I’m a little puzzled how Helix Interactive settled on Chimera for its portrait-taking app, not that it really matters. A Chimera is a beast that has two distinct parts, like an eagle and a lion (Griffin) or a man and a goat (Satyr). That concludes today’s mythology lesson, now onto Chimera, the app.
Helix Interactive says Chimera brings face detection and automatic photo filtering to your images. You can manipulate images you take from within the app or import from your photo library using color adjustments optimized for portraits and more than 20 filters.
I began by taking a portrait outdoors. I lined up the shot, tapped saved, and waited several minutes and then Chimera crashed. I tried it a second time, and the app crashed again. I was about to try it a third time, but decided to reboot the iPhone, which is what I should have done in the first place. It still crashed after that, although not as frequently.
Among its options, Chimera takes timed photos, has motion stabilization, full-screen shutter button and continuous photo snapping. It’s not rapid fire — you can take one pic after another by tapping the screen and waiting a few seconds before taking the next shot. I tested each of those features only a few times because I really didn’t want to tempt the gods with more app crashing.
Next, I decided to try importing an image from the photo library and to see how well that worked. I didn’t encounter any problems and overall, I was pleased with some of the results I achieved with various filters. Chimera has an impressive range of filter capabilities and you can compare the effects of what each setting does with the original in a split-screen mode, which I think is pretty cool.
Some filters were only so-so. The results using the water color filter, for example, really didn’t simulate what I think of when applying a water color filter in other photo apps.
The images are saved in 1600 x 1200, which probably explains why Chimera crashes quite a bit. Using lower resolutions wouldn't push the iPhone to its limits but there's no option to do that.
If Chimera really worked as well as advertised, it would be far more capable that most other photo apps I’ve looked at and believe me, I’ve tested 12-15 of them in recent months. As it is right now, Chimera doesn’t make the cut.
So, maybe Chimera is the right word for this app. Half of it is human and the other half is a beast.
Check out the video if you want to see Chimera in action: