Professional photographers may not understand the desire among regular folk to not have to hone their compositional skills in order to take a snapshot worth looking at, but surely the average picture-taker of the “point and shoot” variety can see the inherent value of having an application that pretty much does all that for you. Vhoto — Photos from Video is an iOS app that pretty much puts your internal photographer on auto pilot, with cool results.
The concept of Vhoto is simple. Using the application, you record a video. Alternately, you can also choose to access an existing video from your iPhone’s camera roll. Once recording is complete or the pre-existing video is selected, you launch the app’s video analyzer to isolate those frames whose quality is deemed worthy of making for a good still photo. According to the app’s makers, “best shots” are determined by a constantly improving algorithm that isolates frames that have optimal brightness and good overall image clarity. The app also identifies frames with people’s faces and puts those at the top of the list of prospective candidates.
Analysis can take a bit of time to process for lengthier videos, but it’s not overly-long. In testing, a single minute-long video took about twice that length of time to process. Once analysis is complete, the application brings up a small gallery of isolated still frames to choose from. Tapping on an image opens up some fairly basic but intuitive to use editing controls that include a decent selection of filters and image enhancements like crop, rotate, contrast, exposure, and sharpen.
The application’s “nudge” feature is probably its most impressive, a function that allows you to perform frame-by-frame scrolling (either forward or backwards) from a chosen still image. This enables you to manually isolate specific images from your recorded video that may not have made the final cut according to the app’s built-in quality criteria.
Saving still images adds them to your iPhone’s camera roll and also keeps a copy in a separate Vhoto gallery. Sharing is enabled for email and all of the most popular social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There’s also a hashtag-driven Vhoto community where images can also be socially shared. Best of all, the application is completely ad-free.
Vhoto — Photos from Video requires iOS 7.0 or later and was optimized for iPhone 5. It’s also compatible with iPad and iPod touch devices and can be downloaded for free from iTunes.