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Lapse It Pro Edition smartphone photo shooting appLapse It Pro Edition

£1.99 (Android), £1.49 (iPhone)
www.lapseit.com

Although other apps such as ZoomFX do offer time-lapse functionality, the main asset of Lapse It is the extent to which it streamlines the process.

A controlled time-lapse can be set to shoot a specific number of frames or for a specific length of time, or it can be left to shoot continuously until the stop command is entered. Once the capture is completed, it can be instantly played back, edited and then rendered into a streamlined time-lapse.

Resolution can be set from 240p up to full 1080p HD. You can even capture at the camera’s full resolution, but this requires a great deal of power and older phones will probably be unable to handle it.

Score: Four out of five

360 Panorama smartphone photo shooting app360 Panorama

£0.62 (Android), £0.69 (iPhone)
www.occipital.com

This app provides a grid-based canvas onto which the user lays their panorama. Tap the shoot button when in the ‘start’ position, and then tap the screen at regular intervals to stitch the shot together.

The stitching is intuitive and works well – it’s important to keep the camera level and to smooth over the edges in order to create a seamless image, but the grid makes this easy to accomplish.

The iPhone version of this app works very smoothly, and it is recommended for iOS users. Be aware, though, that the Android port we tested was very ‘buggy’ and prone to freezing.

Score: Four out of five

Kitcam smartphone photo shooting appKitcam

£0.69 (iPhone)
www.kitcamapp.com

An all-around iOS app, Kitcam excellently combines intuitiveness with depth. A ‘briefcase’ full of shooting modes recreates the effects of different lenses and different films.

Lens effects include vignette, pinhole, fisheye and more outlandish ones such as kaleidoscope. The range gives the user real creative freedom. The film effects lay a filter over the image, similar to apps like Instagram, but the number of options is impressive.

Kitcam’s exposure range is more limited than other apps, with only ±2EV compensation
available. However, having white balance on a slider is welcome and allows for fine-tuning. Shooting modes include time-lapse, video (onto which the same filters can be applied), stabiliser and a multi-expose mode for HDR-style shots.

Score: Five out of five

Camera Zoom FX smartphone photo shooting appCamera Zoom FX

£1.79 (Android)
www.androidslide.com

Camera Zoom FX is designed to give greater shooting control for smartphone photographers. A single slider in levels controls exposure, although it lacks precision, and a stable shooting mode tracks movement and waits for the camera to stabilise before taking the shot.

Other shooting modes include time-lapse, self-timer and burst, and a unique voice-activated shutter mode that worked very well once I’d lowered its sensitivity to reduce interference. White balance presets are present, though AWB seems more reliable, giving me better results on a cloudy day than the actual cloudy setting.

Overall, this is a user-friendly app that is good for taking first steps into smartphone photography.

Score: Four out of five

Camera FV-5 smartphone photo shooting appCamera FV-5

£2.49 (Android)
www.camerafv5.com

Of the three general shooting apps on test, Camera FV-5 is the most technical and versatile. As with Zoom FX, there is the option for automatic focus, or the focal point can be selected by tapping the screen.

The app has ±4EV compensation available, an ISO range of 50-3200, and can take long exposures of up to 60secs. Evaluative, centreweighted and spot metering are all available. A DSLR-like display on screen allows these settings to be adjusted quickly and easily.

All these functions combined give Camera FV-5 significantly more shooting versatility than Zoom FX. More comprehensive than others, it is the superior option for anyone looking to push what they can achieve with a smartphone.

Score: Five out of five

HDR Camera+ smartphone photo shooting appHDR Camera+

£1.90 (Android), £1.49 (iPhone)
www.almalence.com

High dynamic range photography isn’t for everybody, but for those who are interested this app is an excellent purchase. It’s extremely easy to use: on tapping the capture button, three exposures are taken in quick succession and then immediately combined to create a finished HDR image.

Minor camera shake is well compensated for, as is ghosting from moving objects. The exposure settings are limited, with only bright and normal options, but contrast and colour vividness can be adjusted post-capture, giving you some room to customise your results.

Score: Four out of five