It is quite an old (read: wrong) notion that photos taken from a smartphone camera can never be as good as the ones shot from even the cheapest standalone cameras. The camera quality of smartphones has evolved tremendously over last few years, with Nokia’s latest PureView technology being testament to what you can achieve optically on a mobile device. However, although most stock cameras are rather restricted, smartphone cameras have a host of supporting apps to go with them, and these apps have the potential to make your photography seem absolutely professional. Since iOS sports the largest collection of apps among smartphone platforms, it is understandable that some of those apps are just about perfect for the camera in iPhone. Fotor is one such app that combines a photo-editor with a fully-featured alternative camera for iOS devices. Some of the features in Fotor (like post-shooting focus, the Anti-Ghost option and the HDR mode) are good enough to give whole apps a run for their money. Read on to learn about everything Fotor has on offer. Update: The Android version of the app has been released to the Google Play Store, and you can find its download link at the end of the post.
- Camera: The camera in Fotor offers many options that are not there in the stock Camera app in iOS. Both back and front-facing cams are supported by the app, and you can zoom in using the slider located to the right of the screen. To bring up other options, hit the settings button in the bottom bar. The options offered within the camera app include grid overlay, timer, HDR (we’ll come to that later), multiple shots and voice-triggered shooting.
- Album: You can use Fotor to manage your snaps pretty thoroughly. Not only do the photos shot through the app’s camera appear in the Album menu, you can also import as many images as you like from your iPhone’s camera roll.
- FX & Frame: The FX & Frame menu lets users edit both camera-shot and imported images. Editing options include rotation and cropping of photos. If you want to give the picture a completely new look, just choose the effect of your choice, select its intensity and hit the apply button. The photo effects are divided into a lot of genres, like Simple, Styled, Classic and Analog. Each effect can be personalized to some extent via the sliders that come up after you select it.
- Big Aperture: This is probably the best feature of the app. It works pretty much like the previously covered AfterFocus (review), and using the options provided here, you can change the focus area of any photo even after it has been shot. Just select the aperture size, and change the location of the focus reticle using two-fingered move gesture. The intensity of each aperture can be changed using the slider provided below the preview screen.
- HDR: If you are looking to shoot extremely high-quality photos, use the HDR mode available in Fotor. In this mode, the app automatically captures two images (one over exposed, and the other under exposed) and then merges them to come up with a stunningly high-definition image. You can make the photo look even better by changing the contrast and brightness levels. Another feature available in HDR mode is Ghost Reduction, and if you toggle that on, the app will automatically remove any blurred, moving objects from the scene.
- Collage: There are 3 ways of creating collages in Fotor. You can stitch photos, use any of the available templates or go for a Free Collage that offers some pretty good background themes for the overall mesh.
- Color Splash: In this menu, users can highlight any chosen color while converting all others to black and white.
- 1-Tap Enhance: In case you can’t put your finger on the exact problem with a photo, use this menu and Fotor will do everything for you automatically.
Fotor is an iPhone-optimized app, and has gone free for a limited time. You can grab it by heading to the following download link.
Update: The app is now available for Android. The link provided below will take you to its Play Store page.