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Camera+ for iOS review: New tools keep this app atop photo-editing genre

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MSRP: $2.99

The Good Camera+ is excellent for playing with your photos, and with frequent updates the app continues to improve with new tools and fixes.

The Bad You can't see live previews of your selected effects before you take your pictures.

The Bottom Line Solid photo-editing tools and filters, a ton of useful perks, and continued developer support make Camera+ a must-download app for iPhone photographers.

Visit for details.

8.5 Overall
  • Setup 10
  • Features 9
  • Interface 9
  • Performance 8

Editors' note, November 3, 2014: This review has been updated with features introduced in version 6.1.

Camera+ has always helped you take better pictures, add filters, and more, with a tool layout that gets you the look you want quickly. But recent versions have made the app even better with the addition of a new set of tools that make fine-tuning your images easy and an added file format for lossless images.

Camera+ remains a popular photo app in the App Store because it's seen significant updates throughout its long lifespan with added tools, a redesigned interface and refinements that make the app easier to use. With the latest update, developer Tap Tap Tap takes it a step further, introducing manual controls for fine adjustments to both exposure and focus as well as other perks that move this app from a fun diversion to a more serious smartphone photography app.

Snap a picture

When taking a picture, you can use a 6x digital zoom for close-up shots, a stabilizer that automatically takes the shot when your hand is most stable, and a grid overlay so you can line up your shots to be as straight as possible. The app is set up for improving your photos using an intuitive interface, and even though it's been around for a while, I think it's one of the best in its category.

Once you have the perfect shot, Camera+ gives you several ways to enhance the image. You manage your images using the Lightbox -- a backlit display area that makes it easy to find the images you want to work with. You can then use digital-camera-like scenes to apply common camera effects in specific situations like simulated flash, sunset, backlit images, and portraits. You also can crop your images to your specs or select from several standard sizes.

To add filters to your images, you can pick from several color and retro effects that are divided into categories and helpfully laid out on the screen so you can preview the results before committing to an effect. Finish up by selecting a border for your image. When you're finished you can share your work on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter or via email from within the app.

Flip through the different types of effects with the buttons at the bottom, then select from the named filters in the main screen. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Use wheels to fine-tune adjustments

The latest version of Camera+ adds new interface elements to make it easier to get your photos looking exactly the way you want. A lot of photo apps are boasting manual controls lately, but Camera+ may have the best set of tools out there for precision adjustments with the addition of tuning wheels.

With a couple of taps you can get indicators for both focus and exposure on screen. Tap one, then use the wheel to manually adjust, by either slowly changing the value or using a flick to spin to the extreme.

The cool thing about the wheel is that even though it's transparent, it changes color so that you can see it no matter the backdrop. In other words, when you have a dark photo, the wheel shows up as a lighter color, and in a bright photo, the wheel automatically darkens.

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