IPhone Travel Snapper Apps Part 3: Filters and Effects

by Paul Sullivan Apr 27, 2010
Filter & Effects iPhone Apps
In the third installment of our iPhone Travel Snapper Apps series, Contributing Editor and Photographer Paul Sullivan takes a look at photo filter and effect apps.

AS WELL AS USING editing tools, applying filters and effects to your photos can enhance them, or at least make them more fun to share and play with.


One of the leading programs in this respect is CameraBag (v1.6) . With a tap of the finger you can immediately transform your photo into one of ten different camera styles, including Helga, Magazine, 1974, Lolo, Cinema, Mono and Fisheye.

You can even skip through each ‘look’ by swiping the screen, saving as many different versions as you like. There are other features too like Enlarge and Crop and this latest version has the new Colorcross (i.e. cross-processed) filter. Rumor has it that full resolution soon come…

Price: $0.99

FX Photo Studio
Filter & Effects iPhone Apps

FX Photo Studio has a veritable embarrassment of riches in terms of effects.

Over 100 of them in fact, placed in “imaginative” categories like Image Correction (Contrast, Brightness, Saturation etc.), Color Fantasy (Invert Image, Reduce Colors, Grayscale, Rainbows), Texturize (Leather Canvas, Crumpled Paper, Rusted Metal), Overlay (Water Circles, Sparkles, Frost, Fire)…and others like Art, Vintage, Hue, Glow and Symmetry (sic).

This program seems to lie more at the novelty end of the filter market, a theory underlined by the Fun Facts that pop up as you wait for the effect to be applied.

But while it’s true that a lot of the filters here will transform your photo into a garish nightmare, there are a few subtler, more useful effects too. You just need some patience to wade through and discover the best ones.

Also, the main screen offers simple edit options like Crop, Rotate and Brightness (Gamma) adjustments.

Price: $1.99

Mill Colour
Filter & Effects iPhone Apps

Mill Colour is a superb free app that lets you select from two categories: Looks – 10 pre-defined filters like Golden, Print, Cross-processed, Chocolate, Noir and Milky – and Colour Controls, which lets you tweak Saturation, Gamma, Gain and Lift (Brightness) via a simple slider. It’s also possible to set the output size, making this a very handy, simple to use app.

Price: Free

Filter & Effects iPhone Apps

If you want to convert to Black & White, MonoPhix 2.0 is a pretty cool tool, allowing you to transform images into B&W, Sepia and Antique. Simply choose one of the three effects and use a slider interface (with built in thumb preview) to increase or decrease the dark and light tones in the picture.

This gives more control than a simple one-click convert button and allows you to control the punchiness (or flatness) of an image.

Price: $0.99

Tiltshift Generator
Filter & Effects iPhone Apps

Finally, one of the more fun apps out there is the Tiltshift Generator which, for under a dollar, lets you play around with this fascinating mode of photography, where people and objects are transformed into toy-like miniatures.

Normal Tilt Shift lenses tend to cost a fortune so this app is great value, allowing you to experiment endlessly with scenes (shoot from above or far away for maximum effect), as well as adjust aspects like Vignetting, Blur (Circle or Strip) and Color (Saturation, Brightness and Contrast).

Price: $0.99

Other Articles in Series

iPhone Travel Snapper Apps Part 1: Replacement Cameras
iPhone Travel Snapper Apps Part 2: Image Editing

Disclaimer – All apps above have been reviewed on the new iPhone 3GS. Please double-check compatibility of your phone if you have an older model.

Do you know of other iPhone Apps that provide image editing? Please share in the comments below.

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