Recommended iPhone Camera Apps that I use myself (2024 Edition)

Even in 2024, one of the most frequent questions about iPhone photography is about camera apps: Which is the best? The answer to this question is complex, but as a starting point, the best camera apps are the ones that support your kind of iPhone photography.

In this blog post, I'll list my personal selection of the best camera apps and a few alternatives I tested. I've been using some of the apps for almost a decade. Please understand this list as a starting point to help you to find your favorite camera apps.

Table of Contents:

My requirements for iPhone camera apps

I tried many camera apps since I turned to iPhone photography in 2012. I look for features that enable me to use the photography techniques I've been using with my DSLR, which will help me overcome the hardware limitations of the iPhone camera. The requirements for camera apps I use and recommend have mostly stayed the same since 2012. For my travel photography with iPhone, I need the following:

  1. Manual controls and priority modes for shutter speed and ISO.
  2. A way to shoot well-lit and low-noise photos in low light and at night.
  3. I can save photos in RAW format for better results when editing my photos.
  4. Taking long exposure photos of, e.g., fireworks or waterfalls
  5. An automatic mode for quickly taking snapshots.

Each recommended camera app in this list works with the iPhone 15 and iOS 17.

The best iPhone camera apps for 2024 for travel photography

My recommendations for the best camera apps in this list come from several years of experience using and testing them thoroughly.

Best iOS camera app for Ease of use: The stock iPhone camera app

The stock iPhone app was a great camera app for snapshots and it was easy to use. But over time, Apple added more and more professional features like:

  • Apple ProRAW
  • Night Mode that you can use with all lenses since iOS 15
  • Take 48-megapixel photos using the Apple ProRAW format (iPhone 14 and up)
  • Portrait Mode (which I use rarely)
  • Live Photos that capture three seconds of motion. You can turn these into long-exposure photos.
  • Manual exposure compensation

Here are three sample photos taken with various iPhone models and the stock camera app:

 

Neighbour’s cat shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max using stock camera app

Collapsed Roof shot on iPhone 14 Pro using stock camera app

Clouds over the trail, shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max using stock camera app

 

Despite the more and more professional features of the stock iPhone camera app, I still use it mainly as a snapshot camera because of its ease of use. For taking photos in RAW format, long exposure photography, or taking low-noise pictures at night, I use other apps that you'll find further down in this blog post.

To learn more about the night mode of the stock camera app, head over to the blog post about iPhone Night Mode camera.

If you're curious about Apple ProRAW, Apple's RAW file format that combines computational photography with the benefits of a RAW photo, please read the blog post about how to shoot RAW on iPhone.

So, if you need an easy-to-use camera app that offers some professional features, then the stock camera app is a great app to start with. But if you need more creative freedom, read about other special-purpose iOS camera apps I use.

Best camera app for taking long exposure photos: Slow Shutter Cam App

Slow Shutter Cam App has been on my list of the best iPhone camera apps since 2012 because it does one thing and does it well: Allowing you to take long exposure photos with iPhone. I bought it in 2012 and have been a user ever since then.

Here are three sample photos that I took with Slow Shutter Cam App:

Firework shot on iPhone using Slow Shutter Cam App

Night Photography shot on iPhone using Slow Shutter Cam App

Moving Clouds shot on iPhone using Slow Shutter Cam App

There are a lot of reasons why I recommend Slow Shutter Cam app, but the top 3 reasons why I believe it's the best camera app for taking long-exposure photos are:

  1. It has three dedicated shooting modes for capturing light trails, motion blur, and low-light photography.
  2. You can manually set the exposure time to anything between 0 and 30 seconds, but it also supports a bulb mode if you need a longer exposure time.
  3. The app allows you to manually set ISO, which is essential for taking long exposure photos at night. Using a low ISO will reduce noise.

To learn more about all the features and why I believe it's the best camera app for long-exposure photography, please head over to my Slow Shutter Cam App review.

To use Slow Shutter Cam App, you'll need a tripod. I use and recommend the Joby Gorillapod Magnetic for iPhone and the Rollei Compact Traveller No. 1 Carbon tripod.

Alternatives for Slow Shutter Camera App

For years, Slow Shutter Camera App was the only iPhone camera app for long-exposure photography. Meanwhile, other great camera apps for long-exposure photography were released. Though these apps are excellent, I didn't find any feature that would make me switch from Slow Shutter Cam App.

