Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

‘Instagram’ Gets Video Recording Capability

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Facebook held a press event today to announce the addition of video recording and sharing to Instagram, the photo sharing social networking service it acquired last year. Videos of up to 15 seconds in duration can now be captured with the latest versions of the app for iOS and Android devices. Several new filters are also available explicitly for editing captured videos.

Version 4.0 of Instagram for the iPhone is live now in the App Store and can be downloaded for free. A new video recording button is accessible in the capture screen and similar to Twitter’s Vine app, you press and hold this button to record. You can record a single continuous video or stop and start as you please to capture different scenes or angles within the same video using either the rear or front-facing camera.

When it comes to editing your videos, you can delete clips on the capture screen. Once you’ve captured the clips you want to keep in your video, you can apply one of 13 available filters and smooth out movement with the press of a virtual button that does some image stabilization magic. Before sharing a video, you can select a single scene that will act as the cover frame in the Instagram stream.

Here’s a promo video showcasing the new features:

Instagram for iPhone debuted in 2010 and it’s been a regular in the Top 200 Free iPhone Apps list since then. Earlier this year, the service surpassed 100 million users and the addition of video puts it up against Twitter’s own Vine video recording and sharing app that allows users to share up to six seconds of video.

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‘Analog’ for Mac Gets New Filters, Goes on Sale for Half Off Until June 10

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Realmac Software has released an update for its Mac photo editing app, Analog, adding new filters and dropping the price from $9.99 to $4.99 through the end of the day on Sunday, June 9.

Analog’s eight new filters come from Analog Camera, Realmac’s new iPhone app (my review) that was released last week. The eight new filters (Camden, Superior, Marble Arch, Brunswick, Pavilion, Honeycomb, 1978, and Inky) join the 27 filters previously available along with several borders to gussy up your pictures.

Analog debuted in the Mac App Store in 2011 and offers very basic photo editing features to crop or rotate images only with the focus on applying filters and borders and then sharing your photographic masterpieces via email, CloudApp, Picasa, Facebook, Flickr, or Tumblr.

If Analog has been on your Wish List, now is the time to get it –– it hasn’t been priced this low very often and even peaked at $14.99 earlier this year.

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Review: Realmac’s ‘Analog Camera’ for iPhone Focuses on Making Sharing Easy

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

As promised earlier this month, Realmac Software has just released Analog Camera for iPhone. The new photography app, which promises a fast and intuitive UI, hit the App Store this morning at the very reasonable $.99 price point. But there are already hundreds of camera apps available in the App Store and Analog Camera faces stiff competition from the likes of Instagram, Camera+, and many others. Does Analog Camera manage to stand out? Read on to find out.

When you open Analog Camera, you’re presented with the virtual viewfinder and shutter button. A horizon guide in the form of a dotted line across the middle of the viewfinder helps you make sure your shot is even. You can tap once to set a combined focus and exposure point or tap with two fingers to set separate focus and exposure points, while double tapping puts you in full auto mode.

Above the viewfinder are thumbnail images of the photos in your iPhone’s Camera Roll. Swiping down from these thumbnails shows you more of your Camera Roll. Swiping from left to right takes you to a view of your Photo Stream. Swiping up from any of these views takes you back to the virtual viewfinder and shutter button.

To capture a new photo, all you need to do is tap on the shutter button. You can keep taking pictures in rapid succession to your heart’s content (every photo you take is saved to the Camera Roll) and when you’re ready to edit one, just tap on its thumbnail. From there, you’ll be taken to a grid view that shows a preview of your selected photo with each of the eight available filters applied. Tapping on one will show you a larger view. Large buttons below this grid let you save the edited picture to your iPhone’s Camera Roll, email it, or send it to another app, like Instagram, Process, or any other photo or other type of app you have that will import images. And sharing to Facebook and Twitter is easy with the larger, appropriately colored and icon-ed buttons at the very bottom.

If you change your mind about sharing that picture, all you need to do is drag down on the grid view which will reveal the pinwheel-shaped iris shutter in Analog Camera’s icon. As you drag down, the iris fills with color to the accompaniment of some cute, xylophone-like notes and you’ll be brought back to the viewfinder once the iris is filled.

