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Adobe Photoshop Camera is Underwhelming

Recently a friend forwarded a link about the new Adobe Photoshop Camera app. Looking at the (very limited) sample images, I was intrigued and decided to give the app a test run.

At first I was impressed by the use of the phone’s multiple cameras to create ‘augmented reality’ photos. But, it quickly became apparent that the app lacked the tools to be truly creative.


You can re-edit photos and choose a different lens after you’ve taken your picture.

It’s a nice to be able to play around with the different lenses and figure out what particular effect might work best for your picture. Be careful though! Once you ‘save’ an image, it disappears from the app and is saved into your phone’s camera roll.

If you want to save multiple variations of the same image, you will have to export/share each different version as opposed to saving.

Some of the lenses allow you to add moving backgrounds or elements.

This allows you to create video or GIF content that will stand out on social media feeds.

Adobe Photoshop camera sample images


There is no creativity allowed with the lenses.

While there are some cool looking elements and effects, you have absolutely no control over them. You can’t adjust things like text elements within the frame so that, you know, maybe they appear better within the composition.

“Editing” is limited and tricky.

The amount of editing you’re allowed to do to your photo is limited to some categories like brightness, contrasts, highlights/shadows, etc. It’s VERY similar to Instagram in that regard, except that the ‘slider’ you use to adjust these settings is not actually a slider. You put your finger on the photo and move it one direction or the other. You have to look VERY closely to see that there’s a tiny number at the bottom of your photo telling you that you’re actually changing the settings.

The worst parts of Photoshop – IN A CAMERA!

There’s the sense that Adobe tried to incorporate elements of Photoshop into each of the lenses. However, with no ability to control the intensity with which these elements are incorporated on any particular photo, the effects come off looking heavy handed.

The portrait lenses are an obvious attempt to mimic the iPhone’s “portrait mode.” However, these effects look like bad attempts to use Gaussian Blur to ‘smooth’ a picture.

Meanwhile, the ‘art’ lenses are several effects from the ‘filter gallery’ in Photoshop turned up to 110%. It is complete and total Squigglevision!

Adobe Photoshop Camera sample art lens image

The ‘lenses’ get old very quickly

While the ‘looks’ offered by some of the lenses are interesting in some cases, they lose their novelty rather quickly. Since you can’t change where any of the elements or effects show up in your photo, you will basically be taking the same picture over and over again with each lens.

The ‘analog’ series of lenses just features some mild fading and color toning of the pictures (I guess this makes them look like film photos?) accompanied by light leak effects that make absolutely no sense or are not even noticeable in some photos.

Adobe Photoshop Camera analog lenses

It’s clearly geared towards a ‘young’ age group

I think the fact that 2 of the standard lenses that come already installed when you download the app are Billie Eilish themed shows the demographic this app is aimed at.


The Adobe Photoshop Camera App is mild fun, but not groundbreaking or interesting for any length of time.

In the end, the app is just a series of augmented reality filters. Sure, being able to swap back and forth is fun for a little while. Advanced users will quickly tire of the repetitive images and lack of creative control.

And, since there is very little room to use the tools available to create varying looks with each lens, your photos are bound to start looking like those of everyone else using the app.

Grabbing emails?

It seems like Adobe is maybe just trying to grab some emails addresses from a younger audience. See you need to sign up with your email to use the app for free. This is a common technique with free apps, and Adobe is probably hoping to convert curious users into Creative Cloud subscribers later on when they get tired of the same old looks from their lenses.

What do you think? Are you using the Adobe Photoshop Camera app?

Post your photos from the app in a comment on our Facebook page. Or tag @thenerdyphoto in a comment when you post your photos from the app on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with and if you’re actually able to create some variety.

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The Nerdy Photographer
The Nerdy Photographer

With more than a quarter century as a professional photographer, The Nerdy Photographer's goal is to spread knowledge and laughter throughout the photo industry. Please follow along on social media and subscribe to the podcast.

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