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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
As we mentioned in our first roundup of photo apps, the mobile photography app market for both Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS has expanded in ways few could foresee. The convenience and ease with which images can and are being shared as well as the incredible diversity of features that apps offer, has made the smartphone one of the most popular picture-taking devices of recent times.
But, with almost 12,000 photography apps in Apple's app store all vying for your attention (and cash), finding the most suitable one to fit your particular need can be taxing to say the least. A similar issue faces prospective purchasers of apps for Google’s rapidly expanding Android Market, too.
In our last article we focused on apps that enhance picture taking on smartphones. This time we've chosen to look at and highlight apps that serve to enhance photography with any camera, not just your mobile device. None of the apps we’ve looked at here add functionality to the handset’s camera, instead they exploit the wide-ranging capabilities of the smartphone, or tablet, as a mini computer to aid photographers as tools.
This roundup is not meant to be exhaustive, and is intended only as an introduction to the variety of apps that are currently available. Where an app isn’t offered for both Android and iOS platforms, where possible, we’ve included a rival with similar functionality.
|The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) is a sun and moon calculator, which integrates with your phone or tablet's geolocation functionality to show you where, and when sun and moonlight will fall on the scene in front of you.|
The Photographer's Ephemeris harnesses the power of Google maps to show the position of both the Sun and Moon as they rise and set for any given date (past or present) and location. This allows you to plan your shoot based on the direction of the light - something that is hugely beneficial for landscape and architectural photography.
That doesn't just mean where to set up for the best sunsets. Knowing the track of the sun and moon allows you to work out what will be bathed in light and what will be in the shade, days, weeks or even months in the future both during the day and at night. The Photographer's Ephemeris is available on both iOS and Android, and while you can't beat smartphones for portability and convenience, because TPE only displays a 2 x 1 3/4 inch map on the handset's screen it works best with the greater screen real estate of a tablet.
|Sun Surveyor's map view offers similar functionality to its main
rival, The Photographer's Ephemeris (see above), while the 3D
compass module (shown here) with its predictive paths for the
Sun (and Moon as an option) is a rather neat extension.
Sun Surveyor offers similar prediction and tracking capabilities of both the sun and moon as The Photographer's Ephemeris and more besides. Indeed, there’s quite an assortment but the 3D compass option, complete with a handy slider to alter the position of the Sun, for a given time of the day, stands out as a helpful way of predicting and visualizing the shadows throughout the day. There’s an option to show the Moon as well and the feature is available offline.
You can’t overlay the 3D compass over Google maps but you can in 2D, complete with the sun and moon positions for the finding the best locations to take photos, much like TPE. You can even email a screen-grab along with a summary of the details (ephemeris) to a colleague or client maybe.
A novel but handy Augmented Reality option combines the 3D spherical compass with the handset’s built-in camera image. This gives a view of the Sun (or Moon) along with the predicted path so you can check to see if obstacles might affect the light. Our only slight concern during our time with this app was that the overlaid grid oscillates a fair bit even when the phone handset was held steady. In all other respects, though, this app is as equally compelling as its more expensive rival The Photographer's Ephemeris.
|More suited to professional than casual users, iScoutLocation is a fully-fledged database app that allows you to create, organize and share location-specific information, notes and photos.|
iScoutLocation features a large number of customizable fields suitable for offline input but also boasts the convenience of adding location data directly from the web. Constant Wi-Fi or cellular access can quickly drain batteries, but this app conserves power by only periodically accessing the web for GPS coordinates. If you're organizing a complex photo-shoot with models and assistants or even scouting for a movie, the option to share a highly detailed account of the location is a formidable asset.
We were slightly dismayed at first by the sheer volume of data that can be added. At first glance it might look like you're facing a lot of work, but actually many of the fields can be populated from pull down lists. And, of course, you need only elaborate as and when required.
iScoutLocation is one of the more expensive photography tool-type apps in the App Store, and obviously has very specialist appeal. As this app is currently only available for the iPad it has a limited audience, too, but it is good value nonetheless and definitely worth considering if you're an imaging professional working on location.
