Last Updated on 01/08/2023 by Edy Ragnoli
According to The Radicati Group, over 7 billion people globally own a smartphone. Since 2010, smartphones have disrupted the digital camera industry causing an 87% drop in sales. Meanwhile, photography apps became ubiquitous.
As a consequence, users started taking billions of photos through a smartphone. On the other hand, long gone are the days when I need my DSLR camera to shoot a decent attractive photo. Modern smartphones feature enough hardware and processing power to take and edit pictures without compromising quality and creativity. A smartphone allows you to keep several photo apps on the same device. Furthermore, mobile photo apps are cheap or even free.
Furthermore, roughly 4 in 10 smartphone users utilise photo editing apps for various activities (photo planning, photo editing, photo shooting, and content creation for social media like Instagram).
So, I decided to list some of the 18 best mobile photography apps for your iOS and Android, unveiling advantages, features, prices, and download links.
Best Mobile Photo Planning Photography Apps
1. PhotoPills Photoshoot Planning
Have you ever been in a place and realised you could have taken outstanding photos if you had the right conditions and camera settings?
PhotoPills is a revolutionary app designed for photography enthusiasts and professionals to know about the sun, moon or Milky Way positions, the best time and season to capture golden hour or blue hour shots, and the correct exposure, filters and light.
PhotoPills is a comprehensive photography app for planning, managing, and executing the perfect shot. It has an intuitive interface and powerful features to turn your smartphone into a powerful camera and catch perfectly the natural world around you.
This photo planning tool is available for iOS and Android with a positive rate of 4.9 out of 5. At just 10 dollars, you will start shooting legendary photos without missing a moment.
What kind of photography do you love? PhotoPills can assist your photo planning for landscape, architecture, portrait, wedding, travel, sky, night, time-lapse, and astrophotography.
- Travel widgets to get updated information about the sun, moon, and Milky Way.
- 2D map-centric planner
- 3D augmented reality (AR) view
- Cutting-edge night mode planner that factors in celestial events like the Milky Way position, moon phases, super-moon dates, twilights, and magic hours.
- Locations and photo plans management and storage.
- Exposure calculator, with the relative filters, at night and in low light.
- Time-lapse video maker with the correct parameters.
- 10.5 thousand points of interest (castles, abandoned places, monuments, waterfalls, and more).
- Spot stars calculator to better capture our celestial night companions.
- FOV calculator to understand the best lens to use with an AR preview.
- DOF Augmented Reality to know where to focus and get the desired sharpness.
- Educational resources to enhance your photography skills (tutorials, e-books, and online courses).
- PhotoPills community to share your work, exchange ideas, and seek inspiration from fellow photographers worldwide.
- $6,600 reward for the photos you share with the world.
2. The Photo Ephemeris Photo Planning
Are you obsessed with location-based photography? The Photo Ephemeris photo planning app (also known as “The Photographer's Ephemeris“) is an iOS photography tool to get precise information on the position of the sun and moon at any given time and location.
You can plan your shots with utmost accuracy based on factors like golden hour, blue hour, and the angle of sunlight throughout the day. The app visualises the sun and moon paths on an interactive map to help you identify the best points and times to capture stunning landscapes (especially with mountains and hills).
Thanks to its attention to detail and a great selection of features, The Photo Ephemeris photography app can be a valuable companion for photographers of all skill levels.
- Directional light on a map to understand the right direction of sunrise and sunset.
- Photo planning to save the dates of your interest based on past, present, and future light conditions.
- Minute-by-minute to see all the main celestial events over the day (twilight, moon phases, new moon, golden hour, etc.).
- Night photography planner to see the essential data for taking astonishing photos (moon, Galactic Centre, and astronomical twilight).
- 3D and AR to visualise your shot and see the Milky Way arch orientation, sun, and moon overlaid.
- 3D sunlight, moonlight and starlight to see a three-dimensional landscape map lit by directional shadows and light.
- Ability to see the major meteor showers, lunar and solar eclipses, the position of stars and asterisms like the Teapot.
3. Pocket Light Meter Photo Planning
If you are a film photographer and use a manual camera, Pocket Light Meter is the photo planning iOS app you must always keep in your pocket. This mobile photography app allows accurate light measurements and reciprocity calculations. Pocket Light Meter uses your iPhone camera to measure light levels and provide precise exposure readings.
