FX Photo Studio is a great addition to your iPad Darkroom

5388162366_abe71bf517_m.jpgIt seems that new photo capture and editing tools for Apple’s iOS devices are being released every day. Often they’re average quality tools available for a buck.

Occasionally you find something that’s a bit exceptional, and that’s what I’m looking at today: FX Photo Studio.

Designed for the iPhone, though it will run on an iPod Touch and iPad (scaled, not native display), this app is all about the filters and effects — 181 bundled with the $2.99 app and more available for in-app purchase.

I’ll list the full feature set below, but here’s a few that really make this app different from most photo editing apps:

Stackable effects
As you apply effects and filters to your image, the app keeps track of what you’ve applied and how you’ve adjusted each effect. Once you’re done, you can save out your ‘settings’ for use again — a great time-saver if you want to apply the same effect to a bunch of photos.

And you can also share these presets with other FX Photo Studio users.

Lots of filters and effects
Ok, maybe this is a little over the top, but over 180 different things you can do to your image, in addition to the basic crop, rotate, Gamma adjust, etc.

I must admit, not all the effects were to my taste (especially the ‘greeting card like’ illustration effects, but there’s more than enough here to keep me busy otherwise.

This is almost a given these days thanks to Instagram, but every photo app should have the ability to let you easily share photos with your friends on your favourite social media network. FX Photo Studio currently supports Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumbler — as well email.

The full list of features
So, for less than the price of a premium coffee, here’s what you get in FX Photo Studio, as of version 3.1:

– 181 photo effects and filters
– 19 Categories
– Intuitive, easy to use interface
– Possibility to mix different effects
– Adjustable parameters for all effects
– Presets – to save sequences of effects and apply them on others pictures in just one tap
–  Share presets via Preset Codes
–  Import presets via Preset Codes
– Multistep Undo and Redo
– Crop image
– Crop area rotation
– Rotate and flip image
– Brightness adjustments
– Random filter selection option
– Add to Favorites
– Hide Unused Effects
– Take Instant Photo with random effect feature (for iPhones only)
– Easily import pictures from Photo Albums on your device
– Automatic rotation of picture imported with wrong orientation
– Portrait and landscape modes supported
– Resulting images can be saved to “Camera Roll” or “Saved Photos” or ‘Documents’
– High resolution support up to 2592*2592 pixels (for iPhones 4)
– Copy Image to Clipboard from the app for later use in others apps
– iPhone 4 Retina display support
– Image resizing option when uploading images to online services
– Easy image sharing between iDevice and computer via Documents folder
– Possibility to rearrange and organize the order of Categories and Effects
– Built-in sharing via Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or E-mail
– Full iPhone and iPod Touch compatibility (all versions)

My take
Overall solid value for a solid photo editing app. It won’t be the only app in my iPad darkroom, but it’s one that’ll get frequent use, especially with the texture and grunge effects.

The sheer number of filters and effects can be a bit daunting at first, but after you become familiar with them, and their location in the organization catalogue, finding them is easy.

I really like the ability to layer effects, and then save out the finished effect layer as a preset.

And, they’ve got a great blog showing off new and user submitted examples of filter combinations, contest announcements and news.

The developer is offering a Valentines Day special — FX Photo Studio is on for $1.99.

Check out the developer’s video:

Disclosure: A sample of this product was provided for review by the manufacturer or their agent.

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