With every new iPhone model, I find myself saying that the camera is the best smartphone camera I've ever used. The iPhone 4S camera is so great it outperforms many low end point-and-shoot digital cameras. What Apple still needs is better software controls natively available in iOS. Thankfully there's an app for that.
I was recently asked by Wondershare, makers of many great desktop video apps, to take their iPhone app, PowerCam, for a test drive. PowerCam successfully combines some important basic enhancements to your iPhone camera with some amazing special effects.
A Better iPhone Camera
If you've ever tried to take a photo of yourself using the FaceTime camera on the front of your iPhone, you know that it can be a challenge to hold your phone and take the photo without blurring the image. PowerCam solves this problem by using a combination of face-tracking and a countdown timer to get you looking your best.
Zoom functionality in PowerCam is far superior to the standard camera settings. Wondershare manages to make zoom look great without distorting the images.
Scene modes help you automatically compensate for exposure, lighting, and color balance. much like you'd expect a point-and-shoot camera to work.
A Camera Packed with Fun
While improving the camera experience is important, the thing that makes PowerCam shine is the ability to have fun with photos in real time. Some of my favorite features are the ability to single out a color, lock it in, and strip away all other color from the image. Lighting plays a big factor in this, as you can see from my photo below with oranges and apples both retaining some color. The hot peppers definitely stand out in their full green. Other effects like the ability to make a photo look neon, or blurred is also neat. The stitching function is handy for making a wallpaper for your iPad or iPhone, or if you want to make a fun collage to share with friends on Facebook.
PowerCam Does Video Too
In addition to taking great still images, you can record video and apply realtime effects to video creations too. Anything you can do in photo mode you can also do with video.
Sharing Your Photos and Videos
Once you take a photo or record a video, PowerCam makes sharing easy. Integrated uploading to Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Tumblr, along with the ability to e-mail from the app, makes the whole photo experience seamless. Granted, you can send photos to a limited set of destinations from the iPhone camera app, or open individual apps, but who wants to mess with that? Having integration with multiple services built-in saves time.
Bottom Line on PowerCam
At the moment, PowerCam is free for iPhone users. It adds a number of important camera enhancements to your iPhone along with some fun features for making artistic photos. Download PowerCam free from the app store.
PowerSketch, the PowerCam Companion
One feature PowerCam needs is a set of sketch effects. Wondershare answers this with the companion PowerSketch, which include Picture-in-Picture (PiP), rice paper, shadow, comic, and wash-out sket effects. Like PowerCam, these can be previewed in real time for both still images and video. Also like PowerCam, PowerSketch supports instant sharing of images and video on popular content networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
For a limited time you can get the companion app, PowerSketch for free before Sunday.
Image Gallery from PowerCam
Collage from the Stitch Feature