Expand your iPhone's photo tools with Slow Shutter Cam

The redesigned Slow Shutter Cam gives you greater control over your iPhone's camera, letting you create artistic compositions or just avoid using the flash in low-light settings.

Slow Shutter Cam received an update last month that ushers in an iOS 7 redesign along with new features for this excellent camera app, all of which make your iPhone feel a bit like a DSLR. As with the previous version of this slow-shutter-speed-effects app, version 2.0 features three main shooting modes, though two of the modes have been renamed. The old Automatic mode is now called Motion Blur, and the old Manual mode is now called Low Light, while the Light Trail mode remains.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Each of the three modes features a slider to adjust the intensity of the effect and a second slider to set capture duration. Along the top (in portrait mode) or left side (in landscape mode) are buttons to turn on the flash, open the live preview window, lock the exposure, lock the focus point, and switch cameras.

Briefly, the Motion Blur effect is similar to the shutter priority mode on a DSLR and lets you show motion in your images, such as ghost images of moving objects and waterfall effects. The Light Trail mode highlights any light source in your shot and lets you paint with light by moving your phone during a shot or suggest motion of moving light sources, such as those cool night scenes of tail lights on a highway. The Low Light mode lets you avoid using the iPhone's generally terrible flash when in low-light settings. Because Slow Shutter Cam usually results in leaving the shutter open for long periods, you'll get your best results by using a tripod.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In settings, you can set a self-timer, not so much so you can run around and jump into the shot, but so your iPhone remains completely still while the image is taken. Also in settings you can choose from four image quality settings (VGA to 8MP on an iPhone 5S), set the volume button as your shutter release, and turn on geotagging. You can also set the workflow so that after capturing an image, it is automatically saved to your camera roll or dumped into edit mode. Selecting the Default option for workflow lets you pause and resume captures.

Slow Shutter Cam provides sliders to adjust five edit tools: freeze, brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue. The last four are self-evident, but freeze lets you pick a spot from when the shutter was open to save the image, so if you picked up an undesired element at the end of shooting, you can back up and save the image at a point before that element entered the frame.

What are your favorite iPhone photo apps? Let me know in the comments below.

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About the author

Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester, Mac user, and amateur photographer based in New Hampshire.



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