Given that phones have had cameras built-in for a number of years now, it can be pretty disappointing that when you first fire your camera up, it’ll more likely than not be lacking in anything beyond the most basic features. That’s where programs like Camera Magica come in. Camera Magica is capable of using bigger zoom, higher contrast and larger image sizes as well as being able to create new types of images such as seamless panoramas and ‘joke’ pictures.
While opening up the possibilities of your phone’s camera, programs like this are actually using some pretty clever technology. When creating panoramas, Camera Magica automatically detects the edge of the last image you took and looks for it as you slowly move the camera. When lined up, it takes the next shot, making it easy for the program to blend the edges of your images for that seamless effect!
PhotoFusion, from Scalado, has similar features. Along with its panorama tools (which use transparent overlays to help the user line up image edges), PhotoFusion allows you to create ‘Photo Strips’ (one image made up of nine others, in grid format), and warped images. Its developer, Scalado is recognised as being at the forefront of phone camera software development so we can expect more to come from them in the future.
Separating these two programs on anything other than price is pointless: they’re both well designed, fun programs which will help you get the most out of your smart camera phone. Camera Magica is true Freeware and is thus our favourite but PhotoFusion certainly deserves a test run for its novel approach to user-interface and attractive output.
As Sony Ericsson’s latest offering (the CyberShot Phone) makes clear, portable telephony and photography are now inextricably linked. What may have seemed like a fad has become a major feature – one which is improved and enhanced by programs like CameraMagica and PhotoFusion.