Camera Duo by Jambasoft LLC is a photography app for the iPhone 3G S, iPhone 4, and the 4th gen iPod Touch, which allows you to capture video and take pictures simultaneously. Say you’re out and about, and you witness a rare event that you just have to capture; you naturally whip out your camera and get caught in the dilemma of whether to take a picture, or shoot a live action video of the occurrence. This app remedies that situation by giving you the ability to snap photos while video is being recorded.
Camera Duo features not one, but two methods of taking photos. You can either take a straight shot while video is being recorded, or extract it from the video later on. Flash, torch, focus, exposure and white balance effects can be toggled, allowing for better photos and video in certain lighting situations.
iPhone 4 owners can swap between rear and front facing cameras, which is quite practical in case you need to capture yourself. As expected (and welcomed), you are able to utilize the tap-to-focus functionality in your shots. Keep in mind, in order to take photos while recording video, photo resolution will be equal to the maximum video capture resolution; so if you’re hoping to snap 5MP photos on this thing, you may be disappointed.
The iPhone 4 rear camera captures video at 1280×720. The iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 front facing camera capture video at 640×480. These are the resolutions in which the photos will be taken.
Camera Duo makes the process of simultaneous video and photo as easy as possible. All you do is launch the app and tap the red record button to start video capture. Photos are taken at your discretion, so whenever there is a Kodak moment in the event, all you need to do is tap the camera button at the lower-right.
To extract the photos later, just set the photo mode to “Extract from Video”. In this instance, photos are still taken by tapping the camera button, but are extracted from the video and saved to your phone when you are done filming. You may wonder why this option may be necessary; it’s simply because taking real-time pictures plays the shutter sound which can be heard in the video clip.
I’m no developer (yet), so I’m not sure if the shutter sound I mentioned above is a limitation in the iPhone SDK, or an issue that can be resolved in an app update. I’m leaning towards a limitation in the SDK. I wish there was a way to turn off the shutter sound when taking photos, as it really takes away from the quality of the video.
This draw back forces users go with the “Extract from Video” photo mode, which lacks flash and outputs lower quality photographs. Fortunately, I did find a way around this issue by simply setting my iPhone to vibrate. In my experience, this silenced the shutter sound in videos, and allowed me to take real-time photographs with flash and all.
While Camera Duo is not for those wanting to take high-res pictures from their iPhone, it serves as a handy tool for times where you need still shots, and full motion video at the same time. This app does a great job of creatively using the iPhone SDK to bring us a one of a kind app with both polish and function. If you’re constantly capturing those spontaneous moments in life with your iPhone camera, then Camera Duo is a Should Buy!