These days, anyone can turn photographer with their camera phone, but we all want that little bit more. It’s not even enough that you can now snap anything, anywhere for as long as it takes to get that perfect shot, you want to jazz things up a little too.
Camera Fx8 Free is one of an ever-growing number of apps that allows you to apply a series of effects, shapes and – after a paid upgrade – even borders and overlay effects to your images. It can be applied retrospectively to photos already on your phone, or you can set things up to snap away in real time.
Fire up the app and – after a short pause (or long pause on our ageing iPod touch 4th gen), the main screen will appear. You’ll see the viewfinder at the top, which supports zooming via the pinch gesture (switch this on via the Options button, which also provides optional on-screen grid and handy horizontal level. There’s a camera button for switching between front and back cameras and a shuffle button that basically randomly applies one of the available effects.
Beneath this are three buttons: the left-hand one provides access to your photos, the middle one is your camera shutter and the right-hand one lets you view or hide the available effects and shapes, which sit at the bottom of the screen.
24 effects and shapes are provided in the free version, with plant-inspired names ranging from Alder and Dogwood to Nigella and Sage. The shapes, which are glorified borders, include circle, star and hexagon. There’s also an enigmatic More tab, which contains nothing but a link to the paid-for version, which can be bought for 99c at time of writing, but has been on sale for as much as $2.99.
Upgrading unlocks a handful of extra filters, plus overlay effects such as paper, dots and love, and a range of borders. You also gain a slew of advanced options: location reporting, plus the ability to save edited photos and snapped shots to the app itself rather than add them to your camera roll.
Camera Fx8 Free is a fun app with some nice touches, but it's a shame it doesn't give you the opportunity to try out any overlay or border effects.