I used to be a simple man when it came to iPhonography, typically shooting with the default camera app. Then Ben Syverson came along and introduced Mattebox. I’m still a simple man, but now with a much better camera app.
While most camera apps are backed by a team and a few million dollars, Ben Syverson shows everyone up, all by himself. Mattebox has a very personal touch—I get the feeling Ben made it for himself first, then shared it with the world as an afterthought. The look is a mixture of classic and digital, inspired by old film cameras, but still retaining a modern UI.
Taking a photo with Mattebox is the closest I’ve experienced to using a real camera. Pressing the shutter button mimics a soft-shutter-press, locking the focus and allowing the user to adjust the composition. When everything is in place, you can slide down to take the shot, without ever lifting your finger. I don’t know about you, but that UX is golden.
Post-processing has a similar feel but is a bit more experimental. Mattebox has your typical controls for exposure and white balance, but there’s a secondary way to adjust them, through the use of gestures. Off the bat, you would never know about them, but as you use the app, tiny animations occur under the icons, indicating the specific gesture for each control. Pretty slick and incredibly useful for power users.
Mattebox is a breath of fresh air in the mobile camera app game. It gives the user a ton of control without going over the top.