We’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of the new Sony QX line of lens-style cameras: those super high quality lens systems that attach to the back of an iPhone and communicate with the phone via a Sony app. We had a few minutes to go hands-on with the QX-100 high-end lens yesterday, and here’s what we saw. More on the QX cameras.
While not in the perfect setting, we did a few side-by-side tests with the QX-100 ($499) lens against the stock camera in the iPhone 5S. Here are the sample shots and a few notes for each. These images are not modified other than whatever the individual cameras do by default and for size/cropping for use here.
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This first shot is a bit of a torture shot for any camera. Bright colors, bright sun, dark shadows, natural and artificial light all in one. In this one both cameras do a good job, but the nod goes to the Sony QX-100 for better representation of the colors in both the light and dark areas. Also a better job of keeping the highlights from blowing out and the darks from disappearing.
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In this shot, both cameras do a great job. While the Sony has a richer color saturation – perhaps too saturated – both are quite good. One plus for the Sony: notice that the background is blurred nicely vs the flatter image from the iPhone.
In all, the real let down was the software. And the good thing about that is that it can be updated. Hopefully it will be. Image size is also an issue. The iPhone 5s takes images natively at 8MP while the Sony QX-100 was only sending 1.5MP images to the camera. It is capable, with an micro-SD card installed, to take up to 20MP images, but I was unable to test that.
The price is another thing to think of. The QX-100 is $500. While saving a couple hundred over the same featured RX-100 camera, it might be worth the extra just to be able to use the camera by itself. Without further testing I can’t really be sure if the camera is worth the $500 over the camera built into the iPhone. We hope to have a full review for you later this year as the lenses become more readily available.
Posted by Rob Rich on August 29th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Shutterbugs rejoice! Procam has just received a temporary price drop to $0.99, and a fairly significant update!
Amidst all the typical bug fixes and performance enhancements, the app now also sports a real-time fully manual camera for iPhone 5/iPod Touch 5th Gen users. We’re talking exposure, saturation, white balance, and all that good stuff. The Time Lapse Mode has also been tweaked so it runs smoother and allows you to embed soundtracks. Burst Mode has also been adjusted so that it captures images faster and produces sharper pictures. And even more updates are planned for the future, naturally.
Posted by Rob Rich on August 29th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Photo apps can turn even the most basic images into fancy-looking digital artworks. However, after a while sepia filters and fake thermal imagery can only go so far. That’s where an app like Mosaicam comes in.
Rather than relying doctoring images with color and saturation adjustments, although similar filters are certainly in there, Mosaicam simulates multi-lens cameras in order to turn your photos into a beautiful collage with a tap. Up to eight different patterns are available to choose from; just pick one and snap a picture while the app does the rest. Then you can share your work through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Need to know the latest and greatest apps each and every week? Look no further than 148Apps. Our reviewers comb through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
Granted I’ve yet to watch either of the Star Trek reboot films (I know, I know), but I seem to recall there being something about Kirk and Spock not liking each other. Or rather, they have a kind of rivalry going on. Which is appropriate since Star Trek Rivals is all about going toe-to-toe with friends. And shoving their faces in the dirt with superior tactics. In a friendly way. Star Trek Rivals is essentially the Triple Triad mini-game from Final Fantasy IX with Captain Kirk, the Enterprise, and so on. For the unfamiliar that means a 3X3 grid and a bunch of cards with a number on each of their four sides. When a card is placed next to a rival’s, and it has the higher number between the two touching sides, that card is converted to the other side. The overall goal is to have dominion over more cards than the opposition by the time the grid is full. This is done by strategically placing cards so that they either block an opponent’s attempts at assimilation or take over their cards directly. –Rob Rich
Jawfish Poker is Texas hold ‘em poker for the mobile generation. A tournament can be played in minutes against dozens and dozens of players. For those wanting a rapid-fire poker experience, this is worth checking out. Instead of sitting at a table against a multitude of players, all the matchups are heads-up against players in the same tournament. Betting has been simplified: there’s a steadily-increasing big and small blind, and the only options are to fold or to go all-in. This means that for every hand that is called, someone’s getting knocked out. It’s high-intensity poker all the time, all against real players. While the Texas hold ‘em rules remain the same, new challenges arise. Bluffing becomes a particularly risky strategy just because it’s only really possible to steal the blinds with the all-in-or-fold betting system. Thus, knowing which hands are good to bluff on becomes key because any hand could instantly be a life-or-death situation. –Carter Dotson
With hardly a sign of animated talking animals, Disney’s Story is a fairly mature storyboard creation app for those who want to combine their images to create their own tale. Immediately accessible, not much is needed to get started. Facebook sharing is there, requiring a quick log-in but it’s far from essential at first. Instead, users can get straight into the action by manipulating the images from their camera roll. Story divides these images, at first, into dates proving particularly useful for those collecting memories from a specific day. For instance, I looked for the date in which I got a new baby guinea pig and within moments, could create a collage of the memories of the first day for the piglet. –Jennifer Allen
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:
Colours! is an interesting, interactive color theory app that children and their adults will enjoy. I honestly did not expect much from Colours! as teaching children how to mix primary colors to create secondary shades is not an uncommon topic, so I was pleasantly surprised how complex this app can become. Colours! allows one to mix red, yellow, blue, white and black to form any color possible. A sponge is also included to use as an eraser – a nice touch. –Amy Solomon
Zoola Deluxe is a charming interactive animal app for babies and toddlers – a companion app to the popular Zoola, also reviewed at GiggleApps. Zoola Deluxe contains a nice variety of animals one can interact with. To start, tap on one of nine animals from either Farm, Safari or Forest animals. Babies will enjoy how chunky the areas for each animal to tap are, making this app intuitive for the youngest app users. Once a selection is made, listen to the animal’s name narrated as well as see the word on the screen. Also note the mild yet effective animated elements included as well as the sounds for each creature. This app also contains a nice variety of languages, always a nice touch. –Amy Solomon
Itsy Cars is a unique interactive app that allows children to build the race track of their dreams using a combination of thirteen pieces of track which are connected to create a track that one can drive a race car through. Four differently styled cars can be chosen, and then children will build their tracks with the tap of a finger, connecting pieces of track together. When complete, start the car down the track, tapping the “Turbo Button” when players want their car to go faster. The look of this app is highly computer-generated, with the use of many angles and bright yet not terribly unrefined colors – a style I am not always a fan of but which makes a lot of sense in this app. –Amy Solomon
Sonic the Hedgehog is a classic, at least in the sense that it was the launching pad for a famous character. In reality, it’s a lot more like some bands’ first album: their later stuff is more refined, exploring their strengths better, to make for a better product. Such is the original Sonic game. Sonic 2 and 3 do a lot to make the series much better, so I must admit that when I heard that Sonic 1 was being remastered by Christian Whitehead and company a la Sonic CD, I was initially disappointed. But really, there was no reason to be: the tweaks and new features make this better. Sonic should be well-known at this point. Run, jump, fight Eggman’s robots and contraptions (though he’ll always be Dr. Robotnik to me), and avoid those darn spikes. This is the game that started the classic formula, including the most underappreciated part of the series’ gameplay: the complex levels and challenging platforming that comes from their multiple layers. –Carter Dotson
How much muck could a muck chuck chuck if a muck chuck could chuck muck? Chuck the Muck is a cool entry from KizStudios that merges nice graphics with easy-to-learn gameplay and a familiar scoring method. Bob is the name of our protagonist in this one. A blob with attitude, Bob is described as a being with an appetite, and it seems to hunger for colored gems. It just so happens that these gems are not that easy to get to. Thus Bob’s job is to use the gooey stuff in his environment to solve the physics puzzlers that the the gem placements created. The basic tool was a stretchy, springy “muck” that I could manipulate to a degree. Using it as a trampoline of sorts, I could use my finger to direct Bob in a pre-determined trajectory. This helped me collect the gems for three start score. Missing a target or a landing could lead to Bob’s demise. The controls mostly involved dragging, pulling to release and tap and hold. –Tre Lawrence
I can’t say that I expected much from Elements Battle. The name is about as unimaginative as it gets, the art looked pretty but uninspired and to top it off it’s freemium, which is a business model that I’ve never been entirely comfortable with. As it turns out though Elements Battle is substantially better than I expected. The core game is a lot like Puzzle Quest. The bulk of it is a series of puzzle battles on a grid where three or more identical symbols must be matched each turn. Those symbols correspond to elemental spells which get fired at an opponent once enough of them have been matched. The opponent does the same and the winner is the one with health left at the end. Outside of battles there are some basic RPG mechanics with quests to complete (though they all boil down to battles too), levels to gain and a store used to purchase additional spells and equipment. –James Rogerson
The folks at Grab Games are a versatile bunch. They’re last game, Amoebattle, tasked players with coordinating an army of amoebas to strategically best their opponents. Their latest game, Picsy, is a social photography game. Quite the difference there. I was able to ask the game’s Lead Designers, Greig Carlson, Hans Vancol, and Harold Vancol a few questions about their newest title and their answers have me looking forward to Picsy‘s planned updates.
