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Camera + 2.0 hands on: iPhone shooter makes a triumphant return to the app store

camera+ 2It's been a long time coming, but TapTapTap's Camera+ -- one of the best camera apps for the iPhone -- is now back in the App Store and updated to version 2.0. The new version loads more quickly, feels snappier, and adds plenty of new features and photo filters. Unfortunately, Camera+ users have to make do without the "volume snap" feature that got the app pulled by Apple earlier this year. Snapping pics with the iPhone's volume button was a unique selling point for Camera+, but Apple doesn't take kindly to any app that reassigns hardware buttons on iOS devices.

So, what's new in Camera+ 2.0? Plenty! Let's start with the filters. You'll notice that the "normal" button that used to be in the center of each filter selection screen has been replaced by an additional filter. Under Color, it's a blue filter called Cyanotype. Retro gets a glowing filter called Tailfins, and Special gains the best new filter of all, Depth of Field. I can't stress how awesome the Depth of Field filter is: it calculates what's in the foreground of your photo, and intelligently blurs the rest. If you're shooting a new Facebook profile photo, this is absolutely the filter you want to use.

For folks who have jumped on the vintage photo filter bandwagon with apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic, Camera+ 2 offers an add-on pack of 9 "I (heart) Analog" filters. You can grab it for 99 cents via in-app purchase. Plus, any filter in Camera+ can now be adjusted with a slider for a more subtle effect, rather than the all-or-nothing filtering in the previous version.

Effects aren't the only thing getting a boost in Camera+ 2, either. The editing menu also includes some new borders -- yes, you'll find the vignettes, gritty borders and hipster faux-Polaroids we all love -- and a much-needed flip and rotate panel. In terms of color correction, the Scenes menu has a few new options: Darken, Cloudy, Shade and Fluorescent. Camera+ now lets you manually adjust for virtually any kind of lighting, although I find the Auto option usually works pretty well.

As far as the app's UI, not much has changed. Your iPhone's camera will kick in immediately at launch now, instead of waiting for the app to load a faux-viewfinder main screen, and waiting again for you to choose between camera and lightbox mode. This little improvement makes it easier to get off a quick snap with Camera+, and fixes my only real gripe about the app. It's almost enough to make up for the loss of volume snap.

Check out the gallery below for a look at some of the new features in Camera+ 2.0.

Camera+ 2.0 for iPhone: New Features Gallery

Tags: apps, camera plus, camera+, camera+2.0, CameraPlus, features, handson, ios, iphone, photo, photo filters, PhotoFilters, photography, taptaptap