Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
For the creative type, it's pretty exciting to try to master the use of a digital camera. It's also pretty darn daunting. As the owner of a bridge camera, a halfway point between a basic compact camera and a full blown DSLR, I can feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of options available to me. Being able to adjust every single setting possible is amazing but also intimidating, making it all too easy to take the safe option and set everything to auto. While a plethora of books can help me out, it's not very convenient taking the books around with me for consultation as and when I need help. This makes Photo Academy ideal.
Photo Academy is an app that's more an encyclopaedia than just a simple guide to how to take better photos. For the $3.99 asking price it offers tons of information covering pretty much every scenario possible. Divided up into three core sections, it's easy to navigate.
The ideal starting place is that of Photo 101 which explains all the basics as well as some advanced techniques. Explanations are offered for the differences between compact cameras and DSLRs along with basic tips and tricks, even how best to hold a camera. More detailed advice is offered with analysis of exposure modes, all camera settings, composition advice and equipment explanations. Information is also provided on the importance of depth of field, the histogram, why it's useful to take photos in RAW format rather than JPEG and even a section on photo editing afterwards. It's extensive stuff and if that was all that was offered within the app, Photo Academy would still be a useful app.
Further to that however comes the How To section which covers every possible subject in terms of what can be photographed. Everything from aquarium situations, safaris, babies, candid shots, cityscapes, festivals, food, disabled sports, extreme sports and macro photography of flowers is covered. That's scratching the surface as the amount of different subjects is impressive indeed. Each section is divided up accordingly with each subject provided with general tips, appropriate camera settings to use, relevant equipment, lighting tips, creativity tips and a gallery of images for inspiration. The photographs for each area are glorious to look at but for the disk space frugal user, there's the option to download these images as and when required. Users can still explore the app while such photos are downloading which is pretty useful.
Finally comes the Shoot Diary section in which users can record their latest photos along with notes, the date, location and weather conditions. In theory people can use this to learn from past experience and see the improvements in their photography as they progress.
Photo Academy offers an intelligent package of content. It's hard to find anything that's missed out here. If something is missing, users can submit an idea to the app's developers so hopefully future updates will be perfectly in tune with the user's needs. For the photographer, whether they are a total novice or keen amateur, this is the ideal app for reference.