So, going from a squad-based RTS featuring microorganisms to a social multiplayer photo-sharing game. Was it difficult to “change gears” so drastically? Not at all! Our game designers are well versed in different game genres. Additionally, we had 2 separate teams working on those two projects
How long did it take for you all to come up with the name “Picsy?” About 6 weeks. We had several other names but trying to secure a trademark is a huge challenge we didn’t originally foresee
Was it difficult at all to integrate so many photo uploading options (take a photo, choose existing, paste from clipboard)? Not really. Those are all standard features one would expect in playing a photo game like this. Originally we wanted to include a lot of other options for submitting photos, such as Instagram, but figured we could get to the additional features in future updates. Plus, we didn’t want to give users too much at first as we felt it could become a bit overwhelming.
How exactly are the judges for each round selected? That was one thing I was never entirely clear on. There is a Single Judge game and a Multi Judge game. In a single judge game, the judge rotates from round to round. In a Multi Judge game, everyone in the game is able to judge the photo submissions.
Were there any features that you wanted to include that didn’t make the cut? Tons. The challenge is getting a game out with enough features to keep the user happy, while keeping the scope contained so that you can be first to market. Otherwise, we could have been in development for well over a year.
Any that might be added in a future update? We’re already on our 3rd version of the game and plenty of features have been added thus far. We’re currently working on more features such as photo filters, new word options, creating your own words, sharing options, etc. We’re constantly improving the game so stay tuned for future updates!
I’d think that the ability to copy/paste photos would take some of the fun out of a game if all anyone ever does is Google image searches. Might there be a chance of including an option for custom rules when setting up a game that would disable certain things, such as said copy/paste? We have considered different game options like copy paste, time restricted games, camera only, 1 vs 1 game modes, public vote games, etc. We made it so that users get more bonus points for taking pictures with their camera as opposed to copy/paste from the web which incentivizes users to submit original photos.
I know there must’ve been at least a few test rounds when Picsy was in development. Who’s the reigning champ at Grab Games? Any chance you can share their best submission? There were tons of great photos submitted during testing which is why we fell in love with the game. One photo that stands out in my mind was for the word “Outrageous”. Photo has been attached [see above]. As you can see, the UI is temp from one of our early versions.
Both Picsy and Amoebattle are available right now for free and $4.99, respectively.
Posted by Jeff Scott on September 5th, 2012 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Adobe today released an update to their Photoshop Touch app for iPad. The update finally ads Retina display support and smooths out the navigation and animation a bit. Full details below:
Adobe Photoshop Touch 1.3 Update
Retina Display Support
Even Higher Resolution Capabilities (up to 12 MP image size)
Two new Effects: Shred and Colorize
Smoother animation and scrolling in the organizer, tutorial browser, and file picker
New three finger tap gesture to toggle 100% view and fit screen
New pixel nudging mode for precise movements
Support for Apple Photo Stream**
Various bug fixes
People love taking pictures with their iPhones and since the cameras keep getting better so does the quality of the pictures themselves. With a seemingly endless supply of potentially great snapshots out there, Pictorama figured that there was probably some money to be made. The good news is that they are letting the users get in on the action.
The process is simple. Users take a photo, give it tags, and upload it. From there, it is judged by a panel of experts and fellow enthusiasts. If it’s approved, the picture is then put on the marketplace and every time it gets purchased, the photographer gets a cut. Beyond that, everyone from professionals to amateur shutterbugs can get feedback from the community and even share knowledge of their own. Pictorama is also offering 0.25€ per accepted picture upfront.
“Turn passion for pictures into profit.” Pictorama is available now for free on the App Store.
Macadamia Apps has just released StillShot, a photo app that takes specific frames from videos.
Like the video trailer describes, we’ve all had those moments where we go to take a picture with our iOS device’s camera and ended up accidently taking a video instead. That moment might escape us forever and we’re stuck with a video instead of a picture. StillShot allows users to go back into that video and flip through the frames until the perfect picture within the video is found.
Obviously, this app could be used on purpose instead of remedying that accidental video over photo situation. I’m especially exited to try this app out with sports photography. Since the players are moving so fast, it’s often tough to get a great picture with the iPhone camera because of the limited shutter speed. StillShot should provide some great options for those action shots.
Macadamia Apps are also the creators of GroupShot, a photoediting app for group pictures, which received a 4.5/5 stars here at 148Apps from writer Michael Halloran. Michael described GroupShot as “smart and intuitive” and, overall, was “impressed” with the app. We’re expecting no less from StillShot.
There are plenty of reasons for someone to show another person some photos. The trick is to find a way to do it that isn’t incredibly boring. The folks at ImageAMMO, LLC are aware of this issue and have come up with their own app to combat the problem: the aptly named ImageAmmo.
