The 3 Best Manual Camera Apps for iPhone

iPhone’s have one of the best cameras when it comes to smartphones. Their 8 MP sensor is enough to compete with 18 and 21 MP cameras from other (read: Android) manufacturers. The Sony’s hardware along with the post processing from iOS gives the camera an extra edge over the others. However, that’s only limited to point and shoot with the stock iOS camera.

Manual Camera
Get manual controls on iPhone camera | Shutterstock

You only got an HDR button along with 8 filters you can choose from. But apart from that, there’s no advanced options to choose from. While the auto photos still do great, people who have insight about ISO, shutter speed and exposure value might be able to make them even better if given a chance.

With iOS 8, Apple introduced manual control for camera app that uses the Apple Camera API.  So that means, developers can cook code that can use the iOS camera to the fullest and allow the user to control the values manually. While these options are not available by in the stock camera app, here are three best 3rd party apps that can bring the features to you.

1. Manual Camera

The Manual – Custom exposure camera is priced at US$ 1.99 on the App Store. At this price, you get full control of Shutter Speed, ISO, White Balance, Focus and Exposure while shooting a photo. All the options are right on the screen and you can slide between the values to change them while shooting.

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All changes will be visible in real-time, however, there might be a fraction of a second’s delay depending upon the iPhone model you are using. The option to control the focus is pretty neat. The app also zooms in while you focus on an object for clarity.

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If you find yourself lost with all the settings, you can tap on the A button at the bottom-right edge to enable the Auto mode and bring the settings back to default. Not much in settings, but a decent app to start manual photography on iPhones.

2. ProCam

If you are looking for a camera with eve advanced features and more control, you can purchase ProCam for $3.99. For just a dollar more to pay when compared to Manual Camera you get a lot of features. Apart from all the usual settings and white balance, you get HDR and the option to save photos in lossless format.

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Once you tap on set, you get an option to give stamps to photos with date and even your watermark. For the small screen, all the options right on the screen might look too cluttered, but then it saved time if you are really looking for professional photography on your iPhone.

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3. VSCO Camera

If you are a beginner and looking for a free alternative where you can kick-start manual photography on your iPhone, you can try out VSCO. It’s probably the best free camera app for iPhone with manual controls. The app is pretty simple at first glance and you will have to enable the Advanced Mode (ADV) to get manual controls.

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The good part is that you can control any aspect of your photography, but you might waste time selecting between them one-by-one. But the app is free and, therefore, I guess you will have to live with it until an update changes that.

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So these were the best camera apps for iPhone with manual controls. If you ask me, I’d go for Manual Camera. It gives the perfect balance of price and features. If you would like to make a suggestion, do join us in our forum.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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