Scout Camera for iPhone, iPad review - simple, intuitive photography app from Crush Apps
At first launch, there isn't really much to Scout Camera beyond the ability to select one of a dozen image filters and choose the ratio - 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 or the Instagram friendly 1:1 square format. With no advanced editing tools for fine-tuning images after the event, the app from developer Crush Apps relies on users making decisions on the fly and shooting what they see through the lens spontaneously. Its a brave move, but one that is liberating and puts the focus, no pun intended, on what you are actually looking at rather than what you might see or salvage later.
The simple, beautifully considered user interface, with quick access to filters and ratios, really helps set the scene, speed image making and ensure a prolific yet considered output. Filters, available through the lens as you take photos, are a combination of subtle colour and black and white options. All are striking but Pearl particularly stands out, producing exceptional, film-like black and white. The ability to frame an image with ratios is another big plus, the 16:9 aspect option creating compositions you won't see regularly on your typical photo sharing sites. For those concerned about losing the ratio on Instagram you can easily frame your photo using an app such as Squaready, freely available on the Apple iTunes App Store.
A recent 1.1 update from Crush Apps flirts a little with Apple's iOS 7 redesign but beyond a new app icon, doesn't stray far from a winning formula, which in many ways already embraced the iPhone makers new minimalist make-over. The update does however include new sliders, which allows users to tweak filters to good effect, again on the fly, changing the strength of each. Scout Camera also offers independent focus and exposure controls, full EXIF information, optional geolocation, iTunes file sharing and the ability to share images with the usual social networking suspects.
Scout Camera's great strength is to place emphasis on the photographer capturing a moment, not the process of editing images retrospectively using your iPhone or iPad. Although you can combine the app with others to good effect, it still excels as a creative tool that requires little more than a keen eye and steady hand.