ImageAMMO allows users to display and peruse their image library using a number of 3D interfaces. These shapes range from spirals to cubes, and they can manually sift through everything or start a slideshow as they see fit. The app automatically incorporates the iOS device’s library so there’s practically no setup involved. It also supports external displays, so users with a VGA adapter (or AppleTV and AirPlay) and monitor can create presentations that are much more interesting than the norm.
The developer has also adapted the software for music libraries. IA Jukebox gives users the option to shuffle through their music libraries in much the same fashion as the photo app. Album covers reconfigure themselves on the screen to create interesting shapes, and calling up a particular song is as simple as tapping the screen a couple of times. I’d think hooking it up to a TV would make selecting background music for a party much more entertaining.
Both ImageAMMO and IA Jukebox are available in the App Store right now for $3.99 and $2.99 respectively. Just think of the presentation possibilities.
Photo manipulation apps, especially the apps that mess with peoples faces, can be particularly fun. Role Play, by Dim Dim Sum App, is an entertainment app that allows users to take pictures of themselves and friends, apply “digital make-up,” and put them into different roles.
Users can take photos from their existing library or taking a picture within the app. Then users place position markers on various parts of the face in the picture like the eyes and mouth. After that, the user can apply a “role” from the app to the photo and the person instantly becomes something like a pirate or a clown. This can be a fun way for users to give themselves digital make-overs or screw with their friends by putting their faces into roles that would be humorous.
The app comes with two free “make-over” roles: Princess and Pirate. Other roles can be purchased with in-app coins that can either be purchased or earned by sharing Role Play pictures via Twitter or Facebook. Some other roles that can be purchased include Cat, Cleopatra, and Geisha.
Like it or not, the 3D craze does not seem to be going away any time soon. Paying a little more for a 3D movie ticket is one thing but who wants to go out and buy a brand new 3D camera? Now, with Snapily3D from HumanEyes Technologies, iPhone and iPad owners do not have to.
Using the simple on-screen instructions, users can take their own 3D pictures. From there, they have the option to order 3D prints directly from the app, share pictures through services like Facebook and Twitter, or view the photo right on their phone using various kinds of 3D glasses. There is even a glasses-free, cross-eyed mode and the option to manipulate a 2D photo, in 3D space, with the gyroscope. The app also features more conventional camera functionality like face detection and high definition shooting modes.
Preserve precious memories in three glorious dimensions. Snapily3D is available now on the App Store.
SugarSync has been allowing users to sync all sorts of media across computers and mobile devices for over a year now. With so many people getting their first taste of cloud computing and storage thanks to this past year’s holiday gifts, SugarSync has decided to give them proper welcome. A new update has hit the service adding a host of new features.
Together, these new features streamline and speed up the media management process. Users can now upload multiple files at once instead of one at a time. Files will also now sync in the background allowing users to enjoy their devices while they update.
When syncing photos, users can choose to load low quality versions at a faster rate, higher quality versions at a slower rate or a compromise between the two. The photo tab has also been redesigned making it much easier and quicker to view and share albums.
SugarSync is available for free on pretty much any Mac, PC and mobile device out there.
There is a new player in the photo-morphosis game and it’s called Artifact. The app allows iPhone and iPad users to alter their photos fairly quickly as the clone stamp tool works extremely well with iOS. This is a much welcomed app since its cost of $2.99 is dwarfed by Adobe Photoshops CS5′s $699 price tag. Ok, there is a bit of a features difference between the two, but the app is a powerful tool for those photo fans who enjoy adorning their dog Skippy with a magnificent mustache or their darling newborn with a pair of angel wings.
Artifact features two useable layers, one for the original image and the other for the image the user will be taking from. As soon as the image has been pinched into place, the user simply pants the image from the second image onto the first image for a new, unique photo. The app also allows a video frame to be used, multi-touch painting support, different brush shapes and painting modes and masking tape to block off and protect parts of the image from painting. And with the latest update, the user can undo multiple times, uses less RAM, takes images from Facebook and the opacity can be customized.
Posted September 30th, 2011 by Gianna LaPin Our Rating: :: GREAT FUN
A reasonably-priced app for satisfying the inner animation producer in all of us. Its low price point makes it suitable for anyone who really just wants to give it a go and isn’t too concerned about production quality.
Warhammer Quest has been updated with new content that’s available through in-app purchase. The Undead Horde DLC comes with new monsters featuring their own unique abilities that can change the tactics on the battle. Players can purchase the new content for $1.99 each, including the Witch Hunter Hero pack, Skeletons and Necromancers Enemy pack, Zombies […]