Whether it's Christmastime or your kid's birthday, chances are you'll be ready to capture your next family moment with an iPhone or Android. After all, most people don't own a fancy DSLR, but they do have access to a smartphone.
And thanks to photo and video apps, you can capture your family moments as if you owned a pricey camera. From video-recording apps with support for 4K resolution to photo-editing apps with manual controls, there is no reason why you can't shoot and edit like a professional.
To help you get museum-quality photos and videos of your best family moments, we've rounded the best photo and video apps available. We've even included live-streaming apps as well as niche apps that let you do one specific thing to photos and videos.
Some of these are for Android. Some for iOS. But they're all fantastic.
Instagram is probably one of the best apps for sharing your moments. It lets you both capture and import media, such as photos and 15-second videos, and you can use Instagram to edit that media with filters and other feature. Once you're done, you can share your moment with friends on Instagram or even to other social networks like Facebook.
Camera+ is one of the best apps for capturing photos, because it offers manual controls. More specifically, it lets you set focus and exposure independently. Just drag those settings' respective icons anywhere on the screen. Additionally, you can lock settings, along with white balance, and shutter speed and ISO settings are displayed in real-time.
Manual is like Camera+, only more minimalist and Scandinavian in appearance. It also has a few unique tricks up its sleeve. It lets you adjust all parameters of your photo, such as shutter, ISO, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation, and it include cool things like a live histogram, live monitor of exposure values, and an EXIF viewer.
VSCO Cam combines picture-taking, photo-editing, and online-sharing into one app. It's basically a one-stop shop. You can find and follow friends, as well as snap photos, and you'll have access to manual controls like separate focus and exposure rings. You can also export photos in full resolution and view image data like location and preset used.
Pro HDR is a single-purpose app that's all about HDR. It lets you create stunning, full-resolution HDR photos with just a single tap, and it includes sliders for adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth, and tint. Other features include manual exposure settings, digital zoom, cropping, timer, grid overlay, filters, text captions, and geo-tagging.
Slow Shutter Cam
Slow Shutter Cam is a single-purpose app that gives you access to slow shutter speed effects previously only possible with a DSLR or other fancy camera. It features three modes (Motion blur, Low light, and Light trail), which let you create ghost images and waterfall effects, fine-tune exposure compensation, and capture moving light.
Afterlight, in our opinion, could be described as a companion photo app for Instagram. It's primarily good at the following: editing with filters, then adding a frame( but keeping the photo's original size), and sharing to Instagram. If you love Instagram, you know it's all the rage right now to share non-square photos. Afterlight lets you do just that.
MoviePro is a go-to app for recording videos - rather than editing them. It lets you zoom in real time, pause and resume, capture stills while recording, record in 3K resolution, switch between cameras without losing audio or video, manually control AE, AF, Auto White Balance lock, and more. There's even a spy mode for recording in secret.
Apple's own video editor is actually pretty good for editing videos after you've captured them. You can add filters, themes, transitions, animated titles, soundtracks, as well as share clips, create movie trailers, publish to YouTube and Facebook, share to iCloud Drive, and more. And best of all: it's super easy to use and figure out.
Pinnacle Studio is for those of you who want Hollywood-style home videos. You can create slow and fast motion effects, use montage templates, add up to 16 transitions, generate motion titles and graphics, add picture-in-picture effects, pan and zoom on photos, add soundtracks, access media from cloud services, and export in 1080p to social networks.
Videon is good for both recording video and editing video. Not only does it offer recording features like real-time zoom, video stabilisation, and manual controls for focus and exposure, etc, but it also has popular editing features including color correction. You can play with contrast and speed, and you can combine effects, trim, and see a real-time preview.
Kinemaster is a premiere all-around video editor for Android devices. It features a multitrack video timeline, with drag-and-drop support. It further lets you cut, slice, and splice clips as well as add themes, animations, and visual and audio effects. When done, you can export in 1080p to various social media sites including YouTube and Facebook.
Magisto is for those of you that want Hollywood-style home videos...but without all the work involved. The app is known for surprising you with movies automatically created from your videos and photos. Just consider it a fully automatic video editor that analyses, trims, and edits the best parts of your videos. You can even choose clips, if you so desire.
Slow Fast Slow
There are plenty of apps that will let you slow down videos or even speed them up, but Slow Fast Slow will do both in any one video. It's a single-purpose app for manipulating the speed of videos while also retaining correct audio pitch. This app essentially lets you create cool videos with lots of speeding up and slowing down. Simples.
YouTube Creator Studio/Capture
Google-owned YouTube has a dedicated app that lets you create vids on the go.
You can record, then edit, and share videos of any length right from your phone, but they all get published to your YouTube channel, so be sure to check your privacy settings before you start uploading. Other features include the ability to add a soundtrack from your music collection or YouTube’s library and touch up videos with color correction and stabilisation.
If you’re looking for the latest craze to sweep the globe, then Vine is what you’re after.
Vine is a six-second video app that’s owned by Twitter and the idea is to create quick, easy, and interesting short films to share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and the world at large. You can also watch videos, discover stories, follow Vine channels, and share posts you love. But you can just use it to capture grandpa snoring in the chair after a big turkey dinner.
The Instagram team has debuted a new app that allows you to not only easily combine multiple photos into a single image, but also create one-of-a-kind layouts by remixing your photos. It's called Layout.
It will automatically show you previews of custom layouts while you're choosing photos from your camera roll. There's also a Faces option that shows you all the photos in your camera for specific people, making it easier to find the photos you want. From there, you can drag and drop photos to rearrange them, pinch/pull to adjust the size, flip and rotate to create different effects, etc.
Another feature, called Photo Booth, lets you capture photos in the moment and then see them in a new layout.
Before the Instagram team debuted Hyperlapse, creating a time-lapse video with your iPhone was both tedious and, to be honest, hard.
Time lapse or time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When you replay this sequence at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. Hyperlapse basically lets you do time-lapse photography with impressive stabilisation to boot.
The Boomerang app takes bursts of photos and then stitches them together into a HD video loop. The loop starts to play forward but then plays backward, creating a neat, GIF-like video. Boomerang videos do not include audio.
Instagram recommends that you find something that's moving, then record it while holding still, and voila! From there, you can share it on Instagram. Boomerang also automatically saves the video to your camera roll.
Twitter-owned Periscope lets you create and share live video broadcasts. After ending a broadcast, tap Save to Camera Roll or 'Save to Gallery' on the information panel to download the video stream to your phone.
You can also watch other users' broadcasts and interact with them in real-time by messaging or sending hearts. Each broadcast not only shares a live video feed, but also synced audio and a user's location details (if enabled).
You can even follow other users and get in-app notifications when they start a new broadcast. The idea is that you'll use Periscope to create live video broadcasts and engage with and watch other broadcasts.
You have probably heard about Snapchat, the mobile app that allows users to send videos and pictures that self destruct after a few seconds.
Snapchat is a fun messaging app for sharing moments. You can take a photo or a video, then add a caption or doodle or lense, and send it to a friend or add it to your story to share with the world/your followers. Friends can view individual snaps for up to 10 seconds, and then it disappears.
But you can also use Snapchat to save captured photos and videos to your camera roll as well as broadcast them to your followers.