App Review: Instaflash Pro

Instaflash Pro
Instaflash Pro

Instaflash Pro is a simple to use, no-clutter photo editor with a lot of power packed into a clean and responsive interface.

Instaflash is the scaled down version of the Pro version with in-app purchases available for additional features.

[ Website | iTunes ]

Instaflash Pro seems to be an app that hasn’t received the attention that it deserves. Hailing from the same developers as the PC-based application ACDSee (which I’ve used back in the PC-days) and Anlei Technology Inc., it’s an app that harnesses the power of ACDSee’s lighting enhancement technology, Lighting and Contrast Enhancement (LCE), which enables it to open up shadow areas with minimal noise while retaining contrast.

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In addition to the standard photo editing features like boosting saturation, vibrancy, and clarity, to me, the best part of this app is its ability to adjust selective colours and light within a photo. The Light Equalizer gives finer control of the shadow, midtones, and highlight areas of your image while the Color Equalizer allows for boosts in selective colours.

Other differentiating tools in this app that make it stand out from the rest include (but are not limited to):

  • Soft Light which adds a very subtle highlight glow to the highlight areas of your photo
  • Orton, which mimics the popular Orton effect (giving an image a dreamy feel)
  • Color Splash, which converts your image to black and white and allows you to single out a specific portion of your image to stand out (In-app purchase for Instaflash)
  • Skin Tune, which optimizes skin tones (In-app purchase for Instaflash)

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With its most recent update, Instaflash Pro is now optimized for the larger iPhone screens and iOS8. Rather than the typical sliders that most apps use, this app mostly uses dials to increase or decrease values, which I found refreshing. All editing options are displayed on the bottom with text directly under the icons making it easy to pick and identify which effect you are selecting. It’s responsive, and I like the strength of each effect—some apps only apply very subtle effects to the point where you can’t even tell it’s been applied (but isn’t that what the sliders are for?). This universal app works well even in landscape mode on an iPhone, in addition to giving you lots of workspace on an iPad.

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I’ve been a long time user of both Instaflash (its scaled-down little brother), and Instaflash Pro. I’ve always liked its ability to fine tune the lighting and selective colours within a photo, and it does this very well, thanks to its exclusive LCE technology.

I like to use Instaflash Pro to balance out lighting throughout photos that I have intentionally under-exposed. Instaflash Pro allows me to do this in a way that no other app has done. Once I am happy with my lighting and colour adjustments, I finish editing the photo in other apps.

It’s easy to use, and with its intuitive and responsive UI, I can see it continue to be a part of my image editing workflow. I’m just surprised that with the word “insta” in their name, they haven’t had to change it yet!

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