iOS & Mac reviews Reviews

if you like Hipstamatic, you’ll love these

There’s dozens of retro processing apps in the App Store, but Hipstamatic has captured the ol’ zeitgeist and it’s great that so many people are interested in it because it’s a cool wee photo app. I love it – to the extent that I created a huge matrix of all the lens/film combinations possible at the time – there’s more available now as in-app purchases.

I thought I’d share a bunch more apps that I think you’re definitely going to be interested in if you’re a Hipsta-fan, and also because I think they deserve more attention because someone’s been hogging it all! Some have wonderfully detailed and engaging user interface designs. Others, not so much. But they all have three things in common: they’re cheap, they’re fun and they make great photos.



App Store link.

I wrote about it here. I think this is easily one of the best photo apps currently available and a superb companion app to Hipstamatic. It has a beautiful UI and a highly flexible array of effects and sharing options.

You add one effect each from frames, light leaks, noise and vignettes, can further manipulate RGB, contrast and brightness and share with all the major social networks. Some of the effects are quite heavy so you can overdo it easily, but used with restraint PictureShow images can be extremely pleasing.



App Store.

I’ve not written about this one in length before but it’s a beauty. Created by the developers of Hipstamatic itself, it uses the metaphor of a dark room with a range of different processing chemicals stored in bottles on a shelf, and allows you to create custom effects by adding measures of chemicals to a developing tray. By adding chemicals in different combinations you create unique effects and you can save your favourite effect combinations, or recipes, to use again.

I love the effort that’s gone into the interface, and it can be a very creative processing experience. The only downsides are the unskippable animations and lengthy processing times, which make regular use a bit frustrating if you’re used to the quick presets of other apps and I found my use of it waning. Even so, you should definitely add it to your collection at that price, especially if you don’t mind taking a more leisurely approach to processing an iPhone photo.



App Store.

Instagram probably doesn’t need much introduction to some of you, but if you’re remotely into Hipsta you’ll love this (it’s my app of choice at the moment) and at the awesome price of FREE you should get it now.

With Instagram the focus is on speed and simplicity. You take a photo in the app or load one in and it’s cropped square before you get to choose from over a dozen retro effects, each with it’s own border. You name it, add a location if you like, then upload to a variety of the usual suspects – you can send to multiple sites all at the same time.

It also automatically uploads to Instagram’s own site, as there’s a whole other social networking focus to the app. Outside of the processing element you can follow other users and rate their images which can eventually become Popular, exhibited on a dedicated feed. It’s rather like Twitter for photos, but it’s wholly ignorable if that’s not your thing. If it’s very much your thing, look out for photos from ‘myglasseye’.



App Store.

Camera+ is sort of the odd one out here in that it isn’t that pretty, and it’s the only one that isn’t primarily an effects app, but is pitched as a replacement for the official Camera app. It’s packed with functions designed to make taking photos easier, including grids, stabilisation, a timer, burst mode and separate focus and exposure touch controls. The only thing that really stops me using it over the official app is that all photos are saved to it’s own reel, and there’s no way of preferring them saved to the iPhone reel. You have to go in there, select the ones you want to keep and then save them out.

However, it also comes with a bunch of effects, many of which are retro-inspired. I’d say the signal to noise ratio in the selection isn’t too favourable but as an overall camera package it’s a good one to have alongside your full-on retro apps.

I believe you can get all these for not much over a fiver, so I think if you’re remotely entertained by Hipstamatic you’d be mad not to!

By Owen

I'm a Glasgow-born stills photographer and camera operator living and working in London, UK. As well as cameras I'm into writing, gaming, general geekery and beers by Brew Dog.

1 reply on “if you like Hipstamatic, you’ll love these”

I just found this blog and love it! (found you via a search for hipstamatic samples — your Hyde Park chart was a huge help!)
thanks so much for these suggestions – some great apps!
pictureshow is half off right now!

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