Easily browse all the iPhone compatible apps that we have reviewed here.


Hypstimatic Adds Toy Camera to iPhone


I love the look and feel of analog “plastic” cameras. The unpredictability and quirkiness have always drawn me in and allowed for really fun photographs. When I saw the Hipstamatic App for the iPhone/iPod Touch I was really intrigued. With “swappable” lenses, film, and flashes I can have that fun plastic camera, analog feel that I always loved, on my iPhone.

That analog feel

Analog is what this App is all about. Back when I started in photography I would use plastic cameras that would leak light, had unpredictable exposures, and generally surprised you every time you developed a roll of film. Now with Hipstamatic I can have that same unpredictability, and fun with my iPhone.

Hipstamatic comes preloaded with multiple lens, film, and flash combinations, and offers many more of each via in App purchases. I have bought extra lenses, as well as the BlacKeys B+W film to try out. I really enjoy the monotone grainy feel of this film and recommend it to anyone. If you’re looking for a really cool color film, I prefer the Kodot ZGrizzled. It makes some really funky colors along with a really cool torn looking border.


There really aren’t a whole lot of settings to adjust inside of the App. You can change your lenses, your flash type, and film type like previously noted. You can also choose the image quality from standard, medium, and fine. Beyond that, there isn’t much else to change. The object of this App is fun. You never know exactly what you’re going to get out of it, and that’s why I love it so much.


From what I’ve found, this App works best without flash. It seems like any time I use the flash (no matter which virtual flash I have chosen) the center of the image becomes washed out and has a weird flare. This effect may work great for you, but personally I prefer the natural light look best.


This is an App for anyone that loves the analog look. With the multiple choices of lenses, film, and flashes the image combinations are seemingly endless. Even if you don’t have a specific love with analog, this App is just fun to use.

You can get Hipstamatic for $1.99 here from the  iTunes


Shoot Wirelessly to Your iPad/iPhone with Shuttersnitch

All my iPad toting photographer buddies have been looking for a solution to allow them to shoot wirelessly from their camera/DSLR to their iPads. The obvious benefit is seeing your photography instantly on the nice large iPad display. Also with the iPad you have several image editing apps to choose from as well as image sharing options. Yep, the iPad is great tool for photographers, but it’s not a great camera. If you already have a great camera, this App let’s you tie them together!


Wirelessly transmit images to your iOS Device

Shuttersnitch is not really tied to any one solution or camera manufacturer. It has built-in support for FTP (which many of the wireless solutions use). It also has built-in support for Eye-Fi WiFi SD memory cards. In order for this solution to work your iPad has to be on a WiFi network. Typically you would want your wireless transmitting device to be on the same network. The iPad doesn’t have the ability to create an AdHoc network, so that means that you either have to have access to a WiFi hotspot or your transmitting device has to be able to create an Adhoc network. Currently Eye-Fi cards don’t do that yet. You could probably use your iPhone’s (or other phone’s) mobile hotspot feature too!


Working with an EyeFi Card

I did a review of this solution today. Check it out here for all the details.

Here’s a video on it working in real-time:


You can get an Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB card here on sale.


What can you do once you get the images into the App

The App is nicely done allowing you to create collections to organze your images in either before or after you shoot. You can import RAW files too (provided they have a compatible JPG preview). Once you have images in the App you can then zoom/pan them as well as email them out directly from the App. You can also save them to the camera roll for later downloading and access by all your other Apps. The App displays important EXIF info like ISO, shutter speed, aperture and camera file name. You can Crop as well as tag images with Star ratings (great for client review while you’re shooting).  There are other nice touches like the ability to change the thumbnail size and to run a slideshow. Clearly this App was designed with photographers in mind.


What’s wrong with it?

Actually nothing is wrong. The App works as advertised. The only problem I had was finding clear instructions on how to setup my Eye-Fi card to work with it. While the App displays an info box telling one thing to turn off in the Eye-Fi setup, it doesn’t provide you with the steps you need to actually setup the card. After some digging on the forums of the developer site I found an FAQ walkthrough that answered my questions. The developer needs to take a few minutes and turn that FAQ into a real set of instructions with screen shots of what to set and how in the Eye-Fi control panel. Lastly, Wi-Fi is GREAT! However, I wondering if there would be a use for bluetooth transfers. The problem would likely be on the end of the device transmitting the images, but it would be nice to see something more direct as opposed to having to use a mobile hotspot or WiFi network. Not a ding of the App, just more wishful thinking.

