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Perfectly Clear can improve your smartphone pictures

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
PerfectlyClear for iPhone and iPad

PerfectlyClear for iPhone and iPad

Search the Google Play or Apple Appstore and you will find hundreds of photo editing apps. One that tries to differentiate itself from the bunch is an app called Perfectly Clear from Canadian firm Athentech. Their claim to fame is a single click for 12 automatic corrections using their patented proprietary algorithm. They try to fix:

  1. Exposure
  2. Depth / Contrast
  3. Color Vibrancy
  4. Sharpening
  5. Tint Removal
  6. Noise Removal
  7. Skin Tone Correction - Removes Infrared data captured by the sensor 
  8. Perfectly Smooth - Produces flawless skin
  9. Eye Enhance - Also removed red eye
  10. Eye Enlarge
  11. Teeth Whitening
  12. De-Purple - Removes purple tint when shooting into bright light
Light Diffusion

Light Diffusion

Dynamic Range

Dynamic Range

When you start the app, you can shoot pictures directly from within the app or import a picture from your camera roll (gallery on Android). You can choose one of the presets :

  1. Fix - Main preset you will use most often
  2. Fix Dark - When a picture is overly dark
  3. Fix Tint - When the white balance is off
  4. Beautify - When the picture is a portrait and you want the portrait features used

Of course you can then you the tweak option to play with settings for each individual configuration. The configurations for each correction is done via slider (so it is simple and there is no learning curve).

You should never shoot pictures directly within the IOS app, it is way to slow. Everytime you take a picture, you have to edit it immediately then save it, then ask the app to take another picture

IMPROVEMENT #1 - The IOS app should work like every other camera app and allow you to take multiple photos, save them to an application lightbox and edit them later. 

 

A slider in the middle of the picture allows you to see the before and after image for quick comparison. 

Sometimes the improvements are stunning, other times they are barely visible.

IMPROVEMENT #2 - There are times the apps should be able to improve a picture (because you can improve it manually in other apps like Snapseed or iPhoto for IOS) but the improvement is imperceptible with Perfectly Clear. The algorithm probably needs to be improved. 

The Beautify preset and improvements are fantastic and can make a big difference if used carefully. Over using them will make your target look fake and unnatural. 

Beautify Preset

Beautify Preset

The app doesn’t offer some basic features every user expects like crop, resize, etc.

IMPROVEMENT #3 - Perfectly Clear should incorporate many of the basic photo editing features users have come to expect. Having to bounce between multiple apps is annoying and unnecessary.

I would like to have the ability to apply some of the features to a section of the picture (mask). I know the creators want to keep it simple but should offer masking or selective adjustment for power users

Color Vibrancy

Color Vibrancy

Important Android differences

The photo editing capabilities are the same on both IOS and Android but the photo taking features of the Android app are much more sophisticated. The features mentioned in this section are Android only:

  • HDR - Perfectly Clear gives you best-in-class tone mapping to keep colors realistic. A vivid HDR look is coupled with unmatched de-ghosting to produce perfect pictures even when your subject moves. Choose from either the Realistic or Artistic HDR mode. 
  • Portrait - When you use Portrait mode, Perfectly Clear automatically takes photos at the optimal time. Our face detection has the highest overall detection rate of any technology in the market, coupled with the best coverage of face angles (in plane, out of plane) and the biggest distance to subject detection in real time.
  • Panorama - When life's too big for your smartphone's tiny lens, our Panorama feature makes capturing landscapes a lot easier. Just pan in any direction and our advanced app automatically stitches your photo together with minimal error—and no complicated stop-and-go aligning of different photos. 
  • Burst - For the fastest, smoothest, longest burst on the market, switch into our high-speed burst mode—up to 30fps! With just one shot, you can catch those perfect moments that used to be too hard to time perfectly.
Portrait mode

Portrait mode

HDR Mode

HDR Mode

Conclusion

I've been using this app for over 6 months on both Android and IOS. I love this app and keep wishing they would continue to improve it. I want new features added without diluting the simple workflow the authors are trying to achieve.

Even with all of the cons I have listed, this is an app I bought on 2 platforms and I highly recommend it. When it works, it makes an incredible difference. One friend I was demonstrating it to said "it was like a plastic film was removed from the photo". Everything seemed cleaner, better, more vibrant and more real. 

I wish they added the 4 additional photo capture modes from Android to the IOS version.

Download for iPhone (link)

Download for Android (link)