If you just got a new iPhone, there are lots of things you can do to make the most of the great cameras you now have in your pocket. I’ve selected some of the best camera and photo editing apps to help you enhance your shots from your iPhone. And even if you’re already a long-time iPhone user, it’s worth giving these apps a try.
Halide is probably the most popular app for those who take mobile photography seriously — and is also one of my favorite apps for iPhone. It features all the advanced controls you’d expect from a professional camera, including shutter speed, ISO, and white balance adjustments.
However, Halide is more than a camera app with manual controls. The app has some unique features to enhance photos by using artificial intelligence and other technologies. For instance, iPhone XR and iPhone SE (2nd gen) users can take portrait photos of animals and objects even without having two rear camera lenses.
You can also capture high-quality RAW photos, check histograms and metadata information, adjust focus precisely with focus peaking, export the depth map of the images, set Siri shortcuts, and much more.
You can try Halide for free on the App Store. The app requires an annual subscription of $11.99 or a lifetime license of $59.99 after the 7-day trial period.
Pro Camera by Moment
Pro Camera by Moment is another great app for users who want to have total control over how they take photos on their iPhone. It offers full manual controls with exposure and ISO adjustments, RAW support, manual focus, slow shutter, and even 4K time-lapses.
Interestingly, Pro Camera not only works for photos, but also offers the same manual controls for shooting videos with the iPhone. Users can easily switch between different resolutions, frame rates, and color profiles – including LOG on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. There’s also support for multiple bitrates and anamorphic lenses.
You can buy Pro Camera by Moment for $8.99 on the App Store. Some extra features can be unlocked through in-app purchases.
Photon provides all the control you need to create powerful professional photos. Developed by the creators of the popular Camera+, Photon has multiple options for manually adjusting and controlling the iPhone camera before taking photos. Users can precisely adjust focus, exposure (with shutter speed and ISO settings), and white balance.
To make your photos perfect, Photon offers advanced tools like Focus Peaking, which highlights exactly where the lens is focusing. The app also supports different photo formats, such as HEIF, JPEG, ProRAW, and RAW. For those with the iPhone 14 Pro, the app lets users easily choose between 12-megapixel and 48-megapixel photos when using the main wide lens.
Photon is now available on the App Store, and it requires an iPhone running iOS 16 or later. While you can download it for free, the manual controls are only available under a $3.99 monthly subscription or $19.99 annual subscription.
After taking great photos with your iPhone, you’ll need some professional tools to edit them — but you don’t need a computer for that. Darkroom is one of my favorite photo editors since it is available not only for iPhone but also for iPad and Mac.
One of the best things about Darkroom is that the app is extremely intuitive and easy to use, even if you are not a professional photographer. The app comes integrated with the iCloud Photo Library, so you don’t have to waste time selecting and importing the photos you want to edit.
With Darkroom, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, color temperature, and other details of the photos you’ve already taken. The app also lets you edit videos and even Live Photos. In addition, you’ll also find a curve editor, watermark options, advanced support for RAW photos, and even integration with the Halide app.
The best part is that you can use most of the features of Darkroom for free, which is available on the App Store. There’s a $4.99 monthly subscription to unlock all the app features.
Focus is a must-have app for those who love taking portrait photos with the iPhone. While Apple took some time to let users change the level of blur in the backgrounds of portrait photos, the Focos app has offered this option since its release in 2017.
But Focos goes beyond adjusting the blur of the portrait photos as it generates different diaphragms with multiple bokeh spot effects and presets that simulate the feeling of professional lenses in the photos. There are even options to add 3D lighting and change the photo’s depth map to refine the blurred background.
What’s more impressive is that Focos uses AI to create an artificial depth map for any photo, even if it wasn’t taken with iPhone’s Portrait Mode. It’s amazing what you can do with your photos with this app.
Focus is available for free on the App Store, but you must pay a subscription to use the app after the free trial period ends