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KitCamera for iOS review: Back and better than before

When KitCam was acquired last summer by Yahoo, it was pulled from the App Store. But a new developer decided to bring the app back with more features, a redesigned interface, and a slightly tweaked name.

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.
Jason Parker
3 min read

KitCamera is a photo and video-editing app 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.


KitCamera for iOS

The Good

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

The Bad

Some features are difficult to find initially.

The Bottom Line

KitCamera is a must-have for mobile photographers with tons of tools and effects, along with fine-tuning controls to help you get the perfect shot.

KitCamera is a remake and redesign of KitCam, one of my favorite photo editors that was acquired and shutdown by Yahoo in the summer of last year. The developer of the new app (a former KitCam user) used many of the same interface elements from KitCam, included more lenses, films, and frames than the original app, and redesigned the user interface. All of which results in an improved photo editor that will be immediately familiar to KitCam users, but with more features that are even easier to use.

With KitCamera, you can mix and match 16 lenses, 51 different films, and 40 frames to create great-looking images. You can take multi-shots and combine them; make time-lapse shots at specific intervals to create a video; take nighttime shots with a 1-second exposure; and tons of other cool options. Whether it's before you've taken the shot or after, you can access all the lenses, films, and frames in the app using unique slide-out drawers that make experimentation a snap.

An intuitive interface for taking great photos (pictures)

See all photos

Getting started with KitCamera

To get started, you have the option to pick a photo from your library or take a fresh picture. To get to your camera roll, simply touch the camera film-like icon in the upper left, then browse through your photo library for the shot you want to use.

When taking a fresh photo, you can see what different filters and effects will look like before you snap the picture. But even if you don't like the resulting photo once it's snapped, KitCamera lets you use the slide-out drawers to tweak the look afterward as well.

Advanced options

The main layout for taking shots and adding filters is fairly intuitive, but the interface also hides an enormous amount of useful tools to tune your photos just below the surface.

When picking lenses for example, several of the lenses let you use a two-finger twist gesture to switch between variations of the effect. So even though there are only 16 lenses, there are tons of variations that add up to more ways you can effect your images.

For even more pro-level camera options you can touch the gear icon in the lower left of the interface. 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 KitCamera tries to be a jack-of-all-trades camera app, and I think it succeeds.

You also can compare your tweaked image to the original at any time using the film icon in the upper right to toggle between the original image and your finished work.

Sharing your work

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


KitCamera is a very well-made app for taking photos and video, with plenty of lenses and film types, unique frames, and tons of pro-level settings you can use. While it takes a lot of its inspiration from the old KitCam app, there are a lot more features in KitCamera, and the interface is easier to use.

When KitCam left the App Store last year, I thought we had lost one of the best photo editors I had seen yet. But fortunately, developer Sebastian Short picked up where KitCam (and Ghostbird software) left off, making the app better in the process, so we still have an excellent option for adding effects to photos and video.


KitCamera for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 9Interface 9Performance 10