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Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

App Review: Candy Camera

Knowing my obsession with pictures – my last smart phone had over 14,000 of them saved by the time it bit the dust – The Tween and The Bestie came to me a couple of days ago and shared that their new favorite photo app is Candy Cam. They declared it better than Instagram – gasp. And if you work with Tweens or young Teens you know that Instagram is incredibly popular.

I tend to take a lot of pictures one, because I’m a mom who loves her kids and two, I use them on the blog, to make posters and signage for the library, etc. You can also upload pictures and use them to make GIFs, ads and short movies. So I care a lot about high quality photos. To be honest, I tend to take a regular photo and edit them afterwards so that I can manipulate the same photo over and over again until I get the picture I like. So the primary appeal of Candy Camera for traditional users, that it takes real time photos, isn’t a strong appeal for me. The app description says it is good for editing photos but I can not speak to this feature because I am not interesting in laying down $7.99 to try that part of the app out.

candycameralogo

Info page http://www.jp-brothers.com/#!candy-camera/c1j5v

So why Candy Cam? The Bestie says it has better filters and it allows you to choose a filter before snapping your pic. The Tween says it just makes the best pictures.

Candy Camera is available for both Android and iPhones. There is a free version, which is what we downloaded to review. You can purchase an upgrade for $7.99, which is kind of pricey for a camera app in my opinion. But the upgrade allows you to have more editing capacity and add stickers. I don’t care about adding stickers, but I am always interested in finding quality post photo editing options for my smart phone or tablet. However, as I mentioned, I thought $7.99 was kind of a steep asking price for a photo app.

Here are some selfies that The Bestie took using Candy Camera:

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candycam2

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Here are a couple of pictures I took of The Tween:

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What I liked:

Candy Camera allows you to select your photo size. I am fond of the square size pictures used in Instagram while The Bestie prefers more traditional sized photos. You can set up your photo size and layout before snapping a picture. In fact, if you choose say a series of 4 pictures it will take the picture in quick succession similar to a photo booth type setting and create a collage for you.

A screenshot of The Tween taking a picture of The Bestie using the sketch filter.

A screenshot of The Tween taking a picture of The Bestie using the sketch filter.

You can set up a timer to snap your picture, choosing between 3, 5, 10 and 15 seconds as a countdown option.

It does have some nice fitlers.

If you upload a picture it gives you an option to create this kind of layered effect, which I adore:

A button we made feature DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy, an upcoming book that should be on everyone's best of 2015 list.

A button we made featuring DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy, an upcoming book that should be on everyone’s best of 2015 list.

I really like the way it fuzzed the outside edges. And it does allow you to kind of move the main picture from side to side and choose the positioning of the fuzzy edges.

It does have the options to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, etc. It also allows you to whiten, rotate and crop.

What I Didn’t Like:

Candy Camera was not intuitive to me to begin using and it didn’t have the best instructions. Luckily I had the tweens to teach me how to use the app.

What Others are Saying:

“Candy Camera is one of the leading ah-mazing photo editing apps to master the art of selfie. Even coming as freeware and featuring a plain interface, the application packs a real punch. Alongside standard editing options like adjustable brightness, cropping, or rotating, you can apply dozens of great looking yet natural filters in real time, which means you get the results even before you take a picture. The popular Lomo and out focusing effects are also very convenient in the app, while (please, don’t go mad with the power) the slimming and make-up functions will make you look fabulous and your ex extremely jealous.” – Source: http://articles.informer.com/5-powerful-apps-for-selfie-addicts.html

“Candy Camera comes with more than 30 filters, which you can preview in real time as you’re getting ready to take the shot. It can remove blemishes, apply make-up, and enhance your images with variety of frames.” – Source: http://www.phonearena.com/news/10-camera-apps-for-taking-the-perfect-selfie_id52635#1u3pVIpGKqjeuAgT.97

Final Thoughts:

Although both Tweens swear by this app, BeFunky is still my current fave. You can read my review of it here. You can find all of our Tech Talk posts and App Reviews here.

Price: Basic app is free. The pro package is $7.99 which I did not purchase and can not review.

What you can do:

  • Edit your photo, including cut and paste and several beauty edits
  • Choose from around 30 filters (though the filter labels are hard to read)
  • Set a short timer
  • Choose your photo size, including choosing several multi-photo format options
  • Shoot a short video

My rating: 3*, mostly because I like the wide variety of filters you can choose from

My top 5 photo apps are:

  • BeFunky
  • ComicBook – makes great comic book pages
  • PhotoShake – I use it to make bookmarks and grid photos
  • Over – for adding text
  • Hipstamtic – for the various lens and film combinations

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