Being able to have instant professional quality photos used to mean lugging around a truckload of filters and lenses, not to mention a portable darkroom. Not anymore.

These days, those amazing pictures are as close as your phone. With a bunch of great camera apps, you can now take the photos you’ve dreamed of, without having to strain your back hauling extra gear.

Here are some apps worth considering if you want to make the photos you take with your phone even better:

Camera Plus Pro

Want your camera phone, only much, much better? Camera Plus Pro enhances the ability of your phone’s lens to take perfect photos. With additions like shake-free video zoom and instant filters that let you see how a filter will make your image appear before you take it, this app is all you might need. ($1.99, iPhone 4S, 3GS and iPod Touch with IOS S)


Trying to get that perfect night shot can be fiendishly difficult. The free Darkroom app waits to take the photo until there’s no motion in the shot, ensuring your after hours snapshots aren’t all just a blurry mess. (Free, iPhone, iPod Touch)


Make every image a trip to The Wizard of Oz with Colorsplash. This app allows you to choose exactly which parts of the image should be in black and white and which should pop with a bit of color. ($.99, iPhone, iPod Touch)


Having two images layered on top of each other used to mean your camera was broken. Now it’s an artistic choice with Blendcam. This app allows you to superimpose images on top of each other creating your own trippy visions. (Free. Phone, iPod Touch, iPad)


You know all those artsy color-washed photos your friends are posting on Facebook? Chances are, they’re using the lomography app Hipstamatic which lets them easily change filters and flashes to get delightfully quirky plastic camera style images. ($1.99. iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad 2)

Paper Camera

Make cartoons out of the world you see, no need for a pen anymore! With Paper Camera, you can add real time painting and cartooning effects to the images you take. ($.99. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, iPad 2)