Apple’s iPhone, regardless of the model, has always been the one to break the mobile camera technology they set a year before. Apart from the half-bitten apple at the back of it, a lot of people also buy an iPhone because of its superb lenses. Pair that with a good iPhone camera app and you’ll have the perfect recipe for an impressive photo, close to what a professional camera captures.
There’s a bunch of iPhone camera apps you can use – a bunch that makes your choices more difficult. The question of what camera app to download has always been a dilemma for many due to the wide range of options, some even claiming to be the best iPhone camera app, or resembles pro cameras like the DSLR.
In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the best iPhone camera apps that will help you capture the picture-perfect moments of your lives.
What to Look for in a Camera App?
Having DSLR-like features is one of the top considerations when choosing a free camera app to download. With modern technology allowing mobile phones to carry with them some of the world’s best mirror technology, having a DSLR through your phone is now quite possible.
Other considerations include access to some quirks, filters, and flexibility. Flexibility allows users to adjust the composition of the photo before pressing the capture button. This way, the end result would be share-ready after small post-production edits.
15 Best iPhone Camera Apps on App Store
Without further delays, here are the best iPhone camera apps to use right now.
1. Focos Pro
Computational photography allows users to control the setup of the image to take an ordinary photo, but one that could not have been captured by a traditional camera. Focos Pro allows users to enhance the composition of the photo through computational photography. It also has added features like bokeh effects, which is only achievable through the use of big professional cameras with bigger apertures.
- The technology in this app allows users to adjust the focus on the image from foreground to background, which we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do in other camera apps including the iPhone camera app.
- App seems to struggle in recognizing pixels and is unable to accurately process imported photos for editing. Sometimes, mistaking a subject’s arm as part of the background.
2. Pro Camera by Moment
Flexibility is one of the feature users look for among the best iPhone camera apps. Pro Camera offers a range of setup for photographers and filmmakers. Most photographers and filmmakers would use manual settings on their DSLR in shooting photographs. This usually involves tweaking manual controls such as exposure, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and focus.
- Pro Camera offers the ability to manipulate film camera settings like color profiles, bitrates, dual-channel audio meters, real-time waveforms, and fast access to frame rates.
- The user interface could use some upgrades. There seem to be problems with accessing the on-screen buttons, which users have to press several times before being to use the tool.
3. Halide Camera
This Macworld and The Verge award-winning camera app is also one of the best iPhone camera apps for deliberate and thoughtful photography. It has the common professional camera high-end tools and is customizable to adapt to the users’ needs. Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, this camera app can give you an advanced result almost every time.
- One ground-breaking feature this app has is allowing users to change the interface through intuitive gesture. While the app is optimized for iPhone 11 Pro, most of the app’s tools would run perfectly fine from iPhone 6 or later.
- The app tends to crash when taking depth-focus photos and the images are never saved in the camera roll. In some cases, when switching lenses, the app would also crash.
4. ProCam 7
Perhaps one of the most powerful iPhone camera apps for filmmaking, ProCamera 7 is unmissable for iPhone users. This app allows users to have a full filmmaking experience, through in-app purchases, by giving full control of the manual tools such as adjusting the ISO. With its functionalities that provide more control that iPhone built-in camera such as the full photo/video editing capability, ProCam 7 pushes the limits of iPhone photography to a different level.
- The app comes with the best video frame rates and resolution features compared to its competitors. The 4K Ultra HD – 3264×1836 has now been upscaled to 3840×2160.
- The app lacks focus bracketing AND bracketing in general for HDR photo taking that gives varying depth to the subject.
5. Spectre Camera
Long gone was the era of motion blur in photos. Long exposures are what’s in trend nowadays and this is easily achievable by using an iPhone Camera app. However, Spectre Camera differs in this field as it is the first iOS app that uses AI to create stunning long exposures on live photos taken using the app.
- Developers have jammed-packed this camera app with impressive technology such as learning-based scene detection to computer vision aided image stabilization to produce the best image possible.
- This camera app has a few setbacks such as it only allows 3, 5, and 9 seconds time settings. This is a little problematic if you are shooting at night.
6. Camera+ 2
Camera+ 2 is a great iPhone camera app alternative that meets or even exceeds the standard iOS camera in terms of flexibility. Long before iPhones provide manual controls for its proprietary camera app, Camera+ has already allowed its users to tweak their camera settings for a precise shutter speed, exposure, and focus using its on-screen controls. Additionally, Camera+ 2 was also made for photo editing junkies for its ready-to-use filter pack – all that without hidden fees. Cutting the chase, this app has no in-app purchases, which means all features that this camera app offers are included in what you paid for before you download.
- Being a system camera, users can enjoy a range of presets which you can apply to your photos and suit your preferences. This feature checks all the boxes for Instagram-worthy posts.
- The image quality when saving a panorama photo is sacrificed when rendering. Rendering a panorama photo using the app would sometimes turn the image black.
7. Hipstamatic X – Vintage Camera
We would like to say Taylor Swift’s 1989 in 2014 ushered in the return of vintage photographs and actually brought the trend mainstream. Vintage photographs have certainly made our Instagram posts beam with more character.
Camera app Hipstamatic X – Vintage Camera does offer us the full feature of cameras from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today through the vintage-inspired filters and presets. It also has a user-friendly user interface and does take good photos.
