What's the best camera app for the iPhone?
September 21, 2016 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I have an iPhone 6s Plus, which has become pretty much my only camera for the last several months. I actually like it a lot and have been learning to get some photos out of it that I really like. However, I'd like to have more control over the camera settings than I get from the default app. Is there an app that does this well?

I'd like to have a level of control similar to what you'd get on a higher-end point-and-shoot; pretty basic stuff, I think. Here's what I'm looking for:
  • Full automatic, camera-makes-all-the-decisions mode
  • Aperture and shutter priority modes
  • Full manual control option
  • ISO setting
  • Exposure setting
  • White balance adjustment
  • Ability to set focus and exposure points
  • Aspect ratio setting
  • On/off/auto for Flash
  • On/off/auto for HDR
  • Timer
  • Ability to save settings presets
The app should also be camera-first, meaning that when I open the app I should be dropped straight into the camera rather than it being a tap or two further away. Photos should be saved directly to the camera roll, and when I take a photo I should still be in the camera ready to take another, rather than having to interact with the photo I just took in any way. I don't require any post-processing features, I have other apps for that. Any post-processing features that are present should not get in the way of taking photos.

I see that there are a variety of apps out there that purport to give me at least some of the things I want, but none of them look like a slam dunk and most of them cost a few bucks, so I'm not interested in trying out a bunch of them to find out what works. App review sites and app store reviews haven't been useful in finding out which app (if any) would suit my needs. I have Camera+, but it doesn't really do what I want. I know there must be other MeFites out there who have similar desires in a camera app, so what do you recommend?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Technology (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Not trying to be condescending here, but you understand that the aperture on the iPhones (I think, perhaps, on all camera phones) is fixed, right? So you literally can't have some of what you want. It's not possible.
posted by praemunire at 11:49 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry, you're absolutely right about that. Still, I'm looking for an app that gives me as much of that list as is actually possible.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:56 AM on September 21, 2016

Check out Pure Shot, it's really excellent.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:00 PM on September 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Well, Pure Shot comes with a 52-page manual explaining how to use it, so I like it already.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:55 PM on September 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

A lot of the photographers I follow on Instagram use VSCO; I downloaded it last week and like it a lot, so far. It meets the majority of your requirements, and it's free with in-app purchases but I haven't needed to buy anything yet.
posted by stellaluna at 1:17 PM on September 21, 2016

I bought manual, and it's one of the only apps i've ever actually paid for and felt like it was worth it. I like it a lot, and it does almost everything on your list.

For all automatic modes, i find the default camera app to be more fluid, reliable, and able to kick in to high ISO/special modes the camera is capable of on its own than any of the other apps i tried. The auto-ness of it just feels a lot more confident.

I use VSCO, but strictly as a digital darkroom/editing app. As an actual picture taking app i found it meh. It always felt like those microwaves that are also a toaster oven. It also has its own weird photo storage thing that isn't the camera roll, which cheesed me off.

There doesn't seem to be any "slam dunk" does-it-all app. I'm still waiting for either that, or apple to just make a "pro mode" for their default camera app.
posted by emptythought at 9:27 PM on September 21, 2016

One or two UI quirks aside, I've been quite satisfied with ProShot, which does (I think) all of the things in your list...
posted by rodeoclown at 9:38 PM on September 21, 2016

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