Instragram. Hipstamatic. Camera+. With literally hundreds of “Photo & Video” apps in the iTunes App Store, each with dozens of filters and effects, it can be a daunting task to choose just one.
To help you decide, MacPhun LLC has brought nearly 200 filters and effects together in FX Photo Studio, a Photo app for iOS and Mac. We reviewed the Mac and iPad versions earlier this year. So how does the newly-updated iPhone version hold up? Click through to find out.
FX Photo Studio
Opening the FX Photo Studio presents the user with a number of options, such as importing photos from other sources, taking a photo right in-app, or jumping right in and editing photos from the Camera Roll.
Unfortunately, if you’ve already got FX Photo Studio for iPad, you’ll have to buy it again for iPhone: they are two separate apps at different price points.
Effects, filters and more
MacPhun claims to have included 194 effects and filters in FX Photo Studio. As far as straight filter effects go, FX Photo Studio includes 189, plus the ability to add from 9 different text label effects, and, of course, color splash, for, indeed, a total of over 200 effects, filters and modifications possible.
Three folders of effects – Color Lenses, Color Strokes and Hollywood FX – are unlocked by default, purchasable for $0.99 each.
Of course, not all 200 filters are winners: a number of filters simply overlay MySpace-esque fairies, bubbles, sparkles, etc. to your photo. That wouldn’t be too bad if you could edit or move these overlays: instead, you can only essentially choose opacity of them, limiting their usefulness.
Also included is the ability to adjust brightness, hue, saturation, etc., and crop and rotate photos. Many the basic photo editing needs are fulfilled by FX Photo Studio.
One really cool feature is the ability to “paint” with any filter in the app. You can vignette, sepia, blur, or otherwise filter small parts of your photo, made pretty easy with the touchscreen. Color Splash also utilizes the Paint feature.
Opening FX Photo Studio, users are greeted with a few options: import a photo from the Camera Roll, Facebook or Documents, or take photo in-app. To import from the Camera Roll and from Facebook are pretty self-explanatory: use a photo already on your iPhone, or yank one off Facebook for enhancement.
The My Documents function is a very handy and unique feature which I’ve not seen reproduced in any other iPhone Photo app: the app utilizes iTunes’ “File Sharing” feature (found under iTunes> (name’s) iPhone>App) to share files between your iPhone and your PC.
As for the in-app camera: there’s the basics, like front- and rear-facing usage, zoom, and auto/focus. However, there are two things lacking. First is the iPhone 4S’ beloved “Volume Shutter” feature, allowing pictures to be taken with the volume up button, a staple in competing apps like Camera+. Second is live filters: you won’t be able to see how a filtered photo will look.
FX Photo Studio also shines in its capacity to share photos. You worked hard to take your picture and edit it to look the best that it can: why not share it with the world.
Included are the ability to save the photo to your Camera Roll, My Documents, and Clipboard, along with upload to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.
The iTunes listing for FX Photo Studio touts its “Instagram integration.” This “integration” means a button to open an edited photo in Instagram and apply the filters. To get back from Instagram to FX Photo Studio requires a save and re-open. This is not so much true integration as it is exporting.
FX Photo Studio is a good app for those looking for a large number of filters, plus social network sharing, a “color splash” tool, and basic photo editor all in one. Although not all filters will be totally useful, I’m impressed by the number of possible effects stuffed into one app.
Pick up FX Photo Studio for iPhone for a special Holiday season price – just $0.99 – from the App Store here.