Sometimes, I feel sorry for educated photographers that spent thousands of dollars and years of their lives studying the subject in school. Since mobile devices have advanced in camera technology, we are all taking pro-quality pictures of our cats every day.
We love iPhone photography so much around here that we have an entire section dedicated to it. So, we take new apps in the category pretty seriously. We sat down with the new releases for 2014 and decided which ones stand out for their awesome features. Then, we voted on the best. Below is a list of the winner, runner-ups, and the best all-time photography app.
The best Photo app of 2014
When Apple launched the iPad Air 2, it became the fastest tablet on the market. Because of the zippy processor, high-grade graphics, and 2GB of RAM, the makers of the Mac photo editing app decided that there is finally a mobile device worthy of their program. Thus, Pixelmator finally came to the iPad. The rich, full-featured tools make it a professional photo editing app, not a fun little filter for your iPad. It supports bitmap and vector graphics, layered editing, and Photoshop files. You can create unique looks from premade filter templates, or start from scratch. Build on an already perfect snapshot, or fix lighting mistakes by removing color cast, adjusting white balance, and more. You can save your project in iCloud and continue editing on your Mac computer, as well. This app is available for $9.99.
The runner ups
Focus is the focus of this camera app. It’s not an editing tool. The key features give the user better control over such factors as depth of field, low-light shooting, and warmth. You can manually adjust the focus using a slider bar to pinpoint exactly what you want to be the clearest in your picture, whether it is in the front or background. The warmth tool lets you prepare for gray images with a preset for cloudy days. Your bright colors will pop without the need of additional editing in post. The adjustable shutter speed makes it possible to draw in all available light in dark situations. This app is available for $1.99.
Instagram’s version special is the stabilization technology that makes a moving time-lapse video as smooth as if the camera were sitting on a tripod. Utilizing the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer, the app can smooth out rotating pans and even a bit of the shaking that comes with walking. It’s like there is a Steadicam built right into your iPhone. If you don’t care for the photography-based social networking site, you don’t have to worry. You can still use Hyperlapse to create mini movies without an account and share them however you wish. This app is available for free.
The best Photo app ever
Of course, we can’t end this post without mentioning what we think is the best photography app to ever come out on iOS. With this camera app, you have significantly more control over important functions, like white balance, focus, and exposure, all before taking a picture. Focus and exposure can be locked into place so that, no matter where you move or how the shadows change, the picture will come out the way you want it. After you’ve taken your shot, you can edit the image in post with a huge variety of filters, and adjustments in the “Lab.” The editing tools are also available as an App Extension in Apple’s stock Photos app so you can take advantage of the many filters without having to import photos. This app is available for $1.99.
What is your favorite photo app of 2014? Let us know in the comments below.