Alternative camera apps for taking long-exposure photos are:

Best camera app for long exposure photography without a tripod: Reeheld Camera App

I discovered the Reeheld camera app in 2023 and started to use it for long-exposure photography in addition to Slow Shutter Cam App.

Reeheld Camera app allows you to take long exposure photos of up to 30 seconds without using a tripod by using artificial intelligence and optical image stabilization. I've been using the Reeheld camera app for a few months before adding it to this list, and the results blow me away.

A small waterfall shot with Reeheld Camera app

A small waterfall shot with Reeheld Camera app

Spinning Ferris wheel photographed with Reeheld Camera app

Spinning Ferris wheel photographed with Reeheld Camera app

Devil’s mouth in Portugal taken with Reeheld camera app

So, in my camera app portfolio, I use the Reeheld Camera app for long-exposure photography during the daytime and if an exposure time of 30 seconds is long enough. To learn more, visit my review of Reeheld camera app.

Alternatives for Reeheld Camera App

I don't know many alternatives for Reeheld camera app. If there werewere similar apps, I would have discovered them already. One alternative option is taking a live photo using the iOS stock camera app and converting it to a long exposure.

But even with iPhone 15, Live Photos are limited to 3-second exposures, while the Reeheld camera app allows you to take up to 30 seconds of long exposures. Both apps don't require a tripod.

ProCamera App is the best Camera app for shooting in manual mode and taking RAW photos

ProCamera App has been on this list of the best iPhone camera apps since 2014. Since then, the developers have introduced excellent features you wouldn't find in any other camera app.

I took three sample photos with ProCamera App with different iPhone models.

London at Night shot on iPhone using ProCamera Night Mode

London at Night shot on iPhone using ProCamera Night Mode

Shot on iPhone using ProCamera with anti-shake shutter release

Shot on iPhone using ProCamera with anti-shake shutter release

Shot on iPhone using ProCamera App using RAW

Shot on iPhone using ProCamera App using RAW

Listing all the features of the ProCamera app would fill a few pages. So I picked the three most essential features from my point of view on why this is one of the best camera apps for iPhone:

  1. Supports manual settings for ISO and shutter speed and supports manual and priority modes. You manually set the shutter or ISO speed in priority mode, and the camera app will choose the other parameter.
  2. It has several shooting modes, including classic photo mode, low light mode, and HDR mode. The HDR mode is highly configurable and allows you to choose how many photos ProCamera App should take, and you can even adjust the exposure bracketing manually.
  3. It supports saving photos in classic RAW and Apple ProRAW format. It even allows you to save 48-megapixel images of your iPhone 14 Pro as JPEG, which the built-in camera app doesn't offer.

In addition to this list, there are many more features that ProCamera offers, like Videos, Bothies, Selfies, different grids as composition assistance, or automatic perspective correction.

To learn more, check my ProCamera App Review in the blog. I've also written reviews about a few unique features of the ProCamera app, like the automatic photo perspective correction and the ProCamera low light modes.

Alternatives for ProCamera App

You'll find many camera apps in the App Store that offer some of ProCamera App's features. These camera apps are great but don't offer features I need compared to ProCamera App.

These are the alternatives to ProCamera App:

The verdict

This list of the best camera apps for 2024 is very personal: It contains the camera apps I use myself and rely on while traveling. Nevertheless, I continuously try other camera apps to see if they fit my needs better than those I already use.

If your favorite camera app is not on this list, it's because it doesn't fit my workflow or does not have any features I miss or would use for my kind of photography.

Using these three camera apps, I'm perfectly equipped for travel photography with my iPhone 14 Pro: For photographing city- and landscapes day and night and tackling difficult light situations that I encounter at night or in a lost place.

Finally, if you want a recommendation for choosing a camera app:

  • If you're looking for a camera app to shoot RAW and use night mode but don't need long exposure photography or manual control, stick with the iPhone stock camera app.
  • If you want to photograph fireworks or need an app to take long exposures on your iPhone, consider Slow Shutter Cam App.
  • If you always wanted to take long exposures longer than 3 seconds offered by live photos, check out Reeheld camera app
  • If you need complete control over the camera settings and features like an anti-shake shutter release, head to my ProCamera App review to learn more about this camera app.
Chris Feichtner

In 2012, I ditched my cumbersome DSLR in favor of an iPhone to document my travels.

https://nocamerabag.com
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