Get iOS 8 camera features on your iPhone or iPad now

iOS 8 will bring with it a new Time-lapse mode and some other new features to the camera. But what can you do until that's released? We take a look at some of the best alternatives.

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  • Camera Camera+
  • Frame Lab480x480 Frame Lab
  • Frameographer568x568 Frameographer
  • iMotion 568x568 iMotion
  • Lapse It Lapse It
  • LongExpo Pro 568x568 LongExpo Pro
  • Magic Lapse Magic Lapse
  • Miniatures Pro Miniatures Pro
  • OSnap OSnap!
  • PinholeCam 568x568 PineholeCam
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Camera+

£1.49/£2.99 (iPad) – Requires iOS 6 or later

Consistently well-reviewed, Camera+ offers a solid set of both useful and creative tools from developers tap tap tap, which goes some way in addressing the current shortcomings of Apple's native Camera app.

Among numerous features is a useful timer function, which can ensure you stay in shot when you want to achieve a better 'selfie,' one that isn't at arms length. You can shoot these in 16×9 shooting mode for a widescreen cinematic look, setting the timer at 5, 15 or 30 second intervals to ensure even the most creaking of bones are in place ready for the shot. [READ: Advice for shooting time-lapse video on the iPhone]

Additionally, the useful Burst allow users to take rapid streams of shots in quick succession, from which you can select the best of during the editing stage.

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Next Prev Camera

£1.49/£2.99 (iPad) – Requires iOS 6 or later

Consistently well-reviewed, Camera+ offers a solid set of both useful and creative tools from developers tap tap tap, which goes some way in addressing the current shortcomings of Apple's native Camera app.

Among numerous features is a useful timer function, which can ensure you stay in shot when you want to achieve a better 'selfie,' one that isn't at arms length. You can shoot these in 16×9 shooting mode for a widescreen cinematic look, setting the timer at 5, 15 or 30 second intervals to ensure even the most creaking of bones are in place ready for the shot. [READ: Advice for shooting time-lapse video on the iPhone]

Additionally, the useful Burst allow users to take rapid streams of shots in quick succession, from which you can select the best of during the editing stage.

Read:

 

Frame Lab

£2.99 - Requires iOS 7.0 or later - iPad only

Unusually iPad only, Frame Lab allows users to select photos from iPad, or ideally imported from a digital camera via the developer recommended Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, to create Time-lapse videos up to 1080p.

A range of tools, including saturation, brightness, contrast, exposure, vibrance and more allow for some fine tuning, while tilt shift adds the ability to minimise your setting to good effect.

Developer Xysternet also offers TimeLapse for all iDevices in paid and free versions, which promises the complete time-lapse workflow on the go.

Impressively, Xysternet offers good support for both apps on the developer’s dedicated forums where bugs are generally found and swatted.

 

Frameographer

£2.99 - Requires iOS 7.0 or later

Developed by Studio Neat, the team that brought you the excellent Cosmonaut stylus and Glif mount and stand, comes Frameographer, an app for making Time-lapse and stop motion videos.

It does this with a certain style and ease, offering automatic and manual settings within an intuitive, clean user interface. As well as setting the frame rate, you can easily remove unwanted frames and add your own music to soundtrack your videos.

Frameographer and sister app Slow Fast Slow would clearly benefit from Studio Neat's Glif, designed for mounting your phone onto a tripod and propping it up at various angles. The useful device costs around £20, which includes shipping to the UK.

 

iMotion

Free/£1.99 Full version - Requires iOS 5 or later

iMotion offers time-lapse and stop-motion camera functionality capable of creating 1080p and 720p videos, which should you wish to upgrade can be shared directly to Facebook and YouTube, where the developers have uploaded a small selection of videos to showcase the app’s potential.

iMotion comes with four capture modes, with the ability to shoot up to 10fps, while portrait and the much more attractive landscape orientation are supported. Recording length is described as 'unlimited,' which in practice appears to be specific to your iPhone.

