There is no dearth of camera apps in the App Store with apps that can let you do almost anything from making your photos look like vintage comics to letting you add a virtual mustache to any face. But finding a straightforward, uncluttered camera app that lets you apply filters in real-time can be a bit harder and this is where Crush Apps comes to the rescue with Scout Camera.
Scout Camera hit the App Store last month and just got an update a few days ago to let it take full advantage of the iPhone 5’s larger screen. Here’s a walk-through of how it works on an iPhone 4S (thanks to Apple’s switch to the new Lightning connector in the iPhone 5, my app video capture system needs a new adapter before I can use it with my iPhone 5):
Scout lets you apply filters and change the aspect ratio of your photos as you capture them so you can frame them up exactly the way you want and know what you’re getting before you tap that shutter button. Comparatively Instagram, the wildly popular photo sharing social networking app, used to let you apply filters in real-time but actually lost this capability in a recent update when it got iPhone 5 and iOS 6 compatibility.
With other excellent photo editing apps like Camera+, Snapseed, and many others in the App Store, I was a bit curious to know why Crush Apps decided to release a camera app into what is already a crowded market. So, I asked the man behind Crush Apps, Jim Rhoades, why he created it and here’s an excerpt from what he told me:
I really enjoy the process of taking photos – and being able to frame a picture to a particular aspect ratio while taking it is, to me at least, a better experience than taking a photo and cropping it later on. I also really like the 16:9 aspect ratio. I find that particular shape of photo visually interesting, and wanted a camera app capable of that. I also wanted a camera app that didn’t have controls (like the front/back camera switch and flash buttons) blocking the view of the photo I was taking. In other camera apps, I find those controls distracting and think they get in the way of composing the picture.
…I also wanted to be able to offer something that allowed you to take photos in black and white, or that had a little extra color saturation (like the Vivian filter) – or a number of other visual looks… and I wanted to be able to see what those effects looked like as I was taking the photo.
I think Rhoades has succeeded in creating a camera app that lets you focus on taking great pictures first and foremost in Scout Camera. Rhoades told me he has plans to add more filters and possibly filter controls, so Scout Camera will get even better in the future. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense camera app that does more than the iPhone’s built-in Camera app and has controls that don’t get in your way, Scout Camera is a great choice.
Scout Camera is available for $.99 as a special introductory price. It requires iOS 5.1 or higher and works on the iPhone 3GS and later, the 4th-generation and later iPod touches, and second-generation and later iPads.