Its simple, intuitive interface allows you to select your desired ISO, shutter speed, and aperture values and get the corresponding exposure readings based on the available light. You may find this app limited. But for film photography, Pocket Light Meter can be a practical asset.
4. Quicosoft’s Exposure Calculator
I suggest using this Exposure Calculator app to capture perfectly exposed images, whether you shoot a portrait in a studio setting or a scenic landscape bathed in natural light.
And what about the mesmerising and never-get-old photos of blur clouds and water? They require a long exposure. So, calculating the perfect value is essential to ensure optimal results.
This Exposure Calculator app allows you to instantly get the corresponding exposure values after inputting your camera ISO, shutter speed, and aperture settings. Furthermore, when you set two new parameters, the app calculates the third one automatically.
- Shutter, Aperture or ISO calculator.
- Exposure value calculation.
- Aperture range from f1.0 to f360.
- Shutter range from 480s to 1/16,000s.
- ISO range from ISO 0.4 to ISO 3.2M.
- ND filter up to 30 stops in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments.
- Up to 3 stacked ND filters with stop, density, and ND number modes.
- Bulb mode (up to 24h).
- Reverse filter search mode.
- ND filter calibration mode.
- Timer for exposures of 4s or longer with alarm.
- Night mode with four colours of overlay.
5. Hyperfocal Pro Photo Planning App
Are you a pro photographer looking to elevate your photo planning to the next level? Hyperfocal Pro is a must-have iOS photo app to eliminate the guesswork and reach perfect focus and sharpness.
Hyperfocal Pro is your option to help you calculate the depth of field, hyperfocal distance, field of view, and more. All in a user-friendly interface. So, do you want to make your landscape photos stand out with precise focus? Why improvise when you can let HyperFocal Pro do the hard work for free?
- Responsive, intuitive user interface.
- Customisable hyperfocal distance table generator.
- Graphical scenario viewer.
- Depth of field / Angle of view / Field of view display.
- Multiple set-ups management system.
- Up-to-date DSLR database.
- Manual circle of confusion / calculate by sensor size.
- Share and export several file formats.
Hyperfocal Pro is Free and available for Android.
You may be also interested in learning How To Take Professional Photos: Top 21 Tips for Great Pictures.
Best Photo Shoot Apps for iPhone and Android
6. Filmic Firstlight Photoshoot App
Do you want to jump into the fantastic world of 19th and 20th-century photography and historic film simulations? Get it right and creative with the Firstlight photoshoot app for Android and iOS.
Firstlight is a feature-rich mobile photography app that offers professional-grade tools and creative options. Firstlight seamlessly blends powerful editing capabilities with real-time filters, ensuring you capture the perfect shot and make it your own.
As a mobile photographer, Firstlight allows precise adjustments in any lighting situation through complete control over shutter speed, ISO, and exposure.
- Film Simulations: Use filters inspired by the legacy of 19th and 20th-century photography.
- Modern images with a vintage vibe: Get to another level with adaptive organic film grain and variable vignettes.
- Exposure analytics: Master highlights and shadow detail for ideal exposure.
- ISO and shutter priority modes: Make your photos artistic, expressive, and professional.
- Cross Swipe: Keep ready for the next shot with a fast and intuitive 1-touch system.
- Focus peaking: Make focus always perfect with responsive analytics.
- Burst Mode: Three varied burst speeds of 6, 10 or 15 images a second.
- Apple Watch: Frame your shot remotely.
7. Camera+ 2 Photo Shoot Camera App
Camera+ 2 is a photoshoot app for iPhone. This top-tier photography app turns your Apple smartphone or tablet into the best photo camera possible.
Are you a seasoned photographer? Camera+ 2 will make your iPhone another pro gear. Are you new to photography? Camera+ 2 will make you feel like a professional photographer by improving your photos instantly.
The developers completely redesigned the predecessor Camera+ to create a solid app that can take the most out of its new impressive features: from a comprehensive set of manual controls and filters to the ‘Clarity’ function, which enhances image details without sacrificing quality.
So, you can grab your iPhone, get Camera+ 2 and start mastering portrait and landscape photography without costly gear.
- Portrait and depth capture: Apply your edits selectively.
- Shooting modes for peculiar purposes or fun: Take pictures on every occasion with Smile, Stabiliser, Slow Shutter, Burst, and Timer.
- Improved slow shutter: Obtain a perfect long exposure even in daylight.
- Macro mode: see all the details sharply.
