App

Latest photo app offers easy access to exposure, focus and ISO settings

Price: Free
Version1.1
Size: 10.1 MB
Developer: Ben McCarthy

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Your iPhone might be the camera you use the most, but the built-in iOS Camera app often leaves both amateur and professional photographers feeling short-changed. Fortunately, more fully-featured alternative apps are available on the App Store, and one of the most impressive is the recently-released Obscura Camera.

Available free of charge, Obscura promises iOS device owners “a better camera than the one you have with you.” The application does this through providing users with easy access to detailed camera settings, including exposure, focus, ISO, and filters, from a single user interface.

Obscura Camera allows iOS device owners to easily configure camera settings while on the go.

Obscura Camera allows iOS device owners to easily configure camera settings while on the go.

Upon launching the app, Obscura explains the basics to iPhone owners. You tap the shutter button to shoot an image, of course, but two buttons either side allow users to adjust the exposure and focus of the camera on the fly. In Obscura, a single tap adjusts the setting, while a tap and hold reverts the setting back to its “auto” configuration. Above these buttons are plus and minus icons for ISO and shutter speed; information concerning each setting is also highlighted in the application’s heads-up display (HUD), which rests just above the shutter button.

Options including ISO, shutter speed, focus, and more can all be configured with a simple tap.

Options including ISO, shutter speed, focus, and more can all be configured with a simple tap.

All of this means iPhone owners can quickly and easily adjust the settings on their handset’s camera while on the move. As in the iOS Camera app, it’s also possible in Obscura to focus the camera on a specific area by touching the screen. However, when users swipe on their screen something quite different happens.

The results are impressive: especially when users employ one of Obscura Camera's many filters.

The results are impressive: especially when users employ one of Obscura Camera’s many filters.

In Obscura Camera, a swipe usefully reveals a selection of built-in filters, which are auto-applied to your image and create a range of different effects. There are a total of nine filters available for Obscura users to access free of charge, and an additional six can be unlocked using an in-app purchase (IAP) for either $1.99 or $4.99, depending on how generous you’re feeling. As such, a potential 15 filters are available for Obscura Camera users to take advantage of.

Obscura Camera can be used to capture stunning images both inside or outdoors.

Obscura Camera can be used to capture stunning images both inside or outdoors.

Besides this, a grid overlay can also be enabled and allows iOS device owners to take more accurate shots. Flash settings can easily be altered, and Obscura can shoot using the front-facing camera, too (as well as using the rear-facing one).

Obscura is a great alternative to the built-in Camera app, and it treads the fine line between complexity and simplicity perfectly. Obscura is easy to use (once you have the app’s gestures figured out), and the fact that every single control is easily reachable with one thumb means switching camera settings in the app is effortless. If Apple’s iOS Camera app leaves you feeling hungry for more settings and filters, Obscura is definitely an app worth considering. Its free price-tag means there’s no reason for iPhone owners not to take this app for a spin.

Review: Obscura Camera - A smart replacement for the iOS Camera app
There's little to dislike here, and for a free app we highly recommend you give it a try.
For
  • Easy access settings
  • Takes sharp and clear images
  • It's free!
Against
  • No access to the Photos app within Obscura
4.8Overall Score