FX Photostudio iPhone app review

There are so many photography apps for the iPhone and iPad now it can be a little overwhelming. iPhoneography has really become a huge thing over the past year and I am always amazed at some of the creative and just plain awesome things that photographers are creating strictly on the iPhone or iPad. We have reviewed many photography apps for the iPhone and iPad, just click on the Product Reviews tab at the top of the site to browse through some of our past reviews.

Today I want to take a minute to review the FX Photostudio iPhone app. FX Photostudio has over 194 photo filters to apply to your images as well as other creative controls to edit your images on the iPhone. The developer boasts on the app store:

Make your pictures truly amazing with a variety of high quality effects, filters and photography tools, you won’t find in any other app around

So lets dive in and see what this app is really all about. First from the homepage you have 3 main choices to get started. You can take a new photo with the iPhones camera, import an image from the camera roll or import an image from Facebook or syncing photos through iTunes to the app.

FX PhotoStudio

Once you select a photo you can access some basic editing tools from the bottom menu. The scissors on the bottom left will open up a crop menu. You can freeform crop of select from 7 different aspect ratios and it will show you a rule of thirds grid when cropping. The middle button on the bottom will let you access a rotate screen where you can not only simply rotate an image but also flip horizontally or vertically. The last option on the bottom right (a icon of a cloud and sun) will allow you to make some overall adjustments like Gamma, brightness & contrast and hue & saturation. Really straightforward sliders to adjust these aspects of your image.

Where most of the fun with this app comes is in the filter tab. From the main editing screen tap on the FX Add Effect button. Here you will be presented with a huge list of categories. These are broken down into sections like Art, Black & White, Grunge, Vintage and many others. There are a lot of filters they include with the app, 194 to be exact. While I think it might be an overload and some filters I would never use I know there are a wide variety of people out there with iPhones and they can’t make the app only for my taste. They do have a Favorites function which is helpful with this many filters. If you love a filter just tap on the star shape next to it on the filter list. This will add the filter to a Favorites menu where you can access your most loved filters. If you also want to Hide a filter from the list just tap the Edit button at the top right and then click the red delete button for any filters. This says Hide but it does look like it fully deletes the filter which is pretty confusing.


Once you click into a filter category you will see a preview of the filter however it is a set preview from the developer, not your actual image. One big improvement here would be to have a real time preview of the effect. That way you don’t have to click on it, go to another screen then decide you don’t like it and go on to the next one. When you do click on the effect it will quickly generate a preview and let you adjust the brightness/contrast of the image.

FX PhotoStudio2

FX PhotoStudio hiding filters

You can also enter a mask mode where you can paint on or off the filter. This is pretty handy and lets you really fine tune what part of the image you want the effect applied to. Just click on the paint brush at the bottom right to enter the mask mode. You can adjust the size of the brush at the top of the screen and then paint the effect on using your finger. Pretty useful if you only want to apply an effect to a certain part of an image. Its a little tricky to control but if you want to give your photo of Maguro a retro background it worked good.

FX PhotoStudio app

Creating a filter mask

Another suggestion is some of the buttons aren’t easy to tell what they exactly do. The app overall is pretty straight forward but the user interface does make the learning process of the app take a few minutes. I found myself tapping on buttons not sure from the icon what they would really do and going into a separate menu. Once I was there and knew how to get there it was easy to remember but still something that I think could be improved on.

Overall I think that FX Photostudio is a good quality app. Everything works as it should and there are a good amount of features. For the price its a good value and the masking features make it stand out from some of the other apps out there. However there are some things I would like to see added that I mentioned above and currently I would rate the app overall a 4 out of 5.

You can get FX Photo Studio on the app store for only $1.99.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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