You might have not heard about Filterra just yet. But even if not for this very review, you would definitely hear about the app soon. It would be just a matter of time. Why? It's simple. Although Filterra for iOS is a newly-born app, it has already shown that the standards in the area could have been set on much higher level. Be ready to meet the whole new era of mobile photo editing. Filterra promises to help you perfect your images like a pro. Let's see how real this testimony is.
First impressions are half the battle. Good design is like a pass for users to explore an app. At least it ensures that a user won't decide to uninstall the app immediately after seeing the main screen for the first time. And if a company claims that their product is very soon to become a flagship of the category, the design should be no less than perfect.
Filterra has been created by experienced professional photographers and designers aiming to build state-of-art tool for refining iPhone images that would meet almost all the major and minor needs of both amateurs and pro photographers.
Given that the app was developed by a group of visual professionals, you will probably expect to see great design solutions from the very beginning of your Filterra experience. You won't be disappointed, the solutions are there. Color palette of the app consists of black, white and yellow colors. Black and white helps to keep different screens clear and neutral which is very reasonable when you are in for working with visual information. You will love to have the most important things in focus and the most important things in this case are your photos. Yellow is used to highlight important actions or the choices you have made. You won't see it too much. Yet the amount of color used is exactly what it has to be to make important UI elements highly visible and create cheerful feeling (we are supposed to use photo editing apps for fun in the first place, aren't we?).
It all starts from the beautifully organized gallery. You can either pick up an existing photo you want to work with or tap yellow "create photo" button to make one. At the bottom of the screen you will find a white bar with shortcuts to info screen, effects’ store and settings menu.
To let the full power of your creativity out you should start with downloading filters/textures/frames/lights packages from the store. There are free options available along with paid extras in case you feel that the free version is not enough for you. Each item in the store has sample shots and description for you to better understand what you will get by installing it. Note that some filter packs are heavy (up to 300MB or even more), so if your iPhone lacks free space it might appear to be a problem. Settings menu will help you to restore in-app purchases, reset favorites, check memory usage and manage downloaded packages.
After you have all needed effects downloaded and installed, choose the image you want to work with. You will be got to simple interface to apply filters. Effects you like the most can be added to favorite section to be right at your hands when you will enhance next photo. While editing the picture you can choose several filters/effects to compare on one screen. The feature is very handy. It allows you to choose the best variant and save it.
Filterra also allows you to fine tune the results of your photo manipulations. 15 tools to make your pictures even more striking are available through the bar at the bottom of the screen. Each tool will lead you to a separate plain interface where you will be able to adjust chosen settings and instantly see the result.
All in all we've found Filterra UI to be clear and intuitive. You won't need to spend much time to get the feeling that you know how to use the app.
Filterra claims to have over 1 million combinations of designer filters and effects which is the biggest collection available on the App Store. The number is impressive, so is the quality of the majority of effects offered. Indeed there is a huge space for searching and finding your own creative way to deal with the app. Filterra allows to save custom blend presets for you not to wander from the track. The collection of effects available on the built-in store is constantly growing with new bundles and theme packages released on regular basis.
The app has plenty of different custom filters developed by professional photographers and designers so you will have an opportunity to find the right one for any type of photography. There are enough options to perfect your selfie, landscape, portrait, story set, food shot, cityscape, whatever you may happen to catch with your iPhone camera.
To make the shot more dramatic you can apply lighting effects. Texture overlays are also there to add special atmosphere to the picture. Try those dusty and filmy textures to enhance the story impact.
The overall secret of your successful photos edited with a help of Filterra is in meticulously gathered toolkit. Toolkit that suits both newbies and professionals. Toolkit that saves time and adds value to your photos.
The app is able to track and record your actions for you to create custom preset and be able to use all the adjustments done with a single tap. The feature is great, especially when you know exactly that your photo will look great with the set of settings previously used and want to get the result really quickly.
For you not to get completely lost in all the variety of filters offered by Filterra, developers introduced compare on the go feature. It allows to instantly check several selected filters on one screen to see the differences "in real time". The feature really helps to make final decision about how the photo will look.
Favorite filters and effects can be gathered in one personal collection for convenience of use. The concept is to give users more time to concentrate on expressing feelings and emotions. All in all creators of the app do care about your editing time. Better save it for something more valuable than trying to recall the name of "that cool filter" and searching for it in the catalogue. One tap and the filter is applied. That's how it should work and it actually works well.
Functionality of Filterra is not limited to filters. The app is capable for much more with the fine-tuning set. Built-in tools allow user to edit and control finest details of the pictures. Feel free to take control over:
- Curves: adjust tonal range and color balance. Tune individual or overall intensity of different levels (Lights, Midtones, Shadows, Whites and Blacks);
- Color Adjustments: work with color, depth and vibrancy of photos. Control brightness and contrast, as well as temperature, tint, and saturation;
- Highlighting and Shadowing: correct overexposed or underexposed areas of pictures thus make your shots more live;
- Vignetting and Fading: add vignetting or gradual fading to create drastic look;
- Basics: resize, scale, rotate or crop if you feel that your shot will benefit from the actions;
- Grain: change intensity and granularity of noise;
- Sharp: make details clearer by increasing sharpness.
As you see Filterra offers even more flexibility of controls than you would probably expect to get from mobile photo editor.
Great UI and versatility of instruments offered make Filterra one of the best photo editing tools on the App Store. The app helps to bring iphoneography to a whole new level where high standards of post-production quality rule. It doesn't mean that a user needs special training to use Filterra - every step is clear and intuitive. That makes the tool truly user-friendly.
Still the app is not perfect: some filters take hundreds of MB of free space, not all the filters are great (but it's rather a question of personal preferences) and you need to have iOS 7.1 or later installed on your iPhone (unfortunately iPhone 4s and earlier versions are not fully supported). Probably that's it. Admit it, it's not a high price for the great product! What concerns the actual price: the app used to cost $2.99, now it's free.
We highly recommend you to check Filterra if you are using your phone camera. Find your creative way and edit like a pro (if you already are a pro, edit even better)!