Five of the Best Camera Apps on iOS

There's nothing wrong with the stock Camera app that comes on every iPhone, but there are many third-party camera apps available in the App Store that add additional functionality, filters, and other effects that are worth checking out.

For our latest YouTube video, we asked MacRumors readers for their favorite camera apps, and compiled a list of the best and most popular options. If you're looking to take your ‌iPhone‌ photography up a notch, make sure to check these out.

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Halide

Halide, priced at $5.99, was the top pick when we asked for preferred camera apps. More MacRumors readers chose it than any other camera app, which is no surprise because Halide offers a rich feature set.

Halide offers up full manual controls for shutter speed, ISO, and white balance, along with a live histogram for perfecting exposure. The swipe-based interface is easy to use, and you can capture photos in RAW, JPG, TIFF, or HEIC formats.

There are depth controls for newer iPhones, manual and autofocus tools, and for iPhone XR, there's a Depth Capture feature that works with pets, food, and other items, unlike the native Depth Control feature. Halide just added a new color histogram, which is a nifty option that lets you make sure you have the right exposure to preserve color detail and make colors pop. Halide has a new app coming out in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.

ProCam 6

ProCam 6, priced at $5.99, was also a popular choice with MacRumors readers. ProCam offers full manual control options for shutter speed, ISO, focus, and white balance, along with tap-based manual focus assist, built-in warnings for overexposure, and live values for metrics like ISO and shutter speed.

You can choose your video frame rate and resolution when taking video, or choose from multiple shooting modes like Night Mode, Burst Mode, Slow Shutter, and 3D Photos. Like most of the camera apps on this list, ProCam 6 lets you capture RAW, JPG, TIFF, and HEIF images, and there's a live light level histogram.

For editing after capturing a photo, ProCam 6 includes 60 filters, 17 lenses for fun effects, multiple adjustment tools, and video editing capabilities. There are custom profiles for saving your favorite shooting modes and camera settings, and Siri Shortcuts are supported.

Obscura 2

Priced at $4.99, Obscura has a simple swipe-based interface that puts the tools you need right at your fingertips, and it's ideal for one-handed use.

You can capture photos in RAW, HEIC, and JPG formats, take Live Photos, and capture images with depth on newer iPhones. There are tools for adjusting white balance, exposure, and focus, as well as ISO and shutter speed, plus there's a histogram for adjusting exposure.

There are 19 included filters available, which can be used in post processing or with live previews, and there are additional filter packs available for purchase in the app. Swiping down from the top of the app gives you access to your Photo Library, and swiping up on a selected photo shows all the metadata you might need to know.

Focos

Focos is a free download, but charges a fee for pro tools. It costs $0.99 per month or $11.99 for lifetime access. Focos offers full manual controls for capturing images, along with options for depth control, portraits, adjustable bokeh, and more.

You can import your Portrait ‌Photos‌ and adjust the bokeh (aka background blurring) effect, and there are options to simulate lens effects like creamy, bilinear, swirly, and reflex effects. There are also options to add lighting and edit depth maps.

Moment

Moment, like Focos, is a free download but requires a $4.99 purchase to unlock Pro tools. Moment offers options for manually adjusting exposure, ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance, and image format, which lets you customize the look of your photos beyond what you can do with the stock Camera app.

RAW shooting is supported, as are HEIF and HEVC, Apple's newest photo and video formats, and there's a live histogram. Moment's app is designed to work with Moment's lenses, available separately on the Moment website, but it also works without them.

You have to pay for manual controls and advanced video tools, but it's worth the $4.99 if you want full control over how your ‌iPhone‌ photos turn out.

Conclusion

All of these camera apps are fantastic, but they're just a small sampling of the photography-oriented app options in the ‌App Store‌. If we missed your favorite camera app, make sure to let us know which one you prefer in the comments.

Please feel free to share your favorite photo editing apps too, because we'll be covering that in an upcoming video and article.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
17 months ago
Honestly I don’t think any of these third party camera apps hold any huge amount of value until you can make it the default.

Don’t get me wrong, all of these camera apps are fantastic, I personally use ProCam and Filmic Pro.
However honestly 99.5% I go for the stock camera app since it’s just a swipe away on the lock screen.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
No Camera+ 2? Am I using a total box of dump app or what?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
Hydra - uses multiple captures to enhance detail, reduce noise, etc. Great use of computational photography.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago

No Camera+ 2? Am I using a total box of dump app or what?

No, Camera+ 2 is my favorite. I like the Lightbox feature so I can go through my photos before sending them to the Photos app.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago

No Camera+ 2? Am I using a total box of dump app or what?

No, my No1 app as well since I found it.
Primarily as it’s macro feature seems to give better results than all the others I have tried.
Also like ProCamera as it has some good HDR and low light options.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago

I like Halide, I just wish I could tell iOS to use Halide instead of the stock camera app when pressing the camera icon on the lock screen.

There is a shortcut you can put on the Lock Screen.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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