Article in App of the Week category.

Obscura Is the Camera App I’ve Been Dying to Use

Frankly, there’s more to Obscura than I can safely touch on in these weekly app posts. It’s been routinely ranked as one of the best…

Frankly, there’s more to Obscura than I can safely touch on in these weekly app posts. It’s been routinely ranked as one of the best third-party camera apps to grace the App Store and Obscura 3 has pushed things even further. It was recently updated with new capture modes as well as an overhauled interface.

Let’s dive into the interface at the get-go. It’s the face of the app and can make or break an app genre that is so tightly tied to usability. This modern interface is incredibly user-friendly while also shunning many of the current schemas. It relies on overlays and gestures to get the job done.

You can quickly switch between modes by tapping on a custom icon to the left. A wheel of icons animates out in a semicircle. Tap the mode you’re looking for with barely a move of your thumb. Swiping through Apple’s horizontal menu in the stock Camera app gets a bit tedious.

Other controls are adjusted by a tap and drag. For example, to adjust exposure, you tap and hold on the exposure icon. A ring appears around the icon that you can slide clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the exposure in real-time. A similar mechanic works for other controls too such as shutter speed or color tint.

It may be overlooked, but one of my biggest draws to Obscura is its integration with the Photos app. All of your photos can populate within Obscura where you can peruse them. This app then allows you to sort through those photos, edit, share, and rate them like you’re in Lightroom. Rating is underrated and hugely useful if you import any photos from external cameras as well.

There’s a lot of additional information you can pull from your photos while in Obscura. You can see if a photo supports the P3 wide color gamut, what the white balance preset was, the name of the filter applied, when it was captured, focal length, lens equivalent, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, brightness, and more.

As a camera app, it already has deep iOS integration. Things like support for RAW photos and depth effects. It taps into other areas as well like the ability to set a custom icon and automatically switch between light and dark modes. If you have an Apple Watch, you can trigger a remote shutter directly from your wrist.

While it does carry a heavier price tag than most mobile apps, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself preferring the user interface and added features over what Apple offers. Take the plunge. Up your photo game. Try Obscura.

But enough about other people's apps.


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