I said the iPhone camera sucks so many times that I can’t even count. Lately though, I have rediscovered the CameraBag app and I have been playing with it. I say “rediscover” because I had completely forgotten about this app and stumbled on it again by accident.

If you don’t know CameraBag, basically it’s an app that allows you to apply some cool filters to your pictures.

Here are a few images I tweaked with Camerabag (pix from my Australia and Thailand trip)

While CameraBag can’t improve the quality of the images, I think it does a great job at getting the most out of them.

CameraBag is available from the App Store for $1.99. I know there are other apps in the Store that pretty much do the same job but I’m too lazy to look for them. If you know any, please let us know by leaving a comment.

  • atavision

    Who am I not to help a lazy Frenchman, especially after how much he has helped me.

    Camera Apps –
    ArtCamera is a good filter app with a wider variety of styles than most other similar apps. It leans towards the more artistic, naming its filters after famous artists (IE Degas, Monet, Bacon and even Warhol-altho copyright laws prohibit that filter using his actual name). it costs $1.99 and has a free lite version as well.

    ColorSplash – takes color pics, drains the color out of them for you and allows you to put back the color where you see fit, some very cool effects can be made with this app. Also $1.99, but no free version to see if you like it.

    PhotoFX – is one of many apps that gives you tons of variations on your photo, from day for night and sketch, to infra red and many color separations. It’s an okay app, but most of the filters are a bit too circus-y for everyday use. Good for special occasions tho. $2.99 but would be better at .99.

    For rertouching your photos (IE adjusting color, RGB, contrast, cropping, etc) My first pick is Photogene which provides a beautiful UI and everything you need to take an iPhone pic and make it much, much better. $1.99 and worth every penny.

    Also in this same category are iRetouch with similar photo controls at the same price (plus they offer a free lite version). Not nearly as nice a UI as Photogene.

    Let’s not forget PhotoshopMobile, Adobe’s photo app which should not be confused with any version of regular Photoshop. It does more or less the same as the above two photo apps for free. Still waiting for updates on this one.

    I would also include Photobag (as mentioned by Sebastien above) on the list of good photo filter apps. This one provides some cool retro filters like one that looks like a Polaroid (including the extra space at the bottom), a wide screen cinema shot and a fisheye lens look to name just a few. A nice clean app with an easy to use UI. $1.99.

    In the, “just for fun” category you can’t pass up the Lego photo app, it’s a super simple interface that takes a photo and makes it into Lego artwork. Very cool effect on the right photo and the app is free.

    One last photo app that deserves mention here is Camera Genius. It is a great photo taking app with a wonderful user interface and features the native iPhone camera SHOULD include, like anti shake, big button (touch anywhere on the screen to take a pic), burst photos, self timer and much more. This one has replaced my stock camera app long ago. $1.99

    Hope this helps you out Sebastien and happy vacationing, wherever you are!

  • Nice roundup, atavision.

    Don’t forget about Gorillacam too — self timer, time lapse, anti-shake, burst mode, and more… all for free.

    — SEAN O

  • 78-bandit

    For camera apps, I love Tripod. When you press the button, it waits until the accelerometer reads zero to take the pic. No more blurry pics

  • Uri

    atavision: GREAT comment. I am trying the lite version of Art Camera and have just purchased Photogene.

  • Markusn

    Hi Sebastien,

    I don’t know how you survive your iphone photo capturing without TrueHDR?

    The 3GS has that wonderful feature of allowing you to tap into the picture where you want the camera to focus on (and also focus on the light condition). In a bright environment (as you hopefully remember from San Diego… although I guess your current locations are as sunny), you have the effect that one part of the image is way too bright and the other is way to dark.

    TrueHDR simply allows you to take two pictures of the same scene and merge them, what you do is you tap the darkest area for the first shot and the brightest for the second. The app simply (well… guess the algorithm is not really simple) merges the dynamic range of two different lighting scenarios for the same scene and with that overcomes one of the biggest disadvantages of the iphone camera.

    I have been using this a while now and it works beautifully for me, it usually beats even the 5MB Nexus camera that I use in comparison. By far.
    And I would say that more than half of your sample shots would have greatly benefited from it!


    Markus (Sebastien you know me, for the others I am not linked in any way to the dev of TrueHDR, just really like the app)

  • Thanks Atavision for the great list of apps. Also thanks to all of you who suggested other camera apps.


  • Frank

    Nice pics Sebastien! The palm tree one is my favorite.

  • You should probably try Best Camera iPhone app from Chase Jarvis, photos taken can be viewed here: http://www.thebestcamera.com/popular.html and they are updated real-time.

  • As 78-bandit said tripod is coool. I’m using tripod and love pictures
    honestly I don’t like cameraBag pictures seem like overexposed or what

  • Alan

    whos the lady in the picture of the beach and a boat??

  • site admin

    ipone images looks like someone get nuts on photoshop vary stupid and non real colour makes it look good but feels dead

  • jane

    just back from a six week trip – used my iphone to take all my photos. lost all of them during first synch and auto software upgrade. now i will lose my iphone. seriously