No Instagram? 6 Photo App Alternatives

Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

What's worse than a bad photo? No photo — a missed opportunity. Thanks to photo apps, life's best (and sometimes most embarrassing moments) are increasingly captured everywhere, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of camera phones. Instagram, the photo effects sharing sensation, proves a picture can speak a thousand words. But what if you don't have or want to use Instagram? Here are 6 camera apps that make editing, styling, and sharing your snapshots fun in a similar fashion...

iOS

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Left: Camera+ - Right: ProCamera

Camera+
Camera+ is a solid performer for pros and casual photographers alike, presenting an interface similar to a real DSLR camera. Light adjustment, flash (iPhone 4/4S) and a 6x digital zoom give users a wider amount of control before snapping the phot. One feature we particularly like is the option to set exposure separately from focus (and how easy it is to do it). Pictures can be edited with multiple settings, frames and adjustments and shared onto Facebook, Twitter or Flickr for a complete photo app experience. $2

ProCamera
Multi-taskers will like ProCamera. In addition to an expert mode offering settings for focus, white balance control, and exposure, the app takes some pretty mean videos as well. Shooting in HD with a high quality zoom makes ProCamera a two-in-one tool for videographers and photographers alike. Functions like an anti-shake stabilizer, green mode (to save on battery life) and auto photo editing sets itself apart from the competition to help your photos look great with little to no effort. $2

Android

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Left: Camera Zoom FX - Right: Little Photo

Camera Zoom FX
Hailed as the best Android camera app by Lifehacker, Camera Zoom FX's appeal is in the details. When an app has a sound activated shutter trigger feature, you know they've thought of everything. A multitude of photo effects, one button presets, and frames can help customize a previously staid image into something more memorable. We like the level of control FX gives users, with each of the four Android buttons assignable a function, such as zoom in/out or snapshot to transform your handset into a fancy point and shoot. $5

Little Photo
"Less is more" when it comes to using Little Photo, an app with a simple to use minimal interface. Whether it's a simple nature shot or trying to create something more artistic, the 70 tools and functions offer a dizzying array of visual options. The brightness, contrast, exposure and saturation options are all here, but where Little Photo sets itself apart from the pack is the "smooth skin" effect and ability to merge multiple photos into one. $4

Windows Phone 7

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Left: Photo Studio - Right: Apict

Photo Studio
For that goofy dad in all of us who like to get a little silly with family pictures, Photo Studio gives the opportunity to add speech bubbles to photos. Distortion effects and illustration tools are paired with more utilitarian options like red eye removal, color gradients, sepia, gray scale, more than 25 automatic presets and a undo/redo of up to 3 levels. $3

Apict
Fans of retro photography will get a kick out of the old Polaroid style pictures Apict offers. Photos can be cropped, rotated, and placed in a white frame. A handwritten style font can be added to the space beneath for a fun picture that can be shared via Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. It has few options in the way of adjusting brightness and such but it captures the nostalgia of photography before Photoshop and digital filters. And the most satisfying detail is the Polaroid-style sound effect when your photo emerges when finished. $1

(Image: Gregory Han)