6 Photography Apps to Improve the Quality of Your Photos

6 Photography Apps to Improve the Quality of Your Photos

Jason Rodway
Oct 16, 2013

Professionals know there's still no replacement for a DSLR when it comes to manual adjustments like ISO, focus points, or shutter speed, not to mention image sensor size. That doesn't mean smartphones can't be useful for more serious photography. On the contrary several apps on the market serve work as excellent companions to DSLRs as portable portfolios, handheld light sources, for generating release forms, and much more.


Left: LightTrac - Right: f/8 DoF Calculator

One, if not the most important element to capturing a perfect photo is lighting. And in the case of natural light, it can either be your friend or your worst enemy (think harsh shadows or blown out sections in photos). LightTrac helps users find the exact location of the sun and moon with precise timing throughout the day to coordinate positioning and location of light. These details include the angle and elevation of the sun and moon, clearly stating natural light's effects with a satellite image overlay and helpful diagrams. $5 - Also available for Android

f/8 DoF Calculator
Accentuating a subject with sharp clarity in a photo is achieved by knowing the camera's depth of field. Calculating the depth of field can be tricky, but the f/8 DoF Calculator iOS app can handle all the math for you. Everything is done within a single screen, articulating variables such as aperture and distance variables through adjustable sliders. f/8 DoF Calculator takes all these factors and generates the total DoF, near and far limits, and the distance it extends in front of and behind the subject. $4


Left: Photo Tools - Right: Digi-Review

Photo Tools
This Android platform offers a variety of tools for photographers, such as depth of field calculation, a hyperfocal distance calculator, an exposure reciprocation calculator, minimal shutter speed calculator, light meter, and flash exposure calculator, amongst many other functions. Having all 27 tools in one place in a reliable app certainly helps minimize smartphone clutter and will certainly work for a photographer that requires its services. $2.50

Although top of the line photography hardware isn't necessarily necessary for capturing beautiful photographs, it does help to have the right lens for the right job. Digi-Review is an amazing resource for reading reviews when shopping for camera hardware. This includes all DSLR and the increasingly popular mirror-less camera segment, and also lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Micro Four Thirds, Fujifilm X Mounts camera bodies. You can search based on aperture, focal length, brand, and even see samples taken with the hardware in question and make the right choice. Free

Windows Phone

Left: BuddyLight - Right: DSLR Toolbox

When you need a spot of light in a precise place, a 4"-5" brightly lit screen is certainly handy. BuddyLight is like a handheld soft box light with a good range of color options for the always agreeable price of "free". Each option is categorized by the various shades of white (sunlight, fluorescent, tungsten), as well as standard gels or RGB. If these don't fill the need, you can create your own using the RGB color sliders. Free

DSLR Toolbox
DSLR Toolbox only has two functions, but what it offers it does particularly well. At its core the app is a depth of field and an angle of view calculator. By entering in the focal length, aperture, and the distance to the subject, the DoF calculator can estimate which segments of your photograph will be sharp. The angle of view calculator can give us the horizontal, vertical and diagonal angle of view for certain focal lengths and tell how many pictures are required for a full 360 panorama. Free

(Images: Jason Rodway; as linked above)

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