Camera Noir: An Ultra-Simple, Minimalist B&W Camera App


Some might say that simplicity is a lost art these days. Where the digital realm is concerned, many of us judge a product based on how much it can do — and camera apps are no exception. We want myriad filters, editing options, the ability to comment and like other people’s photos in a social environment, and we want it all to be free.

Camera Noir is a new camera app that breaks every one of those rules including, unfortunately, the last one.


The app is so simple and minimalist it borders on feature-less, which is exactly why people have been impressed with it. It’s a black-and-white photography app that eschews your typical selection of filters, social functionality or editing options. Camera Noir’s saving grace is that the photos turn out very good.

Users have the option to select between lo, mid and hi contrast before snapping away. The only other features in sight are a shutter button (obviously), a button that allows you to import photos from your camera roll and share them through the major networks, square-crop marks and a level that turns green when you’re shooting straight.

Here are some sample shots from developer Pacific Helm’s website:




There’s not much else to tell about the app. Instead of doing many things decently, it does one thing very well — a fact that has already earned the 24-hour-old app praise. To pick up your copy, head over to the iTunes App Store or the Pacific Helm website and be ready to drop $2.

(via Cult of Mac)


    Hueless is way better.

  • 3ric15

    I hope they make it for android some day…

  • Trythe1


  • BDWT

    Too many people are quick to dismiss things like this, first of all black and white just like color it has it’s place and I’ve gone through phases where I absolutely hate it and then love it again because it’s all in how you use it. One should look at it as a tool to direct the viewers attention to the composition or specific details in a photo and in this case, an app that’s super simple is very appealing because I like to use my phone like a point and shoot. I hate fiddling with tiny touch screen buttons and settings because if I gonna spend that much time to setup a shot I might as well shoot it on an SLR so I could at least get a high res shot of whatever it is I’m shooting.

  • Igor Ken

    I don’t exactly understand why is this a great app? Isn’t it better to have a choice? Doesn’t even look like a decent b&w to me :/

  • Simon wardenier

    For those using android, check out the Vignette app, the Ilford processing style does a pretty good job. Or you could just convert pictures to black and white in Snapseed, gives you more options with the colour filters.

  • John Sluder

    The review in the app store is not good, more negatives than positives. I might give it a try.

  • Ghostdrink

    iOS version is currently broken. app shuts down as soon as picture is taken (iPhone 5) DON’T BUY until someone fixes it.

  • Benicio Murray

    Hueless is great

  • Ghostdrink

    later; one comment on iTunes Store page suggests that app only works when location services are on :(

  • Thomas A

    This app crashes the first time you try to shoot with it. Why highlight such a poor first release of an app?

  • bisticlz

    Yeah, I can’t get it to save any pictures into my photo library. It looked like a nice app to take quick and simple b&w pictures, but it doesn’t do me any good if it doesn’t even work. (Yes, I tried restarting my phone and re-installing the app)