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    msbaylor's Avatar
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    Default Head-to-Head Weekend Review: CameraBag

    Cjvitek's Review

    CameraBag is another program that attempts to overcome the iPhone's shortcomings with the camera application. Basically, it applies preset filters to a photograph. The filters that are included vary, with the promise of more filters to come.

    One thing that CameraBag does that is nice is it allows you to take a picture within the program - so you don't have to take a picture, then start the program to add a filter effect.

    Applying a filter to a picture is quite easy. When you start the program for the first time, you are taken to the preferences screen. Here you can turn on or off preferences like "autosave after shot", "save original", crop effects, and border effects. In addition, you can set the output size of the file, a nice added touch. When you finish adjusting your preferences, you are taken to the filter screen, but you can go back and reset the preferences anytime you want.

    On the filter screen, you are initially shown a black page, with the filter name in white letters at the top. There is a big "camera lens" in the middle, and three icons at the botton.

    The camera lens simply means that a picture hasn't been chosen yet. You can either take a picture or choose one from your camera roll. To take a picture, tap the camera icon at the botton. To choose a picture from your camera roll, tap the icon on the right (presumably it is supposed to be a "stack" of pictures).

    Once you select a picture, the filter that is selected is automatically applied, and you see the results on the screen. To apply a new filter, you can either tap the filter name and choose from a drop down list of filter, or simply side swipe the image to go through each filter option, one at a time.

    Once you finish, you can click on the disk icon to save your new image.

    The filters options are varied. They are described as:

    "Helga" - A square-format toy camera feel with washed-out highlights and old-school vignetting.
    "1974" - This is your father's camera. Faded, tinted, and hip.
    "Lolo" - Shoot from the hip and take life as it comes with vibrant, colorful shots.
    "Cinema" - Dramatic, moody, wide-screen stills from the movie of your life.
    "1962" - Dynamic black and whites from the photojournalists of a bygone era.
    "Ansel" - Smooth gradation from black to white.
    "Infrared" - Simulation of the popular landscape photography technique.
    "Fisheye" - Popular fish eye lens effect - for fun

    While the filters are nice, and applying various filters to the images certainly achieves the desired effect, I would have preferred to see some more interesting filters - mosaic, glass tile, oil paint, etc. In my opinion, those filters are more interesting to apply to an image, and make it more artistic, rather than simply making it look like it was taken from a camera in 1974. They have promised more filters to come, so perhaps those are in the works. The Fish Eye filter was most recently added, so they are keeping good on their promise to add more filters.

    Pros: Simple interface, relatively fast, nice option for selecting or taking a picture
    Cons: Filter options are limited

    All in all, this is a nice program to add some creativity to your attempts at photography. The price is currently reduced from $4.99 to $2.99, and if you like to use to iPhone camera but want to add some flair to your pictures, it might be worth picking it up. 4 out of 5 stars, with a potential for a higher rating if/when more filters come out.

    More Screenshots found here.
    Matt Sawyers Photography | cjvitek's screenshots

    Msbaylor's Review

    Camera bag is a simple and creative application.

    It allows you to apply several different filters to a picture you have already taken our one that you can take within the application itself.

    Besides the filters themselves, you have the option to choose which resolution you wish to use. The higher the resolution the longer the app will take in saving your new photo, but the better the quality the picture will be. Personally I want the highest quality possible and it didn’t seem to take an unnecessary amount of time to save (the save time is shown in there video below.)

    The app has 8 filters total that you can apply to a photo:

    Helga: this desaturates and adds a vignett border as well as crops the photo.

    Lolo: crops the photo to a square, adds a white border and increases situation and contrast.

    Cinema: desaturates photo and adds a blue tone to the photo.

    Ansel: Adds white border and converts picture to Black & White (grayscale).

    1962: converts to black & white (grayscale) and increases contrast.

    1974s: adds sepia tone to photo, adds white border and crops photo.

    Fisheye: Creates a bubble type of effect with your photo. (not really fisheye).

    Infrared: Converts the photo to black & white (grayscale) then Inverts the colors.

    To get started, you just have to tap the camera icon to take a photo of tap the “group” icon – right-most icon of the 3-group of icons, to select a previously taken photo. The photo will load with the first filter applied (Helga). You can then select from the list at the top by tapping the name of the filter to drop down the list and selecting another filter. You can also “flip” through the filters, as you would do in your photo album. Once you find the filter you like, you just click the save button (middle of the 3 keys) and it automatically saves to you camera roll.

    This application only applies coloration filter, in other words there is not mosaic or of-the-like-type filter, which for me, I enjoy. I tend not to like the mosaic and “fun” filters, but more of the black & white, color variation filters. The app developer says they will include more filters in the following updates. I’d like to see a variable filter of some type (contrast for example), in which you can control the variables (sliders) of the filter. I’d also like to see the ability to apply multiple filters before saving.

    At first I was a bit hesitant on purchasing this application as I didn’t want to pay $2.99 for applying filters on my iphone (I thought “that’s something I can do on my computer”) but it is a nive application to have and it creates nice photos overall.
    The application is currently on sale for $3. Its orginal price is $5. Personally I am not sure I don’t recommend paying $5 for this app until they add more filters, maybe $4, and I defiantly recommend buying it for $3.

    Recommendations & Tips: although you have the ability to take the photo in the application, I'd recommend taking the photo with the standard camera application then apply the filter in the app. You can also add multiple filters by applying a filter, then saving it, then reopening your newly created photo and apply another filter. You may encounter small artifacts in the photo due to multiple conversions/savings in doing this though.

    -Simple & easy to use
    -Application of filters to taken photos within the app or previous ones.
    -Good quality filters

    -Only 8 filters
    -Can’t apply multiple filters before saving.
    -Filters are arbitrary (you can’t change the variables in the filter)

    Videos & more Photos:
    Normal | Mobile

    Click here for more screenshots & filter copmparison examples.



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