Mar 8, 2013

App Breakdown No. 1 – Cortex Camera

Cortex CameraI’ve been wanting to take another look at all the Photo and Art apps I have on my iPhone and iPad (I lost count at 300!)  I’ve also deleted nearly 200 – you know the ones that promise great results but deliver mediocre ones!
Starting with my iPad I’m going to just address each app as it appears on my device and see what I can find out out about it and share that with you.
The first is Cortex Camera.  I was lucky to get it when it was free for one day.  I was interested in the promise of less noise in low-light conditions.  The regular price is $2.99. 
Life in LoFi had a great article about it recently, “What Exactly Does Cortex Camera Do?”  After reading it I understood why the images aren’t always clear and what the app is doing when it says “exposing”.  The app is actually capturing over 100 frames of video and then combining them to make one still image with the best exposure.
Here is an image of my keyboard taken in the late afternoon with shutters closed.   
Native iPhone 4S Camera
Native iPhone 4S Camera Image
Below is an enlarged portion of the photo above - notice all the noise!
Enlargment Native Camera
Below is the photo taken immediately afterwards in the same lighting conditions using the Cortex Camera.  It was taken from the same distance, although it does look like it was taken from closer range.  Note the actual size of the iPhone native camera photo was 7.99 MP and the Cortex Camera photo was 8.29 MP!
Image Using Cortex Camera
And here’s the big difference – check out the enlargement. 
Enlargement of Cortex Camera Image
One of the drawbacks is that because it’s taking a video and then combining the frames, you have to have a steady hand and obviously a moving subject wouldn’t be a good candidate. It also takes a while to process, so if you need to fire off a few shots quickly, switch to another app.  There is an “align” setting which when turned off shows the movement of the subject, so in that respect it may work a bit like a slow shutter app.  I’ll keep that in mind when I experiment more with this one. 
This one’s a Keeper!


  1. Thanks for the review. I may try it out.

  2. Thank you for the information. I have also cortex on my iphone but didn't pay attention to it until now. I'm going to try it right now!

  3. @pr.tenorsoul - thanks for stopping by. Hope you like Cortex Cam. Just be sure to hold it nice and steady!


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