Prisma is free to download and turns your photos into something special
Camera apps are nothing new these days. You take a picture, and they do something funky with them.
And yet, when there's one that can just do something that bit special with your photos, we immediately cling to it and apply it to everything. My new camera app like that is Prisma.
I've gone through an awful lot of these apps. Some give you fine grained control of the camera, which can be very nice, and others just give you goofy filters, putting images over other images, or just messing with the colours in the photo.
With Prisma, you don't have fine controls, and you frankly don't need them, because what the app does is fairly magic itself.
When you either take a photo in the app or import one from your camera roll, you go through a few cropping options, but then you get into the magic of the app.
Prisma turns your photos in works of art by applying filters inspired by artists and famous works. There's been a million apps that have said they can do that, but Prisma is finally the one that does it. It can turn random photos into interesting artwork, whether intentional or not.
Take this photo of O'Donoghue's pub on Suffolk Street. An iconic Dublin image, but when put through Prisma it gains a canvas texture and looks like its been hanging in O'Donoghue's for years. For an app to do that in no time at all is impressive.
As simple and as impressive as the app is, it does have its problems. Right now it only supports square photos, which leave it ignoring a good chunk of the photograph unless you took it specifically that shape. an update to support proper photo sizes would be very easy to do, and image the phone wallpapers you could get from it.
Also, by default, it has a little watermark in the bottom right of the photos when you save them. You can turn that off in settings, but it took me putting up with it for a while to realise that.
There are elements of this that make it feel very much like the first iteration of this app. While the clean interface is nice, it also feels lacking. You're expecting something else to appear in all that white space, but nothing does.
Big updates for Prisma are coming though. There have been sneak peaks online of video and 360 degree photos with Prisma filters on them. The video feels like you're actually walking through a masterpiece in the Louvre or even an episode of Looney Tunes. Either one is extremely entertaining.
This doesn't take away from how amazing the filters are. I rarely saved the photos from out of the app, I tended to just keep looking at them in there, applying all the different filters and seeing what they all looked like. Time passes by a lot quicker when you're looking at pretty pictures.
Prisma is completely free in the iOS App Store and will be available on Android later this month.