- Monuments Mode: Remove things in motion while capturing monuments at your best.
- Manual shooting: Keep ultimate control.
- RAW capture and editing: Get maximum flexibility while editing.
- Focus peaking: See what subjects are in focus.
- Action mode: capture the right moment by never losing track of your moving subjects.
- Clipping indicator: Avoid underexposed or overexposed photos by highlighting the red and blue lines (lightest and darkest part).
- Hands-free control: Take any selfie, group photo or slow shutter capture without moving a finger thanks to Siri and the Apple Watch remote trigger.
- 48MP UltraRes: Capture every detail with 48 Megapixels (four times the native camera sensor capability).
- Magic ML: Pick the right amount of colour, exposure, contrast, contrast, highlights, and shadows with the help of Machine Learning.
- Many editing features.
8. Camera Zoom FX Premium
Do you want to take better photos without buying a new camera or smartphone? Camera Zoom FX Premium can enhance your photos without changing your gear. This photo shoot app for Android excels in photography and videography thanks to impressive shooting modes, including stable shot, voice-activated shooting, and burst mode.
And for advanced videographers, the manual controls offer full access to adjust settings like white balance, exposure, and focus.
Camera Zoom FX Premium also features extensive editing capabilities, allowing you to enhance your images with various effects, filters, and textures.
- Professional Camera2 manual controls.
- Composition grids, live histogram, real-time exposure, ISO, and shutter speed adjustment.
- Multiple shooting models.
- Killer burst mode with 50 frames per second.
- Image stabiliser to get rid of blurry shots.
Camera Zoom FX Premium costs $4.99 and is available for Android.
9. Moment Pro Camera Photoshoot App for iPhone
Moment Pro Camera is a high-end app designed for photographers who demand ultimate manual camera control on their phones. Pro Camera by Moment is also one of the best photoshoot camera apps for videographers looking for affordable video controls you can find in pricy apps.
Moment Pro Camera is optimised for iOS and offers ultimate features for photographers (such as raw files, manual focus, and slow shutter) and filmmakers (cinematic video, anamorphic support, 4K time-lapses, etc.).
- Full manual.
- Raw files.
- Live histogram.
- Raw burst.
- Manual focus.
- Slow shutter.
- Cinematic videos.
- Colour profiles.
- Waveform monitor.
- Multiple bitrates.
- RGB histogram.
- Anamorphic support.
You may also find it useful to know the Top 6 Photography Website Builders for Your Online Portfolio.
Best Photo Editing Apps for Mobile
10. Snapseed Free Photo Editing App
Snapseed is a lightweight, non-destructive free photo editing app for Android, iPhone, and iPad. This is a mobile photography app developed by Google in over 40 languages. Its 29 tools and filters (e.g. Healing, Brush, Perspective, HDR Scape, Drama, and Grunge) helps you beautify your images while retaining the original HD quality.
With Snapseed, you can fine-tune exposure, contrast, and colour balance. You can also make precise adjustments to specific areas of the photo through the selective editing feature.
- Open and tweak RAW DNG files.
- Automatically adjust the exposure and colour.
- Edit and fix the image with cropping, rotation, and perspective.
- Make the image look more natural by adjusting the white balance.
- Retouch exposure, saturation, brightness or warmth with Brush.
- Add vignette.
- Write plain or stylised text.
- Add a Bokeh effect through the lens blur.
- Add filters and frames.
- Enhance faces and correct the face pose based on 3D models.
11. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Photoshop Lightroom for mobile is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem. It offers professional-grade photo editing capabilities, but free of charge.
Thanks to seamless integration with its desktop counterpart, you can synchronise and edit your photos on the go across devices. Its advanced editing tools include exposure adjustments, colour grading, split-toning, RAW editing, and over 150 hand-crafted free and premium presets for absolute editing precision.
The Adobe Lightroom photo and video editor is available for Android devices, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and here are the main functionalities.
- Presets filters for pictures, reels, and videos.
- Auto photo editor.
- Colour mixer and grading tools.
- Crop and rotate.
- RAW, professional, and HDR modes.
- Curves photo editing.
- Photo enhancer.
- AI-powered editing for premium members.
- And more.
12. Pixlr Free Photo Editor
Pixlr (formerly Pixlr Express) is a popular and free photo editing app for iOS, iPadOS, and Android, ideal for quick edits and social media sharing. This mobile photo editor is flexible and versatile and allows you to save high-resolution edited images without a watermark.
