Testing The Cortex App on the iPhone 7 plus

Why iPhone 7 plus

I'm finding myself more and more using the iPhone 7 plus than my other cameras because it so so convenient to carry around.  My iPhone 7 plus can hold up to 124 GB.  The top of the line holds up to 256 GB.  That's like having 10 SD cards.  I also bought extra  200 GB on my iCloud in case I need more space.  I pay less than $3/month for it.

My iPhone photos sync with my iMac automatically using Lightroom Mobile.  It's a smartphone version of the regular Lightroom- essentially the same as Camera Raw.  I could pre-process my images on my smartphone and when I open Lightroom on my iMac the pre-edited images (as well as the un-edited ones) are already there.  I would move the files to an external drive for storage and future editing.

For simple easy editing, I will just use Snapseed app on my iPhone.  It can process RAW files but the edited version can only be saved as jpg, which is fine if I just want to share or post on the web.

It's a nice workflow for me.  Very convenient for a lazy old guy like me. I discovered the benefits of the iPhone after my sciatica flared up during our trip to Northern Italy years ago.  Hauling my 5D and several lenses pretty much crippled me.  So I investigated the Apple iPhone.  I used the iPhone 6 on our Great Britain trip.  But the 6 only shoots in jpg and the image files are only 8 megapixels.  Then the 7 plus came out with 12 mp and RAW capability.  That is why I got it.  It has two lenses.  Approximately a 24 mm and a 50 mm.  I could always get an external lens like close-up or tele or super wide.  But so far the two lenses fill my need.  

Cortex Camera App 

I recently downloaded the Cortex Camera App for my iPhone 7 plus, and have been very impressed with the results.

Cortex Camera has been around for years, but on current generation phones the image-stacking application is what makes this App powerful and user-friendly.

Here’s a glance at what you get:

  • Images stacking anywhere from 10-99 frames. You can choose manually or set to auto for the app to decide for you.
  • Shoots JPEG or TIFF
  • Records raw data (select supporting devices)
  • Supports front facing camera and telephoto lens on iPhone 7 Plus and can toggle quickly between all lenses.
  • Motion compensation for better results when hand—holding during longer shots
  • ‘Enhance Shadow’ option to expose darker areas without looking unnatural
  • Shutter timer
  • Grid overlay.

The above example image was shot with 30 frames, which is the default value for this App.  Since the final image is a composite of several shots, the file size is huge.  I shot the image above in Tiff with a file size of about 90 mB.  This can be problem if the storage capacity of ones iPhone is small.  Hence, the App probably should be used prudently.  As not all images will require photo stacking, this may not be an issue.  Also it is best to use a suitable tripod as always in any photo stacking process.  I happen to just prop my iPhone on a table for this shot, and I was fortunate to get a decent result.

Overall, I think the Cortex Camera App rocks.  At $2.99, it's chump change compared to what it can do.

Using the Portrait Lens of the Cortex Camera.


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