Some of the greatest photos happen in a blink of an eye. Whether it’s Richard Sherman’s deft handiwork in the NFC Championship, or an iconic shot of a bullet splitting an apple, photographers have been able to take advantage of their instruments’ lightning-fast shutters to capture an instant.
Of course, that’s all fine and dandy when someone’s wielding a DSLR, complete with a physical shutter button and the ability to rattle off bursts of photos without thinking. But what about the rest of us?
Chase Jarvis said, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” For iPhone users, their camera is often in their pocket, without all the features that make capturing an instant easy. There’s a big difference between a clicking a hardware shutter and trying to tap the iPhone’s camera button at exactly the right time, and that can make all the difference.
That’s where Superburst Camera, from Seattle-based developer Jed Lewison, comes in. This iPhone app allows a photographer to hold their finger down on the shutter button as their iPhone captures rapid-fire photos. If the cards align, it’s a great way to capture a moment that might have otherwise been impossible to pin down.
Users can configure Superburst’s photo quality, which also regulates how quickly the app can take pictures. According to Lewison, his is the fastest burst camera app in the App Store, allowing iPhone 5S users to capture 25 max-resolution photos every second. For faster bursts, users can opt to decrease the quality of their image, allowing them to capture up to 120 frames in a single second.
Once someone has captured a burst of photos, the app stores them as a single unit that users can then filter through and select their favorites to save to the iPhone’s camera roll. That’s a key step, because long bursts can take up hundreds of megabytes of space on an iPhone’s storage.
While Apple offers similar functionality in iOS 7’s built-in camera app, Superburst’s interface for managing the images users shoot is much more intuitive. Superburst makes it really easy to flip through all of the photos in a burst, save the ones worth keeping and trash the rest on the fly.
Superburst’s biggest limitation is the strength of the iPhone’s focusing capabilities. While the app allows users to set exposure and focus points, starting a burst out of focus will produce a bunch of blurry photos.
Still, when set up properly, Superburst is amazing at the one thing it’s designed to do. For people looking to capture the perfect instant, it’s definitely worth the pricetag.
Superburst Camera is available for $2.99 from the iOS App Store.
App of the Week is a regular feature of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 p.m. Saturdays on KIRO Radio in Seattle (97.3 FM), except when preempted by live sports. The show runs every weekend on GeekWire.com. You can get every episode using this RSS feed, subscribe in iTunes or find us on Stitcher.
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