Photo Tools for the iPhone/iPod Touch

I thought I would check out a couple of photography apps for my iPod Touch this week.  I found two that are kind of cool.  The first is called Exposure Calc.  The idea behind this app is pretty simple, adjust the ISO and the type of scene that you are shooting (there’s 55 of them to choose from) and then move the slider to the F-Stop that you would like to use.  The calculator will automatically give you the proper shutter speed.  Want to shoot in Shutter Priority mode?  Simply turn it on and the calculations will be based on your selected shutter speed, giving you the appropriate aperture.

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When you first turn it on, it asks if it can use your current location.  I’m not sure why this is important but I hit yes.  From there it’s just a matter of inputting your variables to get to the correct exposure.  I don’t know that this application would have much use in daylight situations but it could come in handy if you are shooting tricky lighting and want to figure a good starting point. Here’s 3 more of the 55 choices.

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And my particular favorite…

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Because you just never know.  I like the layout of the app.  It is very intuitive and the data is based on ANSI Exposure standards so they should be pretty accurate.  For a $1.99, it’s not a bad deal.  The only issue I have is that there is an ad-banner at the top for speed dating which I’m not crazy about (the banner that is, I have no general opinion on speed dating).  I would normally expect to find advertising in something that is free, not purchased.  It’s not a deal breaker, just a little annoying.

The second app is from the same developer and it is called Hyperfocal Calc and it is a hyper focal distance calculator.  If you aren’t sure what hyper focal distance is, I invite you to read my rather extensive blog post about it (click here).  Basically the app will tell you, according to the lens and aperture you are using, what your near focus, far focus, depth of field, and hyper focal distance is.  If you don’t quite understand, let me show you on the app.  First the program requires you to select your camera.  The list is pretty extensive but didn’t have the most recent models such as the D700, D3X, 50D, or 5D Mark II.  I selected the D300 just to start things off.

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Right up front I will tell you that if you are shooting with a Canon, you won’t have much scrolling to do through the models but if you have a Nikon, be prepared to spin that wheel a bunch.  The list carries not just dSLR cameras but point and shoot models as well so there are a lot of cameras to pass by on the way to the Nikons.  Heaven help you if you have a Sony.  The good thing is that once you have set your camera, you don’t really need to go back and adjust unless you use something different.  The reason for picking the camera has to do with the size of the sensor.

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Once you have the camera, you need only enter two critical pieces of information, what is the focal length of your lens and what aperture are you using.  From there it will do all of the calculations and give you your results below.  So in the example below, I input that I would be shooting with a 24mm lens at f/16.  At these settings, my camera should be focused at about 6 feet, which would give me a depth of field from 3 feet to infinity.  This is great info because the other way to do this is to focus about one third of the way into the scene.  This will give you much more accurate focus points, especially if you like shooting landscapes.

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All-in-all, I think this is a great app.  It is certainly worth the 99¢.  I would like to once again get rid of those ads at the top but I can learn to ignore them.  The other thing I would like to see is an updated camera list and a little easier way of scrolling through the camera models.  I feel like I am spinning the big wheel on Let’s Make a Deal.  My other little gripe is that the name of the app I downloaded is called Hyperfocal Calc but in my iPod menu, it is called iFotobacus?!?  Beyond that, I highly recommend this program, especially to the landscape shooters out there.

You can find the Exposure Calc here and the Hyperfocal Calc here (both links will take you to the iTunes store).  If the links don’t work for some reason, just go to the App store and do a quick search.

That’s all for today, have a great Weekend everyone!

  • Jwoodall

    If I recall, when it asks to use your current location, it determines your latitude and longitude (approximately) so it can tag it on your photos. Certain online photo sites (particularly Picasa) use it to map your pictures.

  • http://www.photobythom.com Thom

    Thanks for the info. I really like PhotoCalc and PhotoBuddy. Those may be good ones to review as well.

  • http://ClearShotSports.com Tony S.

    I’ll second PhotoCalc and PhotoBuddy. These two apps each have all the functionality built-in, instead of having to have two separate apps, as you have reviewed here. These two also have Sunrise and Sunset details based on your current location, as well as a location of your choosing. Very nice!

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  • http://www.procamera-app.com ProCamera

    The standard iPhone Camera is really of no use to me, but I found this iApp, ProCamera which has so many features including a digital zoom, GPS image tracking, sound timer, virtual horizon, Photo Review, album (just shake your phone to review your albums) and features to allow you to continuously shoot photos without having to stop and save each individual image. This is a Super iApp! It’s also compatible with 2G/3G & 3GS.

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