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They say best camera is the one you have with you. For many of us that is the iPhone camera. And the truth is, the iPhone camera (4s) has better capabilities then many pocket cameras. I recently wrote about how you can use the iPhone camera to take great landscape pictures. Today we take a look at some of the apps available that can increase your iPhone Camera capabilities or just let you have more fun.

With over 10,000 apps listed in the Photo & Video section of the app store it can be daunting to know where to start. So, I thought I would share a few of the photo apps that I use.

Pano – ($1.99) this is the simplest way to create panoramic photos. You take pictures from left to right in either portrait or landscape mode. The app will leave a faint impression from the edge of your photo. You then match this up with your scene and take a second photo. Tap the “Make My Pano” button when you are done. The app will stitch your photos together and store it with the rest of your photos. I’ve used stitching programs for a long time and when it comes to my iPhone camera this is my all time favorite. It couldn’t be easier to use.

Mt Rainier taken with Pano app. Click for full size.


Photo Burst – ($0.99) The virtual Motor Drive. Back in the day of film camera there were what were called motor drives. These were expensive units that mounted to the bottom of your camera and allowed the camera to quickly wind the film to the next picture. Think of a semi-automatic rifle. Every time you pressed the shutter you got another photo. The whirring sound you hear with some cameras after you take a picture mimic the sound of the original motor drives. This can be great for capturing moving action. There are apps that will let you do this. I haven’t tried them all but I do like Photo Burst. It is simple to use and takes pretty decent photos. Up to ten per second.

360 Panorama ($0.99) – For 360 degree photos – This app is nothing short of magical. It allows you to take a 360 degree photo from where you stand. You can then, if you chose, upload the picture to your Facebook account and your friends and family can view without any special software. Here is an example. The app is foolproof. Just aim it around you and it will capture the pictures as you move the camera.

I can’t embed an example, but if you click here, you can view my example in a new window.  Hold down your left mouse button and move left/right to see the 360 effect. This example was shared from my phone.

iCaptions ($0.99) – When you want to have some fun you can use iCaption. It allows you to easily create, right on your phone, the bubble captions like you see in comics.


  8mm ($1.99) – OK, this isn’t technically a photo app.  But it does use the camera to take really cool videos. This app puts an old school 8mm film camera in your hands.  Retro seems to be all the rage and nothing says 1960’s like an 8mm film.  Here is an example I shot during lunch.

Instagram – (Free) I still have mixed feelings on this one. It does make it extreamly easy to share photos with friends using all the old camera effects. On the other hand it is just one more social app to check in with. If you like sharing photos on Twitter or Facebook then give this a try.

So much fun, for so little money! I’m sure there are other great photo and movie apps out there. If you have a favorite photo app share it with us using the comments box below. I’m always looking for a good app to add to my collection.