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ProCamera 7 review: Loaded with features, but poor execution

The iPhone has become more than just another smartphone with a camera; for many it is <i>the</i> camera to carry. ProCamera 7 wants to take advantage of that but misses the mark.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
4 min read

ProCamera 7 was formerly called ProCamera, but with the release of iOS 7 the development team redesigned the app and released the revamped version under a different name.

ProCamera 7

ProCamera 7

The Good

<b>ProCamera 7</b> has an impressive list of settings and features focused on giving you more control over your iPhone camera.

The Bad

There's no shortage of bugs and issues in the current version. Filters and editing tools leave a lot to be desired.

The Bottom Line

ProCamera 7 could potentially be one of the leading photography apps in the App Store, but unfortunately the bugs and issues in the current build make me recommend that you wait.

Within the current version is no shortage of tools seasoned photographers and beginners will find useful. The ability to edit and share photos is also built directly into the app, which aims to be the only camera app you use on your iPhone.

Ready when you are
There's nothing special about installing and setting up ProCamera 7. Upon launching the app for the first time you're taken to a familiar camera user interface. Anyone who has used the native iOS Camera app will feel comfortable enough to start snapping photos without having to dig through the app.

Even with cool features and an intuitive interface, the issues are too much to ignore (pictures)

See all photos

Along the bottom of the screen users will find a thumbnail shortcut to the camera roll. The camera roll can also be accessed by swiping from left-to-right from the left edge of the screen.

Next to the camera roll thumbnail is a double-arrow icon that serves as the mode selection button. Currently there are three modes: Video, Photo and Night. Next is the shutter button followed by the motion and menu buttons.

The motion button is a convenient feature that will snap a photo once the camera is steady enough to avoid a shaky pic. Along the top of the screen is the flash and front facing camera toggle.

Tap to focus is implemented the same as it is in the default iOS camera app, with tap and hold to lock both focus and exposure. In contrast to the default Camera app on iOS, users of ProCamera 7 can separate the focus and exposure selection tool; forcing the app to focus on one part of the photo while setting the exposure levels to another.

The ability to set focus and exposure independently of one another has become an expected feature in third-party camera apps, so it's nice to see ProCamera 7 have an intuitive method to accomplish this.

The Menu is where all of the work and magic happens. There are settings to enable grid mode, white-balance lock, rapid fire (a really, really fast rapid fire that takes photos for as long as you are pressing the shutter release), a histogram, ISO, aspect ratio, self-timer, tilt meter, and automatic lock for focus and exposure. It's an impressive list of settings and features, all of which can be quickly accessed and enabled/disabled by tapping on the menu button then the respective feature's icon.

Going beyond taking a photo
Framing and taking a photo is only the start of the battle when it comes to smartphone photography. Filters and editing make up the rest of it. Unfortunately for ProCamera 7, the filter and editing section of the app is lacking. There are filters and effects that can be applied to your photos, but the user interface and methods for applying them ends up causing frustration.

In my testing I would apply a filter, go to swipe to the next filter, and end up three or four filters over. I often ended up too frustrated to continue searching for the perfect filter and would just pick the first one that looked decent. In the end I found that tapping on the filter on either side of the currently selected filter was the best way to navigate through them.

There are a total of 76 filters available, split up into eight different categories. Five of the eight categories are free, with the Analog set costing you a Facebook Like on the ProCamera page. The San Fran and Street filter sets each contain 14 effects and will set you back 99 cents each.

In addition to the filters there are also editing controls for the normal settings such as brightness, contrast, saturation, and so on. Once each category is selected, you have to swipe your finger up or down on the photo to adjust the respective setting.

The strong point of the ProCamera 7 app is its intuitive and thought-out camera interface. The abilities to view a histogram, lock white balance, and snap a photo only after your hand is steady enough are welcome features.

But the end results after editing photos is disappointing. The interface takes some getting used to, and the filters included don't offer the same effectiveness as an app such as Camera+ does.

On more than one occasion I experienced random crashing and even some very odd display bugs with the app. For example, when activating rapid-fire mode the viewfinder showed two mirrored images, with a red overlay. I often had to force-close the app for it to correct itself. At one point I even had to reboot my phone to get the app to relaunch.

After reading through some of the App Store reviews, it seems the app has had its fair share of issues after releasing the new version for iOS 7. Hopefully these issues are ironed out in future updates.

At this point, recommending that you purchase ProCamera 7 is a tough call. The features to take better photos are there, but the bugs and other various issues will lessen your confidence in the app.

Right now I recommend adding ProCamera 7 to your App Store Wish List and watching for future updates that (hopefully) fix the problems.

ProCamera 7

ProCamera 7

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 5Interface 7Performance 4
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