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Review: Camera+ for iPad

camera+ for iPad

If you’ve wanted to get more photo editing done on the iPad and you take the lion’s share of your photos on your iPhone, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Camera+ for iPad. I fall right into this usage category myself, and I love the app utterly and campletely. iCloud syncing really works, edits sync across devices, and the addition of touch-up brushes for effects makes Camera+ into a very effective competitor to Apple’s iPhoto for iOS (which I tried very hard to like).

Lightbox in the Cloud

Here’s why Camera+ for iPad rocks in an everyday situation. You’re out for the day and take 40-50 shots of a party on your iPhone using Camera+, which actually uploads each of the shots you take to the cloud. Come the evening, you sit on your couch and load Camera+ up on your iPad. There are quite a few pictures to sync from the cloud, so you decide to leave the app and browse Twitter, RSS, and check your email to pass the time. After a good ten or fifteen minutes have passed, you return to Camera+ on the iPad to find all of your iPhone shots have been downloaded to the device at full 8 MP resolution, ready for editing. The edits you make over the course of the evening are then synced back to the cloud, available for viewing or saving on your iPhone.

Compare this to iPhoto, which would rely on Photo Stream to wirelessly sync pictures across devices. First of all, Photo Stream requires Wi-Fi to upload pictures in the first place, so your iPhone would only begin to throw pictures if you were connected to Wi-Fi. Then there’s the matter of Photo Stream’s 3 MP syncing limit on iOS devices – so all of that glorious extra detail from the 8 MP sensor of the iPhone 4S and 5 is simply going to waste. Finally, there’s the fact that iPhoto’s non-destructive edits are not synced automatically across devices, even if iPhoto is installed on your iPhone and iPad (well, there are Journals, but I find them too limiting and never use them). If you want to wirelessly sync pictures you edited on your iPad, you’ll have to save them manually to the Camera Roll and then wait for Photo Stream to pick those pictures up and send them to your iPhone. Not only is this a hassle, but it tends to leave a lot of clutter across Camera Rolls on both your tablet and your smartphone.

Camera+ isn’t lightning fast when it comes to syncing (it sometimes needs five minutes to throw changes across the cloud), but it’s reliable enough to use for large batches of pictures – which is really what I’ve wanted out of a photo editing app on the iPad. Sending a handful of screenshots or photos from iPhone to iPad is easy enough with Dropbox or Photo Transfer app, but Camera+ makes it both possible and enjoyable to work your way through a day’s worth of picture taking.

Better Editing

One of the things that drew me to iPhoto was its set of controls for aspects like exposure, contrast, and saturation. Camera+ for iPhone can generate some gorgeous images with its default filters, but since all of the effects are essentially preset filters, it’s tougher to make a shot feel wholly your own. Camera+ for iPad uses all of the same effects that the iPhone version does, but offers more granular control. Many of iPhoto’s controls for tone, white balance, and sharpness are now available in Camera+ for iPad. It’s also now possible to simply brush a black-and-white filter onto your photo, or layer the warm Magic Hour effect over the hipster Diana filter.

Camera+ now offers a photo editing experience worthy of the iPad, and I highly recommend it – especially if you have already tried iPhoto, but were left wanting something easier to use and sync.

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