Chances are you’ve tried to use the camera on your iPhone, only to find that for such a fancy device, it’s missing a few simple things that would make life a whole lot easier for a relatively low-powered camera. Power Cam from Ipsita is one of many apps trying to make your picture-taking a bit easier, and while the $1 offering does add some interesting features, it isn’t what I would call the best execution of any of them.
The application has six primary options that make it stand out from the iPhone’s default camera—choosing your color, a stabilizer, timer, crosshair choices, a multi-shot feature, and a digital zoom. Your color options include full color, black and white, sepia, negative, and night vision. Unfortunately, none of these options are available in live view, so you can only see what your photo looks like with these effects after it’s taken.
Power Cam’s stabilizer has three levels of sensitivity—low, medium and high—depending on how picky you’d like it to be to motion. This feature can help you take sharper photos, but there’s a drawback—when in use, Power Cam’s stabilizer puts a meter of sorts in the middle of the screen, which blocks your view of the subject.
The app’s timer is fairly standard, operating in five second intervals up to 20 seconds. It also provides five options for crosshairs, from a standard cross to a tinted rifle scope. Power Cam’s digital zoom is the equivalent of zooming in on a photo—that is to say, pretty useless.
A redeeming feature is Power Cam’s multi-shot capability. It takes up to ten shots in succession, creating a stop-motion slideshow. But the app comes up short here as well—you can’t specify how much time passes between each shot.
The settings for the app are limited to turning off the zoom slider and thumbnails of previously taken photos; you can also set the quality of the images and a border.
There are plenty of great camera applications in the App Store; sadly, Power Cam is not one of them. Throughout testing I’ve had to restart the app several times, as on several occasions, after taking a photo, the controls disappeared and never came back. Given how buggy and generally under-designed this app is, I recommend shopping around before spending any money on it.
[Rob de la Cretaz is a full-time polymath and a proud resident of Pittsburgh.]