Skip to main content

Best smartphone apps for editing photos on a smartphone

Smartphones offer great portability, and it is the major reason latest DSLR cameras include the capability to be connected to smartphones over wi-fi. Also, the quality of image offered by a phone camera itself is extremely good. Example: Google pixel or iPhone X camera.  Whether you do mobile phone photography or DSLR photography, there are a lot of apps that can help you with photo editing on your smartphone itself. Most of the editing apps are available for both Android and Apple iPhone Playstore.
Let's talk about why smartphone based editing of photos is required? This is because not everyone wants to power a heavy laptop and launch an app for even simple photo edits. Also, a user has easy access to their smartphone more than a computer or laptop. Other benefits offered by smartphone-based editing include:
1) Some of the latest smartphone cameras allow shooting RAW images. RAW images carry a lot more data with them as compared to JPEG files. By using smartphone-based editing apps a user can unleash the full potential of photo editing without the need of a DSLR.
2) Editing and uploading can be done at same time. All the famous photo sharing platforms such as Instagram, Flickr and 500px have mobile apps too. It makes the sharing process very easy and highly convenient.
3) If you are shooting using a DSLR, no need for a computer or laptop. Just transfer the files to smartphone and start editing them instantly.
4) RAW files cannot be uploaded to photo sharing websites. Smartphone-based editing apps allow exporting as JPEG which can be uploaded to Instagram, 500px and Flickr.
Moving on to the apps section, most of the apps mentioned cost near to nothing.  I have personally used all of these apps on my smartphone at some point in time. For ease of download, I have merged both "apps for android" and "apps for iPhone" sections together. 
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: Free. You don't need a creative cloud subscription for editing RAW files through the latest camera updates might require a subscription.
Google Android.
Apple iPhone.

VSCO: Free. This app has given a really hard time to Instagram filters. Easy to use.
Google Android.
Apple iPhone

SKRWT- Paid. Perspective correction, EXIF data read and full auto-cropping of photographs.
Google Android
Apple iPhone.

Snapseed: Free. One of my personal favourite apps. Tons of full-fledged photography features such as RAW editing, white balance, tones, curves, exposure, etc. The screenshot below shows the various features offered by this app.

dslr photography app snapseed
Screenshot of Snapseed

Google Android.
Apple iPhone

Google photos: Free. Offers photo back, collage creation and simple editing such as lighting, contrast, vignette, etc.
Google Android.

Photo pills - Paid. Special focus on Astro side of photography. Sun, moon and milky way. Allows a user to make plans, find good photography locations and long exposure shots.
Google Android
Apple iPhone

ProCam 5- Paid. Only for iPhone users. Basically turns your iPhone into a DSLR camera. Includes night mode, burst mode, video mode, time-lapse mode and DNG files editing. Hard to beat this app.
Apple iPhone

Pixlr- Free. Overlays, filters and collages.
Google Android
Apple iPhone

Darkroom- Free. Only for iPhone users. RAW image support, batch processing, transform and 10 pre-bundled filters.
Apple iPhone

Enlight- Paid. Only for iPhone users and very similar to Photoshop. Offers tone curves, custom presets and customizable filters.
Apple iPhone

Adobe Photoshop Express- Free (trial). It's Adobe. RAW, TIFF and JPEG support. Offers watermarking, blemish removal, skin tine editing and what not.
Google Android.
Apple iPhone

Instagram: Free. Photography app with a social and personal touch. Live videos, photo filters, cropping and all the other basic stuff needed to post cute selfies. ;)
Google Android
Apple iPhone

Hope the above list will help to take your creativity to another level. I am sure there must be other good photography apps too, but I can't try them all. If you know of any other amazing photography app that deserves to be in above list, drop me a line or leave a comment. Share the photography love. :)


  1. I have a dslr camera but the problem is, it's too big to carry everytime and everywhere especially when it rains I need to protect it's lens. Fortunately I have a smartphone now with waterproof and thus I can use it anywhere, plus those very useful app to use makes my photos more beautiful and attractive. I haven't tried Darkroom yet, I'll surely try it out. lovely post!

    1. Hi Alexi,
      I can totally relate to what you are trying to say. When I go on hikes, it gets painful to carry my dslr and hiking gear at same time. I am glad you found the article helpful, let me know how you feel after using one of the above apps.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to focus at infinity doing night photography?

In the previous post, we talked about taking pictures of the moon with a DSLR. The reason for this post can be contributed to the fact that focusing on the moon is still easier as compared to stars. Also, what to do when you are in the middle of nowhere trying to take pictures of star trails, night sky, milky way, etc. It is hard to see your camera controls on a night without moon and away from city lights. I recently went on a night photography excursion with a group of photographers to do astrophotography. It was pitch dark as there was no moon at all. Here are a few things that worked for most of us when it comes to focusing, pretty sure at least one of them would work for you.
1) Switch to manual mode. Go to live view and zoom in all the way using your camera functionality (not lens). Point it to the brightest star, focus by rotating the focus ring manually. Take a few test shots and see stars by zooming all the way into the photograph.
2) Use magic lantern. This software adds mu…

How to locate the milky way for night sky DSLR photography?

Our Earth is part of a huge sized galaxy, known as the Milky Way. Milky Way basically consists of our whole solar system and is made up of 100-400 billion stars. Until last year, I had no idea if we can see Milky Way with naked eyes. After a lot of failed late night drives and sleeping at the beach, I was finally able to get a grip on what I actually need to see Milky Way. In September 2016, I got my first Milky Way shot. It was an extremely emotional and priceless moment when I first saw the magnificent milky way with my own eyes. All the failed attempts or discomfort of not going to bed early seemed nothing in that moment. I would consider sharing this priceless memory with fellow photography folks as the inspiration behind this post. 
Moving on to the technical part, there is a minimal amount of gear required to take Milky Way shots using your dslr. Focusing at infinity and calculating the shutter speed to avoid star trails is purely technical, capturing Milky Way takes a little mor…

Dual memory card slot DSLR vs single memory card slot DSLR

A couple of readers recently sent a message to my Facebook page asking the usage of dual memory card slot DSLR cameras. Most of the professional cameras have dual memory card slots, one as Compact flash card and other as SD card. Some DSLR cameras have dual SD card slot whereas a very few have dual CF card slot. If you are looking for a well known dual memory card slot camera, below list will be helpful. 

Example of dual slot DSLR cameras from Canon include: Canon 1D Mark IV Canon 1D Mark III Canon 1D Mark II Canon 5D Mark III Canon 7D Mark II
Example of dual slot DSLR cameras from Nikon include: Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon D5 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E
Nikon D7000
Example of dual slot DSLR cameras from other manufacturers include:
Pentax 645D
Pentax K-1
Fuji X-T2
Panasonic GH5
Sony A9
Olympus E-M1II

The bigger question here is why do we need dual memory card slot DSLR cameras and what's the advantage? Let's try to find the answer from a user perspective. Professional cameras hav…