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SmugMug brings respected tools to 'Camera Awesome' iPhone app

By dpreview staff on Feb 29, 2012 at 17:47 GMT

Strangely-entitled photo sharing site SmugMug has launched a zanily-named iPhone app. The free 'Camera Awesome' app gives iPhone users greater control over the phone's camera and adds a series of filters and processing tools. This includes the ability to separate focus and metering, and adds a virtual level gauge. It also includes filters, textures and frames from Kevin Kubota as well as an 'Awesomize' button powered by Athentech's 'Perfectly Clear' technology.


Press Release:

Camera Awesome:  You Took That Photo on an iPhone®? Liar.

Free iPhone App Says “No!” to Ugly Smartphone Photos

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 29, 2012 – Camera Awesome captures special memories with the camera you actually own, not the dSLR you’d sell your soul for. It takes your photos to the next level by shooting faster and taking sharper, better-exposed shots. Make your memories come alive with gorgeous effects -- and share them on all the sites you love.

To see its awesomeness in action, check out the product video here: http://youtu.be/jz2nrcsTpWg?hd=1

“The iPhone is revolutionizing photography by empowering us to invent the camera you never knew you always wanted. It only takes a few minutes to realize you’re holding the future of photography in your hands. The world will be a better place when everyone has an app worthy of the iPhone camera,” said Don MacAskill, CEO & Chief Geek of SmugMug.

Three Simple Steps

  1. Shoot: Camera Awesome is faaasst, and so simple anyone can use it. And yet, it has high-end features even expensive cameras lack, such as a level for the horizon and the ability to focus on one spot and set exposure on another.
  2. Awesomize: One tap makes your photos come alive with vibrant color. Hundreds of professional effects, filters and borders transform your memories from forgettable camera phone snappies to gorgeous works of art.
  3. Flaunt: Share on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SmugMug, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, SMS and email with one simple tap.

At a concert?  Camera Awesome can automatically apply your favorite effect and share as you shoot so your friends who can’t wait won’t have to.

Camera Awesome's breathtaking collection of filters, textures and frames includes exclusive filters created by Kevin Kubota. Named a Top 10 Wedding Photographer by American Photo, Kubota created the industry's most popular post-processing actions for Photoshop and Lightroom.

"I was thrilled to create filters for Camera Awesome because of the power it places in the hands of iPhone photographers," said Kubota. “Kubota filters are the standard for pro photographers around the world who use programs like Photoshop®, and now they are available to everyone via Camera Awesome."

Camera Awesome is free and available on the App Store.  Learn more at http://www.awesomize.com/ or http://youtu.be/jz2nrcsTpWg?hd=1.

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Comments

Total comments: 65
Ducamantova
By Ducamantova (Mar 25, 2012)

Help !! Love the App, but...

I just can't work out how to separate the exposure and focus points. No matter what I do, they just stay together.. I'm a newbie to smartphones and have large fingers... I'd appreciate an 'instructions for dummies' reply !!

Strangely enough, I found the zoom control almost immediately :).

Cheers.

0 upvotes
gfunkdave
By gfunkdave (Mar 14, 2012)

Fantastic app, thanks! I like it better than Camera+.

I've read that you need to tap the bottom of the screen to get the zoom slider, but it doesn't work for me. I just installed the app on my iPhone 4S. I've tried tapping all over the screen; even when I tap at the very bottom (in the black bar, next to the "take photo" button), nothing happens. When I tap anywhere in the frame, I just get the focus/exposure selectors. What's going on here?

Thanks!

0 upvotes
shandrew
By shandrew (Mar 17, 2012)

You should be able to tap in the bottom of the frame to get the zoom bar, just above the grey bar.

0 upvotes
jdfoto
By jdfoto (Mar 13, 2012)

To Andy Williams:

Any way to lock white balance? That's about the only thing left until I make camera awesome my default app. Currently, have been using ProCamera.

0 upvotes
LVPhoto1
By LVPhoto1 (Mar 6, 2012)

This app is not FREE...in order to be fully functional you have to pay up to 6 bucks...and $0.99 for each filter or preset features ;)-

0 upvotes
herbiecook
By herbiecook (Mar 4, 2012)

Took a late night shot - street lights only with the new app and it came out great. Also, shot a video of a fireworks display with excellent results. Sure is a winner.

1 upvote
pdqgp
By pdqgp (Mar 3, 2012)

Just downloaded it and gave it a quick go. Now my new favorite camera app for sure! Nice job.

1 upvote
TimR-Niagara
By TimR-Niagara (Mar 3, 2012)

it would have been a great replacement for my iphone's default camera except it omits the HDR feature and while i love the quick snappiness, its quite s-l-o-w to save it to your camera roll ;-/

0 upvotes
alex alegre
By alex alegre (Mar 3, 2012)

Have lots of camera apps and have to say this is the best..
the only thing I don't see is a brightness slider.It would be useful

1 upvote
herbiecook
By herbiecook (Mar 4, 2012)

I agree with you on that one. It would be nice.

