Recently, Cocologics released an iOS 7 upgrade to its ProCamera app for the iPhone. But unlike with most iOS upgrades, the new version is not free. If you find that unfair, that may be because you haven’t tried it yet. There’s much to like about the almost completely new ProCamera 7, and if you’re an avid iPhone camera user, this upgrade is well worth $0.99.
I reviewed the previous version of ProCamera back in April, and listed it as one my top ten favorites apps for 2012. Even though Apple has slowly added more useful features to its default camera app, third-party apps like ProCamera include better shooting and post-editing tools for producing better shots.
For current users of ProCamera, the app’s new user interface (which by the way only supports iOS 7) will not be too unfamiliar, but there are still significant differences between the two versions. ProCamera 7 has had an iOS 7 makeover, which makes the app look a little less cluttered, easier to navigate, and provides a little more viewing screen real estate.
As in the original version, the menu button in the bottom right of the screen reveals most of the advanced shooting tools, including the composition grid, white balance control, rapid fire shutter, live exposure data, self-timer, and tiltmeter for leveling the composition of your shots.
Version 7 also includes new capture formats, including 16:9, the traditional 4:3 and square for you heavy Instagram shooters. Night Camera mode was also added to version 7, which makes use of longer shutter speeds to take shots in low light situations.
In terms of the video camera, version 7 now includes 60fps HD recording (and up 120 fps on the iPhone 5S), smooth video focus, real time video, 6x zoom, and slow motion capture. In video mode there’s a new indicator at the top of the screen that shows how much memory space you have on your phone while taking video shots.
The video and Night Camera mode are accessed by tapping on the camera mode switch to the left of the main shutter button. It looks as though the QR code reader was left out of version 7.
Check Out Settings
To get the best use out of ProCamera I highly recommend spending some time to become familiar with the various shooting settings. I sometimes change these settings to fit the shooting situation. For example, I’ve always liked the lightbox feature in ProCamera because when enabled, it means that photos can be saved within the app and not automatically saved to the default iPhone Camera Roll. This is very useful too for when you’re using the Rapid Fire feature and you don’t want your Camera Roll and Photo Stream clogged up with lots of unwanted images.
Other settings you should check out include your preferred JPEG compression method which affects your photo quality, from low to high, and the default time for the self-timer when you use it.
You can also enable the fullscreen trigger function that allows you to tap anywhere on the screen to fire off the shutter. It feels there were some improvements made with this feature as well and now when you’re in fullscreen mode, you can still use the exposure and focus points on the screen without firing off the shot.
And by the way, if you’re using ProCamera for the first time, definitely spend some time learning how the exposure and focus points work, because they can come in handy for difficult mixed light shots or when you are trying to direct the focus on the foreground or background of a shot.
One other useful setting is the system sounds function, which you might want to disable when you need to take shots in a quiet setting, like a wedding, so the shutter sound won’t be heard as you shoot pictures.
Editing and Photo Filters
Cocologics ratcheted up the number of photo filters and effects in version 7. Applying filters is a lot easier as well, because when you open a photo in editing mode you simply slide the filters across the photo to see the changes it will make before being applied. The new feature is really cool, and it reduces the tapping you had to do in the previous version.
Though it’s easy to apply filters, it’s even better to be able to manually adjust the or strength of the exposure, brightness, contrast, color and filter controls. All the editing tools are now in single place in version 7 as well.
As you might expect, ProCamera also contains a share sheet in which photos can be shared to AirDrop, Instagram, Dropbox, social networking sites, as well as email and Messages.
Worth the Upgrade
While you can still use the previous version of ProCamera on your iPhone, I recommend replacing it with the new version particularly if you’re hooked on the iOS 7 design interface and if you want a faster and smoother way to apply filters and effects. It’s not like the older version is now outdated, but for avid iPhone shooters, version 7 makes you feel as if you bought a new camera.
Download: ProCamera 7 ($0.99)
But let us know what you think of the new app, and what other features you would like to see added, because I’m sure there will be even more upgrades to version 7 as there were with the original app.