To appreciate Analog Camera, it helps to take a step back and think about how you normally take pictures that you plan to share through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever your preferred medium is, and edit them. For me, it usually takes several shots first to get just the right picture. When I finally get the perfect shot, I want to edit it and then share it as quickly as possible through Instagram and Twitter. With Instagram, this can take several taps since you’re taken to a new screen to begin the editing process after every picture you capture. With the built-in Camera app I can take multiple pictures in a row but there are no filters so it takes a trip to Instagram, where I have to find that perfect shot in my Camera Roll and then edit it. Here again, multiple taps are in order.

With its streamlined approach to taking pictures (or finding ones you’ve already taken) and then editing and sharing them, Analog Camera gets everything right – it beats Instagram and other camera apps in requiring very few steps to get your pictures out in front of the public or to friends and family. If you’re looking for an all-around camera app with strong editing capabilities, Analog Camera is not for you, though. It automatically crops all photos to squares so you don’t need to mess around with that once you get to Instagram and it offers a limited number of filters to keep everything simple. There is no red-eye fix, blurring to mimic a shallow depth of field, or other fancy editing effects. If you want to take panoramic photos, capture in landscape orientation, or even use the iPhone’s front-facing camera, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But if quick and easy sharing is your goal, Analog Camera is the way to go.

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Share Your Photos with ‘Hipstamatic Oggl’

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Tired of Instagram? Or just want a cool new app and community with which to share your photographic masterpieces? If so, Hipstamatic is looking to satisfy your needs with Oggl, an app that debuted earlier this month and eliminated the need for an invitation to join the community in an update late last week.

Hipstamatic’s camera app arrived in the App Store in 2011 and it’s a regular in the Top 200 Paid Photography apps for the iPhone. Hipstamatic offers several lenses and films via in-app purchase and its draw is the ability to combine these to create unique photos. The new Oggl also offers lenses and films though to access all of them, you need to become a member which costs $2.99 for three months or $9.99 for one year, paid via in-app purchase.

Hipstamatic is calling Oggl a “community for creative people to capture and curate their lives through photography” and it’s clearly trying to differentiate from Instagram with examples like this in the App Store description:

  • Oggl isn’t a fuzzy snap of cooking solo on Tuesday—it’s dinner at French Laundry
  • Oggl isn’t screenshots of your favorite album cover—it’s when you hung backstage with the band
  • Oggl isn’t ducklips or bathroom selfies—it’s living like you mean it, your best creative work, and amazing life moments

What do you think? You ready for a more hip and artistic photo sharing community? To be honest, I’m not sure I am but I’ll still give Oggl a shot with at least the lenses and films available for free – my user name there is Marianne if you want to check out my poor attempts at fitting into this more creative, sophisticated audience. If I fail miserably, I’ll still be on Instagram.

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Realmac Software Teases ‘Analog Camera’ for iPhone

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Realmac Software, who worked with Impending and Helftone to create Clear for iPhone and Mac, today teased an upcoming iPhone camera app. Analog Camera will feature a straightforward gesture-driven interface, several filters and camera modes, and easily-accessible sharing options. It’s slated to hit the App Store later this month and will cost $.99.

For Analog Camera, we’ve really focused on the core features that were important to us – stunning filters, incredibly fast and easy to use, and most importantly, FUN! With a beautiful fluid interface, and all your favourite services ready to share a photo to, Analog Camera is all about making photography fun again – and coming soon to your iPhone!

Here’s a brief teaser video for Analog Camera:

Realmac Software’s Analog for Mac focuses on basic photo editing with filters and borders. Analog for iPhone looks to be a cleanly designed portable version for the iPhone, a device that is one of the most popular cameras according to Flickr based on uploads to the online photo storage service.

Though there’s no shortage of iPhone camera apps, I’m looking forward to the release of Analog Camera. I’m a big fan of Clear (see my reviews of the iPhone and Mac versions) and have confidence that Analog Camera will be good. If you’re not already familiar with Realmac Software, check out Analog for Mac as well as Clear.

