Perfect Photo [rating: 4.5/5]
No doubt some of you will be taking your iPhone with you to the odd party this weekend. Whether it be New Years celebrations tonight, or after parties through the long weekend. And if you’re taking pictures in unfamiliar locations it might be handy to have an app or two for removing Red Eye or Graininess from shots.
We’re checking out Perfect Photo from MacPhun LLC to see if it might fit the billÉ Based on our experience with their Photo Studio app, that we reviewed here a little while ago, we know the UI will be nice and the filters good. So this should be a lock.
As I mentioned when I reviewed Photo Studio, iPhone photo apps are probably the most popular genre of apps. And I have to admit that since upgrading to an iPhone 4 as my day to day phone I am finding the much improved camera (over that in my long suffering iPhone 2G) is an essential tool in my daily life.
Quite often though the photos we take quickly to catch a moment in time are sometimes a bit grainy in low light situations, have some blurring, and even Red Eye now that the iPhone 4 sports a flash. It would only be polite if we tidy up our friend’s appearance before we splash them all over Twitter or Flickr direct from a bar or family gathering this holiday season!
Enter Perfect Photo 2.0 for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
The user interface and colour scheme of Perfect Photo matches that of Photo Studio, which is nice if you like a cohesive set of tools on your smart phone, and of course also makes learning to use it a doddle if you have already used an app which works in very much the same way.
Unlike Photo Studio, which is strongly geared towards augmenting your snaps with effects like sepia tone hues or X-ray fun, Perfect Photo uses the same app environment to post-process photos with filters more designed to repair or enhance the basic quality of the image you have managed to snap.
“Effects” in Perfect Photo include simple things like cropping, rotations and alignment. Also staple things like colour balance, brightness / contrast correction and exposure control. On top of those filters there are more complex functions you can use like those to reduce of increase shadows, Graininess, the sharpness of images. Finally you have a range of filters that allow you to “Spot Heal” areas of an image or remove things like “Red Eye”.
There’s not as many options on the filter list to choose from as there is in Photo Studio. But that is kind of the point. This app is about managing and post-processing images so that they are good photos, and not about turning your photos into arty or other worldly concept shots. So it’s a very different tool.
The user interface is smooth to respond, every option sliding a page one way or another to bring in more functionality. And on the most part it all flows and makes sense. There are even nicely presented help screens to guide you through import options and the like.
For some reason however, even on my iPhone 4, there was the occasional delay between pressing any button, and the interface responding. This made me double hit options, or hit the wrong options when I was incorrectly reacting to what I thought the interface would do, only to have it stutter. Why do I labour this point? Well, because in an app so polished it really stands out as a glaring flaw. But it’s not a deal breaker. Just surprising.
All the functionality you expect is there. You can redo and undo effects, and if you want to you can choose a random effect to apply to your image. Although I suspect the latter feature is there more because it’s part of this suite of apps interface framework. Because none of the effects are the kind I’d want to apply randomly to a picture – rather I’d employ them to correct something that is wrong with a photo I have taken – or to enhance something in the image I want to bring out.
All the effects are governed by a global set of parameters which describe the size of image you want to work on. So if you are just producing email thumbnails, or a cool avatar you can downsize larger images. But conversely you can also thrash away on full size HD images with complex effects, and the app makes it very clear that your iPhone or iPod is not a Cray Supercomputer, and some processing may take a while. It’s very clear when processing is going on, and even on high quality pictures I didn’t have a problem with the processing time at all. It’s fairly quick for a smartphone.
Ultimately you can send a processed image just about anywhere, by any service. You know the drill. And the app will walk you through it. You can also import images to the app via iTunes, or even take shots from within the app.
At $0.99 Perfect Photo 2.0 is a quality product, that the developers know will be popular, and have priced very reasonably. And they can afford to because it will sell in large numbers.
If you already have one of MacPhun’s photo apps then you know they do what they say on the box. And if you don’t then we can recommend them as being well worth the money, professionally produced and very complete. The developers also continually strive to improve their apps after release as is borne out by this being a v2.0 app already, and being significantly improved over the original.
If you are out and about snapping shots this weekend, or anytime in 2011 this is an app worth having on your iOS device.
- Comprehensive set of filters for image post processing.
- Great UI Design.
- Full set of options for sharing and importing or exporting.
- UI is unresponsive, briefly, sometimes.
$0.99 (View in iTunes)
Updated: Nov 30, 2010
Current Version: 2.0.0
2.0.0 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Seller: macphun.com, LLC
© 2009-2010 MacPhun LLC
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later