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Adobe is the gold standard when it comes to design, illustration, animation, and just about anything visual. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and After Effects are just a few of the tools the company makes that have become absolute essential tools for creative professionals, so it’s a wonder it’s taken this long for the company to turn its skills to making a camera app for mobile phones. It’s been worth the wait though.

Easy does it

One of the reasons people love Adobe apps is how seamlessly they integrate with other Adobe products. Adobe Photoshop Camera is no exception, but the good news is you don’t have to have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud to use it. With a free account, you can harness everything its intuitive interface and novel image lenses have to offer, and any photos you take in the app will also be saved as originals to your device, so if for any reason you’re not sold on Adobe’s effects but you love a particular shot, you can still edit it using something else.

Adobe’s apps really came to prominence with its video-editing app, Adobe Rush. A huge part of Rush’s appeal is its simplicity — if you know how to pinch to zoom, slide around a screen, or tap an on-screen button, you can navigate the app. The same ease-of-use informs the interface of Photoshop camera.

Take your best shot

Open the app and, after a short introduction to its features, you’re presented with a digital viewfinder. Choose to shoot with your devices front- or rear-facing camera, and opt to overlay one of the apps effects lenses for a real-time view, or just shoot the image as is and apply effects or edits afterwards.

Adobe’s adding new lenses often — occasionally themed to events, like Pride month — and some of them are magical. One called “Reverie”, for instance, automatically deep-etches (or cuts out) the image subject and applies an artificial sky. With a swipe, you can choose from a starry night, a hot-air balloon-filled sunset, or a handful of other detailed, animated and evocative backgrounds.

Another lens, called “Spectrum”, applies glitchy, cathode-ray TV-like effects to your images, while “Supersize” lets you place improbably huge ice lollies, apples, or bees in your pictures and work especially well with landscapes or cityscapes.

Adobe is by no means the first company to do clever real-time overlays — Snapchat’s built a business on it — but the company’s expertise shines through in the slickness of the results.

Fix it in post (if you must)

Like any self-respecting imaging app, Photoshop camera lets you adjust not just the intensity of its effects and filters, but all precisely tweak fundamentals like exposure, colour, white balance, contrast, and clarity. Alternatively, you can let the app auto-enhance your image. And if there’s more specific corrections you’d like to do — like blemish removal — you can take images straight into Adobe’s corrections-and-touch-ups app, Photoshop Express.

Getting impressive results is a cinch, especially if the photographs you feed the app or take with it are strong. That last bit — unfortunately, but inescapably — is up to you.

You can dowload the app on Android or iOS

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