0 upvotes
Saleen1999
By Saleen1999 (Mar 2, 2012)

I wonder if they will make a version for the Android phones. It looks pretty cool but I refuse to pay Apple that much money for a cell phone.

0 upvotes
klopus
By klopus (Mar 1, 2012)

Now when I played with the Camera Awesome I really can see that this freemium app feature by feature is fully in the league of paid apps like Camera+ and ProCamera. Even without paid (in-app purchase) filters it's quite powerful and it feels faster and less bloated than others.

One thing that I noticed is that the app requires active data connection to apply the filter (any - free or paid). Why is this? It seems like a big limitation which is absent in other similar apps.

0 upvotes
RideLD
By RideLD (Mar 1, 2012)

Love Camera Awesome! Been playing with if for 24 hours and I can honestly say that it is the best camera app yet for the iphone. The thing that none of the reviewers seem to be mentioning is that it uses a Zero Shutter Lag trick that also makes it the fastest camera app for the iphone.

1 upvote
RAMcG
By RAMcG (Mar 1, 2012)

Interesting app., and I love the price! I'm sure I'm missing something, but is there any way to attach a picture/video directly to a text message inside the app? I see how to upload to FB/etc. and to email it, but I don't see how to text it. The only way I've seen is to export it to the camera roll and then go from there.

Thanks.

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Mar 11, 2012)

Yup, but Apple doesn't allow SMSing from the app, so we made it so you can SMS a link to your photo from SmugMug (if you choose to have or already have a SmugMug account).

** Disclaimer, I'm with SmugMug

0 upvotes
kenghor
By kenghor (Mar 1, 2012)

Just wondering if it is possible for an app to control the exposure manually? For example, open up the shutter for 30s for night shots

0 upvotes
Peter Rongsted
By Peter Rongsted (Mar 1, 2012)

Sadly it is not. The API will not let an app control exposure

0 upvotes
Holgs
By Holgs (Mar 1, 2012)

There's an app called nightcap which allows for exposures upto 1 second, and gives the ability to do motion blur in some situations such as this: http://rtwdiaries.com/sites/default/files/6777031388_be896bbf5d_b.jpg

0 upvotes
jdfoto
By jdfoto (Mar 9, 2012)

kenghor,

Both MagicShutter and SlowShutter allow you to do this on the iPhone. MagicShutter has more options. You can set the shutter in increments up to about 30 seconds, and there is also a bulb mode.

0 upvotes
digitalweddings
By digitalweddings (Mar 1, 2012)

still no exposure compensation.....? "the ability to separate focus and metering" is better than the standard iphone camera, but not ideal, especially when one is in a hurry

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Mar 1, 2012)

Pre-recorded video works fine on the iphone 3gs but there is no option to share the videos.

You have to export the video from Camera Awesome to your camera roll then mail from the camera roll. A little cumbersome for an otherwise slick app...

0 upvotes
proque
By proque (Mar 1, 2012)

This camera app is impressive! I paid for the Camera+ app and stopped using it since it occasionally crashes on my iPhone 4S. Camera Awesome looks to be similar operating speed and fairly stable as the native iOS camera app. Hopefully, future upgrades will make it even better.

1 upvote
herbiecook
By herbiecook (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi Andy,
I really like the app. Just one question and I see that someone else would like to know if there is a zoom capability with the app or is there one to come?

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi Herbie, yup - activate the camera and tap the lower part of the camera view - you'll see a zoom slider appear.

** full disclosure: I work for SmugMug

0 upvotes
elquixote
By elquixote (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi, Andy.

Love the app! Very slick and great features, especially sharing (1-tap!) and setting a filter to auto process for each shot.

However! Huge BUG: I cannot create FB albums nor can I post to FB. Something wrong with the API implementation? It also won't recognize all my FB albums, only some of them.

It does post to Picasa/Twitter just fine.

Please also add Instagram support! Thanks!

0 upvotes
dpjoe1
By dpjoe1 (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi, Andy.

When I tap the bottom part of the screen in camera view, all that happens is the exposure/focus point appears there. What am I missing? The elusive zoom slider does not appear!

0 upvotes
Eric Jacobs
By Eric Jacobs (Mar 1, 2012)

The slider is there in portrait mode. If you hold the phone in landscape mode, the slider doesn't reposition itself. Just touch where it was in portrait mode to zoom.

