ViewFinder Preview App Review

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There’s undoubtedly a certain irony in the fact that, despite being increasingly an analogue photographer using a range of film formats, I have a whole host of photography themed apps on my Iphone. Some of theses replace features ‘lost’ when I moved away from digital work, such as storing exposure details for roll films, which dark slide has which type of film in it, or development times for film/developer combinations. Others, such as hyperfocal distance calculators and long exposure calculators are equally useful in the digital realm.

I have recently come across the ViewFinder Preview app, which falls into the latter category. I know a lot of people use phone cameras to preview scenes before setting up their main camera to create the final image, However a problem with doing this is that you are limited to the aspect ratio of your phone, unless you save the image and crop it manually.

This is where ViewFinder Preview steps in. Built into the app are a range of aspect ratios for all digital sensors as well as film sizes and even video and movie film. Having selected your film/sensor size, you can select a crop ratio in case you want to preview the effect of say a square crop of a 5x4 film image would look like. If the size of your film isn’t listed amongst the built in previews, you can easily create a new one. For ease of use you can swap between ratios and crop sizes from the main screen, without delving into the settings menu.

In case that isn’t enough, you can preview the effect of different focal length lenses, either by selecting from a customisable list of prime sizes, or by zooming on the main screen.

But the app's functions don’t end there. Also built in is a light meter function. This can be in either aperture or shutter priority, as well as full manual, and also gives an EV readout. I’ve compared the results with my trusted Gossen handheld meter and the correlation between the two is very good.

Having decided on your composition, the image can be stored away for future use along with all of the information associated with it.

Finally, a number of film effect emulations are built in. I haven’t had chance to compare these with the real thing, so I can’t comment on their accuracy.

In conclusion, if you are looking for an app which allows you to do accurate sketching before committing to final exposure, this one has a lot to commend it. Add in the light meter and other features and it propels it to the top of the list for all round photographic apps.

ViewFinder Preview is available for Iphone from the App store. For more information visit Adam Fowler Photgraphy

Viewfinder Preview in use
Viewfinder Preview in use
Saved Image with Notes
Saved Image with Notes