Getting the perfect picture is now easier than ever. Camerabag is a nice alternative if you want to enhance your photos quickly and efficiently without having to purchase an expensive software like PaintShop Pro.
The desktop version can be purchase for just $20, but you can also get the iPhone/iPod version for $0.99 or the iPad one for $1.99. Since all versions are slightly different, this review is focusing on the desktop version.
The interface of the application is very basic and straightforward. All the tools needed are located on the right and once your illustration is uploaded, you simply click on the desired effects and modified settings as you wish.
All applied effects are located on the bottom of the screen and can be modified, deleted or adjusted later on. You also have access to a few options on top to customize your workspace, edit the images and save your files.
On the right side of the toolbar, you can select five different options. You can either use predetermined styles and apply cool effects on your images. It can range from samples from the years 1962, 1983 or 1974 to styles like Instant, Matte, Skater, Wedding or Italiano.
If you prefer to modify images manually, you can select the second option named "Adjust". Most basic tools you need to enhance your images are available. You have the basic tools to crop and adjust the contrast, saturation and exposure of your image. You also have access to the Multi Tool which simplify the customization of all three previous tools together.
The "Adjust" mode also comes with a "Light" section to help you customize luminance, brightness, shadows and highlights. Colors can also be adjusted through color correction tools like RGB curves, selective saturation, split tone, color filter and RGB swap.
Finally, you can add grain or a cool vignette effect to your images. Most tools in the "Adjust" section of Camerabag can be edited through vector lines and handles. It's a great alternative, but better save the effects you love because duplicating your work can be difficult since you can't use the same values without a little try and error.
The third option available in the right menu is the addition of borders. These are nice options if you want to add a retro look to a picture, but it is something that I rarely use.
The fourth tab on the right menu is one dedicated to favorite effects. More than 80 favorites are already available and you can also create and add your own. The good thing about these favorites is that they remain editable. Simply select the icon on the bottom and change settings as needed.
The final option in the right menu is the "quicklooks" tool. Using this tool, you can visualize all borders or favorites instantly instead of trying each effect manually and separately in Camerabag.
Another cool aspect of this software is that you can preserve your settings on all pictures that are opened during the same work session. No need to start all over again. I do recommend checking all images individually since some effects won't be relevant for all pictures (even ones taken during the same event).
Of course, this application is not perfect. A few tools to remove grain or get a sharper image would be appreciated. This is not a complete suite to edit and manipulate images, but rather a simplified version perfect to add filters and great stunning images.
Camerabag is perfect if you want a cheap application to achieved cool effects on photos. It is definitely perfect for beginners, kids and people who just want a quick tool to convert average pictures into cool artworks.
However, if you already own PaintShop Pro or Photoshop, then you might skip on this one. I do use it even if I have PaintShop Pro because it is so simple and fun to use, but honestly, I don't really need it.
You can read more about Camerabag and download a trial version here.
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