iPads are perfect for viewing and editing photos — and for taking them.
We’re not sure we’ll ever get used to seeing iPad owners use their device as a camera, but for those who insist on doing so, there are an increasing number of excellent apps available that take advantage of this burgeoning trend. Before you head out with tablet in tow, grab a few of our favorite iOS helpers…
New to the iPad, VSCO Cam (Free, Universal) sets out to prove the tablet can also be a viable solution for taking photos as well as enhancing them. Camera features include separate focus and exposure, white balance lock, manual focus, shutter speed, and more. With cross-device sync, a Journal feature for publishing original content, and the same great presets the popular iPhone app is known for, this is a worthwhile addition to any iPad shutterbug’s device.
If you really must use the iPad as a camera, Global Delight’s Camera Plus ($0.99, Universal) is one of the best shooters around, with three focus modes, intelligent exposure settings and Focus Shift for adding a sense of depth missing from mobile cameras. With AirSnap, users can even pair two iOS devices to capture photos or videos remotely, with a fullscreen preview of what’s being shot.
Adobe Lightroom Mobile
Although it requires a Creative Cloud subscription to use, Adobe Lightroom Mobile (Free, iPad) is the absolute best way to edit images on the go and sync those changes straight across to Lightroom 5 on Mac or Windows. While not all of the desktop features have made it to mobile, users can edit RAW files imported from DSLR cameras using many of the same core tools, making this a must-have for Lightroom fans.
One of the new kids on the App Store block, Pixelmator ($4.99, iPad) carries over most of the same great image-editing experience users love on the Mac, allowing seamless work between platforms. While the app features only basic camera functionality, the rest of the tools are about as close as you’re likely to get to having Photoshop on iPad — and Pixelmator opens and saves those layered PSD files, too.
Shutterfly Photo Story
Digital photos are lovely, but sometimes you want something to hold in your hand. Shutterfly Photo Story (Free, iPad) gathers all of your favorite images from the Camera Roll or social networks into a printed photo book for as little as $19.99. You’ll even have a digital version to share with loved ones that can include 30-second audio messages and handwritten doodles.
Adobe Photoshop Mix
Last but not least, Adobe Photoshop Mix (Free, Universal) delivers some of the most powerful desktop features to iPad, including some robust tools for removing or combining objects and enhancing photos with non-destructive editing. Projects are synced via Creative Cloud, but unlike Lightroom Mobile, this one works even with a free account.