ClearCam Turns your iPhone’s 2-Megapixel Camera into a 4-Megapixel Camera


iPhone 3G

We have already seen jailbreak apps such as Cycorder which brought video recording and Snapture which brought professional features such as Digital zoom, delay timer etc to iPhone's very basic camera app.

ClearCam is the latest iPhone app which is set to add more zing (actually megapixels) to your iPhone's camera. It turns your iPhone's 2-megapixel camera into a 4-megapixel camera.

ClearCam is developed by Occipital, a young startup founded by Jeff Powers and Vikas Reddy.

You might have seen Gigapan's superb 1,474 Megapixel panoramic photo of Obama's Inauguration which consists of over 2GB of photo data and comprised of over 220 images. ClearCam works in a similar manner. It creates the 4 megapixel photo by creating a composite image using 6 photos taken in succession using iPhone's 2 megapixel camera.

Adrian Covert over at Gizmodo explains the how it works:

"Essentially, you choose to snap a photo, then it runs off 6 of them into a directory. Then there's a two step process for enhancement. First you hit the button to align the photos, then you hit the button to enhance photos. It takes about 30-40 seconds in total."

He points out:

"Though the resolution is larger, it's worth noting that the image quality does not appear to increase substantially when viewed normally. Instead, the image—especially text—appears a little sharper and readable when zoomed in, and any obnoxious blur is eliminated for the most part. Files sizes are around 2x bigger than the normal image taken with the iPhone camera. Occipital says there's still room to improve as far as enhancement goes, but they need to work on keeping the file size low, first."

As an example, you can see the difference in the image quality taken using iPhone's camera app and one taken using ClearCam.


iPhone Jailbreak App - ClearCam

ClearCam also has a QuickShot mode like you have in digital cameras where it takes 6 images in 2.5 4 images in 2 seconds, you can select the best and discard the rest and it automatically selects the sharpest (more details about the feature below).

The intriguing thing about ClearCam is that Occipital did not submit their iPhone app to the App Store for Apple's approval, instead they chose the unofficial approach and released it on Cydia for users who have jailbroken their iPhones. They felt that Apple might reject the rapid shot mode and they didn't want to remove the feature from their iPhone App.

ClearCam can be installed via Cydia but costs $9.99 after a 15-days trial period.

ClearCam reminded me of another cool iPhone app called Pano which is available on the App Store. It allows you to create panoramic photos from multiple photos right on the iPhone.

Update:

Jeff Powers, one of the founders of Occipital has commented below to highlight that the QuickShot feature takes 4 images in 2 seconds as Michael, one of our readers had highlighted.

He also has provided some more details about the feature:

"QuickShot
takes 4 images in ~2 seconds. Also important to note that QuickShot
picks the sharpest image by itself and saves immediately. We found that
at least one of four is almost always clear despite normal jitter when
you try to hold still.

Test QuickShot out by rapidly shaking the phone after it takes the
first photo — it should pick the first. Or, rapidly shake it for the
first two and hold still for the last ones — it should pick 3 or 4."

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts about Clearcam in the comments below.

[Occipital via Gizmodo]

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