Camera apps have long specialized in certain areas, such as using one app to throw a nice filter on one picture, which you then send to another app to frame and mash up a few of your other pics. Over time, many of these camera apps have started to overlap, adding in collages or framing (for instance) as a feature buried in the app as an afterthought – but it was time for a social all-in-one camera designed for today’s needs.
Now Helsinki-based Sumoing, the creators behind Repix (now at 12 million downloads) and Sumopaint, have brought together a few features needed for today’s social photographer under one nicely designed app.
Opening up the app you’re brought to the camera, where you can see in real-time the filter you’re shooting with, or swap between them quickly in and out by sliding to the left of the right. Additionally by sliding your finger up and down on the viewfinder you can control the contrast in the camera, which makes the filters appear softer or harsher. It’s pretty intuitive.
What I find handy is that you can start throwing in frames and shooting in them immediately, which helps you potentially line up your collages nicer. Long pressing down on the shutter button you start shooting video, which makes it handy for Instagram videos shot within a frame.
Once you’ve got your shots set up, you can then start throwing text on top of it, which I’m sure our region’s entrepreneurs were missing for their #summer14!!! posts on social media. At the very least I threw up a pic of writer Ian Anderson as some eye candy for you.
“Taking and sharing photos has become part of everyday life and it’s only going to increase. We wanted to cut away the need for people to flick between different apps to take, edit and send photos and videos privately. We wanted to make their lives easier,” said Ilkka Teppo, the CEO of Sumoing in a statement.
Camu is also somewhat of its own social player – you can add friends through phone numbers in the app, and in one tap send pictures to them. Additionally Camu is set up to plug your selfies directly into Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, or whatever you like.
Sumoing is seed funded and is seeing some revenue generated through Repix. Right now there’s no monetization baked into the app, which can either be a sign that they’re later going to add in in-app purchases like filters later, or that they’re looking just to build a large userbase (which seems to get companies acquired these days). On the topic, Teppo tells us, “We are really excited to see how people start using it and hear the feedback. We are also really excited about the new iOS8 Camera capabilities and see lots of different options regarding the biz-model. We think Camu is a great alternative for the native camera app and aim to make it the most popular Camera app in mobile.”
So far it seems they’ve gotten a good start by being features as the Editor’s Choice by Apple globally.
If you’re looking for heavy camera features, Camu probably isn’t going to be the only app on your camera. But as much as I like to spend 20 minutes tweaking my crappy Instagram pictures in VSCO, I’ll still keep Camu on my phone. It’s fun, it’s light, and I see myself using it for silly casual pictures to bug my friends with – exactly what it was designed for.