Dramatic Black & White Review

Fantastic monochrome with lots of space for customization.

by Pu on September 29, 2011

With Dramatic Black & White, JixiPix Software wanted to give their users something beyond the usual — and sometimes flat — iPhone black and white. The app can in fact produce beautiful and rich monochrome effects with a lot of space for customization.

Main Features

  • Full resolution available;
  • 35+ presets;
  • RGB filters;
  • Adjust tone, contrast and vignette;
  • Sharpen/soften;
  • Grain strength;
  • Randomize effects;
  • In-app guide;
  • AirPrint support;
  • Send photos via email or share on Facebook.

Appotography Opinion

Dramatic Black & White gives you a wide choice of ready-to-use effects for applying monochromatic processing to photos both imported from the Camera Roll or taken in-app. The UI and the workflow are basically identical to those of other JixiPix apps, such as VintageScene and Grungetastic. The main difference of course resides in the actual effects, which are in this case aimed at converting your photos to black and white or other monochrome.

Presets are divided into three categories: Black and White, Infrared Photo and Dramatic Black and White. Each category counts several presets, neatly arranged and fully editable. Black and White includes more classic black and white effects, Infrared Photo, as the name clearly states, infrared filters, and Dramatic Black and White highly contrasted effects of suggestive visual impact. Once you find a preset that suits your photo, you can save, share, print or proceed to further processing.
Dramatic Black & White iPhoneJixiPix’s app offers tone adjustment — for the creation of sepia and other monochrome effects –, sharpness, contrast and brightness sliders. The app also comes with a handy spotlight editing tool. Moving and resizing the ellipse over the image, you can shrink, enlarge and find the right placement for your vignette, thus achieving more or less dramatic lighting. The RGB filter editor will help you in fine-tuning the black and white, blocking off specific color channels, in order to perfectly complement the original image. Dramatic Black & White will let you save your custom presets, so that you can use them more than once and you can also use the app’s randomizing button to generate unexpected effects.

Dramatic Black & White iPhoneDramatic Black & White comes with a more than adequate collection of presets which can be fully customized for even more variety. The quality of the effects is excellent and the possibility to save custom presets, as in other apps by JixiPix, means greater flexibility than that offered by most iPhone apps devoted to monochrome. The only black and white app that I can think of that truly allows the same level of customization is Monochromia — which is, in fact, one of my personal favorites for black and white on iPhone. The only thing that could definitely be improved is the rendering times, which are, in spite of updates, still on the slow side.

Dramatic Black & White iPhone

Different presets applied in Dramatic Black & White.

JixiPix proves once again what they are capable of. Dramatic Black & White is a great tool for iPhone photographers with a special interest in monochrome photography, as it easily provides great functionality in a solid and well-rounded package.

Dramatic Black & White for iPhone is currently on sale for $0.99/€0.79/£0.69 in the App Store.


Name: Dramatic Black & White
Developer: JixiPix Software
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 4.2 or later.
Price: £1.49||$1.99||€1.59
Vote: 5/5

Dramatic Black & White - JixiPix Software

Jay September 29, 2011 at 4:25 am

I love this App too! Nice review.

ILAR September 29, 2011 at 4:25 am

good one, this. got me suckered into buying the whole lot of jixipix.

HH September 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I have Noir Photo, I think these are the same.

Jen September 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I have neither so I would appreciate if you wrote a comparative entry about Noir and Dramatic B&W.

Miege October 1, 2011 at 2:28 am

I’d second that–Noir, Dramatic B&W, and Simply B&W 😀

Daniel October 1, 2011 at 4:48 am


@moerdo October 31, 2011 at 4:39 am

hmmm… people are always asking the differences between Noir and Dramatic BW. Actually they are different; more features on Dramatic BW app (even though the basic is totally the same).
However, the dramatic BW took my attention due to their fabulous job to develop more features.
OK. let me direct to the discussion:

iPhone app Dramatic BW vs Noir: The winner is dramatic BW, more features including HDR BW and control on the spotlight.

iPad app Dramatic BW vs Noir: The winner is definitively Dramatic BW. Why? because dramatic BW can be consisting more than 1 spotlights which Noir app can not do! and more control even compared to iPhone version.

Final Verdict, Dramatic BW is the Winner! this app changes my style of BW editing

See all my BW photos on my website http://moerdo.tumblr.com or my photo stream on Instagram (with ID @moerdo)

Daniel Bely October 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Does this app include ‘live’ B&W in viewfinder? Thanks!

Pu October 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Do you mean if it has live view for the BW effects? No, you have to take the photo and then apply the effects.

Daniel Bely October 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Thanks. Yes, I’m looking for an app b&w shooting with live view. So far I’ve found MPro, Hueless and MonoPhix(?) – can you advise something else?

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