While some features are device centric, iMotion is compatible with iOS 5.0, which is useful for those older devices the app does support.

 

Lapse It

Free/£1.49 Full version – Requires iOS 5 or later

Previously featured on Channel 5's The Gadget Show, Lapse It is a well-reviewed app for creating Time-lapse and stop motion videos. 

Lapse It features the ability to add filters, customise frame rates, focus, white balance and exposure, render to MP4 and MOV file formats, schedule recordings and much more.

As a 'Top-In-App-Purchases,' Lapse It Pro Edition costs £1.49 and without that investment you can only shoot in a lowly 240p, so best forget about the free version unless you want to practice with a few trial runs.

The app’s settings are impressive, with a chance to experiment with frame intervals and time scales. 

 

LongExpo Pro

69p – Requires iOS 5 or later

Billed as a tripod-free long exposure and slow shutter camera, LongExpo Pro aims to capture motion, including a low light shooting mode for night shooting and light trail mode for capturing moving light sources evocatively.

With support for full resolution sized photo output, the results can be impressive, although some way short of using a fully featured camera in manual mode. A 'sister' app in AvgNite Cam (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/avgnite-cam-average+night/id645107495?mt=8) allows users  to take multiple photos in burst mode, then align them to create long exposure effects.

A night shooting mode allows users to lower the shutter speed to up to one second to potentially pull in more light, although this isn't always as effective as you might hope.

 

Magic Lapse

£1.99 - Requires iOS 5.0 or later

Well featured and capable of creating impressive results, Magic Lapse offers a range of creative options, including black and white, sepia and tilt shift blur effects to turn your time-lapse videos into something worth sharing.

While shutter speeds are customisable from 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, up to 60 seconds and beyond, the app offers a choice of smart scene presets to easily set up typical photo opportunities such as recording sunrises and sunsets.

This option is available in Express Mode, while a Professional Mode gives greater control. To add to the creativity you can add your own soundtrack to recordings, choosing tracks from your music library.

 

Miniatures Pro

£2.99 - Requires iOS 5.0 or later

Although much in need of an iTunes App Store update, Miniatures: Tilt-Shift Time-Lapse Videos still produces attractive results, highlighted by the developer’s YouTube video of downtown Manhattan. Essentially, the app creates miniature scenes where buildings, cars and people resemble animated toys.

Features include the ability to specify tilt shift blur effects, increase colour saturation, add a vignette filter and remove noise while shooting at night.

Once again a free version is available on iTunes and while output quality is limited to lower resolution, you do at least get a feel of the app before you buy.

 

OSnap!

£1.49 (Top-In-App-Purchases from 69p) - Requires iOS 5.0 or later

Well reviewed and supported, OSnap! Time-Lapse & Stop Motion is an impressive yet simple way of creating time-lapse and stop motion videos capable of being exported in HD.

Settings are automatic, using built-in presets, or customisable with the option to capture images between 0.25 seconds up to every 48 hours, with a 'Listening' mode capturing movement via sound.

For creative users, OSnap! lets you duplicate, splice, reverse, mix and edit together sequences without needing to be a Final Cut Pro user.

The free OSnap! Lite limits both resolution output and the number of projects, while the full version includes Top-In-App-Purchases for photo import, Wi-fi transfer and adding a voice over, which cost 69p each.

 

PinholeCam

69p – Requires iOS 4.3 or later

Producing subtle and sometimes ghostly results, PinholeCam uses a 'unique method' to simulate the long exposure times of a traditional pinhole camera, the type you might have made at school if you are of a certain vintage.

The developers note that unlike a traditional pinhole camera, your images are automatically exposed correctly no matter the exposure time, although some will see the results as simply blurry.

While the simulation is memory-intensive, especially on long exposures or 'infinity' mode, you can achieve acceptable results even on the lowest exposure setting. Creating good images with PinholeCam is also location specific, so keep an eye out for suitable spot to rest your iPhone.

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