FancyCam review: use real-time filters for great photos


Now that the holiday season is underway, many of us are going to be snapping shots of friends and family in various mistletoe-related poses, package-opening frenzies, and food coma portraits. To add a little extra fun to your picture-taking season, you can take advantage of photography apps with filters.

FancyCam is a real-time filter app that lets you pick the look you want before you take the shot. Plus, you can edit, collage, and doodle your way to the perfect holiday pictures…


The app has a very basic interface. When you first open it, you will automatically be defaulted to the in-app camera feature. Here, you can select from various filters and frames. Plus, you can adjust the strength of effects and white balance, all in real time.

After you’ve snapped a shot, go to the “Lightroom” to edit your images further.

When you are in the Lightroom, you can import photos, add filters, adjust brightness, exposure, and vibrancy, crop picture, rotate images, and make collages. You can even make a watermark to add to every saved photo.

In the Deco + section, you can cut out portions of your pictures, add doodles, stickers, and text, and display multiple images on a single “canvas.”

When you are ready to share your images, FancyCam offers a variety of ways to let others see your pictures. You can share photos to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Weibo, email, and text messages.

FancyCam 3App Use

If you are ready to take a picture, just open the app. It will automatically be defaulted to the in-app camera feature. Tap the three connecting circles to see your filtering options. Filters will be grouped into categories that are all displayed at the same time on the screen. For example, in the Lomo filter section, six different pinhole-bordered filters are divided across the screen so that you can see real-time displays of what they will look like.

To adjust the white balance and strength of the effect, tap the slider bars in the bottom corner of the screen. To add a frame, tap the small square just above the slider bars. There are more than 80 filters and 20 frames to choose from, so you won’t have the same effect twice… unless you want to.

To import images from your iPhone’s camera roll, tap the Lightroom icon at the bottom left corner of the screen. Then, choose as many images as you would like to import at the same time. When all photos have been added, you can begin editing them.

Tap a photo to edit it. Then, tap “Edit” in the upper left corner or “Deco +” in the upper right corner for more features.

In the Edit section, you can adjust the brightness, exposure, and vibrancy of a photo. Plus, you can crop it or rotate it and add a different filter. To make a collage, tap the double photo icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.

There are 50 different collage frames to choose from. You can choose a frame for as little as two and up to nine pictures on one page. To add a new picture, tap an empty box and either choose the camera roll or take a picture right away. After you add a photo, you can further edit it by adding filters, adjusting exposure and more.

To add a watermark, go to the Settings section from the Lightroom. Under “Watermark” add whatever wording you would like, and then choose the font and color. After your watermark has been saved, it will be listed as an option to add whenever you save or share a picture. The watermark appears in the lower right corner of the image.

FancyCam 1The Good

There are a lot of great filters available in this app. From basic color changes, to light leaks, to blur effect, you can create just about anything. Plus, the Deco + feature gives you even more possibilities by turning a simple photo into a preteen girl’s doodling canvas.

The Bad

The user interface is not very intuitive. I didn’t even know I could import photos until I had taken a few pictures from within the app. I also experienced multiple crashes while testing this app on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.4 during different stages of importing and editing. Hopefully, this glitch will be fixed in the future.


FancyCam costs $1.99, which is the average price of photo editing apps like this. It is a great deal considering it comes with real-time filters, a collage feature, decorations, and a watermark maker. Each one of those features would be $1.99 separately.


I know that many of our readers don’t like filter apps. I appreciate that point of view. However, iPhone photographers who like to spice up their pictures before sharing them with the world will enjoy the real-time features of this app. The watermark feature makes it possible for you to share your photos on the Internet without having them stolen as easily. If you like filter apps, this is a good one to have. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

PicPlayPost is a photo and video collage app. Mextures is one of the best filtering apps in the App Store.

Do you use filters for your pictures. Do you think you would use FancyCam?