Free Photo Apps Worth Having on Your iPhone

By on Oct 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

141143-iphone3gs_camera_originalI love my Nikon dSLR, but it’s big and bulky, and doesn’t fit in my purse, so I really can’t take it with me everywhere. My iPhone, on the other hand, is always within arm’s reach, so I find myself relying on its little 3 megapixel camera more and more. While the lower quality and lack of settings make it seem like a poor substitute for the real thing, all the great camera apps out there make it a fun way to challange your inner photographer. It’s easy to see why the iPhone is now one of the most used cameras on Flickr. Try out some of these apps, and see what you can create!

Pixel Perfect

Pixel Perfect is a series of six filters you can use to enhance and adjust your photos. Change a photo to B&W or Sepia, finely adjust the brightness or saturation with a slider, adjust the hue or invert for a negative effect. The interface is clean and easy to use, and you can upload photos to facebook. The app even gives you the ability to create new albums within your facebook account, which I haven’t seen elsewhere.

Mill Colour

The Mill is a visual effects company behind Mill Colour. This app has ten different effects you can choose from, such as cross-process and instant. Once you choose an effect, you can further adjust the color using other controls, including saturation, lift, gamma and gain. The amount of control is quite impressive for a free app.

Darkroom (formerly Steadycam)

The premium version of Darkroom is probably worth the .99 investment, but if you’re feeling cheap, the free version will still help improve your iPhone photos. All Darkroom does is snap your photo when it senses the camera is being held still. This makes your photos sharper and crisper, especially in low light situations. I’ve been using it for all the photos I’ve taken since downloading it, and the difference is definitely apparent.


Technically, iMotion one is only free for a couple more days, so get it quick if you’d like to try your hand at stop-motion animation. You can set the application to take up to 500 pictures and combine them into one animation. With manual or time-lapse mode, you simply take a series of photos and iMotion takes care of the rest, creating an animated .gif you can send via email or exporting it to your iPhone. There are all kinds of possibilities here.


Polarize does only one thing: it makes you photos look like vintage polaroid pictures, but it does it really well. You can choose a photo from your album or take one from the app. It applies a retro filter and adds a Polaroid frame. You can even tag your photo so that it looks like a sharpie script. There’s even a link to their Polarize pool on Flickr, although you’ll have to add your photo manually.


What are some of your favorite, can’t-do-without free camera apps? I’m sure I missed a few! 

Please post your comments, tips, and your own reviews below in the comments area!


Filed: iPhonePhotographyReviews
  • Athoes

    Great story, I have all of these and you guys are spot on with your review!

  • It's really great to see the power of a device that combines a camera with the ability to run editing apps. There are some great low cost by Takayuki Fukatsu — QuadCamera is a great addition to a photography app collection.

  • Marne

    krress-I have Tiltshift Generator by Takayuki Fukatsu, I really like it. QuadCamera is definitely on my wishlist!

  • Raymond

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is exactly what I've been looking for! Finally someone is giving us iphone users some "real" and "useful" information!!!!!! I'm downloading all of these!!!!!!!

  • Abe

    I can't take photo with my Polarize app. Why?

  • Marne

    I'm not sure why you can't take a photo Abe. Have you contacted the developer for an answer? Mine works fine.