App Reviewed on: iPhone
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
If anything is changing the face of photography, it is the iPhone, and with good reason. The phone is small, travels well, and has a fair amount of apps to make photography more fun and enjoyable. Fantastimage hopes to tap into this fun photo market with VivaFoto, but is there enough here to make this the go to camera app?
The first thing users will notice about VivaFoto is there are plenty of lens filters to choose from, and choice is a good thing. Everything from a simple black and white conversion to artsy stuff such as turning the scene into a pencil sketch is covered. Another nice feature is that these filters all apply in real-time, meaning the user sees the desired effect on the screen, thus alleviating the guess work of how the shot will turn out.
Those shutterbugs looking for a bit more control can turn on the tap features, which allows single tapping a point on the screen to focus and a double tap to control exposure. This is a nice touch, and allows for more creative control. Adding one last morsel of goodness to the creativity, there is an option to turn on creative borders, which surrounds every shot with various artistic frames. The app is rounded out with the obligatory photo sharing to Twitter, Facebook, and email, but oddly no Instagram integration at this time.
Finally, the UI is clean and easy to understand with very little to get in the way. Once a filter is chosen, the filter bar disappears and only a handful of small buttons appear on the right side, all with clear icons to indicate what they are for. It all comes together for a simple camera app that encourages creativity, while removing the boundaries of having to shoot, examine the results, reassess, recompose, re-shoot, mix and repeat until happy.
VivaFoto is not without its faults, however. Choosing filters like Sketch, DreamOn, GameBoy, and so on lead to some serious performance issues. Any movement in the subject, or the photographer, leads to the screen struggling to keep up with the changing environment while rending to the scene. Also, there is no way to choose exactly what border gets applied to the photos, or change it from the default white. While the borders issue is a minor gripe, the screen lag can lead to some missed shots and frustration large enough to render those specific selections unusable.
Even with the rendering problems associated with specific filters, this is still a decent camera app. Being able to see exactly how the photo will turn out cuts a lot of time out for those camera happy users. Hopefully, as future patches are released, the performance will be addressed and this will become one of the go to apps for making marvelous works of photographic art.