Analog Camera review: Realmac filters the fun back into iPhone photography

Analog Camera is a new iPhone photography app by Realmac Software, the makers of Clear, that makes it incredibly fast -- and fun -- to take, process, and share photos. It includes the ability to separate focus and exposure, 8 filters, and an incredible design.

What I love about Analog Camera is how amazingly simple it is. After you take a photo or choose one from your Camera Roll or Photo Stream, previews of the 8 different available filters are displayed in a 3x3 grid (with original in the center), and 5 buttons below: save to Camera Roll, Email, Open In, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tapping a preview thumbnail will pop it open larger (almost full screen) and holding your finger down on one will make it medium sized with the ability to drag around the thumbnails to see them enlarge as you pass them by. A big swipe down will bring you back to your stored photos and camera. Every gesture you do emits a subtle sound that makes the animations even more fun.

When taking a photo with Analog Camera, you can choose between three different shooting modes. A two-finger tap opens separate focus and exposure controls, a single-tap for combined focus and exposure, and a double-tap brings you back to full auto.

The good

  • Three camera modes to set up the perfect shot, including Manual Focus & Exposure
  • 8 filters
  • Black and white filter is really good
  • Beautifully minimalist, no-fuss no-clutter design
  • Horizon line to help you take level photos
  • Share with Twitter, Facebook, Mail or "Open In" another photo app
  • Access photos from your Camera Roll and Photo Stream

The bad

  • Square crop only
  • Wish I could swipe through big previews of the filters. My hand naturally tries to.
  • Can't access photo albums, only Photo Stream and Camera Roll

The bottom line

I am loving the simplicity, elegant design, and speed of Analog Camera. The filters are great, especially black and white, separating exposure and focus in shooting mode is fantastic, and sharing photos is incredibly fast. My biggest complaint is that if you take a photo with Analog Camera, it is automatically cropped as a square. It's bad enough to only be able to apply a filter to a square photo, but to also force photos to be taken as a square is maddening. I will use Analog Camera to apply filters, but I will not be using it to take photos; I'm not willing to delete pixels before they were even created.

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Analog Camera review: Realmac filters the fun back into iPhone photography

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I also noticed that it strips some of the EXIF data, like camera type and geolocation (I noticed when I uploaded a photo to Flickr). I won't use an app that does this, and have made a folder called "Strips EXIF Data" to keep track of the offenders. It's infuriating.

Also: Leanna, I wish you would update your title to this post to something that conveys the negatives in your "bottom line". I totally agree, and wish the post didn't come off so positive in the title.