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‘Lost Photos’ Extracts Pictures from Your Email Inbox

Monday, May 13th, 2013

I have tons of photos that were emailed me to me over the years from friends and family and I’ve never done anything constructive with them. Yes, I looked at them when they were first sent to me and ooohed and aaahed accordingly but I inevitably forgot about them and they’ve remained in the picture purgatory that is my email inbox. Going through the thousands of emails in my personal inbox to find them would take forever and it’s not even on any of my ever-expanding to do lists. Thankfully, Space Inch has an easy solution with Lost Photos for Mac, a utility that will hunt down all the pictures in your email accounts and extract them for your viewing and organizing pleasure.

Lost Photos logs into your email account (it works with the major email services like Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, and others and Space Inch promises your log-in information is not saved anywhere and is transmitted securely) and combs through your emails one by one to pull out pictures. The pictures found are shown in a slider view within Lost Photos and you can choose to post any on Facebook, Twitter, or send them via email. Once the search is complete, which took about 20 minutes for the 3,000+ emails in my iCloud account inbox, you can also elect to import all of the photos into iPhoto. If you’d rather not do that, all of these extracted pictures are placed in a new folder in your Photos folder so you can browse through them in one place at your leisure.

Lost Photos is free to download and will extract the first 100 photos for free. To get unlimited photo extraction functionality, you’ll need to pay $2.99 via in-app purchase.

Looking through the extracted pictures found by Lost Photos was like taking a short trip down memory lane. I found pictures that I’d completely forgotten about from past trips and events that I really should have made an effort to save when I first received them and it was really nice to get them all in one place.

Lost Photos was a bit too thorough in at least one respect, though. It pulls every single image from your emails, including those in email signatures. These email signature images, which are usually company logos, are pretty much useless to me and I wish there was a setting to ignore them (there is a setting to skip pictures smaller than 8 KB but some still sneak through). At any rate, if you can deal with the chaff that comes with the wheat, it’s still worth getting all of those long lost pictures that have accumulated in your inbox in one place.

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‘Amazon Cloud Drive Photos’ for iPhone Debuts

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Amazon has released a new app to allow users of its online cloud storage service to automatically upload and store photos from an iPhone and access photos saved to the service from other devices. Amazon Cloud Drive Photos hit the App Store today and is free to download.

Amazon offers 5GB of storage at no charge – all you’ll need is an Amazon account to take advantage of this freebie. Of course, you can purchase more storage if you’d like, upping to 20GB of storage for $10.00 per year or 50GB for $25.00 year all the way up to 1000GB for $500 per year. Amazon Cloud Drive Photos will use whatever storage level you’ve selected to save pictures from your iPhone. You can also save documents, videos, music, and other items to Amazon Cloud Drive through your computer.

When you first open Amazon Cloud Drive Photos, you’ll be asked to grant the app access to your iPhone’s photos. By default, the app will upload and save pictures from your iPhone’s Camera Roll whenever you open the app. You can even select to allow uploads only when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network in case you’re not on an unlimited data plan.

If you’re one of the 10 bazillion people with an Amazon account, taking advantage of the free 5GB storage offered should be a no-brainer, especially if you want an easy way to back up the precious photos taken with your iPhone. I’ve found Apple’s Photo Stream service to be less reliable than I’d like and I appreciate that Amazon offers a ridiculously easy way to back up the multitude of pictures captured with my iPhone.

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Control ‘Final Cut Pro’ on Your Mac with ‘ProCutX’ for iPad

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Pixel Film Studios and LightWORKS Solutions have released ProCutX for iPad, an app that lets you control Final Cut Pro X on your Mac. ProCutX connects to your Mac via Wi-Fi and offers direct access to Final Cut Pro’s editing tools to adjust color, timing, audio, and more.

Built from the ground up to meet the needs of today’s creative editors, PROCUTX breaks free from the menus and tabs to streamline editor tasks. This application gives users control over all the FCPX editing tools in one clean interface, eliminating the need for clicking and searching through the Final Cut Pro X menus. From import to export, PROCUTX can control every step of the FCPX editing process.