0 upvotes
herbiecook
By herbiecook (Mar 1, 2012)

Thanks Andy. I, for some reason, missed the tap on the lower part of the screen for the zoom. As I have used it more and more and gotten use to moving around it - It is great! I pulled in some pictures taken by other camera apps and edited them with Smug Mug. They turned out great. Thanks to you Andy and the rest of your crew for this great app.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Mar 1, 2012)

When you have something that is feature rich, refined, yet free. I have to be skeptical that those development cost has to come from somewhere. Maybe this will eventually become a paid app. But more worrying is the privacy. Will this app use the photo we took and some how turn them into revenue, and I am not talking about copyright. Just like facebook, our app requests permission to read your SMS but we don't really do it, for now.

0 upvotes
RMillward
By RMillward (Mar 1, 2012)

Well the app is free to download, and you do get 9 each of the filters, frames, etc., but the other 250+ effects are purchased, in packs of 9 for US$1 a pack. Presumably thats where the revenue will come from.I suck at math, but the whole enchilada is going to set you back, what? Over twenty bucks? Of course, this is like the Photoshop desktop plug-in market - you get enough to get you started, and you add on others as you need/want them...

0 upvotes
eurycea
By eurycea (Mar 1, 2012)

You probably didn't mean strangely entitled. You probably meant strangely titled.

1 upvote
Robert Mason
By Robert Mason (Feb 29, 2012)

Has anyone figured out if Camera Awesome offers zoom capabilities. I can't seem to find it if it does. Only post capture cropping.

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi Robert, it sure does. Have the camera active, and tap near the bottom of the photo view screen - you'll see a zoom slider appear :)

** full disclosure: I work for SmugMug

0 upvotes
nellydesign
By nellydesign (Feb 29, 2012)

Does it start up from the lock screen? No? OK, I guess I'll just keep using the iPhone camera function.

0 upvotes
ptox
By ptox (Feb 29, 2012)

I'd be surprised if this hasn't been suggested before, but imagine the possibilities if camera manufacturers (or even just one of the big ones) settled on a standardized high-level software platform that allowed third-party installable in-camera apps full access to quality photographic hardware.

I recognize there would be lots of technical challenges to make it viable (I'm a software developer myself), and that it would make cheap firmware-based model/pricing differentation a thing of the past, but there's gotta be something there...

3 upvotes
photo_oasis
By photo_oasis (Feb 29, 2012)

Great idea for a whole new business opportunity. Imagine something like this in pro cameras. Most camera companies SUCK on software side. They should focus on hardware and leave software apps to other companies/individuals by opening up their camera APIs like iPhone.

1 upvote
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Mar 1, 2012)

4 letters. CHDK.

Its user interface is pretty lousy though.

0 upvotes
klopus
By klopus (Feb 29, 2012)

Much ado about nothing. There are zillion of apps like it on the App Store already and for a long time. Just check Camera+, Camera Pro, King Camera, etc. I'm sure there are analogues on Android market. Camera Awesome also seems to lack stabilizer which all of the mentioned apps (and others) have.

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Feb 29, 2012)

Hi klopus, Camera Awesome indeed does have image stabilization built-in. Those other apps you mention are paid apps, we built this one for our love of photography and photo sharing. Hope you'll try it!

3 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Feb 29, 2012)

No, it has image stabilization. Click the little "up" arrow next to the shutter button, and it lets you choose between single-shot, stabilized single shot, touchscreen shutter release, burst mode etc.).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Feb 29, 2012)

It was pointed out to me that I neglected to mention that I'm with SmugMug, maker of the app. Hoping to just answer questions and help, if I can. Thanks.

1 upvote
theappwhisperer
By theappwhisperer (Feb 29, 2012)

Hi Andy, I mentioned this new app on theappwhisperer.com too today and I've had quite a lot of feedback regarding the in-app purchases. From what I can gather so far there are 29 in total. Many readers are expressing that this isn't really a 'free' app. Just wondered what your thoughts were...

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Feb 29, 2012)

@the appwhisperer: there are 36 free presets included with the free app - 9 each of filters, presets, textures and frames. Then there are a ton more others of each that can be purchased. I hope this helps clear things up!

* disclaimer I work for SmugMug.

0 upvotes
theappwhisperer
By theappwhisperer (Feb 29, 2012)

Hi Andy, thanks for your reply. I think many readers were concerned that there were just so many in-app purchases on this app. We're all quite used to a few but there's as you say 'a ton that can be purchased'.

0 upvotes
TimT999
By TimT999 (Mar 1, 2012)

A couple of questions for Andy:

1. Is the image stabilization an in-camera thing that cuts down on hand shake or the kind that doesn't let you take the picture until your hand stops shaking?

2. I saw the screen on the app that allows users to buy extra filters but it didn't seem to explain what the filters do. How would I find that out before I buy?

PS I've been using the app and it seems to have more functionality than I've seen from other photo apps. The one thing I would love to see is a preset slider that lets me set exposure compensation before I shoot. No one seems to have that.

0 upvotes
herbiecook
By herbiecook (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi Andy,
I really like the app. Just one question and I see that someone else would like to know if there is a zoom capability with the app?

