With the most recent updates to the iOS line of devices, Apple has updated the camera on each and every device: iPhone, iPod, and iPad. New panoramic features are nice to have, however, full manual control still is absent. Blux Touch attempts to fix this problem, but also adds in numerous features of its own to turn the iOS camera into something closer to a full-fledged point-n-shoot. Read on for the full review:
Blux camera really attempts to pack in just about every single type of feature you can even think about having, and it does it in real time. That said, there is no way to edit your pictures with the Blux app after you snap; this would be a welcomed feature if it were to happen.
Other than that, the features are rich in number. First, comes the filters that Blux can apply to your pictures. Each filter is attached to a certain situation of lighting to create a more natural lighting that brings out more details and clarity in the picture. Blux has developed something that they call Photographic Environment Analysis and Recommendation (PEAR). This simply suggests a filter based on the time of day, amount of light you have, and weather. You are free to apply the suggested filter or use others for a more Instagram styled snap. Pear, unfortunately, is only works when WiFi is available. The filters can always be chosen manually though.
Blux Camera uses something called PEAR to recommend filters for you.
OK, maybe that filter is not for you. Well, with a quick swipe, you can quickly bring up controls for sharpness, brightness, contrast, and saturation that will update your snapshot in real time. I would love to also have these tweaks available after the picture is snapped, but it’s good to have either way.
You can edit brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness on the fly.
Now, filters and picture alteration isn’t just what Blux will offer the user. They also give snapping features that include timed shutters, burst shots, as well as stability options. These come up quickly after holding the shutter button.
Shutter options are just another thing you can use to your advantage.
Focus settings can be done by tapping anywhere on the screen. Like the stock Camera app, this will also set the exposure to where you tap. If you simply tap with another finger (using multitouch), you can set up separate exposure and focus settings. White balance is still not an option to do manually. The camera also offers a macro mode that will zoom into a 100% bubble to show you the crispness of the focus setting.
In macro mode, you can see your focus pixel for pixel to see how good or bad your focus actually is.
Other shooting modes are also offered for people shooting in different situations. These modes are similar to those found on a normal point-n-shoot camera. Nighttime, portrait, macro, etc modes are offered. They aren’t saved though, so when you reenter the app (after it quits), you have to reselect.
The final pre-shot feature (I think) that Blux offers outside flash control is a tilt-shift simulator. Most people know this as the blurring effect. The tilt-shift is automatically generated based on the area of focus. Circular and rectangular tilt-shifts can be applied to all photos. They add an extra sense of depth to macro shots.
The tilt-shift ability is more hidden in the app, but very useful.
Blux offers many things to ensure that you get the right shot at the right time, but do offer a few things that you can do after you take the shot. The first isn’t that special, you can view metadata about the shot itself: the iso, aperture, device used, etc. Then there is the option to send the picture though Facebook, Twitter, and Picasa. You can geotag it and email it if you wish as well. I do wish you could mass delete photos though instead of doing it 1 by 1.
Blux lets users share photos quickly and easily in-app.
I don’t know how much more I can say, Blux camera has just about every single feature I could think that I wanted in a camera. Whether it’s something automated, a filter, other modes, color correction, it’s in the app somewhere. All the features are there, and they are abundant. There are a few things keeping them from perfection though.
Blux Camera offers a very beautified interface that has a futuristic feel to it. Buttons are displayed right in front of you and information displayed very well too. Just about every option you’d like is within a touch or swipe away. The interface is very fast and efficient once you learn it.
The user interface is absolutely beautiful.
Controls do have a short learning curve, any UI that uses gestures has some learning curve. As stated before, holding the shutter button brings up your shutter options. However, swiping up, down, left, or right from the edge of the screen also brings up options. A swipe up brings up the pictures you’ve already shot with Blux. A swipe left brings up shooting modes and filters. A swipe right brings up contrast, brightness, etc settings. Swipe down does the miscellaneous flash and tilt-shift options.
Many onscreen buttons are also available to do certain functions. Zooming and temperature settings are displayed as arcs on the left and right of the screen. Just about everything on the interface can be customized (to be on or off) by going into the customization options.
The UI elements of the app can be quickly toggled on and off.
Believe it or not, the app does have sound effects. The sound effects go from the basic beep to the sound of a strong vibrating pulse. Each sound effect associates itself with a different action, whether it’s a touch of a button or even a swipe.
Outside that, I believe that Blux uses Siri to say a few things. When recommendations are said, for example, Siri will dictate it. She will state the location, weather conditions, light levels, etc. Then Siri will make the recommendation to try filter x. Obviously none of this is actually needed for the app.
After you get past the interface, you can actually enjoy this app for what it offers. Very powerful features allow you to have more control over your camera that Apple would never give. There is no panorama feature, but then again, I rarely ever use panorama (I’m unsure if you do). The features and UI work very well together to allow you to do everything you need in an efficient manner.
Blux Camera is available in the App Store for 3 dollars. I feel that this app is actually worth its price despite a few caveats it may have. Although they will bring down the app a bit. The worst blow is that there is 0 iPod Touch 4G support given (probably due to hardware limitations, this app heats up the iPod Touch 5G quite a bit after heavy use). The features included however make up for quite a bit. It’s just a very well designed app at its core.
Blux has really come with a new app that offers just about every feature a photographer would ask for all packed into one single app. Their ability to keep a very intuitive interface while stilling having a million and one features really shows off the complexity of time they spent on the app. It remains my go-to camera app due to its versatility and in-line editing options.