iPhone and iPad

10 Powerful & Useful iPhone Camera Apps To Help You Take Better Pictures

Bakari Chavanu 03-06-2011

Right behind the Nikon D90, Apple’s iPhone 4 is the most popular camera in terms of pictures taken and uploaded to the photo sharing site, Flickr. While this little camera in your pocket has its limitations, there are hundreds of apps that provide it with some truly professional features and enhancements.


There are hundreds of paid apps built for the iPhone camera, but there are also some really useful free options. I selected free apps that are both good demos of their counterpart full versions and/or just useful apps for the serious iPhone photo hobbyist. If you know of other good free options, please let us know about them.

Cropping Apps

The iPhone camera doesn’t have a post-shot crop tool, and if you’re serious about iPhone photography, you should have an app that enables you to crop photos. Many paid advanced photo editor apps include a cropping feature, but I found two iPhone camera apps that are devoted to just cropping and resizing images.

The aptly named app, Crop [iTunes Store link], enables you to crop and rotate your images without losing quality to your cropped images. It’s simple to use, and you don’t have to tap several buttons to get what you need.

iphone camera apps

Rotate and Crop [iTunes Store link] includes the same features Crop, but it also allows you to make some exposure image adjustments, as well as share and export your edited images to Evernote, Dropbox, and a few other applications.


best iphone camera apps

Photo Album

The iPhone includes a photo library application for storing photos you import from your computer via iTunes, as well as the Camera Roll of images you snap with iPhone itself. But you should have one or more photo album apps that allow you to create folders of images that you import from your existing camera roll, your photo library, or images you download from the Internet on your iPhone.

iPic Manager [iTunes Store Link] is a good free option. You can quickly add multiple photos from your existing iPhone library as well take a photo and have them instantly added to your selected folder. You can also password protect your images.

best iphone camera apps


You might also want to have a photo album app that is completely devoted to safeguarding selected photos on your iPhone. Private Photo Vault [iTunes Store Link] is another such option. This app also allows you to password protect individual albums, run a slide show, take photos from within the app, and much more.

best iphone camera apps

Photo Mashups

If you want to do something fun and creative with your iPhone photos, there are a couple of free options. RealCoverLite [iTunes Store Link] allows you to place a photo inside a magazine cover without having to mess around with layering and masking. The Lite version offers only 6 covers (the full version includes 90), but it’s great for seeing what this app can do.

best camera apps iphone


Your cover images can be emailed and shared with others. You can also include additional text on template covers.

Creating photo collages is another cool way to show off photos. PhotoMashup [iTunes Store Link] allows you to copy and paste several photos from your iPhone photo library, and save or email them as a collection in one file. The default background for a collage project is gray, but you can double-tap on the background and shoot a new background from within the app, or you can choose an existing photo from your library. From there you can layer photos on top of one another. They can be moved around and rotated.

best camera apps iphone

Timer Apps

It’s also good to try out one or more time shutter apps on your iPhone. These iPhone camera apps are useful for shooting self-portraits, group and close-up shots. Photo Timer is one of the best options, and it’s free for a limited time. It not only enables you to set a timer for the shutter release, but it also includes a photo composition guide, burst mode, and photo sharing to Facebook, Twitter, MobileMe, Tumblr, and email.


best camera apps iphone

If and when Photo Timer is no longer free, Auto Shutter is another option, which does exactly what it’s named for.


Photo Enhancers

The iTunes App store includes hundreds of iPhone camera apps for editing and enhancing your photos. We have published reviews about few good free options, including Adobe’s Photo Express and Instagram 6+ Sites That Enhance The Instagram Experience Read More , but here are a few more.

The free version of 100 Cameras in 1 is a popular photo editor that includes 20+ photo effects for hardlighting and overlaying photos with various textures and filters. The paid version includes 100 more effects, but this free version is a good demo of what the app can do. You only have to tap once to apply an effect and see the applied effect.

iphone camera apps

iQuikDof – Depth of Field Creator is an advanced photo editor that enables you to create a depth of field effect of a selected image. It contains auto presets feature for the DOF effects, or you can manually select an area in which you want to mask and keep in focus, while the unselected area is blurred. This is also a good demo app for the pro version which includes more presets and customizable blur.

iPhone camera apps

Let us know what you think of these apps and if you find one or more of them useful.

For more about how to use your iPhone camera to take better photos, check out Take Better Pictures With Free Camera Plus Take Better Pictures on iPhone With Free Camera Plus Read More and Learn Digital Learn Digital Camera Exposure Settings Using Your iPhone Read More Camera Learn Digital Camera Exposure Settings Using Your iPhone Read More Exposure Settings Using Your Learn Digital Camera Exposure Settings Using Your iPhone Read More iPhone Learn Digital Camera Exposure Settings Using Your iPhone Read More .

Related topics: Digital Camera, Image Editor, Photo Album, Photography.

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  2. ronthy
    June 18, 2011 at 3:47 am

    just tried the iQuikDof app and found it a bit disappointing.
    the DOF functionality is not too bad but you cant really control how gradual the blurring is at the edges of the masking in manual mode. so u can end up getting an area in focus and then an area of high blur even at lowest DOF setting. 
    Two major gripes: the picture exported out into camera roll is NOT hi-res and it appears that further compression has been applied upon export to jpg that can cause more "noise" in the final output.

    • Bakari
      June 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      Ronthy, thanks for review update. It’s always good to get further hands-on reviews from our readers.

  3. Xinyi
    June 16, 2011 at 4:30 am

    How to take picture of the application in iphone? I cant find any button to take picture of the application. Taking picture by iphone itself.

    • Bakari
      June 16, 2011 at 5:08 am

      Hmmm, not sure what you mean. If you want to take screen shot with the phone, press the Home button and Power button at the same time. 

  4. Mjrloe
    June 10, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    This is a great review and introduction to those who want to use their iPhones for more than just casual picture taking.  Like learning most things, this has whetted my appetite for more... now where to find it...

    • Bakari
      June 11, 2011 at 12:44 am

      Thanks, Mjrloe, for the feedback. We'll definitely be adding more iPhone camera tips.

  5. Bakari
    June 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Judy, do you mean "slideshow" program? 

  6. Judy Palmaers
    June 4, 2011 at 3:24 am

     And... still waiting for a decent slideshare app for the Iphone and  Ipad.