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Mar 1, 2012)

@herbiecook there sure is a zoom - just tap the lower part of the screen (or right side if you've got it in landscape-orientation) and the zoom slider will appear.

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Mar 1, 2012)

@TimT999
1. cuts down on shake, won't hamper your click-speed
2. just select the filter you want to see, then you can scroll left right and you can see your photo with any of the filters (yes, before you purchase).

* disclaimer I work for SmugMug

0 upvotes
klopus
By klopus (Mar 1, 2012)

Thanks Andy. I stand corrected - there's stabilizer! Sorry for missing it.

0 upvotes
StephenSPhotog
By StephenSPhotog (Feb 29, 2012)

I love Smugmug. And this is a great app. It even adds burst mode and a timer and continuous shot timer for time lapse.

A+

2 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Feb 29, 2012)

Wow.

They copied Casio's "past movie" then later renamed "pre recorded" video mode where the video starts 5 seconds before you hit the record button. Great for kids, pets, wale watching etc.

Is the pre-recorded video feature available in any other iphone video apps?

My only problem with the third party apps (at least on my 3GS) is I always go back to the native phone app because its a bit faster. Can't wait to see how this on does.

If this is great I may have to go back to smugmug. Hopefully they've improved their abysmal mishmash of a back end and also support movies playing in their slide shows by now?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Feb 29, 2012)

It's really cool. I like the separate focus and metering spots, the "Awesomizer" and the ability to share easily with many online communities (including Smugmug and Facebook, the two I use most often). Very nice :)

0 upvotes
Jeff Peterman
By Jeff Peterman (Feb 29, 2012)

Anyone know of anything similar for Android? So far, I'm not impressed with any of the camera Apps I've tried on my Galaxy SII.

0 upvotes
dgmessenger
By dgmessenger (Feb 29, 2012)

The main reason I also own an iPhone 4s (work issued - they gave me a choice and I chose iPhone) with my Android Galaxy Nexus (personal), is the iPhone 4s camera and iOS camera apps. Android really sucks pickles on camera apps! And the android camera phones are really sucky also. In good light, the cameras are competitive with iPhone 4s. However, in low light, the iPhone back illuminated CMOS sensor eats their lunch!! That's coming from an Android fan boy!! I'm hoping Android phone makers change this soon!

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Feb 29, 2012)

Hiya Jeff, long time no talk :) We’re working on Android. Promise. But it’s *very* hard. There’s a ton of different hardware, and then Google/Android give us pretty insane memory limitations. We’re working through all the issues, but it will still be awhile.

Turns out there’s a good reason why there aren’t any great camera apps on Android yet. They make it nearly impossible.

0 upvotes
Jeff Peterman
By Jeff Peterman (Feb 29, 2012)

I've seen a few Android Apps that have a disclaimer saying things like "if supported by the hardware." I suppose this is especially problematic with things like focusing and exposure that may be controlled at the firmware level and not accessible to an App.

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Feb 29, 2012)

It was pointed out to me that I neglected to mention that I'm with SmugMug, maker of the app. Hoping to just answer questions and help, if I can. Thanks.

0 upvotes
Jeff Peterman
By Jeff Peterman (Feb 29, 2012)

"We’re working on Android" made your affiliation pretty clear to me!

0 upvotes
cruser2469
By cruser2469 (Feb 29, 2012)

I like the separate focus/metering option! I guess I'll add it to my other 20 photo apps!!!!!

0 upvotes
Scott_Hopkins
By Scott_Hopkins (Feb 29, 2012)

Only 20?

haha

0 upvotes
richard stern
By richard stern (Mar 1, 2012)

Maybe I'm stupid, but I can't find a way to zoom using this app. If there isn't one, Camera plus - which does most of the same things and zooms easily- is a clear winner.

0 upvotes
Andy Williams
By Andy Williams (Mar 1, 2012)

@richard stern when you have the camera active, tap the lower part of the screen - you'll then see the zoom slider.

** full disclosure: I work for SmugMug :)

0 upvotes
richard stern
By richard stern (Mar 1, 2012)

Thanks. That works.

0 upvotes
solman
By solman (Mar 4, 2012)

What about HDR? If HDR is activated in the Settings under camera does this App also apply HDR?

0 upvotes
MacMyDay
By MacMyDay (Mar 4, 2012)

Lovin' this new App, too. Concur with

1) Need to have HDR option selectable

2) Seems that the hardware button (volume control) shutter release doesn't work, only the screen big button or little button option. Has anyone found a setting to use the hardware button?

I have an issue with video, and it maybe a setting or user error. But the video I shoot when exported to iPhoto comes out vertical in portrait mode. Reviewing on the iPhone also portrait mode. Yet I clearly and purposely shot it in landscape/horizontal mode. What gives?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 65