- Signing up for Hipstamatic Makers Club gives users exclusive access to select cameras, lenses, and presets. This means you get to create more stunning photos with the app.
- The app does not allow users to use their curated presets despite having that option in the app.
8. Obscura Camera
This iPhone camera app has been voted as ‘Editor’s Choice’ and ‘App Of The Day’. We have been giving out specs that are technical so far in this article. Obscura could not get as easy as one, two, three. It has many manual adjustments and customizations are available, yet it’s still easy to understand, use, and gives users pro-level controls by just sliding your finger left and right.
- The app allows users to shoot in various formats including RAW, HEIC, JPEG, and Live Photo which can be stylized using the in-app filters for a creative outcome.
- The app does not retain the original data and size details of an imported photo as the learning machine bases its details from the metadata. This often leads to disorganizing photos in the camera roll.
9. Spark Camera & Video Editor
Many Instagram and YouTube brand influencers, even vloggers have used this app to create their content. The app boasts its easy user interface that allows for creating vlog-like videos. Users have had positive takes on its minimalistic user interface. Some of its subscription packages include editing tools such as pro filters, music library, and voice-overs among others.
- The app creates an editable montage of the videos shot using the app’s camera. This enables users to focus on capturing the moment and allow the app to do the work for them during post-production editing.
- Minimal glitches in the app like delays in recording another clip, sound issues, and rendering issues.
10. Slow Shutter Cam
As of this writing, this camera app is on the top 10 camera apps an iPhone 11 should have. This app allows you to have more artful images, which you wouldn’t get from your normal iPhone camera app. It is packed with features that enable users to shot photos that can only be obtained on DSLR cameras. Its motion blur and light trail capture modes fit real action photography. Nonetheless, one best quality of this app is that it produces good photos when in low light capture mode.
- Seamless performance from the app that allows users to take full control when using the camera.
- The app produces noisy long exposure photos even with High Noise Reduction.
This app has gone through several updates and the current version has been optimized for full and best photography experience. ProCamera’s latest update offers major upgrades on the manual controls when taking videos, revamped display panel which allows users to have a clear view of the elements being shot directly from the viewfinder.
- The latest update also includes the ability to record videos with stereo sounds and support for external microphones. This app’s latest features make it one of the best iPhone camera apps.
- The auto-focus tool in the app tends to manually go out of focus according to some user experience. In some cases, the autofocus would produce an unsatisfactory end result.
12. DSLR Camera
As the name suggests, this camera app packs the features of a DSLR Camera in mobile software. This iPhone camera app has a machine learning feature that allows you to take photos without touching your phone. You can take sharp and stunning selfies with this app by showing a number with your hand to tell your iPhone how many seconds to wait before taking the photo. This app also takes the best jump shots when in jump mode. On top of these, the machine learning technology in this app allows users to apply unique photo filters after taking the shot.
- Buying some of its features through IAP allows users to have the best out of this app. For one, you would be able to take videos with the filters already on. The predictive filter allows users to choose the best filter to use.
- Some users reported the app crashing despite having a good amount of storage left. On top of this, some users say the camera app is not able to take good photos at night as what it claims capable of.
13. Photoshop Camera Photo Filters
Photoshop Camera is a free iPhone camera app that allows users to take sharp photos and apply the best and creative filters to pop the end result out. The latest update of this app includes Instagram-worthy lenses and filters that require no killer Photoshop skills to use.
Some users might find this camera app limited, but the latest version of the app now allows users to explore more features like applying effects to old photos, thus giving users more creative power.
- The app is probably the best tool to use when editing impurities from shots taken using the natural camera. It has quick auto-process and good lenses to do the job.
- The auto-processing in the app tends to over-edit especially when the photo was taken in low-light.
14. VSCO: Photo & Video Editor
The VSCO app has evolved over the past decade with the most recent update now able to edit videos as opposed to the very first version which only allows photo editing.
The free version of this camera app gives 10 free VSCO presets to use in editing your raw or imported photos. Other editing tools remain free to use at your own discretion to make your photo pop. Meanwhile, you have the option to experience the full features of the app by subscribing to VSCO Membership. Here’s a VSCO usage guide to kickstart your photo editing.
- The user interface in VSCO makes the app appealing to content creators. On top of this, linking VSCO to Instagram is as easy as one click.
- Editing videos using some tools and filters is limited to members of the VSCO Membership platform.
15. Huji Cam
Rounding up our list is Huji Cam. We just love the nostalgia of analog cameras released by FUJI. While camera makers no longer produce this type of camera, we find ourselves pulled back in time by this AI-powered camera app that applies filters and effects to resemble photographs taken during that decade.
Paling in comparison to its previous versions, the current version of Huji Cam prints the current date when a photo is imported from the Camera Roll.
- The latest version of the app is optimized to support running in iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
- The app lacks the virtual film winder in the corner that ratchets with each twist and the flash button which, if present, could have completed the whole disposal camera vibes.
Choosing the right camera app is not always easy. With the wide range of camera apps available for iPhone, we always tend to go for every app, try them out, and see what works best for us. The choice would boil down to what kind of content you want to produce and how you envision to present.
Some of these apps may give you just the right tools to come up with the content you want, while others are bound by their limitations. Regardless of what best iPhone camera app there is, the outcome is not entirely influenced by the app you would use. At the end of the day, the best photos posted on Instagram come as a result of good composition before hitting the capture button. Post-production editing is just a plus.