Freelance videographer and photographer Paul Bunyard recorded this video of ProCutX in action earlier today:

Apple released Final Cut Pro X in June 2011 to a mixed reception over the lack of key features that were present in previous versions. Apple has since updated Final Cut Pro X several times, adding many of the features missing at its launch.

ProCutX debuted in the App Store yesterday and costs $24.99. It’s compatible with the iPad only and requires iOS 5.1 or higher.

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‘Cycloramic’ Spins Your iPhone 5 to Capture Panoramic Video

Friday, January 4th, 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to take a panoramic video of you and your friends without asking a stranger to hold your iPhone for you and turn around in a circle, there’s a new app you’ll want to check out. Cycloramic by Egos Ventures debuted in the App Store just before Christmas and cleverly uses your iPhone 5’s vibration motor to rotate it to capture a panoramic video.

Here’s a video showing Cycloramic in action:

If you’re like me, you may be wondering if that video is legit and whether or not Cycloramic really works as advertised. I purchased the app and tried it out on my kitchen counter and it really does work. You can see a sample video, made by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, of what it captures here on Facebook.

Right now, Cycloramic only captures video without sound though Egos Ventures has told us that an update is coming that will add the ability to capture panoramic photos as well.

Note that Cycloramic’s auto rotation feature only works with the iPhone 5 so if you have an older iPhone model, you’re out of luck. Also, it needs to be used on a smooth, flat surface and your iPhone 5 will need to be case-less for it to work as shown in the video. There are a few other caveats, so be sure to read Cycloramic’s full description before you buy it. Cycloramic’s novelty alone is worth $.99.

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Notable New Apps and Updates: Capture for YouTube, Letterpress, Navigon, StreetPilot

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Apple will be closing down the App Store for the holidays soon and app developers are clearly working hard to push out updates and new apps before then. In particular, Google hasn’t been resting on its laurels following the release of Google Maps last week (which was downloaded over 10 million times in its first two days in the App Store, in case you were wondering how popular it is) and has released Capture, an app for YouTube that lets you easily record, edit, and upload and share your videos. Capture hit the App Store yesterday and is free to download.

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Letterpress, the word game released by Tweetie developer Loren Brichter that debuted in the App Store in October, has received a major update that adds a neat new feature: the ability to share replays of your finished games on the web. You can seen an example here.

I always get a kick out of developers who get creative with the description of what’s changed in an update and Brichter managed to make me laugh out loud with his for version 1.2:

  • Share Replays! Now you can tweet, post, email or just hoard links to your games and show off yer skillz! (Requires iOS 6)
  • CHRISTMAS is a proper noun. It’s not allowed. Bah humbug.
  • Loads of little tweaks.
  • Improved dictionary.
  • Handle orientation changes on iPad better.
  • Clarified the “prefix” rule in the How To Play. Apparently the word “prefix” means something different to programmers and grammar geeks! The rule is actually really simple; it has nothing to do with roots, stems, definitions, moon cycles, or Latin derivations. It boils down to: no words found at the beginning of a previously played word. Easy.
  • People read these. Neat. If I were smart I’d monetize all over your eyeballs.

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Garmin’s Navigon and StreetPilot navigation apps received an update today that adds iCloud synchronization to keep your favorites in sync across multiple devices and Foursquare and Glympse integration. Glympse is a location sharing service through which you can share your current location with anyone via email or text message for a period of time you specify. There’s a free Glympse app in the App Store if you want to check it out separately.

The Navigon and StreetPilot apps are also on sale now for 25% off their regular prices through January 7. Garmin has dropped prices lower than this in the past though usually only around Black Friday after Thanksgiving. If you really want to save a few more bucks you’ll probably need to wait until next November. Otherwise, go ahead and get them now before the prices go back up on January 7.

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For a list of all of Garmin’s StreetPilot apps, click here. For a list of all of Garmin’s Navigon apps, click here.