Also worth a look: Pocket Scout $2.99 (iOS)
|Easy Release is an application designed to replace paper model and
property release forms using a customizable interface and 'tap to agree'
This app simplifies the management as well as the distribution of model and property release forms by replacing paper. As you might expect, it has some rather clever additional functionality, including using the iPhone’s touch-sensitive screen for photographer, model and witness signing, as well as the option for the T&C’s to be displayed and output in several different languages (Android has some restrictions), an invaluable feature if travelling abroad. We also like how the app forces parental consent for minors.
But, while this app can import details from the contacts list, add a company logo and even take to snap using the iPhone’s built-in camera, we are not so keen on the photo being automatically cropped into a square. We found it’s a bit restricting when photographing various forms of ID, such as a driver’s license or passport (though that’s not so bad for portraits).
Fortunately, the model and property forms can be customized and, by copying and pasting from an email attachment, you can even import a made-to-order contract. As the name suggests this app is easy to use (albeit easier still on the larger screen of a tablet), has few real shortcomings, and is an essential purchase for any working photographer looking for more protection than the usual 'editorial' or 'private/personal' rights use.
|MediaPad Pro is a portfolio application that allows photographers to quickly create a fully-customizable portfolio of images and audio/video files.|
This elegant app differs from the more typical portfolio apps out there currently by virtue of support for a wide range of media content, including (obviously) stills, but also video and audio clips. Not only that, but you can also display websites, with the idea being you can highlight your web-presence from within the app without having to exit and use a browser.
As well as the customizable interface, which allows you to upload and use your own branding if you have it, MediaPad Pro has a rather neat Guest Book - this registry can be turned off if desired but it allows those visitors to add comments as well as their email, which could come in handy.
Files are added via iTunes but it’s recommended to resize images first, limiting the usefulness of the app’s zoom option. Unlike some rivals, there’s no limit to the number of uploads or categories and you can’t add sub-sets but arguably this isn't a serious limitation. If you’re making a high value pitch MediaPad Pro’s tightly integrated control can help keep you and your client focused on your content. Unfortunately, there’s no support for Flickr (or similar services), which seems like an oversight.
Portfolios created using MediaPad Pro look great on the iPad, but we'd love to see a version compatible with the more portable iPhone, and indeed for the Android platform.
|Photobuddy is a useful general-purpose photography application which is
designed to help you master depth of field, exposure and white balance,
amongst many other functions.
Something of a 'swiss army knife' photography app, Photobuddy is a very useful little application with a lot to recommend it for both novices and professionals alike.
Photobuddy has a well-designed modular interface that includes a wheel-type selection of exposure values, a great graphic for depth-of-field calculations and all important hyperfocal distance settings, plus a handy Sun and Moon phase calculator showing the time and duration of sunrise and sunset for any given time and location.
We also like the Diffraction Limit and Angle of View calculators. You need to be a bit nimble with your digits on the iPhone, but with a proliferation of sensor sizes both of these are essential reference for professionals using a variety of camera formats. Most popular models are included (as well as some unexpected additions), and there’s an option to add a user-defined model.
There are some simple tools as well. We like the Bulb Timer with its countdown feature (of up to 14 hours) and sound prompts, though we would have liked to see an option to display the timer in red or green to limit the brightness at night. If your math is poor, the app includes a simple Flash Calculator and if extreme close-ups are your thing, this app will even determine the exposure factor required for bellows extension - handy if your camera’s meter doesn’t work in stopped-down mode. There’s a lot to like about Photobuddy, and at just $1.99 it's a bargain.
|While the user interface isn’t quite as slick-looking or perhaps
quite as easy to use as the iOS only PhotoBuddy, Photo Tools
is a useful equivalent for Android users.
Photo Tools Pro for Android (not to be confused with its namesake Photo Tools Pro for Apple iOS, a different app from a different developer) offers at least as much functionality as the iOS-only Photobuddy, if perhaps not in quite so attractive a package. Depth of field and hyperfocal distance calculators are included as is a tool for calculating field of view, however the latter works for a given subject distance instead of at infinity.
