<p>It can be frustrating when you see something worth shooting and don’t have a camera with you. That’s where a smartphone with a good camera comes in handy.
Though it isn’t a perfect substitute to a DSLR, it appears there is no limit to what you can do with your images and videos through the thousands of photo apps that populate the app sphere.
Here are some multimedia apps for your smartphone that will lend decent image quality and basic editing features for your videos and pictures.
StreamZoo || Free
StreamZoo is a photo-sharing community (like the popular Instagram) which can be experienced on the web or via mobile apps (Android and iOS versions available). By blending photo-sharing features with social gaming, the app has curated a sizeable community that competes to earn social badges (like Foursquare app). Photos can be tagged with hash tags, much like Twitter.
So, interested users can also search for the users' images. Photos shot within the StreamZoo app can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. There are image filters and borders available as well as some basic editing tools such as brightness and hue adjustments.
Additional features include the ability to turn GPS location on for your photos and videos and background uploads for convenience.
Over || $1.99
There are some apps on Apple’s iOS platform that allow adding text on photos. But, there aren’t many that can do this as beautifully or easily as Over. Why would you need to write over your pictures? Sometimes adding a funny, motivational or quirky text on images gives a whole different perspective. By doing so, you would attract attention of your friends when you share these images on social networks.
The best part of Over is that you are not limited to how much text you have — go ahead, write as much as you want. The app is available for both iPhone and iPad, which means if you take pictures with your iPhone and back the data up on the Apple cloud storage, you can also use the iPad screen to add text to those pictures. The app allows saving edited images on a device or share directly on social networking sites.
Shoebox || Free
Many of us are sitting on boxes full of photo prints and albums. Digitising them is an important step in preserving those images, but how is that possible if there's no scanner at home? Download the free app called Shoebox that turns your smartphone camera into a photo scanner.
The app can produce scanned 4x6 photos of up to 550 DPI (average web quality only requires 72 DPI and optimal printing results seen at around 300 DPI). The best photo scans, however, will be on the new iPhone 4S that produces scans at 2448 x 3264 pixel resolution. Simply point the device camera at a picture and the app can instantly recognise the edge of the photo and create a crisp scan of it. Depending on the resolution of the camera, the user will get a print-worthy scan that is automatically saved to their camera roll on device.
The app lets users rotate, crop, date and tag photos and share them with friends and family either through ShoeBox or Facebook. The photos are also stored on 1000memories.com, the startup behind ShoeBox. The website is also where ShoeBox users can go to control their privacy settings if they don't want their old photos shared publicly.
SloPro - 60fps Slow Motion Video || Free
Creating and sharing slow-motion videos is not usually associated with smartphones. But for iPhone 4S owners, SloPro (free version has limited features and a water mark on the frame) allows shooting 60 frames per second (fps) slow-motion video at 720p.
SloPro was recently updated and now the makers of the app claim it allows to record video at an amazing 1000 frames per second. Non-iPhone 4s users can record, edit and share great slow motion videos at 30fps. Users can switch between regular speed for videos and apply slow-motion mode.
Handy tools include in-app editing of video footage. With an in-app ($1.99) upgrade, users can remove watermarks and save the videos on the device itself.
Filmic Pro || $3.99
All amateur videographers who use their iPhones essentially as a video camera should invest in Filmic Pro, which gives them lots of interesting options for their mobile video.
Devices running iOS 4.1 version or later are supported by the app. Filmic Pro transforms the iPhone's video camera from a simple point and shoot by giving it features like the ability to set and lock focus, exposure and white balance.
The user can also set the frames per second from 30 all the way down to 1. If users want to make their iPhones video look like it was shot on a 35mm movie camera, then the app has a matte box function, that does a fair job.
AfterFocus || $0.99 for iOS devices
Smartphone images often lack one thing - depth of field. When compared with photos taken with a DSLR where you can see a blurry background with the main object in picture sharply focused, smartphone pictures look decidedly pale. That's where apps like AfterFocus, available for both Android and iPhone, come handy, adding that professional touch to amateurish photos. AfterFocus works on Android devices running Android 2.0 or above and all iOS devices.
You can use a manual or automatic modes on the app to direct what to blur and what needs to be kept in focus. You can also add a few different filters (Instagram style), and effects, change the type of blur and adapt the exposure levels.
The app also has an option (for users who choose to upgrade) called 'Take Two Photos' that is supposed to make it easier for AfterFocus to detect the foreground from the background by taking a photo, moving the camera slightly, and taking another photo of the same object.