Bursting onto the iPhone scene with a blaze of Black & White is the new Manga-Camera App from Supersoftware Ltd.
This app is a very simple app. It provides a set of backgrounds for you to choose from. When you take a picture your picture is converted to black and white and merged with the background to create a classic manga-style frame.
There are 32 backgrounds to choose from and it might help if you can find a trusted Japanese friend to translate some of the captions (so you don’t end up with a mismatched pose with the wrong caption - even though it could be quite funny).
In addition to being able to save the photos to your iPhone photo library, the app also allows uploading directly to FaceBook and Twitter. This is set up in the options panel – where you can also set some basic lighting levels for your photo.
The app site itself on iTunes recommends having a white (or light) background behind you. I found this to be good advice – especially given that the app predominantly works by merging contrasts.
There are a few things I would like to see added to this app….
Firstly, it only uses the front facing camera on the iPhone. It does not allow you to switch to the facetime camera. This makes it difficult to take photos of yourself. I had a friend take two of the ones in this article (see if you can work out which ones they were).
Secondly, it would be nice if the author was able to provide more backgrounds or allow you to select images from your camera (which you could load in separately) to put behind your pictures. There could be a real pay-for-use market out there for enterprising manga artists to provide backgrounds for this.
All-in-all this is a fun app and may see the Japanese love of annotated photo-booth shots make a cross-over into mainstream western pastimes.
As I said, the app is simple, it does what it says and potentially provides some fun photo opportunities. Better yet, it’s free! I rate it 3.5 out of 5.
Supports: iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S
Requires: iOS 5 and later
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Released: September 10, 2012
Download: iTunes App Store
* As on September 16, 2012