Best camera apps for iPhone: How to take the best photos possible!

Need more than the built-in camera on your iPhone? Try these great App Store alternatives!

Looking for the best iPhone apps for taking photos on your iPhone? While some people appreciate that the iPhone's Camera app for its simplicity and ease of use, others want as many manual, fine-grained controls as possible. Whether you want to adjust your white balance and shutter speed all on your own, or you just want an all-in-one camera and photo editing app, you've come to the right place. There are lots of camera replacement apps available in the App Store, but which ones are the absolute best?


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Best camera apps for iPhone: Manual

When iOS 8 came out with support for camera extensions, I immediately fell in love with Manual. Before even taking a photo you can adjust things like shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation. That means you have a live preview of the perfect image before even snapping the photo. Best of all, Manual is dead simple to use which makes it a great go to camera when you need to snap something quickly.

For control that doesn't sacrifice speed, Manual doesn't disappoint.


Best camera apps for iPhone: VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam can let you snap, edit, and share your photos all in one place. You can even import your existing photos and access all your pictures in one place. If you've ever experienced a time when you want to focus on something but it's just too dark so you have to tap somewhere else, this is exactly the kind of problem VSCO Cam solves. No longer do you have to settle for darker but in focus photos or over-exposed and out of focus photos. VSCO Cam's filter and editing options are also some of the best you'll find.

If you're looking for an easy to use camera app that still manages to offer decent control, you want VSCO Cam.


Best camera apps for iPhone: Camera+

Camera+ has a killer camera that not only helps you stabilize images, but has one tap controls for locking things like white balance, exposure, and focus. You can also adjust the exposure compensation for difficult to shoot environments where a focus point is in a darker area. You can also see what ISO and shutter speed you're using at all times. Camera+ really shines when it comes to post-editing tools including highlights, shadows, contrast, and much more. It also supports extensions in the iOS 8 Photos app too for all your edits in one place.

For a camera app that's simple to use but yet as advanced as you'd like it to be, check out Camera+.

ProCamera 8

Best camera apps for iPhone: ProCamera 8

ProCamera 8 is a beautiful camera replacement app that not only contains awesome post editing tools, but lets you adjust many settings and view live previews before you even shoot an image. The vividHDR feature does amazing things with HDR photography that's in a class of its own. I'm also a fan of the Night Mode Pro Camera 8 offers and have found it to be better than most other camera alternatives.

If you take a lot of HDR or night shots, ProCamera 8 should be your camera app of choice.

ProCam 2

Best camera apps for iPhone: ProCam 2

ProCam 2 has a ridiculous feature that includes manual camera controls for iOS 8 devices, full focus and exposure controls, tons of live lenses and filters, TIFF support, and much more. Not only that, ProCam 2 manages to cram all these features into an interface that doesn't crowd the view finder the way other camera apps seem to. And for those that want an all in one editor, ProCam 2 succeeds there too with tons of non-destructive editing options.

For some of the best live camera controls, filters, and lens options available, look no further than ProCam 2.

See also:

Camera Plus

Best camera apps for iPhone: Camera Plus

Camera Plus offers three different distinct focus modes which include macro, normal, and far which results in sharper photos in the areas intended to be sharp. There are lots of manual controls to play with but hands down, my favorite feature of Camera Plus is AirSnap, which allows you to use a secondary iOS device as a controller so you can capture images remotely. It may not have as advanced controls as apps such as ProCamera 8, but unique features like AirSnap and focus shift videos will more than make up for it with some folks. And for $1 more you can add a privacy lock to your photos if you'd like.

If you want unique features such as AirSnap, focus shift videos, Camera Plus can add all the versatility you could possibly desire.

Your favorite replacement camera apps for iPhone?

Everyone has different habits when it comes to iPhone photography. Some of us have photos of our children dominating our Photos app while others have skylines and tons of nature photos. All of them are different in their own ways. So if you've found a great alternative camera app that meets your needs, be sure to let me know in the comments what it is and why you like it!

Note: Originally published, May 2014. Updated, November 2014.

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.