Compatible with iPad, iPod and iPhone running iOS 5.1 or later
Version reviewed: 1.1
PureShot is a highly configurable iOS camera app aimed at users who want to capture the most unprocessed image possible. The app description actually calls out the #nofilter hashtag, and sure enough there are no filters, no frames and no overlays on offer: instead, the app tries to deliver as pure a shot (get it?) as possible.
In a way this is a streamlined version of the skeuomorphtastic 645 Pro app from the same developer, Jag.gr. How pure is PureShot’s photographic experience? Read on to find out.
- Detailed configurable display including live RGB histogram
- Customizable shutter release functionality
- Support for uncompressed TIFF files and JPEG compression options
- Exposure, focus and white balance lock
- Support for long shutter and high ISO modes on compatible devices
- Requires iOS 5.1 or later
The first time you fire it up, PureShot gives you a fairly clean camera interface. It’s certainly not as minimalist as the native iOS camera, but that’s probably why you’re trying other camera apps. There’s a big orange shutter release on the right side of the interface, and that’s where it stays: it won’t move to the long side when composing in portrait orientation (which would be particularly useful on an iPad) and there’s no switching sides for lefties. The app also supports the iOS hardware shutter button.
Several commonly used functions are accessible via buttons right on the main screen. You can toggle exposure, focus and white balance lock, switch between standard and spot metering, turn the flash and the self timer on and off, and cycle through display options. You can also toggle a useful “night mode” that enables longer shutter speeds (a user-definable 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 or 1 second, depending on how confident you are in the steadiness of your hands, or if you have a tripod handy). It’s nice to have these functions accessible without diving into menus.
As with many camera apps, focus and metering points can be set separately. The flexible spot metering is particularly useful in iOS since there’s no way to dial in exposure compensation.
The joy of PureShot is its customizability. For example, by default, pressing and holding the shutter locks exposure and focus -- a second tap take a picture. But if you want the shutter to fire when you lift from the first press, it can do that too. Or if you don’t want to lock focus via the shutter at all, that’s also an option.
Getting PureShot configured isn’t always intuitive. Looking for help via the “i” button takes you to a Power Point-like instruction manual that clears things up, though some context-specific help would be nice.
Finding Your View
Tapping the “Disp.” button cycles through four display densities. You start with the bare minimum (just the preview image). Next is nothing but a horizon crosshair to show tilt and a grid if selected (rule of thirds or a finer “architectural” grid). Then comes the full monty: all of the above plus the current ISO and shutter speed, light level (in a variety of possible formats), a real-time histogram (again, configurable), and indicators for file format, battery level, white balance lock, metering mode, GPS status. Another press gets rid of the grid and artificial horizon but keeps everything else, and one more takes you back to the clean slate.
There are no fewer than four histogram options. The exploded Y-RGB seen above is the most information-rich and looks great on an iPad, but you can also opt for just luminance, or a collapsed RGB with or without luminance in the mix.
The light level indicator can be set up to show exposure value (EV) fixed against ISO 100 or dynamically compensated for the current ISO, or light levels in candelas per square meter or lux. This is academic information for most of us, but is potentially useful and fun.
Most of the other information is very practical. The histogram really helps avoid blown highlights while avoid noisy underexposure, perennial problems in mobile photography because of the performance of small sensors. The ISO/shutter speed data lets you know when you need to hold extra steady to avoid blur or are veering into extreme noise territory (though this being iOS, you can’t manually set either one).
PureShot can display a warning when it detects camera shake, but like similar “anti-shake” features in other apps it won’t work miracles at slow shutter speeds.
PureShot saves images as “HI-Quality” jpegs by default. The resulting file sizes tend to be a bit smaller than what comes out of the native camera app. At this setting, you can bang out frames about as fast as in the basic app.
Upping the quality to “MAX-Quality” jpegs gives you a less compressed image, with a file size about three times larger than the HI-Quality setting. The device’s buffer fills a lot faster at this setting, but thanks to a handy indicator you can watch the buffer flush and know when you can keep shooting.
PureShot also offers an unusual “dRAW” file option that saves images as a TIFF, a standard lossless format. There’s nothing really “raw” about a TIFF: everything from white balance to tone curves are already baked in, but without jpeg’s lossy compression more detail is theoretically retained. The TIFFs are large files (22 megabytes on an iPhone 4S) but you can enable lossless compression to cut them down by as much as half. Either way, TIFFs fill the device’s buffer a lot faster than jpegs: you might squeeze off two shots in quick succession, but then you’ll be waiting several seconds before taking another.
The real question is: what is the impact of these options on final image quality? In practice, there seems to very little to distinguish them apart from the file size.
We wondered if the TIFF would show less noise reduction at higher ISOs than a jpeg, but again there seemed to be little difference.
Whatever format and compression you use, PureShot’s one concession to the world beyond capturing images is its capacity to sling them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram. You can also pass them directly to other iOS apps that support the feature (iPhoto, Photogene, Dropbox and Evernote, among others).
PureShot’s highly customizable camera operation will appeal to users who chafe at the native iOS app’s one-size-fits all approach. The cornucopia of information the app provides about the current scene, including basics like shutter speed and ISO and more advanced data like a real-time RGB-Y histogram, can definitely help you get better exposed pictures.
Configuring PureShot can be a fiddly, especially when you need to back out of a fairly deep menu, but most of the settings you’d want to change regularly are accessible from buttons on the main screen.
The one exception is file format selection, which requires diving down two levels and then backing out again. However, we aren’t convinced that there’s much advantage to the lossless dRAW TIFF format anyway. Indeed, in our test images there seemed to be little if any quality difference between any of the file options.
PureShot will appeal to users looking to take as much technical control of the photographic process as iOS allows, and who’d rather do their post-processing with a dedicated app.
What we like: A highly customizable interface with advanced features (like a histogram) to help nail exposures without extraneous bells, whistles or filters.
What we don’t like: A fiddly menu system, little real-world benefit in lower-compression file options.
Video tutorial: The App Whisperer recently shared a video tutorial explaining PureShot.
Peter M. Ferenczi is a freelance writer and avid photographer. He lives in Paris.
|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...
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
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.