iPhone’s camera software grows more and more advanced with each updated edition, with many photographers choosing to use their phone as their primary means of shooting. While the built-in camera may be incredibly effective in getting you the shot you want, oftentimes the use of a third-party app can further enhance your photo experience, giving you more control over your final product. Apple’s app store has hundreds of apps for this exact purpose, but sifting through them all for one that works best is tedious—and so, here’s the six best photography app for the iPhone.
ProCam 5, $5.99
Don’t let the $6 price point deter you, this app is well worth the money. Best for those who know their way around a DSLR, this app replicates many of the features of a high-end camera, giving you maximum control over many things you couldn’t begin to dream of with the iPhone default camera alone. Exposure adjustment, shutter speed, RAW formats, ISO priority, HDR—it’s all under your control.
As a post-shot editing app, VSCO has hundreds of filters at your disposal, serving as an easy way to get creative with your iPhone photography. You can play around with contrast, temperature, skin tones, exposure and clarity through the apps easy to use functions. While the free version of the app only gets your a handful of filters, you can subscribe to the app for an annual fee of $20 or can purchase in-app bundles for $2.99.
Halide Camera, $5.99
This app isn’t as complex as ProCam 5 but is definitely a step up from the iPhone’s built-in cam. With easily navigable settings to control shutter speed, ISO and white balance, you can bring your photo game up a notch. An exceptionally great feature is Halide’s portrait mode, which is especially appealing to those who don’t have already that feature in their phone camera.
This app is for both photo taking and photo editing, making it a one-stop-shop, instead of having to use multiple apps. Like others, this app gives you immaculate control over shutter speed, ISO, and white balance, with the added bonus of a 30 second self timer—3x more than the iPhone camera allows for. Once you’ve taken your photo, you can send it on over to the “Lab” where there are dozens of filters to play around with and stack on top of one another for your desired effect.
Cortex Camera, $2.99
This app is perfect for nighttime photography, as it’s specifically made to shoot in very low light and evening settings without forfeiting the quality of your photo. Additionally, the app has electronic image stabilization so you don’t need a tripod to keep your images remain clear and precise.
FiLMiC Pro, $14.99
This app isn’t for photos, but I’m including it because it is possibly the best app for editing videos. Sean Baker used this app to edit his full length film Tangerine, as did Steven Soderbergh with Unsane, which goes to show how good the app really is for video production, making its $15 price point seem like nothing. The app gives you maximum control over the recording process, allowing you to control focus peaking, waveform monitoring and even which of the iPhone microphones you want.