The 9 Best Photo Filter Apps for iPhone

Are you looking for the best photo filter apps for iPhone? We have curated our own list of the best ones that you can download on the App Store.

Some photo filter apps are built into photo editing apps, which is a good thing for those who are looking for flexibility. Other photo filter apps have dedicated communities where you can share your masterpieces. Some others are pure-bred photo filter apps that specialize mainly on overlays, filters, and effects.

Whatever your criteria are, we are pretty sure we have the right list for you, from the popular apps like VSCO and Prisma to the apps developed by industry leaders like Adobe Lightroom CC and Snapseed to premium apps like Afterlight 2, Distortion FX, and Superimpose X.

Without further ado, here are 10 of the best photo filter apps for iPhone.


Price: Free [Download]

VSCO is one of the pioneering apps for photo filters, offering 10 sets of fine and understated film-inspired presets that can be used at no cost. VSCO became so popular mainly due to its ready-to-use filters that can be easily adjusted through sliders, as well as its classic color and black-and-white presets. Not to mention it has its own network of creatives and social feed.

Of course, the app has all the basic image editing and adjustment tools like cropping, exposure, sharpness, grain, color, and fade, among many others and a built-in camera. If you are a well-organized person, you will love the app’s presentation of filters according to types of photography or editing styles.

Despite the proliferation of mobile photo editing tools, VSCO is still one of the best photo filter apps for iPhone. If you want to play with more VSCO filters, you can choose from a variety of packs and collections available.

2. Prisma


Price: Free [Download]

Prisma is the most unique entry on our best photo filter apps for iPhone list. It is not your usual photo filter where exposure or sharpness or whatever element is adjusted once applied. Prisma boasts an artistic take on photo filters by adding painting-inspired look on your photos.

In its art library are more than 300 art styles that you can apply to your photos and transform them into works of art a la Picasso or Salvador Dali. Adjustment tools are available so you can match your own personal taste.

Like VSCO, Prisma has a dedicated community of users who you can follow or interact with. And if you want to add filters in your art library, you can join its premium membership starting at $4.99 per month.

3. Snapseed


Price: Free[Download]

Snapseed is a personal favorite of mine, and what I love about it is its flexibility. The app gives you 29 tools and a wide range of looks right off the bat, making it a powerful image editing tool.

Because of that, Snapseed enables you to customize your photos using filters like portrait, smooth, faded glow, and silhouette and tools like exposure, white balance, curves, perspective, HDR, and brush.

What is lacking, however, are the ability to add objects or shapes on your photos. But overall, Snapseed is definitely one of the best photo filter apps for iPhone. If you are looking at professional and high-flying editing tools like Adobe Lightroom CC and Afterlight, Snapseed can give you a run for your money. By the way, Google owns Snapseed.

See also: Best iOS apps to add text to pictures

4. Adobe Lightroom CC

Adobe Lightroom CC

Price: Free [Download]

Can we forget the photo editing app developed by the GOAT in the creative sphere? Adobe Lightroom CC is another powerful and inarguably one of the best photo filter apps for iPhone for both beginners and advanced users.

If you think Adobe Lightroom CC is complex to use and has a steep learning curve (probably because it is made by Adobe), you are wrong. The app will surprise you how simple it is, a far cry from the premium desktop version.

You can take advantage of its one-tap filters that you can tweak. Even the more advanced edits like curves, selective adjustments, color mix tools, and perspective correction are super easy to learn and navigate.

Through Adobe Creative Cloud, you can sync your edits between your Apple devices and the web. But what I love most about Adobe Light CC is its built-in camera that allows you to capture RAW format images. Now isn’t that amazing, is it?

5. Afterlight 2


Price: $2.99 [Download]

Afterlight 2 is a full-featured photo editing app that is popular among mobile photography enthusiasts. It comes with various photo filters and dust and light leak overlays that are highly customizable. Its filter packs are created by recognizable mobile photographers and are designed to evoke certain emotions.

You can create your own filters as well and save them for later use. The adjustment tools are there to edit applied filters and overlays, so they are not overpowering your photos. In addition, it has a double exposure tool that you can use to blend two images and get an HDR result.

Afterlight 2 may come with a price, you actually get a band for your buck with it, plus no more in-app purchases or subscriptions will hunt you down the road.

6. Lens Distortions

Price: Free [Download]

Lens Distortions is another personal favorite of mine because it makes distortions on your photos as art. Basically, it only offers photo filters and effects, particularly elements that have something to do with distortions, to enhance your images. Sunlight, snow, lens flares, rain, shimmers, eclipse, fog–you name it– Lens Distortions is a real magic trick that you can add to your photos.

If you think it’s cheesy, you got to try Lens Distortions and see for yourself. All in all, its filters and overlays are designed to add drama to your photos rather than making them flawless or picture-perfect.

7. Distressed FX

Price: $0.99 [Download]

Distressed FX is the photo filter app for iPhone that banks on vintage-style textures and elements to change the mood of photos. The app can turn your dull still life and landscape photos into works of art by adding birds, clouds, lens blur, bokeh, vignette, or light leaks.

Additionally, you can use your own photos as a custom overlay to your photos. Of course, you can always adjust applied filters, textures, and overlays to your liking. Distressed FX is not difficult to use at all; in fact, you can master it in just a few minutes.

See also: Best Apps to Hide Photos on iPhone (not by adding photos to the hidden album)

8. Superimpose X

Price: $4.99 [Download]

Superimpose X is a powerful full-fledged photo editing app that also offers ready-to-use photo filters. Superimpose X is best used for creating distinctive artworks by blending two or more photos into a composite image.

The app is a mini version of Photoshop, allowing you to replace the background of a photo, blend textures, and use a range of masking tools. If you love fine-art and/or HDR photography, Superimpose X is a great photo app for iPhone.

Although it works mainly as a full-featured photo editing app, its photo filters are actually quite impressive. You can adjust them or add something to them if you wish so. Superimpose lets you take control of the adjustments, blend, gradients, shadows, distortions, opacity, and a range of tools for editing every layer.

9. Darkroom

Dark Room

Price: Free [Download]

Rounding out our list of the best photo filter apps for iPhone is Darkroom, another photo editing app that offers incredible photo filters. Darkroom is best used for still images and live photos, although you can use pretty much any kind of photo.

As for photo filters, Darkroom has an amazing selection of both color and black-and-white presets that are designed for landscape and portrait photos. You can easily adjust them on your photos using a slider. If you want more, you can unlock the premium packs of filters for a nominal fee. And if you wish to create your own custom filters and save them for future use, you can do so.

Darkroom supports editing photos in batches, which is perfect if you are into mobile photography. Editing tools include exposure, curves, selective color, and more.


To wrap it up, most photo filter apps for iPhone are baked into photo editing apps. Regardless, we hope this best photo filter apps for iPhone list have helped you find the best photo filter app that is right up your alley.

If you want a photo filter app that has strong community support, we highly recommend VSCO and Prisma. If you want a photo filter app that will give you unique photo filters, you should try Superimpose X and Prisma. If you want to an all-around photo editing app that offers photo filters, you have plenty of options–Snapseed, Adobe Lightroom CC, etc.

What do you of our best photo filter apps for iPhone list? Do you have a personal favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!


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