If you are like many of us, you have a smart phone. With the ever changing technology, many of cameras built into the smart phone are as good as a lot of the point and shoot digital cameras on the market. You know, the ones we forget to take when going to that birthday party, or that special outing down by the lake. We seldom however, forget to take our cell phones with us.

You don’t have to worry about missing out on that picture that you will use for years to remind you of that wonderful day on the town. There are so many apps on the various markets that will help you transform those already good smart phone camera pictures into works of art. The (current) top five photo apps are a cross section of free to relatively inexpensive.

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A free app, Instagram already has over five million users. Instagram solves the problem of sharing those memorable pictures with your various social media outlets with the push of one button. You decide which platforms are used and at each picture you can decide to limit where the picture is published. There are over fifteen filters that you can apply to your photo, in addition to the natural state you took it in. These filters range from Vintage to Polaroid to Helga in addition to 60’s and 70’s style filters.

Adobe Photoshop Express

This app is actually free and will let you crop, straighten, flip or rotate. In addition, you can perform minor edits to exposure, contrast and saturation. For those that use Photoshop, you will find this mobile app a great feature for editing and sharing on the fly. Recent updates to the app now allow the user to sharpen the picture and also provides a soft focus. In line with sharpening and focus is probably the best feature for a mobile app; Reduce Noise. This feature alone will have you downloading and installing this app before you know it. We have all been guilty - especially with cell phone cameras - of not getting the clearest picture. By reducing the noise, you remove the graininess of the picture leaving a sharper, cleaner photo.

Night Camera

Many of us have been in the situation where we wanted to use our cell phone at night. There are some smart phones that do not have flash capabilities. In addition, taking a photograph at night involves varying shutter speeds and differing exposures. This app gives the user 4x digital zoom and steadies the camera before the shutter release. This app allows the camera to operate as normal, in steady mode and in timer mode. You can pick the picture size and the preferred resolution from within the app as well. At 99 cents, this app more than pays for itself if you do much night time photography.


If you love the beauty of panoramic photographs but feel limited with your iPhone, this app may be just what you are looking for. Pano is an award winning app that allows you take take several photographs and “stitch” them together to create your own seamless panoramic shot from your iPhone. This app is $1.99 and has an almost invisible guide that walks you through the entire process so that your pictures turn out breathtaking.



This is the most expensive of this list, at $2.99, but it allows even an amateur photographer to take and edit pictures like a pro. This app lets you do it all. This app lets you edit photos from your camera roll or take brand new ones. It even allows you to take video. You can shoot in rapid, ultra or expert mode. This app allows you to shoot with anti shake - a feature that won’t take the picture until your hand is steady. Complete with filters and other editing software, this app is almost certainly a one stop photo shop!