Although Pixlr is free, its image editing capability is so high that users managed to make their pictures commercial (people started to ask for purchase). Pixlr offers basic adjustments (for ex., brightness and contrast) and more creative effects (vignettes, bokeh, etc.).
Finally, the collage maker and text overlay features help you in creative storytelling and graphic design. I recommend Pixlr for mobile photo enthusiasts or content creators seeking an easy-to-use photo editing app using their Android smartphone, iPhone or iPad.
- Two million combinations of free filters, effects, and overlays.
- Photo collages.
- Colour adjustment.
- Double exposure.
- Colour Splash and Focal Blur effects.
- Text addition.
- Borders, frames, cropping, and resizing.
- Auto fix tool.
- Blemish and red-eye removal.
- Skink smoothening and teeth whitening.
- Photo sharing through email and social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
13. VSCO Photography App
VSCO is a beloved photo editor for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. This app offers free and premium plans.
You will love VSCO for its stunning preset filters that emulate film aesthetics and evoke a distinct mood in your photos. Alongside its presets, VSCO offers manual editing tools, including exposure, temperature, and fade adjustments, allowing you to create perfectly tailored images.
I recommend VSCO if you like sharing your work with a vibrant online community: you can share your edited images, discover inspiring content, and connect with other photographers worldwide.
A plus that makes users like the VSCO community more is the absence of numbers associated with likes and comments. This lets you focus on what you love most: photo and video creativity, rather than being obsessed with those social standards that sometimes prevent us from expressing ourselves.
- 200+ premium (10 free) high-quality presets and tools. For example, Film X for creating vintage film looks, such as Kodak, Agfa, and Fuji.
- RAW photo import and editing.
- CSCO Spaces: Photography collection of all genres and styles from the global community, workshop ideas, and content sharing.
- Four camera options: Burst, Retro, Prism, and DSCO.
- Collage: Custom or preset templates.
- Dodge & Burn: Control shadows and highlights to correct common problems and guide the viewer's attention to where you want.
- Easy-to-use mobile video editor: presets, HSL for colour control, Speed for slow motion, crop, trim, reverse, and moving collage for storytelling.
14. Afterlight Photo Editing App for Android
Afterlight is a feature-rich photo editing app for iPhone and iPad that strikes the perfect balance between creative freedom and simplicity. Its User Interface is easy to use and navigate. With Afterlight, you can have features you would otherwise find in separate apps. That means less effort, less space, and less money.
In addition to essential editing options like exposure, colour balance, and curves, Afterlight Photo Editor offers an extensive collection of filters, textures, frames, and blend tools for double exposures and creative overlays.
I recommend the Afterlight iOS free photo editor to photography enthusiasts and avid social media creators. Do you like making videos? The developer Afterlight Collective Inc. also designed a video editor with aesthetic presets and effects.
- 130+ unique filters.
- 60+ textures and overlays (35mm-film light leaks, natural dust textures, Chroma tool, double exposure, and film emulation techniques).
- 20+ advanced tools (curves, selective hue, saturation, lightness, overlays, gradients, grain, and touch-gestures adjustment.
- Frames and borders with preset colours or custom images.
- Artwork with 120+ fonts and 150+ original designs.
15. Mextures Photo Editing App
Mextures is a go-to photo editing app for photographers who love to add textures, light leaks, and unique elements to their images. The Mextures photo editor has over 400,000 users among photographers, filmmakers, and designers who integrate this app into their workflow—probably because you can save your editing steps as presets for future use.
Do you like visual stories? They are captivating and the most engaging content for your audience. Mextures supports you in visual storytelling with over 150 textures, grains, and gradients you can blend effortlessly.
The app editing capabilities extend beyond textures, providing access to essential adjustments like exposure, saturation, sharpness, fade, tint, and 30 film presets.
- 150+ textures (dusty film scans, light leaks, tasteful ground, artefacts, etc).
- Professional-grade adjustment tools
- 30 film presets to emulate popular film stocks.
- Infinite layers.
- Formula workflow to save your edits and use them as presets in the future or import formulas from other users.
Best Mobile Photography Apps for Social Media Users
16. Adobe Photoshop Camera for Influencers
Adobe Photoshop Camera is among the best free Instagram photo editor apps for Android and iOS mobile devices.
Are you a content creator for Instagram and social media marketing? Adobe Photoshop Camera puts the capabilities of Photoshop inside your phone. It suggests the best filters and lenses for your photos. This way, you can impress your followers as a social influencer through over 100 lens effects and photo filters before or after your shot.
