Secret Photo Apps for the iPhone

If you try searching the App store for photo apps, you find all sorts of things to make your photos sepia. Or blurry. Or to draw on them. Which is great, but if you want apps to help you take photographs, they’re sorta hard to find. So here are some links:

First up, a reference guide for your camera. I didn’t bother with this–I have my manual in my main photo bag, and spend time exploring features, but it might be worthwhile: Rebel XS reference. (The vendor has lots more cameras available.)

Next, if you’re doing anything with landscape photography, you end up reading about hyperfocal distances, which is where you want to put your focal point to maximize the depth of field that’s in focus. There’s a couple of these, including Simple DOF Calculator, FoCalc, and Photo Guide which also includes an exposure calulator. I personally prefer the UI in DoFCalc.

If you have a studio, or typically have a computer handy when you’re taking pictures, this DSLR Remote looks very cook. You hook up your camera to your computer via USB, and your phone talks to the computer via wifi. Someone should hack up USB/wifi bridge so you can use one of those socket size linux boxes to do this, and just clamp the thing and a battery to your tripod. Alternately, an iphone to camera cable would be great, if only Apple would let developers use the USB port. (Maybe they do. But a search on iphone sdk usb turned up people looking and not finding. Which also puts the lie to this piece at CATO. You’d have to be smoking something pretty strong to not be able to search for “apple appstore reject,” or to not realize that there’s plenty of apps you can’t get because of Apple’s prudishness.)

Finally, there’s a great idea in GreyCard, to provide a uniform color that you can photograph and use to set the white balance. Unfortunately, the iphone is backlit. I wonder what shade of grey the back is?

Are there other interesting ones?

Camera thanks!

An enourmous thank you to everyone who offered advice on what camera to get.

I ended up with a Canon Rebel after heading to a local camera store and having a chance to play with the stabilization features. It may end up on ebay, but I’m confident I’ll get high quality pictures. If they’re great, of course, depends on my skills.

I hesitate to even ask, but what one book have you seen most help someone learn how to take great pictures? I want something that’s focused on how to orient & frame shots, not something on the technical side. The camera knows more about that than I ever plan to. So what one book would you suggest?

I’m thinking about the Rebel for Dummies book, since it covers both technical and artistic aspects. What book have you seen help others more?

Camera advice bleg

I’m thinking about maybe getting a new camera.

Before I say anything else let me say that I understand that sensor size and lens rule all else, and that size does matter, except when it’s megapixel count, which is a glamour for the foolish.

That said, I’m off to South Africa in a few weeks, and while my Canon S410 was a fine camera 5 years ago, I’m thinking that for a trip like this with a safari in the middle, I should get something that sucks less. I don’t really care about GPS or interchangable lenses. (Yes, I should. You’re so right. But I don’t want to be bothered. I’m not a great photographer.)

I don’t want to have a full-bore SLR, as nice as they are. They’re too big, I won’t carry it enough to really justify what it is. So if I want to spend less than a thousand bucks (ideally < $500), have something that doesn't require its own carrying case or manual, what's the current hotness?

Are any of these “micro-four thirds” available? Worth risking? Worth overcoming my “don’t want to bother with lenses?” Should I look at a something like a Nikon Coolpix P6000? = Is it worth getting a new phd mini camera?