Best Camera Apps for iPhone (2023 Edition) (2023)

One of the most frequent questions about iPhone photography is about camera apps: Which is the best camera app? The answer to this question is complex and depends on your requirements for your kind of photography.

Here are the best camera apps I use myself and a few alternatives to help you find the best camera app.

Table of Contents:

  • My Requirements for Camera Apps
  • The best iPhone camera Apps
    • Stock iOS Camera App
    • Slow Shutter Cam App
      • Alternatives
    • ProCamera App
      • Alternatives
  • The verdict

My requirements for Camera Apps

When I turned to iPhone Photography in 2012, I tried many camera apps. I looked for features that would allow me to use photography techniques I've been using with my DSLR. These requirements for camera apps I use and recommend haven't changed much since 2012:

  1. Manual controls and priority modes for manually setting shutter speed and ISO to tackle difficult light situations.
  2. Shoot well-lit and low-noise photos at night.
  3. Save photos in RAW format for improved results for editing photos.
  4. Take long exposure photos of, e.g., fireworks or waterfalls
  5. An automatic mode for quickly taking snapshots.
  6. Take 48-megapixel photos (iPhone 14 Pro only)

Each recommended camera app in this list works with the latest iPhone and iOS: iPhone 14 Pro with iOS 16 or later.

The best iPhone camera Apps for 2023

My recommendation for the camera apps in this list comes from several years of experience using and testing them thoroughly.

(Video) Best Camera Apps for iPhone in 2023

Best camera app for ease of use: The stock iPhone camera app

The stock iPhone camera app always was a great camera app for snapshots and ease of use. But over time, Apple added more and more professional features like:

  • Apple ProRAW
  • Night Mode that you can use with all lenses since iOS 15
  • Take 48-megapixel photos using the Apple ProRAW format
  • Portrait Mode (which I use rarely)

Here are three sample photos taken with various iPhone models and the stock camera app:

Despite the more and more professional features of the stock iPhone camera app, I still use it mainly as a snapshot camera for the following reasons:

  1. The iPhone stock camera app is easy to use. Apple did a good job hiding the complexity of getting the exposure right. That makes it an excellent snapshot camera app.
  2. Night mode allows you to take stunning photos in low-light conditions without a tripod. Since iOS 15 or later, you can use night mode with all iPhone lenses.
  3. I support the Apple ProRAW format for more creative freedom when editing photos.

To learn more about the night mode of the stock camera app, head over to the blog post about iPhone Night Mode camera.

If you're curious about Apple ProRAW, Apple's RAW file format that combines computational photography with the benefits of a RAW photo, please read the blog post about how to shoot RAW on iPhone.

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Best camera app for long exposure Photography: Slow Shutter Cam App

Slow Shutter Cam App has been on this list of best iPhone camera apps since 2012 because it does one thing and does it well: Allowing you to take long exposure photos with iPhone. I bought it in 2012 and have been a user ever since then.

Here are three sample photos that I took with Slow Shutter Cam App:

There are a lot of reasons why I recommend Slow Shutter Cam app: Here are the top 3 reasons why I believe it's the best camera app for taking long-exposure photos:

  1. It has three dedicated shooting modes for capturing light trails, motion blur, and low-light photography.
  2. You can manually set the exposure time to anything between 0 to 30 seconds, but it also supports a bulb mode if you need a longer exposure time.
  3. The app allows you to manually set ISO, which is essential for taking long exposure photos at night. Using a low ISO will reduce noise.

To learn more about all the features and why I believe it's the best camera app for long-exposure photography, please head over to my Slow Shutter Cam App review.

To use Slow Shutter Cam App, you'll need a tripod. I use and recommend the Joby Gorillapod Magnetic for iPhone and the Rollei Compact Traveller No. 1 Carbon tripod.

(Video) Best Camera App For iPhone! Better Than FiLMiC Pro?

Alternatives for Slow Shutter Camera App

For years, Slow Shutter Camera App was the only iPhone camera app for long-exposure photography. Meanwhile, other great camera apps for long-exposure photography were released. Though these apps are all excellent, I didn't find any feature that would make me switch from Slow Shutter Cam App.

Alternative camera apps for taking long exposures are:

Manual Mode: ProCamera App is the best Camera app for shooting in manual mode and taking RAW photos

ProCamera App has been on this list of the best iPhone camera app since 2014. Since then, the developers have been introducing excellent features you couldn't find in any other camera app. It's the best manual Camera App for iPhone.

Here are three sample photos I took with ProCamera App with different iPhone models.

Listing all the features of the ProCamera app would fill a few pages. So I picked the three most essential features from my point of view- it wasn't easy. Here they are:

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  1. Supports manual settings for ISO and shutter speed and supports manual and priority modes. You manually set the shutter or ISO speed in priority mode, and the camera app will choose the other parameter.
  2. It has several shooting modes like classic photo mode, low light mode, or HDR mode. The HDR mode is highly configurable and allows you to choose how many photos ProCamera App should take, and you can even adjust the exposure bracketing manually.
  3. It supports saving photos in class RAW and Apple ProRAW format. It even allows you to save 48-megapixel images of your iPhone 14 Pro as JPEG, which the built-in camera app doesn't offer.

In addition to this list, there are a lot more features that ProCamera offers, like Videos, Bothies, Selfies, different grids as composition assistance, or automatic perspective correction.

To learn more, check my ProCamera App Review in the blog. I've also written reviews about a few unique features of the ProCamera app, like the automatic photo perspective correction and the ProCamera low light modes.

Alternatives for ProCamera App

You'll find many camera apps in the App Store that offer some of ProCamera App's features. These camera apps are all great but don't offer any features I need or miss compared to ProCamera App.

These are the alternatives to ProCamera App:

The verdict

This list of the best camera apps for 2023 is very personal: It contains the camera apps I use myself. Nevertheless, I continuously try other camera apps to see if they fit my needs better than those I use.

If your favorite camera app is not on this list, it's because it doesn't fit my workflow or does not have any features I miss or would use for my kind of photography.

Using these three camera apps, I'm perfectly equipped for travel photography with my iPhone 14 Pro: For photographing city- and landscapes day and night and tackling difficult light situations that I encounter in a lost place.

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My recommendation for choosing a camera app is as follows:

  • If you're looking for a camera app to shoot RAW and use night mode but don't need long exposures or manual control, then stick with the iPhone stock camera app
  • If you want to photograph fireworks or need an app to take long exposures on your iPhone, consider reading my Slow Shutter Cam App review.
  • If you need complete control over the camera settings and need features like an anti-shake shutter release, then head to my ProCamera App review to learn more about this camera app.


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