Applying filters to photos after capturing them is good and all, but having real-time, pre-shoot image effects is certainly a lot more fun. There are many iOS apps that let you apply photo filters before you shoot, but we haven’t seen one that does it quite as well as Blux Camera. Apart from sporting a unique interface, the app comes with a lengthy feature list and a little twist in the concept that drives most regular camera replacement apps. There are tons of photo effects available, which can be combined with any of the app’s numerous capture modes to snap gorgeous pictures. You may choose a filter or mode of your choice, or let the app analyze the scene and automatically choose a combination for you using what the team behind the app, Blux Touch, calls P.E.A.R. (Photographic Environment Analysis and Recommendation) technology. Other features include filter and capture mode randomization, tilt-shift effect, burst capture, voice activation, multiple grid overlays; you name it, Blux has it!
Blux Camera has so much on offer that it is better if you look through its tutorial by hitting the ‘?’ icon in the top-right corner. The circular control in the middle of the screen lets you change the temperature and zoom value of the cam. For options like capture modes and flash settings, there are hidden icons on the preview screen. Long-press the camera icon and you will be able to choose from multiple capture modes. These include voice-triggered, anti-shake, tap to focus, burst shoot and countdown timer. Swipe downwards on the screen to bring up the Settings menu. From this menu, you can tinker with aspect ratio, reset modes and other aspects of the app. There are also a few video tutorials for the app that can be accessed from here.
Then there’s the menu revealed by tapping the arrow at the top of the screen, which lets you switch between front and rear cameras, access flash settings and enable the tilt-shift effect.
All of that is pretty impressive in itself, but the real magic in Blux Camera begins when you swipe left across the screen. This reveals all the awesome camera modes and real-time filters available in the app. Both the filter and mode dials are set to Auto by default, meaning the app continues to analyze the scene within the viewfinder, taking light levels and other similar aspects into account, and automatically selects a filter and capture mode for you. A similar, ring-like control panel to appears to the left if you swipe rightwards across the screen This lets users adjust saturation, brightness, contrast and sharpness in real-time.
The blue button in the top-left corner activates Blux Mode, which creates a random new filter for you by combining various filters and appropriate camera modes.
Once an image has been snapped, Blux Camera offers a nice photo viewer that comes with options for sharing to Facebook, Twitter and via email. The app is optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch (including the iPhone 5 or iPod touch 5G), and will cost $2.99 – a reasonable price tag for an app with a unique UI and an impressive feature list.