposure or focus is nothing new; what sets this app above the rest is the ability to tap and drag around the photo and continuously adjust both as you go. The beauty of this feature comes to the fore as you move two fingers around the responsive screen to reach the desired exposure and focus.
The camera icon is situated bottom center of the screen, and next to it are shooting mode, menu, zoom slider and film roll.
In menu you can turn Grid and Zoom facility on, set image quality (full or optimized), and sign in or out of Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Shooting modes is where you activate the Stabilizer for blur-free photos, or Burst, which lets you take several consecutive shots of the same subject. This is a great feature for capturing movement, but only saves images as VGA (480×640 resolution). This mode is also home to the Timer, where with a single click, you alternate between 5, 15, and 30 seconds delay.
Besides displaying the number of photos on your camera, the film roll icon opens up Lightbox where all your photos are stored. A click on any image here will bring up the option to Edit, Save, Copy or Share it. This post capture stage is one of Camera+’s biggest selling points, neatly housing all the tools you need to enhance your photos.
Click on Edit>Adjust, to crop and rotate the image, or Scenes to access Auto, Flash, Backlit, Darken, Cloudy and Portrait among others. These simple preset Scenes, have the power to breathe new life into badly exposed images, or just elevate an average looking photo.
FX is a collection that clearly sets Camera+ 2 above similar photo apps. Any photography enthusiast will open up to these effects inspired by traditional photography and surely be impressed by their powerful impact.
Click on the Color set for Cyanotype, Sepia, Black and White, Purple Haze among many others, or choose the Retro set for classic photographic effects like Ansel, Toy Camera, Antique, Lomographic and others.
The set titled ‘Special’ carries photographic processes like Color Dodge and Polarize among others, giving a photo a unique edge. All effects come with a slider to individually set amount.
For that final touch, there is a big selection of Borders which in this version are grouped into Simple and Styled sets. Much like FX, some of these borders are highly creative and add an artistic touch to photos. New borders include Light and Dark Mat, Round White, Round Black, Offset, Viewfinder, Old Timey, Sprockets and film border.
This version has also introduced the ability to Save and Remove, or Save and Keep adjusted images, import images from library for processing, lock/unlock White Balance, copy photos with or without edits, undo all edits and remove geolocation from an image.
Those upgrading from previous version would appreciate bug fixes, including keyboard not appearing when posting to Twitter, a potential crash when posting multiple photos to Facebook, among others.
Last word: Many of Camera+’s tools can be found elsewhere, but features like Touch Exposure and the impressive selection of creative effects, set it above most similar apps on the market.
Just to confuse matters, Global Delight also has a photo app titled Camera+. Be sure you have selected the right one before hitting the Download button.
Camera+ 2.0 works on any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad running iOS 3.1.3 or newer.