You like snapping photos on your iPhone. But you find the default Camera app limited in certain ways. Maybe you want more power and control over the photos you take. No problem: A variety of apps can beef up your phone’s photo-taking skills. Camera+ 2 offers a range of advanced and easily accessible manual controls. ProCamera gives you several layers of controls and features both for photos and videos. Halide provides a host of manual controls and settings that you can adjust and customize. Obscura 2 presents a range of advanced controls in a user-friendly package. And ProCam 5 is the ultimate camera app with more than enough features to satisfy even the more die-hard photographer.

At this point, you might be asking why you’d want to download more software when you can just use the built-in and free iOS Camera app. Third-party apps offer manual controls and advanced tools and features that you’d typically find only in a dedicated digital SLR. You can manually adjust the exposure and focus to override the automatic settings. You can fine-tune the exposure by setting the white balancing, tweaking the ISO number, and varying the shutter speed. Some apps provide an on-screen histogram so you can better eyeball your exposure settings. You can line up your shots with gridlines and straighten them with a leveling feature. You can choose a specific image format, such as JPG, TIF or RAW. You can tap into special shooting modes, including slow shutter, burst mode and time lapse. Many apps go a few steps further by providing creative filters, cool frames and detailed metadata on each shot.

But why not just fine-tune your iPhone photos after the fact by using a good editing app? That’s always an option. But a dedicated camera app helps you control and perfect your photos as you snap them so you don’t have to spend time in an editing app. Plus, certain mistakes and weaknesses in a photo can’t easily be fixed in the editing room. Still, many camera apps include their own…

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