Get hip to the Hipstamaitic

I just discovered this little camera app that has really been designed to be fun to use. There are quite a few iPhone camera apps that either emulate old film grains/formats and vintage or Lomo looks written already. Most come up short for one reason or another. The Hipstamatic [iTunes link $1.99] takes the vintage camera thing to the next level without the shortcomings of some of the other apps out there. It’s actually a digital version of a cheap analog camera that was inspired, not unlike the Lomo’s, on a 35mm plastic Russian camera that was produced between 1982-84 by that costs $8.25. There were only there were only 157 Hipstamatic 100s ever produced so if you haven’t heard of them it’s not a surprise.

Original Camera specs:

  • Model: 100
  • Material: Plastic Body, Plastic Lens
  • Produced: 1982-84
  • Type: View finder camera
  • Lens: Hipsta A1
  • Film: 35mm
  • Picture Size: 28mm x 28mm
  • Focus: Automatic
  • Aperture: 2.8
  • Flash: hot shoe

As soon as you switch on the app the UI feels like a Brownie or a Lomo Diana right down to the small little viewfinder that emulates the feel of looking through an old prism viewfinder. There is a faux plastic leather look with a flash button just under the viewfinder. Down on the lower right there is a return arrow that when pressed takes you to the camera options panel. Here you can swipe across the lenses to switch to a different one, change “film”, “Flashes” and go to the in app store to purchase other Hipstamatic accessories.

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Hipstamatic Default Interface

The camera app comes with: John S Lens, the Jimmy Lens, the Standard Flash, Ina’s 1969 Film, and Kodot Verichrome Film that give you a bunch of great and funky looks out of the gate. There is a flash emulator that brightens shadows artificially with either white or coloured fills.

Default John Smith Lens

Kiamal Lens

Ina's 1969

Standard Flash

The settings are accessed via the general iPhone settings and give you the options of what you see when you start up [Camera Back or Camera Front] , view finder mode [Classic or Precision Framing] and it has full resolution and low resolution settings for final output of the pictures.

There is a build in sharing with in app email and Facebook via the Facebook connect but no direct links to Twitter or any other social nets as of this post.

Talking pictures is fun as there is a bit of a mystery on what you are going to get due to the viewfinder, film, lens and optional flash options that you have selected. You get used to the variables over time but it is a bit confusing at first. When you click the shutter it makes the classic shutter noise, then the viewfinder closes and three lights count down the “development” time. When your image is ready the ready light on the lower left illuminates and you can view the image with the build in image viewer. There built in gallery means there is no need to have to jump to the iPhone image gallery app and you can get back to snapping pics in no time. The original images are saved to the iPhone gallery if you want to export them or access them outside of the Hipstamatic app.

In app image preview pane

I like this app and feel that it’s worth the $1.99 price tag. It really makes you feel like you have a camera in your hand and for me it finished off the camera look and feel with the Geleskin I made the other month of the Leica M8 that is on the exterior of my phone.

The heavy effects that camera apps like these are not for everyone but are really making an impact on how people shoot images now a days. I guess there is a longing for analog looks in these modern times.

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