Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smartphone Apps for Photography: PhotoCalc

PhotoCalc LogoOften, today's SLR/DSLR lenses don't have Depth of Field (DOF) markings, so you can't directly tell, in advance, what will be in and out of focus in your photograph.

When you're using manual exposure, are you experienced enough, and is your memory good enough to know what your exposure reciprocation table will tell you when you want to adjust your aperture and shutter speed to produce specific effects?

Have you been leery of using your flash in manual mode to obtain precise results because your flash exposure calculations are too difficult?

Have you had a difficult time determining sunrise and sunset information for the area in which you're traveling so you can plan those marvelous “golden hour” photos?

An excellent smartphone app I've found to help photographers in each of these areas is PhotoCalc. While PhotoCalc is available for iPhones and iPads, it's not currently available for Android based smartphones.
Depth of Field Calculator page from PhotoCalcPhotoCalc ($2.99) is a good buy, in my opinion, as it combines several individual applications into one.

PhotoCalc includes a variety of features including:
  1. Exposure Reciprocation calculator
  2. Depth of Field (DoF) and Hyper-focal Distance calculator
  3. Flash Exposure calculator, and an
  4. Integrated version of Sunrise, a sunrise/sunset/solar noon calculator
If also contains a reference section with glossary which I find useful for less experienced photographers, but that doesn't take away from the excellent utility of the app's four main features.

PhotoCalc is configurable to English or Metric units, and to use half or third stops. The app includes a comprehensive camera database for Depth of Field calculations.

There are reports by a few users that the application doesn't work on their iPhones. I have tested this app on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S with Apple's latest iOS 5.1 operating system, and found no failures.

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