The default camera on my iPhone was and continues to be a fantastic camera, particularly as a travel/pocket camera, and it’s often the first camera I reach for. I recently blogged about my new iPhone 7 having the ability to shoot raw files using an app called ‘Manual’.
I posted that blog entry on Facebook, and received some feedback from a friend, who informed me that ProCamera also allowed this. With this information in hand, I decided to compare apps side by side. That didn’t last long, as the CameraPro was, well, more ‘Pro’.
Here’s why I heartily recommend this app.
This camera shoots RAW and JPEG this is a winner alone; but wait there’s more.
I can toggle from full manual mode if I so chose, or SI mode, [Shutter & ISO priority Mode] to Automatic mode quickly and easily. Needless to say I prefer the SI mode for some creative flexibility which includes White Balance, and over or under exposure. Most of the images I make are quick and sketch-like in their intent, having a semi-automatic mode suits this style of picture making for me. Manual’s interface almost immediately disqualified it from the race; as I couldn’t easily find a way to move beyond semi-automatic.
I don’t consider myself to have particularly big fingers but mine were not suited to the interface of Manual at all. All in all Manual’s interface was elegant but I felt some degree of control had been sacrificed to keep this. ProCamera’s interface was as bad for my fingers but the numbers and sliders for exposure and white balance were all there and made immediate sense to me. I even tested the exposure dial using a grey card in SI mode. [Manual mode checking shall come later.]
ProCamera has an option to turn on a spirit level. I love this, this is a setting that shows you when you have the camera parallel and level, both horizontally and vertically, critical with the tiny sensor and wide-angle lens. It is simply a cross hair on the centre of the screen that glows green when the camera is level and straight. My reliance on an expensive plugin for Aperture to deal with lens distortion alone may well diminish because of this feature. One the simplest and most elegant solutions I’ve encountered to combat lens distortions provided by these small wide-angle lenses.
The interface is seamless and unobtrusive, i.e., don’t have to think about what I’m doing. With ‘Manual’ I was focussing too much on the sliders and controls and trying to mentally process what is going on. A tap here and there and I am shifting white balance, exposure compensation and focusing all without thinking too much about it, on ProCamera.
Having separate focus and exposure functions while on the surface may not seem to useful, with the new f1.8 lens on this camera it is actually a real bonus.
I have a negative; and a small one at that. The app has slow responses to exposure adjustments, this lag had me confused as I tried to work out what was actually happening. Then I realised I was using incorrect exposure mode.
I like this app so much it has graduated to my first home screen, after 4 versions of iPhone this camera app is the first to come close to replacing the default camera.
Most of my digital imagery is from a phone camera. This has formed a major part my practice as an artist and continues to inform how I work and how often i make pictures, which is basically a daily occurrence now, something I try to instill in my students in my photography classes.