You know what the “number 1″ camera on Flickr is?

Yeah, it’s the iPhone 4.

Ever since Apple upped the ante with the iPhone 4 — and then blew that out of the water with the 4S — the iPhone has really taken off as a worthy alternative to a point-n-shoot camera. It’s perfect for those who want something that is both efficient and effective — something Lifehack readers yearn fro in a lot of their tech gear.

There are hundreds of photo apps out there (I should know…I think I bought most of them) that take your iPhoneography to the next level. I’ve picked top 10 camera apps for iPhone, but then I realized that there is so much more to taking pictures on the iPhone than just taking pictures, so as a bonus I’ve included my top 4 favorite apps to edit and enhance photos just to round things out.

Let’s get started…

  1. Camera+ $0.99. This is my go-to app to take pictures. I wish I could set it as my default camera app. What’s great? The in-app photo edits and fast sharing. Yeah, man.
  2. 360 Panorama $0.99. Want to make easy, peasy awesome looking panorama shots? Here you go. You’re welcome.
  3. GridLens $0.99. What to take a series of shots laid out in a cool frame or grid? This is the app. Maybe one picture divided or several different shots over a few seconds, it’s just tap and go.
  4. Hipstamatic $1.99. One of the leading “toy camera” app to let you give your iPhone shots different looks with software lenses, filters, and films. Its’ cool.
  5. Retro Camera Plus Free. This is a simple way to get those Hipstamtic style shots without spending a penny. I really like the Soviet-era camera styles included. Gritty and real is what those shots are, gritty and real.
  6. Snapseed $4.99. This might be the most expensive of these apps, but it’s also the one with the most robust editing suite as well. It’s like Camera+ meets iPhoto. Bonus…it’s a universal app that is awesome on the iPad too.
  7. Mattebox $3.99. Maybe a little pricy for a “basic” camera app, but the focus lock, white balance, and ISO displays make this a nice app for taking well composed shots.
  8. Instagram Free. Instagram is more than a photo app (or a Facebook property) it made photo sharing more social. Snap, tweak, share. Feel the love.
  9. Camera Awesome Free. From the folks at SmugMug, this app focuses (hah, hah) on composition and processing to make for great shots. Hey it is free, so always worth a try.
  10. 8mm Vintage Camera $1.99. This is the only pure video app in the list. What you get is an easy way to shoot “vintage” looking movies with your iPhone. It’s easy and the results are awesome.
  11. Labelbox Free This app is easy and simple labeler using a numbers of pretty tapes that stylishly labels your images and photos.
  12. Actioncam Free it’s quick and groups the action into one photo from three to nine frames within 1 second. You can also choose from a wide range of filters to beautify your image.
  13. Phototreats Free This app collects a lot of easy to use filters that turn your photo into a emotional scene like a painting.
  14. Fusioncam $0.99 This is an easy-to-us toy camera app that provides multiple exposure capabilities. It’s just like a real toy camera.
And, of course, let’s not forget the default app — Camera. It’s the app that you can get to quickly from the lock screen. Just because Apple included it with your iPhone doesn’t make it any less of a great app. Grid overlay, HDR pictures, and even focus/exposure lock (tap and hold on a spot until the square pulses). It’s a solid app folks.

Editing, tweaking, and extra:

  1. Diptic $0.99. Diptic works like Grid Lens, except it doesn’t take pictures, just allows you to arrange existing pictures into frames. Before Grid Lens, this was my favorite way to make a photo collage.
  2. WordFoto $1.99 Overlay words onto a photo to make a word collage. Makes for awesome photos to share for fun.
  3. iPhoto $4.99. Until iPhoto came onto the scene, Snapseed was the only way to do serious photo editing on your iPhone (or iPad). iPhoto on the iPhone is a little cramped (so is Snapseed, by the way), but the features are great. Well worth the money.
  4. Magic Hour $1.99. There is a period of time just before and just after sunrise/sunset when the light is amazing. Photographers and film makers schedule their entire day to make the most use of Magic Hour. Now, do you know exactly when magic hour is where you are? Probably not. With is this app you will and …well, the results are awesome when you tap into the sun low in the sky. Try it.

There are many more apps I could have included — like light meters and light boxes – but these are the top 10 camera apps for iPhone that I actually keep on my devices. Did I miss a great app? Let me know in the comments.

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