Most of us have been in the situation where we struggle to have our camera, iPhone, or other capture device ready for “that moment.” The next challenge is deciding whether to make a video or just snap plenty of photos. The new Camera Duo by Jambasoft may just eliminate the need to make that choice by allowing you to do both without having to juggle two devices or switch from one mode to another.
Let me start by saying that this isn’t an end-all solution and isn’t perfect for all situations. The primary setback is photo quality reduction. In order to do both simultaneously, the photo capture resolution must match the video capture resolution. That means 1280×720 for the iPhone 4′s rear camera and 640×480 for the iPhone 4′s front camera, 4th generation iPod touch’s front camera, or iPhone 3GS use. I was not able to determine whether the 4G iPod touch’s rear camera would capture photos at 1280×720 or 960×720, as I only tested this on an iPhone 4.
Camera Duo offers two types of photo capture modes: Real Photos or Extract from Video. Real Photos actually takes a moment to activate the camera and take a regular snapshot. The upside is better quality but the downside is there are moments of lag during your video. Your iDevice will also make the shutter sound but my brief testing seemed to resolve this issue by just muting the volume where audio is still captured. Extract from Video seems to prevent laggy videos and the need to silent your iDevice, but quality isn’t as good since the app just extracts specific frames from the video feed to provide you with the photos.
iPhone 4 users will have the opportunity to use and adjust the LED flash for photos and the LED as a “torcch” for the video capture portion. All cameras have the options of having white balance and exposure levels locked or automatically adjusted. The rear cameras allow for locked or automatic focus, with the normal tap to focus ability. The main graphic of the article above shows the rear camera options (left) and front camera options (right).
Camera Duo is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the 4th generation iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later. Camera Duo is available in the App Store now for only $.99.
Below I’ve included some sample photos, both real and extracted, and a sample video taken using my iPhone 4′s rear camera. The first 1:19 is me using the Real Photos mode and the rest is Extracted from Video mode. Photos are ‘stamped’ with “real” or “extracted” to help keep things clear. I purposely tried to push the blur factor using a lot of motion, because that was what I was most concerned about. We want to hear your thoughts on this app, and even the general concept. Are you willing to accept the downsides?