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QuickCam for iPhone is quick

As we use our iOS device cameras more and more, we get interested in squeezing out better performance from the built-in camera.

That’s where QuickCam comes in. It’s a US$0.99 app (introductory sale price) that works on the iPhone and the iPad, and the name says it all. QuickCam is really, really quick. In my tests, the app started about a second faster than the stock iPhone camera. Most important for some users, it has a burst mode, where it will fire off a series of pictures very quickly. It is sort of like the old motor drives that started out on film cameras. It’s nice for sports photography, and anything where shooting rapid images is important.

QuickCam also takes video, with a twist. While you are taking a video, you can grab stills at the same time, which is definitely a neat trick. Other nice features are a single tap to set exposure and focus at the same time, and a double tap, which sets exposure only. Flash is supported, and of course, both the front and back facing cameras can be used. Saves to the camera roll are very fast. Even in burst mode, as soon as you are done taking your photos, everything is in the camera roll and ready to go.

Gallery: QuickCam for iOS

  • QuickCam in Portrait mode
  • QuickCam capture in landscape mode
  • QuickCam still
This is the sort of camera performance that Apple should have built into the stock camera. The only thing that is lacking, from my perspective, is HDR capability, and I’d like to see the control icons rotate in landscape mode. The Apple app does this and makes things a bit less confusing.

The developer of the app, Josh Patterick, has a background in hardware, software and image processing. That paid off in this app, which takes the iPhone camera to the next step in performance. If I was advising the company, I’d suggest they license the software so that other camera apps could gain these speed benefits and add other features.

I have a couple of quick snaps in the gallery so that you can see what the capture screen looks like. QuickCam works with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad 2. It requires iOS 4.1. The developers warn that performance is slow on the iPhone 3G, and since performance is really the point here, I would not recommend this app for that phone. My tests were on the iPhone 4 only. If you’re on an iPhone 4, I think you’ll be really happy with this app.