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There are 1000s of photography apps in the AppStore - some completely ridiculous and some very useful. These are the 13 photography apps that I think are most useful for iPhone photographers. Most of the photos on this site have been edited with one or more of the apps below. At the time of writing, the total cost for all these apps is £8.32- bargain! For reviews of new app discoveries, head to my blog.

(£1.19 for the app which includes 3 lenses and 3 films. Extra packs with lenses, films, flashes and cases can be bought for 59p each)

Hipstamatic is one of the best known iPhone photography apps and for good reason. You can get an impressive range of lenses, films and flashes to enable you to capture some really creative photos. The downside is that the effects are applied at the point of capture, so if you decide that you'd prefer a different look to your photo then you need to re-shoot.

You swipe to select your lens and use the buttons at the bottom to choose film, flash, case and buy extra packs.

You can easily choose what film you want to use.

This is what the app looks like when you're about to take a photo. The yellow button operates the shutter.

You can buy extra packs with new lenses, films, flashes and cases through in-app purchases.

Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express website

Photoshop Express is an excellent free tool to quickly and efficiently edit your photos. You can shoot in the app, or select photos from your camera roll for editing. You can perform a variety of functions, the most useful being:

* Crop, straighten, rotate, flip
* Exposure, saturation, tint, black and white, contrast

There are also various gimmicky effects and borders, but I steer clear of these.

I tend to shoot most photos with the default camera app (except when using Hipstamatic or Pro HDR), then edit in Photoshop to correct exposure and contrast before using one of the other apps below.


You use a swiping motion with your finger to determine the strength of the chosen effect.


Lo-Mob represents very good value for money as it has 41 high-quality filters. You can further edit the applied filter by turning each component (Frame, Vignette, Colour Effect and Blur) on and off independently. I tend to use this to edit photos that I took with the iPhone default camera after I've cropped and adjusted the exposure in Photoshop.



PictureShow on the iTunes Store

PictureShow is another real bargain in terms of lots of high-quality filters for not much money. You get 45 filters in all and they are almost infinitely customisable as for each one you can select the following:

* Frame
* Light
* Noise
* Vignet

You can also fine tune the colour, crop / flip the image and add text to the image.

You can also apply Tilt Shift and HDR although I don't usually use these features in this app.


You can choose Frame, Light, Noise and Vignet settings for each of the filters.

There are 45 filters to choose from.

The Tilt Shift and HDR functions.

Pro HDR website

Pro HDR is worth every penny of the asking price as it's the only app I've found that really does produce genuine HDR on the iPhone. It takes 2 separate images so you need to hold the iPhone as still as possible during capture. It then merges the images into one HDR image and gives you the option of further editing to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and tint.

This app is perfect for any high contrast situation but I've found it especially good for landscapes with dark foreground and a bright sky.


The default camera struggles with the contrast in this scene.

With Pro HDR there is much more detail in the sky and shadows.


Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing app, but I use it mainly for the excellent filters and tilt shift feature (and then I delete my uploaded photo once it's been saved to the camera roll). There are 15 filters in all offering a very diverse look and feel. The tilt shift feature is very easy to use and gives you the opportunity to add some creative blur to your photos. Once you have uploaded your photos, they are automatically saved to your camera roll.

15 filters to choose from.


Adding creative blur with the tilt shift feature.


Camera+ is a full camera package with a huge range of features. You can take pics in-app, but I tend to just use it for post-capture editing. There are 16 'scenes' (such as cloudy, sunset, portrait) which are fun to play aound with and produc some good results. There are also 36 filters grouped into 4 categories - Color, Retro, Special and I Love Analog (the Analog pack costs an extra 59p but it's worth it). You can also pick from 18 borders.


The app has a handy lightbox feature where all your images are placed ready for editing.

Film Lab
Film Lab on the app store

Film lab probably has the biggest selection of filters which simulate many different varieties and brands of film, past and present (the write up on the app store says 351!). Handily, you can star your favourite filters making it easy to find them again. You can also adjust brightness/contrast, colour operation, hue/saturation, sharpness and blur (although I tend not to use these).





Infinicam is an interesting concept in that you press a button which automatically generates a random camera effect from the billions of possibilities. You can keep on pressing until you find one you like (which will probably happen fairly soon). There are some pre-programmed favourites and you can add your own favourites with custom names. I like the random aspect of this app - sometimes you come across a real gem (which you can then save as a favourite). Great if you're not sure what kind of effect you want to achieve, but just want to have a play. There are also 18 borders which you can use with any of the styles.



Mill Colour
Mill Colour on iTunes

Sophisticated photo editor giving you loads of creative control. This one takes a little more time and effort to master, but is a very powerful tool and definitely one not to miss. There are 10 pre-programmed 'looks', but the main attraction of this app is the colour controls which enable you to tweak lift, gamma, gain and saturation to your heart's content and create your own customised looks for your images.



Photonasis on iTunes

I don't use this a lot as it sometimes develops memory problems, but I've included it as I do use it occassionally. There are 34 filter effects, many of which are more artistic than other apps (ie colour pencil, spray paint and swirl). Annoyingly, it only previews the effect on the app's sample image and you have to select an effect before you can see it on your image. Anyway, worth having for occassional use of more obscure effects.



(£1.19 for full version, I use free version)
RetroCamera website

From the makers of Film Lab, this app is very similar with the added ability to add noise, textures and frames, some of which are quite good.

Pic Grunger
(59p for full version, I use free version)
Pic Grunger website

Doesn't do an awful lot except grunge your photos up, but it does that well. There are 4 different effects to choose from, each of which have 3 different modes. You can also tweak the strength of the effect giving you quite a lot of control over the final look. You can even add a border if you want although there's just the one style to choose from!