Feature tease for Camera+ 1.2 (and RANT)

Camera+ is one of the more popular photography apps for the iPhone. It had a rapid rise to fame on it’s launch due more to a well oiled marketing plan than to any real superiority over any number of other camera apps it competed with. It Launched with a competition giving away thousands of dollars worth of pro-level DSLR gear, and the “face” of the App was the beautiful, and easily marketable Lisa Bettany a “Canadian television and podcasting personality, professional photographer, media producer, and blogger”.

Personally I never really knew just why people were making such a HUGE roar about, to me the App did nothing that many other apps had already been doing for some time but people were reacting like this was some kinf of miracle app.

It took photos, it has some built in “scene modes”, filters and frames designed by Lisa, to “cool up” your photos without having to actually understand what you were doing.  In my opinion, Camera+ was, in fact, inferior to some of its competition because all of the filters and adjustments it presented were all solidly LOCKED, there was NO ROOM for any real creative choice and control on the users side as there is in some other similar apps. Each and every filter was pre-set to what Lisa Bettany has decided was “best“, something which smacked more than a little like arrogance on her behalf to me.

In any case, I suppose between the smooth marketing, Lisa’s pretty face, charming smile, and the “slick” (needlessly over stylized) user interface and the “even a moron can make their photos look all hipster-wanker with a couple of jabs at the screen” design of the app was enough, so lots of people bought it, and lots of people use it.

Good marketing and making people understand the benefits and fun of your product is more important than making the technically “best” app. No Surprises here.

Great for them! despite my criticism and grumbling at the app throwing unnecessary limitations at me, I do like Camera+ and I do use it moderately often. And frankly, terrific for Lisa she is a talented photographer, and obviously worked hard with the developers who created this app.

That Ranting ramble aside, I just stumbled across a video (below) posted by Lisa that teases a new feature coming in version 1.2, and despite the infuriatingly COMPLETE lack of any REAL information within the video, or even in the video description, it APPEARS as though the new version will enable iPhone users to separately set the focus and exposure which is very, very good news for iPhone photographers doing “iphoneography” everywhere.

I only hope that, because we’ve never seen someone else take this obviously useful feature into their apps before that TapTapTap aren’t using some hidden API call that’ll have apple kicking their teeth in and blocking the App, so Fingers crossed it’s just a nifty new feature in iOS4 that no one’s used yet.