The App is not cheap, but if you need to do this then it’s a bargain!

You can get Shuttersnitch here from the iTunes.


Pocket Light Meter

One of my Twitter followers asked me had I tried this App? While my first thought was "this thing will never be accurate enough", I decided to give it a shot in a real world scenario. Last week I had the pleasure of teaching a lighting class down in Texas. The lighting I was using in my class was the NEW Westcott Spiderlite TD6's. Since Spiderlites are a continuous light source it was the perfect opportunity to try out this App. Before I even remembered that I had the App on my iPhone someone in my class asked me if I ever used a light meter? Of course the answer was yes. I have a very nice Sekonic light meter, but I rarely use it in my studio. One reason is that I shoot tethered and I can see where to make adjustments after the first shot. Secondly I usually know where to start with my settings in my own environment. However, this time I was in a new setting. I had already taken some shots and got the results I wanted, but I decided to fire up the Pocket Light Meter app and see if it woud give me the same readings/settings.

It was really close

The shot above taken before metering was at 1/80, f/5, ISO 400. Had I not locked in the shutter speed in the App it would have been right on the money.

I was impressed with how well this worked. It was more accurate than I thought it would be. It takes a few moments for it to lock in, but in a pinch it should get you in the ballpark. If the App is consistently off in your environment there is an exposure compensation slider that lets you better calibrate the App for your setting. Just tap the i to ge to the controls.


The Bottom Line

This App doesn't replace a dedicated light meter! What it does do is give me a light meter that I will always have with me since I always have my iPhone with me. It has no way of working with or triggering a flash. If you're doing flash photography this won't be of much help. For the price (Free with Ads), you have no reason not to try it. I wish it would lock on a little faster, but part of that is limited by the camera on the device as well. While there is a Hold button on screen so that you can raise your device up to grab the reading and then hold it so that you can lock it in and see it as you bring your hand back down I'd like to see that button be larger or better let it be the whole screen. In other words hold down anywhere on the screen to capture the reading. I'd also like to hear a beep once the reading has been captured so that I know I can bring my hand down. 

You can get a larger display and remove the ads with a $0.99 In App Purchase.

You can get Pocket Light Meter for Free here from the iTunes


Simplenote Makes Note-Taking Simple Indeed!


Finding a good system for notes has been very hard for me in that most systems have been too obtrusive, requiring me to go through a process of organizing and sorting, each time I just wanted to jot down a simple reminder note.

This one requirement has ruled out solutions like Evernote, who have a superb note system in place but just take too long for me to work with. Enter Simplenote, a much quicker option.
Simplenote is a text based solution, with no RTF in it by default, it is just plain text. For many, this might be a downside, but I find it to be just what you need most of the time. If you, however, require the features to be able to style your text using a simple editor as well as insert images, Simplenote is not going to be for you.

What Simplenote does best however, is give you the clean way for creating notes. The app is available for free both on the iPhone, iPodTouch and iPad and works in a very simple way. Just launch it and tap the plus sign to begin editing a note. Even though the app and service has support for basic tagging, I find it much easier to implement this as part of the file name. For example, instead of adding a tag, I just prefix my note with say: “bas:review”. When I start searching, I can filter down as far as I want, first to bas, which will show me all notes containing that keyword, then if I want the sub-group. Finally, I get the title of the note. Simple!

Simplenote - Codality



Bento for iPhone/iPad gets Better

Bento is my favorite personal information manager for iOS. This new update works with the newly released Bento 4 for Mac OS. In addition to working with the new desktop version you now get:

  • The ability to record and store Voice Memos in the media fields
  • Location field support (tag records with your current location automatically)
  • iOS 4 multi-tasking support and printing PDFs stored in media fields
  • Address Book and iCal Tasks library synchronization can now be turned off in device settings
  • Additional language localizations.

Of these new features the one that I'm most looking forward to is the Voice Memo feature. I plan to use Beno for iPad to do my Trip Reports and with voice memos I'll now be able to not only enter the details about the trip/conference but also record sound bytes from customers to provide feedback to the product teams at corporate.

You can get Bento for iPad for $4.99 here from the iTunes

You can get Bento for iPhone/iPod touch for $4.99 here from the iTunes

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