Turbo Camera is a Little on the Slow Side

Price: $0.99    Score: 6/10    By Shaun CampbellTurbo Camera

Given that the iPhone’s standard camera app isn’t the full-featured photo app that many people would have liked, there are a wide range of apps available on the App Store that extend the utility of the camera. Developed by SIS software, Turbo Camera is one such app, and claims to be both the fastest as well as the first face-detection app in the app store.

Turbo Camera has four main features accessible from the photo-taking screen:

  • Face detection
  • Antishake
  • Timer
  • Burst mode

Face detection is certainly a nice idea, but when I trialed Turbo Camera with some friends I was unable to work out whether or not the face-detection function was actually working or not. There is no on-screen identification, no graphical overlay or sign that a face has been identified by the app – and the images that Turbo Camera took did not appear to be any more in-focus than those taken with the stock-standard Apple camera app. Upon consultation with the documentation, it would appear that auto-focus is only available on the iPhone 3GS.

The Antishake feature however, is a useful addition and, when enabled, will only allow a photo to be taken once the camera is held still. Even pressing the shutter will not trigger a photo unless the frame is still – thus helping to prevent those annoying blurry images.

The Timer is a simple 10-second countdown – you tap the timer button to enable the timer feature and then tap the shutter button to start the countdown. There is an audible beep after each second and then a faster beep just before the timer runs out.

Burst Mode is great for those times when you want to capture a photo that is hard to time, like an action shot or sports. When burst mode is enabled, Turbo Camera will take 3 photos per second (2G and 3G) and 4 photos per second (on the 3GS).

Perhaps it the fact that I have an older iPhone, but for an app called “Turbo” Camera, the photos take an unfortunately long time to save to the photo library – 15 seconds to 20 seconds per photo, which is certainly several fold slower than the standard camera app.

If you have a 3GS iPhone and you love taking photos, then the additional functionality that Turbo Camera provides is probably worth the purchase price. If not, I don’t believe that there is a large enough advantage over the inbuilt camera app to warrant making the change.

Turbo Camera requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later and is compatible only with the iPhone.

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