KitCam for iOS review: The camera app that does it all

If you're looking for a camera app that gives you tools and filters for both photos and video, KitCam is the app to buy. It's so easy and functional it earned a CNET Editors' Choice.

Jason Parker

Jason Parker

Senior Editor / Reviews - Software

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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3 min read

Editors' note: This app was pulled from the App Store and is no longer available.

KitCam (iOS)

KitCam for iOS

The Good

<b>KitCam</b> offers a ton of tools, film effects, and lenses for both photos and video in an interface that's easy to navigate.

The Bad

It's unnecessarily difficult to pull pictures from your iPhone camera roll.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a new camera app that gives you tools and filters for both photos and video, KitCam is the app to buy.

KitCam is a photo- and video-editing tool in a sea of similar apps in the App Store, but an intuitive tool layout, unique effects, and fine-tuning capabilities make it an excellent choice. The latest version of the app helps you take low-light photos, and adds several other features to make it even better.

With this app, you can mix and match 15 lenses, 32 different films, and 20 frames to create great-looking images and video. But you also have tons of handy tools to experiment with and all of your filters are previewed live before you take the shot. The interface is easy to navigate with an intuitive layout, but hides an enormous amount of useful tools for taking pictures and video.

An excellent camera interface (pictures)

See all photos

You have the option to pick a photo from your library, but it's a little tricky and not very intuitive. To get to your camera roll, you need to go to the KitCam photo library (shots you've already taken), then slide your finger downwards to show a couple more menu items. I'm glad the option is there, but I wonder why it's hidden. When taking a fresh photo, you can see what your filters and effects will look like before you snap the picture. From there, KitCam has a slide-out drawer in the lower right of the interface where you can choose among lenses, films, and frames, then select which ones you want to use.

Some lenses let you adjust effects by making a twisting two-finger motion on the screen. But on the lower left of the interface, there's a gear button for several pro-level camera options. In this slide-up menu, you can choose from continuous-shooting options, high-speed shooting, multi-exposure shots, time-lapse, and more. You also can get an onscreen level, choose from several grid overlays, pick the aspect ratio of your photo, or view a histogram to judge the overall tonal quality of the image. What becomes clear is that KitCam is trying to be the jack-of-all-trades camera app, and I think it succeeds.

KitCam doesn't stop there. You can also use all the same features (except for frames) while shooting video, and view your filters and effects in real time. Even the lenses that offer additional tweaks with a rotating finger motion work as you shoot your video live.

Even with the focus on live previews of films and lenses, you also have the option to edit your photos after taking them. So don't worry if you don't get it right the first time -- you always have room for more tweaks later. Also, in the upper right, there's a film icon you can use to toggle between the original image and your finished work to compare the differences.

When you're finished, KitCam lets you share your project with social networking and photo sites including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. You also have the option to save to Dropbox, send directly to an FTP site, send via e-mail, or even turn your image into a postcard (for a fee) and send it anywhere in the world.

The new Night Snap lets you set the exposure time up to 1 second, letting you capture shots in low light, and also create those long-exposure shots of a cars headlights as they go by, for example. You already had several frames to choose from in earlier versions, but now you get 10 more geometric shapes to experiment with. You also can now capture images in TIFF format for higher quality and take longer time-lapse movies than earlier versions of the app.

The latest version also adds several small, but useful tweaks. You now have a "flash" for the front-facing camera, meaning that your screen will go bright white just before taking a self picture. A perspective composition grid has been added to make it easier to take perspective specific photos. What all of these changes tell me is that the folks at GhostBird Software are listening to users of KitCam and shows they continue to be active in the development of this already great software.

KitCam is a very well-made app for taking photos and video, with plenty of lenses and filters, unique frames, and tons of pro-level settings you can use. If you're looking for a new camera app that has it all (with still more features on the horizon) I highly recommend KitCam.

KitCam (iOS)

KitCam for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 9Interface 9Performance 10