I’ve got a new obsession on my iPhone, and it’s name is QuadCamera (made by Takayuki Fukatsu and available on the iTunes App Store here, currently £1.19 but apparently it will go up in price after the next update). It’s basically a software application of the popular Lomo Supersampler cameras, one of which currently resides in a drawer somewhere in my flat, shamefully underused, probably because I can’t be bothered to get the film developed every time. It’s not exactly the same as the photos are all the full aspect ratio of the camera, whereas Supersampler takes a ‘slice’ and fits them all on one 4×3 35mm film frame, but it’s an extremely slick and stable (so far) piece of software nonetheless.
It’s also, and more importantly, really good fun! I’ve not bothered with the maker’s other Toy Camera apps for the iPhone because Nevercenter’s CameraBag (App Store link here) has fulfilled all my other iPhone camera effect needs, but just a few minutes play with QuadCamera has me completely sold. It can take either 4 or 8 photos and the settings screen gives you very simple options to choose the duration of the gap between shots (1/4 sec up to 3 secs), the layout of the final image (2×2, 4×1, 4×2 or 8×1), whether it shoots in colour or B&W and whether it displays the resulting image (which is saved to the Camera Roll whether you choose to view them immediately or not). Handily, the shooting interface displays whether you’re in mono or colour at a glance, but not the image number or layout options you’ve selected.
Each individual photo taken is in the standard aspect ratio and has that ‘Lomo look’ applied with distinctive vignetting. The colour versions are slightly desaturated and contrasty, whereas to my eye the B&W look a little flat – I’ve done a little experimentation and I think you actually get better B&Ws if you take your photos in QuadCamera and then open the saved image in CameraBag and apply either the Mono or 1962 effects.
To top it all, they’ve even thrown together a “quick and dirty experimental” desktop app for Mac and PC called QuadAnimator that takes a QuadCamera image and converts the individual frames into an animated GIF. Very pleasing!