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September 3, 2012

Art of the camera phone: Best photo apps

(Continued)

Not all apps are created equal. You may be seduced by the word "free," as I am. Getting something for nothing rocks; just make sure that it'll meet your needs. The free app often lacks functionality and may prevent you from saving the final processed image or may not allow you to export it in a size any larger than a thumbnail. Free is a great way to see whether you like an app, but if you do like one, invest a few dollars to get the full version.

Now on to the fun stuff. Washington Post staff photographer Michael S. Williamson rocks iPhone pics! The following are five of his favorite apps, along with a few of mine and one from Washington Post social media producer T.J. Ortenzi.

100 Cameras in 1 (99 cents)

This app does, in fact, offer 100 filters. The clever folks who produce it have given the various filters moody names that read like a post-modern Hallmark card. One is called "Waking up on the beach." Another is "Surrounded by pillows." My favorite: "The ghosts came back." There are lots of textures as well as brilliant and soft colors (also black and white). As with most of the better apps, you can either shoot with the app or add its various effects to an existing photo from the Camera Roll.

— M.W.

645 Pro ($2.99)

This one's for serious camera phone users. There are as many dials, knobs and controls on this app as on an actual film camera.

It helps to have experience with a sophisticated film camera to understand most of the app's features. But if you want to make a classic portrait with a quality-film look, this is your app. It has exposure lock as well as focus lock features with touch-screen simplicity.

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