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Daily iPad App: FX Photo Studio HD adds more filters, Retina support


FX Photo Studio HD has been a staple on my iPads for a while. The US$1.99 app from MacPhun, which is used to edit and apply a variety of effects to images, has recently been updated to version 5.0, adding more effect filters and now including support for Retina displays. The update also improves performance on the iPad mini and officially provides support for iOS 6.

If you're not familiar with FX Photo Studio HD, it's well worth the investment if you want to jazz up your photos, crop them or adjust the colors. Thanks to a well-designed UI, the app is a snap to learn and use.

Images are imported by tapping a "load photos" button (it looks like a flower) which then displays three buttons -- one to load from your iPad photo library, one to import images through a Camera Connection Kit, and one to take a photo using the iPad camera. Once an image is loaded, it is displayed with a palette of tools across the top and a scrollable list of effects on the right side of the screen.

Gallery: FX Photo Studio | 5 Photos

Those tools include items for loading photo, undoing or redoing edits, cropping or rotating photos, resizing images, or making adjustments to such items as gamma, brightness, contrast, hue or saturation. If you want to compare your doctored image with the original, a small "eye" button to the lower right of the photo reverts instantaneously to your original photo.

The updated Photo Studio HD has 190 included effects, textures, frames and tints to enhance (or degrade) your favorite photo. While most effects are quite useful, there are some that are downright cheesy -- the one that adds lipstick marks and the little teddy bear are notable examples. Of course, your tastes and needs might be different from mine...

There are also a number of $0.99 in-app purchases that provide additional frames and effects, perfect if you want to add more power to an already loaded app. FX Photo Studio HD is a worthwhile app to load on any iPad, whether you're an experienced digital photographer or just beginning to dabble in the digital arts.

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