There are countless camera apps in Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, so which ones should you install? There is so much choice it is difficult to know where to start. One app that is worth considering is VSCO Cam. This is a free app that has some useful features.
It is designed for taking photographs, so let’s get straight to the camera. One of the best features of the app is that you can tap with two fingers on the screen to place two targets. One is the place the exposure is set and the other is the place the focus is set.
Once added to the live camera image, you can drag them around to set the focus and exposure to any part of the scene. It can be really difficult to take photos of sunsets using the iPhone’s normal camera app for example, because auto-exposure sets an average for the whole scene. This is often too light because it has exposed for the dark areas or too dark because it has exposed for the sunny sky.
By manually choosing the point to take a light reading from, the exposure can be exactly as you want it. You can expose for the highlights or shadows, or anywhere in between.
As is usual with camera apps, there are numerous filters that can be applied to photos to brighten them, darken them, adjust the saturation, change to mono and so on. These are displayed as a series of thumbnails at the bottom of the screen and you just swipe through them and tap a filter to apply it. A few filters and effects are bundled with the free app, but there are many more that can be purchased from within the app. This is pretty much like every other camera app.
There is a collection of tools that enable you to crop the image, adjust the contrast and brightness, rotate it, and so on. The toolbar runs along the bottom and you swipe left and right to reveal all the tools. They are all useful for tweaking your photographs.
Edited photos can be saved to Camera Roll or shared on popular social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and others.
There is also a social aspect built in too and you can browse other photographers’ images and follow the people you like. It’s a bit like Instagram in that respect, but it is a bit cleaner and simpler, and more focussed on showing off the photos than chatting with friends.
The iOS version of VSCO Cam is more advanced than the Android version and it is really worth getting for the focus and exposure controls. Auto-everything may be useful for the point-and-shoot snapper, but if you want more control over the shot, get VSCO Cam.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 01 April 2014