Snapture Releases a New PiP iPhone Camera App, Will It Live Up To The Expectations?


This is a guest post by Israeli blogger Yarin Hochman, who has apparently spent a significant amount of time testing every single iPhone app, ever released. In this post he shares his experiences with Snapture’s newly born PiP camera app. You can read more from Yarin on his Hebrew tech blog, TechVibe.

I don’t know about you but for me, one of the biggest pains with my iphone machine is the camera. Now, I haven’t upgraded to the 3GS version yet, I personally don’t see any substantial reason to, but still, even the iphone 3GS camera itself, is apparently provided with tiny lens, very basic features and low quality images, when it comes to comparison with average Nokia\Blackberry cameras.

Today, Snapture, which previously released a camera app for jailbroken iPhones, seems to turn “legit”, by introducing an official version that is now available on Apple’s formal app store, under Snapture app (1.99$), and has made me like it from first impression, but not without a few reservations attached.

Snapture-iPhone-app

First thing you’ ll notice, when tackling with Snapture’s new app, is a highly requested feature which turns the entire screen of your iPhone device into a camera button (tap-anywhere control), which is both convenient and intuitive but also takes time getting used to, after handling the iPhone camera app for so long.

One thing I particularity liked in this app, is the “thumbnail stack” feature, the company added, where you get a thumbnail view of the last 4 pictures you have taken, allowing either saving them to your iphone camera roll, or email\deleting them, without having to leave the app, which means a real time saver and a MAJOR upgrade from the iphone camera flavor. Personally, I’d recommend Snapture adding Twitter and Facebook quick upload buttons, which could be a real nice addition, and might be helpful in spreading the word.

One thing that was particularly annoying, is the relatively long time it takes to actually save the images to your camera roll. I guess it’s where the app does its image processing and correction things, but still it took over five to six seconds (!) for one single image to be saved, and that’s quiet a lot, especially for busy people like me.

Other included features are A) the ability to zoom with a simple pinch\pan gestures (X5), which worked pretty well for me, B) a level Aid (which I didn’t find particularly useful), C) the ability to choose the image size (Multiple Image Sizes), and D) High Speed Multishot (x3 mode) which wasn’t something out of the ordinary.

As for image quality, hands on heart, I wasn’t falling out of my chair. While image processing itself is slightly improved from Apple’s original iPhone app, and the zooming feature was a real nice experience, the overall results achieved, were too blurry for me to expect, whenever zoomed in, and weren’t presenting the sharp and vivid levels I hoped reaching. Still, playing with the app even more, made me realize, as it goes with many other cameras, that eventually it’s all about the light exposure – better lighting equals better shots.  Therefor, I’d certainly wish that Snapture had sorted things out by adding an improved light effect to their image processing, but that might be influenced by Apple’s iPhone camera as well, isn’t it?

To conclude this review, I’d definitely like to see inside the new Snapture app features like  image effects, varies color modes, and a timer, which were all included on the jailbroken version, but regretfully omitted from the new one.

PR announcement is just after the break, along with few shots I’ve taken.

Zooming in with Snapture’s app

Snapture Image
iPhone image

Snapture Brings Picture-In-Picture System to the iPhone Camera
Mountain View, CA. September 21, 2009.  Snapture Labs and Occipital today announced the launch of Snapture on AppStore – a new iPhone camera application that will change the way people take pictures on their iPhone.
Snapture uses advanced technology to truly enhance the functionality of the iPhone camera.  Prior to its launch on AppStore, Snapture has served over 500,000 users and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo and Wired, amongst hundreds of other international tech blogs.
Snapture’s patent-pending Picture-in-Picture technology allows users to view, delete and email photos directly from the viewfinder – without ever having to enter camera roll.  “It doesn’t make sense that you should have to enter the camera roll just to view and remove recent pictures,” said Jeff Powers, Co-Founder of Occipital, “Snapture’s Picture-in-Picture system displays recent pictures as thumbnails directly on the viewfinder, and allows you to view, save, delete or email with a swipe of a finger”.
Furthermore, Snapture’s patent-pending zoom is an industry first that utilizes Pinch&Pan multi-touch technology, and allows users to zoom up to 5X for that perfect framed shot.
Finally, Snapture aggregates all of the other camera features that are currently present in various other camera apps, including: High-Speed Multi-Shot (x3), tap anywhere to take a picture, multiple image sizes, Level Aid, and a fully comprehensive help system.  The app is also available in 12 languages.
“We have been developing and improving on Snapture’s technology for about a year,” commented Snapture Labs CEO Bowei Gai.  “We truly believe that Snapture will become the default camera application for our users going forward.”
Snapture is releasing at $1.99, a 75% discount to its normal price.  To try a copy of Snapture, or to find out more information on the product, please visit www.snapturelabs.com
Snapture Labs LLC
Snapture Labs aspires to reinvent mobile photography through the use of advanced technology.  Founded in 2008 by a group of Carnegie Mellon alumni, Snapture has launched several successful camera applications on the iPhone, serving a userbase of 500,000 and having been featured by hundreds of high profile publications and blogs.
Occipital LLC
Occipital, a TechStars-funded startup, is using state-of-the-art computer vision in mobile applications, enabling users to capture and retrieve information faster than ever before.  In addition to helping bring Snapture to the App Store, Occipital has created RedLaser — the first realtime mobile barcode scanner that does not require autofocus.  RedLaser is also available on the App Store.

Nir Ben Yona Shein

Internet freak and technology geek; Aspiring screenwriter, devoted tech blogger & Technologer chief editor . Early adopter with a keen interest in gadgets, technology, internet and mobile.

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