XLCamera

XLCamera (0.99$) by Maksym Tsanko

Available on iPhone & iPod Touch

According XLCamera, you can enjoy better “pictures at low light with much better quality.” This sets off alarm bells immediately. I’m skeptical of any app that claims to boost your iPhone camera’s picture taking ability. Does XLCamera live up to it’s hype, or does it fall short like dozens of other photo apps?

Let’s look at technique behind XLCamera’s photo enhancement. XLCamera uses two-step process to brighten and enhance dark images. There’s a ‘torch’ function that toggles your camera flash to stay on. An additional a built in slider adjusts images by tweaking with color saturation and hues. The slider doesn’t make images magically brighter, but increase the warmness and blurs the sharp edges associated with flash night-photography.

This photo editing power-combination works fine in small, enclosed rooms. The flash is enough to illuminate the area and allow the magic to take effect. I would even cautiously say that XLCamera performs well in these situations. In the test photos below, you can see that XLCamera did a fairly good job with my dark piano room. The combination of the flashlight and the color adjustment produced warmer pictures than using the stock iPhone camera alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right: Standard no flash, flash only regular iPhone camera, flash and adjustment with XLCamera

XLCamera has the misfortune of being plagued by cheap banner ads- a pet peeve of mine. To make things worse, the app’s description is misleading, not mentioning an ‘extra’ $0.99 required for video capture, which works with the same results as the photo function. Don’t forget the $0.99 no-ads upgrade, in case you actually like taking pictures without a flashing dating site banner taking up 10% of your screen. Occasionally, I’ll click on an ad when I mean to take a photo or adjust a slider, sending my iPhone to a random website and me into a fit of horrible rage.

XLCamera works under certain conditions, but doesn’t live up to it’s promises. No app will make the iPhone camera comparable to upper-end digitals and SLR/DSLR cameras, but XLCamera does a fairly good job of brightening enclosed, dark rooms. However, this simple photo app is plagued by poor execution and design, giving me reservations about recommending it to others. Purchase XLCamera at your own risk if you can benefit from the app’s specific strengths. Otherwise, steer clear.

 

Visual Presentation Unremarkable and filled with cheap, distracting ads
Ease of Use Simple to navigate and use
Functionality Works under certain conditions
Value vs. Price There are many free photo apps that perform better
Overall Sometimes useful, but plagued by ads and poor execution
App Name: XLCamera (iTunes)
Version: 2.0
Price as of this writing: 0.99$. A free version of this app is not available at this time.
iTunes category: Utilities
Available on: iPhone & iPod Touch
Developer: Maksym Tsanko
Device & iOS used for review: iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1

One Response to “XLCamera”

  1. Michael Says:

    I know developers need to find ways to pay for the apps they release, but combining ads with upgrades seems to be a growing trend that I’m not really a fan of! But the pic of your piano room does look more natural than the flash-flooded pic in the middle.


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