When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S the primary reason I upgraded from the iPhone 4 were the improvements made to the device’s camera – adding a backlit CMOS sensor, a custom image processing chip and a huge increase in shutter release speed.

By no means am I a great photographer, but my iPhone is always with me, and I love snapping pictures with it at every opportunity.

It’s no surprise then that my favorite iPhone apps are related to photography and when presented with the opportunity to test a new one I jumped at it.

The app in question is Cinemagram from Montreal-based Factyle Inc., makers of Smartr – not that Smartr -  and not only is it an absolute delight to use, it’s unlike any other app you’ve seen before.

For those unfamiliar, cinemagraphs are still photos featuring minor, repeated movements. Usually published in an animated GIF format, they are commonly produced by taking a series of photographs or a video recording, and, using image editing software, compositing the photographs or the video frames into a seamless loop of sequential frames.

Cinemagram has taken what is a complex, arduous process and made it tremendously simple.  In fact, creating a cinemagraph with the app requires only four steps:

  1. Film a short video clip 2-3s
  2. Animate a small region
  3. Apply a filter should you desire
  4. Share to Twitter/Tumblr and Facebook

Once complete, here are two finished products (the first mine, the second by one with some talent):

516 Create incredible animated GIFs on your iPhone with Cinemagram

566 Create incredible animated GIFs on your iPhone with Cinemagram

Pretty slick, no?

Cinemagram’s Temo Chalasani explains the motivation behind Cinemagram:

“We’ve been fascinated by this art form since its first appearance last year in the world of fashion photography. We see it as a way for photographers to bring out the essence of an image, and tell the story behind their pictures in a fun and beautiful way.

We were shocked that photographers all around the world would spend hours in photoshop trying to create one. We wanted to make it possible for anybody to create them with zero photoshop knowledge, and in a matter of seconds.”

Cinemagram does just that using a dead-simple user interface, while including a very helpful guide for those who want a little extra coaching when crafting a work of art with the app.

If you love capturing iPhone photos, and want to create a new, incredible hybrid between a photo and video, Cinemagram is an fantastic app you’ll want to pick up at once!

➤ Cinemagram , via the App Store