I was a late-adopter of Instagram, as I didn’t get my iPhone until the middle of this year. Initially skeptical of the power of the app, it took me even more time to start using Instagram — but I was quickly addicted. Professional photographers have access to expensive tools and effects to make any photo, in an environment, potentially spectacular. While the camera on the iPhone is decent, it can’t always capture the essence of a moment. With its filters, Instagram has been able to turn several of my everyday moments into pictures that could be mistaken as professional while adding a hint of emotion to each photograph.

Instagram 2.0Yesterday, Instagram launched version 2.0 of its popular iOS app, and it puts even its predecessor version to shame. Not only does 2.0 offer four new filters — Amaro, Rise, Hudson, and Valencia — but users can see how a filter will affect a photo before they even take it. With live filters, users of Instagram 2.0 can see their potential picture with the filter applied before they even snap the shot. This new feature is useful for those moments when you’re not sure even Instagram can help a photo look good, or if you may need to change how or where you take the photo for the best result.

Those who download Instagram 2.0 will also be able to experience tilt-shift with a live preview, as you can now with filters. Tilt-shift was available on previous versions of Instagram, but now users can preview this effect before taking a picture. Instagram has also increased the resolution of photos for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users; iPhone 4 users will experience a new resolution of 1936 x 1936, increased from 612 x 612 — perfect for sharing photos from Instagram online or turning them into wallpaper for your desktop.

Instagram users can update from a previous version of the app by visiting the App Store, and new users can download Instagram from the App Store as well. Instagram 2.0 is currently only available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (3rd & 4th generations), iPad, and iPad 2.