But impressing your audience is all about finding the combination of the most stunning effects. So, Photoshop Camera allows you to swap them effortlessly if you change your mind or want to do an A/B test.
What can you expect from Photoshop Camera?
The Adobe mobile photography app offers engaging filters and intelligent features, such as Auto-Tone, Content-Aware recommendations, and photo collage maker. So, you can tell compelling stories on your social media platform free of charge.
- One-tap camera filters and effects (Portrait, Bloom, Pop Art, Spectrum, Desync, Food, Scenery, Natural Skies, Analog, Night Shift, Dreamcatcher, Supersize, Double Expo, Prism, Mixed Media, Blue Skies, Artful, and more).
- Popular lenses (Studio Light, Comic Skies, Interstellar, Celestial, Cosmos, Grit, Dappled, Vibrant, Neon Pulse, and Color Echo).
- Real-time Photoshop effects for AI-powered photo editing.
- Auto-tone photo effects for more realistic pictures.
- Edit recommendations to know the proper lighting and focus.
- Portrait controls (Bokeh, Face Distance, Face Light, Face Relighting) to enhance the photo quality and make it perfect.
- 100+ influencers-inspired lens effects you can use for your creations.
- Social sharing.
17. InstaSize Photo Editor for Instagrammers
InstaSize is the ultimate Instagram photo editor app and resizer designed to cater specifically to the needs of social media enthusiasts and content creators. This powerful app focuses on optimising your images for Instagram, ensuring that they fit perfectly without losing quality or cropping out essential details.
Are you a content creator using other social media platforms? Cheer up! InstaSize allows you to fine-tune your shots and create captivating visuals that resonate with your audience on TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more.
Beyond its photo editing capabilities, InstaSize also offers a collage maker feature to craft photo stories for engaging storytelling.
- 130+ photo and video filters and presets.
- Contrast, exposure, grain, saturation, and clarity enhancement.
- Photo resizing and video cropping.
- Batch editing.
- Simultaneous editing of multiple images.
- High-quality retention.
- 100+ borders for photos and videos.
- AI-powered caption and hashtag generator.
- Photo restoration (black and white photo colouring, damaged and faded photographs restoration, and blur reduction).
- Unlimited Avatars AI maker with 50 styles.
- Photo collage maker with hundreds of possible layouts.
- Text addition with different colours, alignment, borders, and over 20 unique fonts (including watermark creation).
18. PicsArt AI Photo Editor for Content Creators
PicsArt is an all-in-one photography and video editing app for social media creators of all levels. PicsArt AI-powered tools help create stunning visual assets without the need for graphic design knowledge.
This mobile photography app is for iOS, Android, and Windows. It focuses on Artificial Intelligence photo editing and collage making, designed to blend your creativity with its photo enhancer and video editing power.
PicsArt has over 150 million creators worldwide. Its editing features are ideal for sharing stories, showcasing product highlights, transforming images into painting-like artwork, and creating marketing collaterals, such as flyers and social media posts.
- Photo editor (background removal and swap, unwanted objects remover, selfie retouching, trending filter and photo effects, millions of curated free images, blur backgrounds, 200+ text fonts, and cartoon maker).
- AI tools (sharpening, text-to-image generator, stylised filters, image replacing, custom Avatar generator).
- Collage maker (photo grid, freestyle, scrapbook, frames, story maker, etc.).
- 60+ million PicsArt stickers and custom stickers creation.
- A drawing tool with customisable brushes.
- Video editing (add music, optimise for IG stories, TikToks, and Reels, cropping, trimming, slow motion, video collage, filters, and effects.
Mobile photography and videography gained unprecedented success in the last decade. Whether you are a seasoned professional photographer, a hobbyist or a social media content creator, there is an app for everything (photo planning, photo shooting assistance, image editing, and social media image optimisation).
They can help you excel in your creative work by crafting eye-catching trending pictures perfect for printing, sales, advertising or sharing on Instagram, TikTok and other platforms.
The number of photo editing apps for Android and iOS is huge, but only a few are perfect and complete. This guide shows you the best 18 photography apps for mobile devices, along with their advantages, features, price, and download links.
Do you like photography, content creation, and social sharing? Which tools do you like most? Do you prefer to use an all-in-one app or multiple photography software for different purposes? Let me know your experience.