If you just got a new iPhone, there are lots of things you can do to make the most of the great cameras you now have in your pocket. I’ve selected some of the best camera and photo editing apps that will help you enhance your shots with your iPhone.
Halide is probably the most popular app for those who take mobile photography seriously — and also one of my favorite apps for iPhone. It features all the advanced controls you’d expect from a professional camera, including shutter speed, ISO, and white balance adjustments.
However, Halide is more than a camera app with manual controls. The app has some unique features to enhance photos by using artificial intelligence and other technologies. For instance, iPhone XR and iPhone SE (2nd gen) users can take portrait photos of animals and objects even without having two rear camera lenses.
You can also capture high-quality RAW photos, check histograms and metadata information, adjust focus precisely with focus peaking, export the depth map of the images, set Siri shortcuts, and much more.
You can try Halide for free on the App Store. The app requires an annual subscription of $11.99 or a lifetime license of $39.99 after the 7-day trial period.
After taking some great photos with your iPhone, you’ll need some professional tools to edit them — but don’t think you need a computer for that. Darkroom is one of my favorite photo editors since it is available not only for iPhone but also for iPad and Mac.
One of the best things about Darkroom is that the app is extremely intuitive and easy to use, even if you are not a professional photographer. The app comes integrated with the iCloud Photo Library, so you don’t have to waste time selecting and importing the photos you want to edit.
With Darkroom, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, color temperature, and other details of the photos you’ve already taken. In fact, the app also lets you edit videos and even Live Photos. In addition, you’ll also find a curve editor, watermark options, advanced support for RAW photos, and even integration with the Halide app.
The best part is that you can use most of the features of Darkroom for free, which is available on the App Store. There’s a $19.99 annual subscription to unlock all the app features.
Focus is a must-have app for those who love taking portrait photos with the iPhone. While Apple took some time to let users change the level of blur in the backgrounds of portrait photos, Focos app offers this option since its release in 2017.
But Focos goes beyond adjusting the blur of the portrait photos as it generates different diaphragms with multiple bokeh spot effects and presets that simulate the feeling of professional lenses in the photos. There are even options to add 3D lighting and change the photo’s depth map to refine the blurred background.
What’s more impressive is that Focos uses AI to create an artificial depth map for any photo, even if it wasn’t taken with iPhone’s Portrait Mode. It’s amazing what you can do with your photos with this app.
Focus is available for free on the App Store, but some features require a $7.99 annual subscription or a $12.99 lifetime license.
Adobe Lightroom is the famous photo editor used by many professionals around the world, and although it is known for its desktop version, Adobe also offers a mobile version of Lightroom for iOS.
It’s extremely easy to edit your photos in Lightroom for iOS, even if they were taken in RAW. The app includes options to adjust lighting, colors, effects, details, and more. You can even distort photos, apply lens corrections, or use the automatic mode to set the best settings for that image. It also features different color profiles and settings presets.
If you’re subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud, you can synchronize everything between the mobile and desktop versions of the app — so you can start editing a photo on your iPhone and then finish it on your Mac or iPad.
The mobile version of Lightroom is available for free on the App Store, but you’ll get the most out of the app by becoming an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber.
Since a camera is not made only of photos, this list wouldn’t be complete without an app to work on videos. DoubleTake is an app created by the same company behind FiLMiC Pro and it enables a new way to record videos with your iPhone.
Sometimes capturing video from just one camera is not enough, which is why DoubleTake came with a simple yet smart solution. If you ever needed to record the video from two different angles in order to create more professional-looking content, the app lets you choose two of the iPhone cameras to capture everything at the same time.
You can choose from ultra-wide, wide, telephoto, and selfie lenses to start a multi-cam video. The app also lets you switch between 24, 25, and 30 frames per second. There are no complicated settings or anything like that — all you need to do is open the app, choose the cameras you want, and start recording.
DoubleTake is available for free on the App Store.
With these apps listed here, you have everything you need to start shooting and editing like a pro with your iPhone. While there are some paid apps like Halide, you can find great alternatives to enhance your photos for free on the App Store.
Is there any other app you use to take better pictures than I didn’t mention on my list? Let me know in the comments below.
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