These days, all good mobile phones come with a great camera that uses impressive digital technology. And most phones have an impressive range of photo editing features to make your snaps look even better. Plus, there are a lot of good photo editing apps out there.
But before we get as far as the editing stage, let’s think about the magic moment when we take our photo. How can you make sure you’ve captured the best shot? And can you add any cool effects without having to stop the action?
As ever, The Lowdown has managed to come up with some great apps to help you get the most out of your mobile. Even if you’ve been happily snapping away with your phone camera, we think you should check these out:
CAMERA ZOOM FX
Android (Free)/iOS (£2.99)
The best all-rounder.
Camera ZOOM FX is one of the most popular third-party camera apps around, and it’s easy to see why. It’s packed with great features and functionality that standard camera apps don’t include.
First of all, it’s super-fast, and claims to be able to capture 10 shots per second. It also comes with visual shot stability to help you cut out those blurry shots.
Sound activated shooting is also available, allowing you to set your camera to take a photo by a simple clap of the hands.
And there’s a full editing studio, with lots of downloadable add-ons.These includes ‘famous buddy’ packs that let you skilfully insert celebrities – including Her Majesty The Queen - into your photos. If that’s your thing.
Android (£1.87)/iOS (Free)
Best for quick and easy shooting.
We’re not in love with this app’s awesome name – in fact, it annoys us. But there’s no escaping the fact that Camera Awesome is really quite impressive.
There are lots of features to make your snapping quick, easy and effective. These include an easy-to-set timer, a handy burst mode, and a level overlay that helps you get your pictures as straight as can be. And people seem to love the ‘big button’ mode that turns virtually your entire display into a shutter – very handy if you sometimes struggle to locate standard-sized camera buttons and miss those crucial shots.
Camera Awesome also has plenty of advanced features to keep the photography enthusiasts happy. For example, you can split focus and white balance targets for certain areas of your photograph - this is great for shots containing dark spots and shadows.
Best for fun effects.
SnapBlend is a cracking little app that lets you blend multiple shots of the same image into a single photograph, allowing you to create ‘impossible’ moments. It’s a lot of fun and with a little imagination you can create some fantastically surreal images.
SnapBlend also has a few down-to earth features that you’ll find useful, including the ability to select faces in group photos from different frames. So if you’ve got a near perfect group photo spoilt be someone blinking at the wrong moment, you can easily replace it with a fresh, open-eyed image (unless they were actually sleeping).
Best for advanced controls.
Camera FV-5 is an app that gives you the same type of controls as a professional quality digital SLR camera.
Forget about any fun filters, this is a serious piece of kit for keen amateurs and professional photographers that want total control over their shots. You can adjust focus, white balance, shutter speed and other options to help you capture raw footage that can be enhanced and edited later.There’s also a great long exposure mode that will help you take stunning night-time photos.
Android (£2.49)/iOS (Free)
Best for real-time editing.
Stuck for inspiration? Fancy a new way of looking things? Paper Camera claims to do exactly that for you, with real-time filters and effects.
Yes, you heard that correctly – real-time. So even as you’re using your camera, you’ll be able to see what your images will look like with the filters and effects added to it. Move your camera about and the world as you know it magically transforms!There are some great effects available, from colourful comic book through to moody monochrome noir.
If you already use any of these photography apps, please let us know what you think of them, and feel free to share any hints and tips. If your favourite photography app isn’t on there, let us know – comment below.