100 Cameras in 1 HD: funky photo editing on the iPad

A powerful and fun camera app for the iPad provides 100 photo filters and enough editing tools to remain easy to use while still indulging your creativity.

If you are among the multitudes who enjoy Instagram and its photo-filter ilk, you'll have fun experimenting with 100 Cameras in 1 HD, a funky iPad camera app that provides 100 photo filters and sliders to adjust their effects.

The app starts you off by giving you five sample photos to work with, but you can grab any photo from your Camera Roll, Photo Stream, or your iPhoto library. You can also snap a photo using the app (if you have an iPad 2 or later), but the viewfinder is a small window instead of the entire iPad display.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Once you have your photo, you can swipe sideways to scroll through the assortment of filters, each of which comes with its own strange description ("Going back for more ice cream when no one is watching" and "The feeling of the new blanket in the dark" to name two). You can also tap the Effects button to scroll vertically through thumbnails of the filters. There are 100 filters grouped in 10 categories: zen, gentle, serenity, longing, anxious, madness, dreamy, fantastic, quixotic, and daring. It can be time consuming to cycle through all of the filters, and the filter and category names, while amusing, do little to help direct your search. Thankfully, you can tap the star button in the upper-right corner to add a filter to a favorites list, which is accessible from the Effects button.

Unlike Instagram, which provides little editing controls after you choose a filter, 100 Cameras in 1 HD features a number of sliders to adjust your image. Tap the image to call up the edit controls. The two main sliders are titled Yin and Yang. According to the app's tutorial (accessible from the Explore button in the upper-left corner), the Yin slider "will make the texture appear more or less potent" while the Yang slider adjusts "the effect of the image layered on top of itself." Basically, the Yin slider has the greater effect; use it first and then perform additional tweaks to the image using the Yang slider. The Glow button is similar to Instagram's brightness button, blowing out certain levels to add a dreamlike glow to your image. The Yin and Yang sliders have seven blending modes from which to choose: HardLight, Overlay, Multiply, Luminosity, Screen, Hue, and Dodge. These are located in a pop-up menu right below each slider.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You can swipe up on the controls at the bottom of the screen to call up three more sliders. They are more straightforward than the first two sliders, letting you adjust the contrast and brightness and add vignetting. You can return to the original image by tapping the Reset button, and you can add additional layers of effects by tapping the Add Effect button.

Oddly, the app is integrated with Game Center, letting you earn points as you use various aspects of the app.

Between the Effects and favorite button in the upper-right corner is the share button. Your options include e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Dropbox, SmugMug, Print, and Instagram. You will need Instagram installed on your iPad, and you will actually need to open the image in Instagram (via iOS' Open In feature) to share it on that service. While you're there, you can also chose an Instagram filter or use the original image, which features the filters and edits you made with 100 Cameras in 1 HD. Because images taken with 100 Cameras in 1 HD are rectangular, they will have black bars when shared as a square image on Instagram.

 

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