Are Camera Apps Worth the Expense?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alex Coleman writes about camera apps and why they’re probably not worth the purchase.

After shooting extensively with the latest versions of some of these apps, including an in-depth comparison against the stock camera app, I don’t believe there’s much value in keeping them installed. Put simply, the phone manufacturers have added enough “secret sauce” to their imaging pipeline that an app just won’t create a better quality image, in most cases.

You know, I have to agree with this. Just based on my own experience, I’ve used a ton of different camera apps over the years, and eventually stopped using every single one, until now I stick with Apple’s built-in camera app.

Manfredi Gioacchini Used an iPhone to Document Climate Change in Antarctica

· Andrew Orr · Link

Photo of an iceberg

Documentary photographer Manfredi Gioacchini is documenting climate change in Antarctica. His tool? An iPhone.

“Most of the usage was related with video recording, in fact the audio of the new phone is incredible,” says the photographer. “That’s important in matters of the climate change… capturing the sounds of icebergs breaking down…”

He also managed to take advantage of the phone’s Night Mode, though it wasn’t necessary for most of the trip, since the sun never dipped below twilight. Scroll down to see Manfredi’s photos for yourself.

Important work, and also beautiful.

Photo App Neural Cam Moves to Subscription

· Andrew Orr · Link

Neural Cam promises to give you Night Mode photos even if you don’t have the latest iPhones. It costs US$4.99 up front and recently moved to a subscription of US$4.99/month or US$35.99/year.

I’ve never used the app but people are saying the app is taking away features that people had paid for and locking it behind a subscription, a clear violation of App Store Review Guidelines, section 3.1.2(a).

Update: NeuralCam reached out to me to clarify: The Pro Pack is optional and only adds features for Pro users who subscribe. There’s also an additional 12-month introductory price at US$2.99/month. Finally, no features will be taken away from existing users.

PolarPro Launches iPhone 11 Camera Kit ‘LiteChaser Pro’

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

LiteChaser Pro is a new iPhone 11 camera kit for mobile photographers and videographers. The photography kit includes a special case, detachable grip, and a circular polarizer lens. Or, if you choose the filmmaker kit you’ll receive a variable neutral-density filter. You can also build your own kit and choose other lenses. The first production run ships on March 28, and as of this writing there are 370 out of 1,000 sold. You can preorder the kits starting at US$99.99 (regular US$119.99).

Whether recording for your Instagram stories, vlogging your travels or even producing your own short film, take control of your content and reach high-production levels with this uniquely customizable system.

PolarPro Launches iPhone 11 Camera Kit ‘LiteChaser Pro’

Smartphones Could Help Death Photography Make a Comeback

· Andrew Orr · Link

The New York Times has a piece today about death photography, and how it’s returning with the help of our ubiquitous smartphone camera.

“But we are returning to the older ways,” she went on, “a movement backward that some say began in the ’70s, with the back-to-nature movement and midwifery and natural births. The natural death movement is part of that. And these photos are unsurprising, too, because we carry our smartphones all the time, and it’s almost like if there isn’t a photo it didn’t happen. Now everyone is a photographer.”

New Video Shows off iPhone 11 Night Mode Capability

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Set to “We Only Come Out At Night” by Smashing Pumpkins, Apple’s new video shows the capabilities of iPhone 11’s Night Mode feature. Whether your situation is low-light or no-light, Night Mode is a powerful camera feature that turns on automatically. Look for the Night Mode icon at the top of the camera, which looks like a crescent moon. It will turn yellow when it’s enabled. Your iPhone might take the shot instantly, or it will take several seconds. It depends on how dark your scene is.

Publish VSCO Videos With New This App Feature

· Andrew Orr · Link

After I published my list of VSCO presets I thought I’d send it to the folks at the company. As it turns out they had something to share with me too. As part of the VSCO X membership (US$19.99/year), users can how publish their videos to the feed, which was previously limited to photos.

We know this is something our community has been asking for and we can’t wait to see how you bring your stories to life with the new tools we’re making available for our members. We’ve rounded up some tips for how to take advantage of the new video features with your VSCO membership.

This Clip-On Lens Adds Anamorphic, 8mm Wide-Angle, Fisheye to 360° Lens to Your iPhone: $79.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

We have a deal on FusionLens, a clip-on lens that enables an iPhone to capture anamorphic, wide-angle, fisheye and 360° panoramic images. I’m linking to the deal for a FusionLens 2.0 for iPhone 11, but the deal listing also has options for iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone Xs and Xs Max. It’s $79.99 through us.

Apple Sale: Moment Pro Camera is $3.99, Down from $5.99

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Moment Pro Camera is currently on sale for US$3.99 (regularly US$5.99). You can use the app even if you don’t have a Moment lens. Pro features for filmmakers: Color profiles, bitrates, dual-channel audio meters, real-time waveforms, and fast access to frame rates. Pro features for photographersShoot RAW, split focus/exposure, and manually control everything (exposure, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and focus). Plus there are more features like distortion correction, slow shutter, motion blur, light trails, focus peaking, and more. 

Apple Sale: Moment Pro Camera is $3.99, Down from $5.99

Anker’s iPhone LED Flash Available to Preorder

· Andrew Orr · News

Anker has an LED flash accessory for iPhone photographers that plugs into the Lightning port. It’s MFi certified and is available to preorder.

40 Days of Russian Darkness With iPhone Night Mode

· Andrew Orr · Link

Amos Chapple bought an iPhone 11 Pro and traveled to Russia’s Murmansk, the biggest city in the Arctic circle. From December to January the sun never rises in the city, and Mr. Chapple went there to test the iPhone Night Mode feature in a photo essay.

On the first morning I woke up in Murmansk, it really hit me what a revolution this generation of phone represents…As I walked down the corridor I remember thinking I’d just had more trouble organizing the equipment I needed to brush my teeth, than I had preparing for a 12-hour day of professional photography. No SD cards to check, no stacks of batteries to charge, no bag full of lenses… Total freedom.

These photos are gorgeous.

Hurry, Pixelmator Photo on iPadOS is Free Right Now

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Normally US$4.99, Pixelmator Photo is free right now. It’s a photo editor that promises a full collection of nondestructive color adjustments, full support for RAW images, and machine learning that can improve your photos like a pro photographer. It’s an exclusive app for iPadOS. Here are some of the other features: Batch edit photos using the entire collection of editing tools available in the app; Enhance automatically takes care of all the subtle improvements that go into every great shot — white balance, exposure, shadow, and highlight detail — so you can focus on adding your own creative finishing touches; Presets for film emulation, vintage looks, and more.

Hurry, Pixelmator Photo on iPadOS is Free Right Now