The High Tech Society

Camera360 Review: An Instagram Alternative You Will Love

Camera360 Review: An Instagram Alternative You Will Love

Anyone looking for a photo effects app can consider Camera360 as a great alternative to Instagram or other photo editor. Camera360 is available for Android, iOS, and now Windows 8 Mobile, and can be downloaded and installed from Amazon, Google Play, or the official Windows Store. My Camera360 review is going to cover features, usability, value, and function on an iPod touch as well as a Kindle Fire HD. Camera360 is available in a free and paid version, but this is a review of the free version.


Camera360 review, Instagram alternative

Photo of a cat with cartoon effects applied

Camera 360 Features

Camera 360 has a lot of features and pretty much everything you would expect from a photo effects app. The options for editing are the same across platforms and you can take photos in the app, or import the photos from your phone or device. The photo effects include the following modes.

Modes in Camera 360 are for shooting in, but you can also use them to choose the effects for imported photos. The following is a quick overview of the modes available in Camera 360.

MagicSkin – Portrait mode for Camera360, I would say this is a really good application because it does provide instant results and actually tracks your face quite well. There are 10 photo effects for MagicSkin including sweet, sexy lips, fresh, sunshine, black and white, deep, light, glossy, and normal. Notably, these effects are more suitable for girls, but so long as the ‘sexy lips’ app is avoided by the guys, it should be fine. Sexy lips turns your lips a shade of orange, which does look kind of cool.

Enhance – This is a photo effect in Camera360 that looks great for bringing out colors, enhancing and image, or just making something pop. Improve darkens the colors available, auto clears everything up, night makes the image brighter, indoor helps to improve color balance, warm adds a note of sunshine, cool adds more blue to the lighting, inverse makes the photo brighter, intense literally makes the colors more intense, balance helps to even things out, and cold adds a lot of blue. Overall a very nice effect for everything from landscapes to pets, or even portraits.

LOMO – LOMO is one of the coolest effects present in Camera360 because it includes a lot retro styles such as cyan, green, and movie tint. LOMO mostly changes the shade of the photo which provides for some very cool effects for portraits, landscapes, cars, or whatever. Anyone looking for an Instagram alternative so that they can make a switch will love this feature.

LightColor – LightColor literally brightens up the photo and has a range of different light textures from sunny to elegant. If the photo is already light then this will wash the photo out a bit, but for a darker image, it’s a great photo effect.

HDR – HDR is quite simply stunning on the Android, but still awesome on iOS. You can change the color effects to range from vibrant and almost cartoonish to simply very enhanced. There are 6 different options and all of them look very cool although light looks the most natural while storm looks the most cartoonish. This would be excellent for sky photos, but also beautiful for creating unique photos of anything.

Retro – Retro adds a variety of old photo effects to the picture. One of my personal favorites is emerald because it looks old but isn’t too extreme. There are 9 effects for retro and most of them are slightly different tints of washes, which does limit the app, but is very nice especially for creating vintage look photos.

Sketch – I think this photo effect could have used a little more work, but for low-detail items it can look very natural. The problem is actually that the app converts too much detail. So for example, if you have a photo of a cat, it is going to try to draw out individual hairs, which doesn’t look very much like a sketch. However, for less detailed photos such as a facial portrait, it does just fine.

Colourful – This mode is for making items such as trees more colorful. If you already have a very colorful photo, it probably won’t do much. For darker photos or those that need a bit of sprucing up, it’s a great effect.

Cartoon – This is everything you would expect from the Sketch app and it really makes up for the overly detailed images from Sketch. Cartoon has 5 effects and all of them are really quite fabulous, although impress and fabulous are definitely my favorites. If you’re doing a portrait, you can use impress to create your own replica of the famous Obama Hope poster in red and blue.

Dreamlike – This is a simple blurring and brightening effect. You can scale the effect up or down to create the amount of blur you like for a dreamy effect. Personally I don’t think I would ever use this one, but I like clear photos.

1839 – Works similarly to Dreamlike but creates a vintage black and white look with stark contrast which is very reminiscent of 1800s style photos. You can scale it up or down to change the effect.

Funny – This app includes standard mirroring, up-down-side effects as well as colors which you can use to create a poster. I don’t see actually saving a photo with the mirroring effects but it is fun to play with. Fisheye is definitely the best effect.

Ghost – This is a non-adjustable app that creates a ghost in the background of your portrait. It could use some work as if you have a focus that is on the left, the ghost will be over your focus.

Magic Color – This photo effect will highlight a single color in the photo which is great for creating red lips on black and white, or greed dress, or etc. However, it will not pick up any color not in the photo so you won’t be able to add colors. Enhancement is also minimal so don’t expect extremely bright colors.

Black and White – The black and white mode is actually very useful and includes 9 different styles. Each are great for different things although I believe blue, black, and strong are going to be some of the best in this style.

Review of Camera360

Overall Camera360 is a great app and my review is very positive. There are a couple of kinks in the app including some of the effects, but most work very well. Features tend to work quite well and for a free photo enhancement app, it performs extremely well. You will definitely be happy with the features. The larger your photo, the slower the app is going to work, and if you have a very large photo it may even crash. Photos taken in the app are a little lower quality than those taken from your phone and then imported to the app which is also a problem.

Finally, if you aren’t good with tech, you might want to take a few minutes to get to know this app. It isn’t extremely easy, although most of the buttons are pretty easy to push to find out what they do, none of them are actually labeled, which means memorizing the icons if you want to navigate easily.

Another thing I really didn’t like about the app is that it makes it difficult to share a photo. While you can share to Twitter and Facebook, the first immediately available options are WeChat, QQ, and QQ Moments. You have to go into settings and log into the social platforms of your choice in order to be able to share to them. Once you export it back to your camera roll, you can do pretty much anything you like with it based on your internet connection and phone settings.

All in all, this review of Camera360 is very positive. You get a free photo editing app that has plenty of effects, and of course, is free. If you don’t like it, you can always uninstall, but for the most part, it’s handy to have around. While it won’t work quite as well as some of the paid photo effects apps on the market, it does extremely well for its price range, and would probably be worth it even if it were one or two dollars instead of free. Should you get it? Definitely! You can visit Amazon, the Windows Store, iTunes, or Google Play and download the official app for your Windows 8 Phone, iOS, or Android.

* Update – Camera360 was invited to Fortune Global Forum 2013 and named the #2 startup at the forum. With more than 120 million users worldwide, Camera360 is currently the world’s leading photography app with an average of 500 photos taken per second with the application! 120 million people and the High Tech Society can’t be wrong.