There are plenty of other useful tools available within the app including a moon phase and exposure calculator, stopwatch/timer and multi-exposure and time-lapse calculators to name just a few. Amongst the most appealing are thoughtful touches such as location data (via GPS or network), weather forecasts, and check lists - there's a particularly extensive wedding shoot check list preinstalled as an example. Photo Tools might be a touch buggy and not as attractive-looking as some rivals but it more than makes up for that with useful features. If you don't mind looking at a few ads, a free version, simply called Photo Tools is also available.
|ShutterSnitch allows you to transfer images from an Eye-Fi card,or wireless file transmitter attached to your camera, using your wireless network.|
Although most DSLR photographers won't need to use wireless transmitters (such as the Nikon WT-4 or Canon WFT-E series) day to day, there are a few compacts with this wi-fi built-in, and you can of course add wireless functionality to a huge range of cameras using an SD memory card-based Eye-Fi card.
After setup (which can be time-consuming) ShutterSnitch can be used to view and, more importantly, zoom into images as they’re taken (albeit with a slight time delay, depending on resolution and file size). For that reason, smaller JPEGs work best but ShutterSnitch can accept raw files too, if you’re prepared to wait.
Geo-tagging incoming photos is a nice touch and support for Apple’s Bonjour makes transfer between iOS devices simple. We'd love to see an update to allow ShutterSnitch to control your camera as well, but for the meantime ShutterSnitch is a great app for remote viewing and image transfer.
|MoPhotos allows you to upload images captured on an
Eye-Fi memory card to your Android device, geotag them
using your phone or tablet and share them on Facebook and
Unlike ShutterSnitch, MoPhotos only works with an Eye-Fi card, but you don't need Wi-Fi to transfer images to your Android device - you can can also upload files directly using Eye-Fi's tethered 'Direct Mode'. Once you've imported your shots, options include geotagging, viewing EXIF data and sharing images via numerous social media sites (Facebook, Flickr, Google+ and more) as well as via email or Bluetooth.
Although this app is aimed at casual users it does include some tools that would appeal to professionals and photojournalists. Of particular interest is the option to view and edit IPTC data. The editable fields are extensive, and to save adding text there’s a neat 'Copy to Next' image option. Yet more versatility can be added with an optional (paid) Pro license allowing transfers to multiple Dropbox and FTP sites.
There are a few shortcomings though. You can transfer raw and JPEG files to your Android device but you can’t zoom in to confirm focus and raw files can’t be viewed by the software. As always when wireless networks are involved, setting everything up can be tricky as well. For all that, MoPhotos has plenty of potential, and we look forward to see it develop.
|MovieSlate is a film and video production app that helps you log and make notes on footage as it is shot.
Designed as a traditional slate and clapperboard, MovieSlate can export your notes and logs in various
formats, which amongst other things allows you to upload data into several video editing programs.
MovieSlate is not a photo app as such, but a tool for videomaking. Now that HD video is becoming standard in compact, mirrorless and DSLR cameras more and more photographers are shooting movies and if you're serious about it, MovieSlate is well worth a look.
As well as the essential clapboard feature, with its visual and audio cues, the slate has multiple fields for logging the production data (some of which can import data from the iPhone's address book) and time coding which allows wireless syncing with other iOS devices. At $24.99 it's a little pricey, but considering the amount of functionality we don't consider it overpriced.
Of course, the average HD video enabled DSLR or CSC user is unlikely to have a need for the majority of the advanced features this app provides but if you want to get serious about video, you'll love the depth of functionality that MovieSlate offers. MovieSlate runs extremely well on the iPhone, though it operates - and looks - better on the larger screen size of the iPad.
Joanne Carter is the Founder and Editorial Director of TheAppWhisperer.com, a Professional Photographer and Associate of the British Industry of Professional Photographers, BIPP, as well as a Professional Journalist, specializing in Technology.
The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|The Lone Photographer by ed rader|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|_ERN9064 by ernesto juarez|
from Shoot yourself ! (with your camera)
|Neighbourhood Watch by Stevie Boy Blue|
from Zoo trip ~ Cute...
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.