Powerful photo effects with no editing
iOS App of the Week I thought that the recent one-two punch of Adobe's Photoshop Touch and Apple's iPhoto would have knocked out most of the competition from other photo apps, but Wondershare’s PowerCam shows that the big-name boys don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.
Pick your effect
At first glance, PowerCam looks like a fairly routine photo app with an unremarkable collection of filters and effects. These include standard filters, such as black-and-white, greyscale and sepia, as well as special effects, such as neon, poster colours and a hand-drawn sketch look.
These sorts of effects can be found in any number of photo apps, but PowerCam’s big selling point is its ability to apply these filters and effects to both photos and videos in real time, as you are shooting.
Location stamp your footage
Just tap the Effects icon and you’ll see a row of effects running along the bottom of the screen. Tapping on any effect allows you to preview that effect on screen so that you can start to frame your shots while still being able to use standard iPhone features such as zoom, auto-focus and flash.
You can then just hit the Photo or Video button to start shooting, and your effects will be applied to your photos and video clips as you shoot.
Share your snaps
It took me a little while to find my way around the not-terribly-intuitive interface, but I was impressed by how well PowerCam works. The results look good, although the app does have to lower the resolution for both photos and video in order to apply its effects in real time.
Effects include Neon...
The maximum resolution for photos is 1280 x 960, while video shoots at a maximum of 960 x 720. Admittedly, that’s not making the most of the iPhone’s camera, but it’s fine for experimenting with various effects and then uploading the results to Facebook, Flickr or one of the other social networking sites supported by PowerCam.
There are a few other interesting features as well. The Face Timer is a handy option that allows you to press the Shoot button whenever you want, but then uses face-tracking technology to pause the camera until it has a clear view of your face before it actually takes the photo. Colour Splash focuses on a specified point in the photo and dulls the colours around it in order to highlight that point.
...and Colour Splash
There’s also an option called Tilt-Shift that I just didn’t understand at all – but PowerCam is free to download and free of ads too, so I’m not going to complain about one wonky feature when the rest of it works so well. ®
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I'd add that the reason it is often misunderstood, or has no beneficial visible effect, is because it's not a magic filter to make any arbitrary photograph look like a miniature. It's very context dependent, and works at its best when there are clearly objects at potentially different depths in the field, and especially when viewed from an elevated position.
Free if your name is not Mark Zuckerburg.
$1 billion otherwise.
Re: Not free App
$1.99AU for us Down Under as well....
Maybe it was free until they got some El Reg publicity?
more and more evidence mounts up on a daily basis proving the fact that you are troll.
Re: Not free App
To be fair, when it launched, it was £1.49 for a couple of days before becoming free, then about three weeks later it was £1.49 for two days before becoming free again on 2 January and remained so until yesterday.
In the iOS App Store prices can fluctuate an awful lot and some (e.g. EA Games) are regularly discounted. Personally, I think reviews need to take into account of this - the developers of this app weren’t likely going to do an Instagram, so the chances are that it wasn’t going to stay free, so what would a reviewer feel if it had been priced as previously?
Also, it would be nice to see some indication about how prices have changed – if something is heavily discounted now and then (e.g. saving nearly £20 on Animoog) it might be worth waiting. This information is a doddle to find out, but it would be nice have that little work already done!