Brief KitCam Review
By Matt Glastonbury, an independent blogger and accomplished Mobile Photographer who acts as a Contributing Editor to Ink361, providing great tutorials and App reviews. (Add Matt on Google Plus)
This review is not going to cover everything, it’s a review from my perspective and what I personally like and use. This is not meant to be a comprehensive, feature by feature article discussing all aspects.
KitCam is one of those Camera apps, for iPhone, that has lots of hidden features. The app has so much, you can use it daily for weeks and keep discovering new things.
- Separate lockable focus and exposure tools
- Real-time photo info display
- Master image
- Inbuilt editor
- Lenses and Films
- Continuous shooting
- Live FX preview
- Exposure Compensation
- White Balance compensation
- 1:1 square shooting
- Library Back-up through iTunes
- Export to PhotoForge2
- Easy access to Exif data (photo info)
- FTP backup
- JPG or TIFF Master Files
- No adding in Copyright info into Exif data
- No selective folder backing up of files through iTunes
- No FTP backup of Master photos
- High storage requirements
I’ve been using it three months now and have completely switched over to KitCam after being a huge fan of ProCamera for a long time. I fell in love with ProCamera because of the 1:1 shooting mode, the superior exposure and Focus control and also the ability to load my own copyright info into each photo automatically. I didn’t really use the inbuilt editor a lot but found it to be quite good when I did. Since moving across to KitCam I have used their inbuilt editor more and more, so much that I barely use Snapseed anymore. For the extra control that I may sometimes need, I then open the photo from KitCam directly to PhotoForge and edit further there.
If there is just one reason to get KitCam, it would be Non-destructive editing. This is fantastic.. It’s just like Lightroom, you can edit away, and shoot away with your chosen settings, then always go back to the original.
KitCam uses the concept of masters and edits to manage photos. A master is the unchanged photo captured by the camera and an edit is the result of choices you made in your personal settings (like WhiteBalance, Square format, a film or lens effect) when taking your photos. When you take a photo with KitCam, a master image is automatically created. KitCam will save the original/master and also the version you saw in the viewfinder when you took the photo. The internal editor (called Shot Editor) manages this image data for you to ensure that you can always alter any setting as many times as you need while still maintaining the best image quality possible.
Non-destructive editing means you are always making new additional edits based on the master/original, and in Snapseed, you are always losing quality because each time you save, you are re-compressing the file and changing the orginal again and again.
Here’s a quick demo of how cool non-destructive editing is:
Step 1: My original, wonky, shot.
Step 2: I hit Edit in KitCam, and chose the rotation tool, which let me finely tune the exact angle, in here I can also drag the composition up or down to suit my preference. Remember, it’s editing a copy of your master file, so even though I shot in square format, I can move the photo around because the Master is a 4:3.
Step 3: I added a film effect.
Step 4: The saved result of the edits made from steps 1-3.
Step 5: After closing the app, I later decided I didn’t want to use any effects. So, I re-opened KitCam and re-pressed the same film to remove it, essentially going back to a previous version in my editing workflow. KitCam lets you clear all your edits, and go back to the start, at any time. This can even be done after restarting the app!
Step 6: The result after some fine-tuning of the Contrast, Saturation, Brightness and Levels.
So, you can see here that I edited and saved, then went back in and re-edited. That’s something no other camera app has that I’m aware of, and it’s this ability to always pull data from the Master file and re-edit as much as I like without loss of quality, that really impresses me about this third-party camera.
Concluding… In my opinion, this is the best camera app available for iPhone photographers today, and it’s a must-try if you like to have the ability to always go back and make changes. Be warned, it is very space hungry, especially if you set your Master files as TIFF format. If you’re like me and you love to keep a lot of photos on your Camera Roll, you may need to delete more regularly and backup the Master files through iTunes frequently.
Another BIG THUMBS UP from me!