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ClearCam improves iPhone pix with a catch

Occipital's ClearCam is another in a long line of photo enhancing apps for the iPhone. ClearCam is going live today on Cydia, so at this point it is only available for jailbroken iPhones. The developer says he hopes a version for all iPhones will make it to the App Store soon.

ClearCam has a couple of interesting modes. Enhanced mode will give you a 4MP image rather than the standard 2 MP image you get now on the iPhone. The magic is done by having the camera take 6 pictures in rapid succession. The software then aligns and enhances the photo and saves it to your camera roll. When you compare the image to a normal one, they look the same, but you can enlarge the image more than a 2MP image, and the noise is noticeably lower. You should be able to see the difference in the gallery image below. That function may not be to Apple's liking, because it breaks the SDK rules of how software can interact with the camera.

In ClearCam's other mode, called QuickShot, it fires off 4 images, figures out which image is best, and throws the bad ones away. I tried using this mode, and it worked as advertised. The results weren't dramatic, but were easy to see. You can contrast this approach with Sudobility's Night Camera app, which uses the accelerometer to determine when your hands have stopped shaking so it can snap a stable longer exposure.

If ClearCam is going to be released through the App Store, it will likely shed the Enhanced mode unless they can get Apple to allow the variance with SDK rules. Occipital is not yet sure about pricing. They say if they have to throw away features, the price will be nominal or free. The feature complete version released through Cydia is free for 15 days, then it's US $9.99.

Click through the gallery below for a look at how ClearCam works.

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