Mattebox Review
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Mattebox Review

Our Review by Jennifer Allen on January 19th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: COMPLEX
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There's plenty of potential in this photography app but also a few rough edges.

Developer: Ben Syverson
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Countless photography apps have sought to turn the iPhone camera into a fully fledged DSLR camera. Sadly, this is a pretty difficult thing to achieve. That doesn't stop Mattebox giving it a good try, though, even if its ambition does outweigh its actual achievements.

Priced on the heftier end of the Photography app scale, Mattebox promises to be the only app that displays ISO, shutter speed and focal distance to the user and it does exactly that. The flaws lie in the fact that there's no way of manually adjusting them (presumably due to the hardware of the iPhone camera) so the usefulness of such functionality is a little limited to say the least.

What is useful, however, is the other features within Mattebox, assuming the user manages to figure out everything. Mattebox dispenses with complexities, instead focusing on a minimalist appearance. It's ideal for offering more viewing space but it is a minor struggle at first with a line of icons not being the most easily understandable of buttons. Some help would have been very welcome.

Features wise however and it's a strong run for Mattebox. One-touch white balance controls work particularly well and can be locked easily, along with most other features here. Exposure and focus can be set through half a press of the onscreen shutter release button, and it doesn't take long to master.

Photo editing functionality is also available with six image adjustments built in and working on a sliding scale of adjustability. It's quick to use too with results frequently being fast to see. There's a noticeable difference thanks to the corrections being conducted in a 32-bit per channel, something I'll admit I don't fully understand but makes a difference to making photos look more accurate.

Mattebox needs some work to be truly indispensable. A steep learning curve isn't useful and there's currently no way of sharing directly with social networks. Simple editing tools such as rotating an image are also not included in the app. Once these have been dealt with however, Mattebox will be a pretty strong photography app.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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