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Christmas Gift Guide
Mobile

Camera Genius for iPhone

Camera Genius for iPhone makes a great addition to any photographer's camera bag, and it is a useful replacement for Apple's native Camera app.

Though Apple improved the camera hardware when it released the iPhone 3GS, we know that its simple point-and-shoot interface isn't going to win any awards. Luckily the developers at CodeGoo have released Camera Genius (iTunes link) to make the camera a lot more useful. It sells for only 99 cents, making this all-in-one photography app a nice addition to a photographer's camera bag and a useful replacement for Apple's Camera app.

Camera Genius feature menu

When you launch Camera Genius it will activate your iPhone camera automatically. You now have access to an enhanced photography experience via the icon on the left end of the navigation pane. Tap it and you're presented with the following six photo options.

Zoom is my favorite feature even though it affects the image quality. Like with all camera phones, the iPhone doesn't have an optical lens, so enlargements are done digitally. Also, though the camera has enough resolution to handle some zoom levels, the images are prone to pixelation the more you zoom. So why is this feature my favorite? Well, I found that this feature turns my iPhone into a magnifying lens, which made reading those serial numbers and MAC addresses on my equipment a lot easier to read.

Rule of Thirds

Sound Capture is unique since it allows you to record a sound to take a picture. Think of it as a kind of a James Bond feature--it uses your iPhone microphone to record the initial sound and thereafter takes a picture when it recognizes the sound. Nifty huh?

Anti-Shake steadies the phone while taking a photo. The app accomplishes this by using the accelerometer to monitor the iPhone's movement and prevent blurry pictures.

Big Button turns the iPhone's entire screen into a shutter button. Once activated, you can tap anywhere on the screen and the app will take a picture. This feature is handy for self-portraits or for people who have trouble reaching for the small camera button on the navigation pane.

Guides assists in framing and positioning the subject you are photographing using horizontal and vertical lines. Your inner-photographer will leap with joy for the ability to use the "rule of thirds" to make your photo more interesting or even award winning.

Timer gives you a basic 10-second countdown along with an audible "beep" as each second passes.

Camera Genius is a welcome addition to the iPhone camera apps that I've already accumulated like ColorSplash, QuadCamera, Light, Airphoto, and it turns my iPhone into a even better digital photography tool.