Photo and Video Software on iPhones and some other smart phones
iPhone Built in camera: With the release of iOS 6, the camera app has been significantly improved. It already did a tolerable job of HDR pictures, the main problem I had with that is that it did not save each of the original pictures it used to create the HDR picture. The major new feature is the ability to take a panorama. To take a landscape panorama picture, hold the camera as if taking a portrait picture, select Options at the top then choose "Panorama". You start at the left of the desired image, tap the camera icon to start the process then sweep the camera to the right at about the same speed you would use in making a video. If you go to fast, it will give you a worming message. You also need to sweep in a fairly strait line. It gives you a target arrow to help in doing this. Try to keep the point of the arrow on the line. It does not keep as many pixels as you might expect, it is like a 5.7 MagaPicel camera on the iPhone 4s not a 8 MegaPixel camera like normal. Of course, since you have panned over a large angle, the total pixels count can be quite large. I got a 20 MegaPicel picture panning over about 90 degrees. It does a better job of dealing with people moving than AutoStich (see below) does. Click HERE for more info from Apple.
PS Express: (PhotoShop
Express) A good
photo editing program by the makers of Adobe Photoshop. The free version
does most of what you want but it is so good that you may want to send a little
money their way anyway. I use it to Crop, straighten, change the exposure
(lighten or darken) or sharpen but there are other options also. Since the
camera in smart phones only does a digital zoom meaning that it basically just
crops the picture ahead of time, I always do the cropping afterword as there is
no more loss of resolution and I have more flexibility. A
video review is
available. It is also available for Android phones but not Windows phones
as of 8/3/12. There is also an
on line version
that I have not explored yet. You will need to crate a free account to use the
Photos app that comes with the iPhone was significantly improved with iOS 6, the
released in September 2012. It is now possible to have multiple folders.
It used to be that it was only possible if you had a Mac. It still leaves
something to be desired but it is still a big help. The catch is that
while you can add folders to sort your pictures and videos into a master copy of
the picture or video needs to reside in the "Camera Roll" folder.
program uses video to post process into interesting stills. It will take a lot of playing with this program to figure it
out. Some uses are:
AutoStitch: Like a
poor man's Photosynth. You can take a series of pictures and stich them
together to make a larger one. AutoStich is also available on the Android
and Windows platforms. There is also a
short video showing how
to use this app. It costs $1.99 for the iPhone. It was updated in
August 2012 to make it much easier to use. You can also use it to merge a
series of pictures already taken. I did this once when I wished to merge a
series of pictures I had taken inside a cave with a flash. Both AutoStich
and PhotoSynth do not work with a flash. It stitched the picture together
great. Unfortunately is was still a lousy picture (My mistakes, not
very simple to use video editing program. It will clip and combine video
strips. If you want to do more such as adding a sound file, text or still
images, it is pricy.
(There is also a paid version for $1.99 that only adds the ability to add still
images for free.)
There are many other video editor programs that I
have not struggled enough with yet to evaluate: iMovie (by Apple, 4 stars, there
is a pay and a free version but I think the pay version is now free also) and
Vid Editor Free (3.5 stars)
Photosynth for the smartphone is a free
Microsoft program that permits you to take picture that you can rotate to view
in any direction. Basically a 360 degree panorama in both a horizontal and
Example 2. Microsoft calls these panoramas. As you can see particularly in the second example, things
can get a little jumbled up where the pictures are joined together. To
minimize this hold the camera in as close to the original spot as possible.
Also if there are any people in the photo, get them entirely within the center
of one frame.
There is also a significantly different version for the desktop that works much differently. It combines many pictures of the same general thing taken from different places and builds a composite image that can be viewed from many different angles. Microsoft calls these synths. For a clip of this use in a CSI episode click HERE. For a video of what this program does, click HERE. For an example of a synth image click HERE. I have made a few attempts to do this kind of picture but have never succeeded at all. As of this time, 8/2/12, this type of picture can only be built up on desktop computers with a fee program you can download from Microsoft.
Rev 7/19/15 fixed