An ex-Apple designer and former Twitter engineer have teamed up for a new take on iPhone photography, with today’s launch of their iOS camera app called Halide. The idea is to offer a variety of high-end tools for taking quality photographs, but packaged in a way where accessing those controls via gestures becomes like muscle memory – similar to using the dials on a camera.
Explains the app’s website, the new app’s gesture-based control scheme is meant to feel “as intuitive and tactile as a great film camera, like an old Leica or Pentax.”
While there are a number of alternative camera applications for iOS today – like Camera+ or Camera Awesome, for example – these tend to be marketed towards mainstream users who want to “shoot like a pro.” Halide, on the other hand, is designed more with the power user in mind first. That is, it will largely appeal to those who have some understanding of photography, and want to do things like quickly change the exposure or manually focus with a swipe.
However, there is a built-in automatic mode like the stock iOS app. This makes the app usable even by novice iPhone photographers, who sometimes need help when trying to take tricky shots.
But this automatic mode is designed to be turned off by tapping the “A” button in order to tweak specific values like ISO, white balance and shutter speed, however. The app also includes professional tools like focus peaking (which highlights the areas in focus, allowing users to manually pull focus), a detailed histogram, an adaptive level grid and support for both JPG and RAW capture.
Halide was developed by Ben Sandofsky and Sebastiaan de With, both of whom have experience with high-end photography. Sandofsky previously worked on Periscope’s video processing stack, was an advisor to both HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and Shyp, and worked as the tech lead on Twitter’s iPhone, iPad and Mac applications.
Meanwhile, de With is an ex-Apple designer who has…