Ever since the release of Toy Camera together with Old Camera I have been slightly reluctant to review many “effector” apps now available in the AppStore. On a number of occasions I have also been suggested by friends to check out Camera Bag, Night Camera and a bunch of others that would somewhat deserve a mention considering the features they provide. I have and continue seeing new additions that way too much resemble ideas that Takayuki Fukatsu (could be said) initiated. Takayuki’s apps had style and sense of clarity in what they were about. Many followed, some with additional functionality that clouded the clear vision of what point+shoot apps should be about. Most popular being one about applying effects to photos you have already taken, and more recently full blown “photoshop” type apps that are way to complex for mobile device and providing not enough features to come even close to desktop software.
Then yesterday I came across Hipstamatic:
Digital photography never looked so analog. The Hipstamatic brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty, and fun of plastic toy cameras of the past! The Hipstamatic keeps the the quirks of shooting old school but gives you the ability to swap lenses, film, and flash settings all with the swipe of a finger.
My first reaction was “here we go another effector app, as we don’t have plenty already”. This is not the first time thing like this happens. Twenty thousand apps in the AppStore and there ought to be some duplicates and boy there are. Apple’s AppStore policies have supported app cloning, duplicates and it seems like a trend to find semi-succesful apps in the appstore, make a copy but with better skin and shiny UI and there is a big chance you will hit top 100 apps. It is safe to say that Hipstamatic could be one of those apps, but there is something quite special about this app I hope to uncover here.
When Takayuki set-out to create Toy Camera he was looking for a simple effecter app that would with one click generate attractive photos reminiscent of old skool Toy Cameras. He wasn’t particularly interested in what camera that might have been, the lens or the film. It was about simple point+shoot+applyeffect. If this wasn’t enough Takayuki also incorporated feature that would randomly choose the effect so you never knew what you would get. Simple, fun and unexpected was his moto. Then came a wave of new apps making this process more and more prescriptive, ie applying effects to you own photos and some even incorporating previews of what your photo would look like once the effect has been applied. Sure this is useful but for mobile?? When do we ever have the time to sit down and begin editing our photos. This is something we may do on the desktop and there are plenty of tools that will let us do this and achieve way better quality than on the iPhone. We seem to be loosing the quality of surprise what Toy Cameras were all about = cheap and cheerful photography.
Hipstamatic app was inspired by the camera invented by Bruce and Winston Dorbowski. The idea was simple at the time, to bring people a camera that cost less than the film. Bruce had a Russian plastic camera that our father gave him as a Christmas gift in 1972. The camera had since broke and was no longer being made or sold, at least anywhere he could find it. So Bruce and Winston came up with a plan to recreate something similar. Winston had fallen in love with his Kodak Instamatic and that was the start of the Hipstamatic (read more here).
Then recently the guys from Synthetic approached Richard Dorbowski (brother) to recreate the experience of using the original Hipstamatic 100 as a digital application for iPhone. I now wonder whether I should go on and describe the experience or maybe you should discover that for yourself as I did trying different combinations of lenses, never knowing the results you will get. The only thing you should actually know before you make any purchase is that the app comes with single lens, flash and 2 films by default. Once you have tried these you will want more and additional films (the look of final prints) and effects can be purchased (3 exactly) costing $0.99 each.
Here is a little about: Pictures taken with the Hipstamatic have their very own look and unique character. Artistic and painted with light and quirk, Hipstamatic images are sometimes surprising and offer a delicate beauty turning any iPhone into an instant art making machine. Images can be uploaded directly to your Facebook album or emailed to your friends and family.
• HipstaSwap™ lens technology
• HipstaSwap™ film technology
• Square format prints
• Built in Facebook sharing
• Sweet sound effects
• ‘Classic’ parallax-offset viewfinder (with option to turn off)
• Jet black molded plastic unibody
• KwikProcess™ technology
• Swank Camera flip action
• HipstaAlbum™ viewer w/sharing
• HipstaMart shopping for additional film & lenses
Considering that there were only 157 Hipstamatic 100s ever produced — 154 of them were sold, and the family has only 3 in their storage unit, the app has made it’s way to the hands of thousands if not millions soon. If you are interested to find out more about camera’s history you should check out hipstamatic blog ran by Richard Dorbowski. For information on the app with full manual to download, see hipstamaticapp.com. For $1.99 + additional 3 lenses and flashes all in total costing $5 you get to own a piece of history. Do I need to say more?
Cost: $1.99 (+in app purchases)
Developer: Synthetic Corp
Posted on: 30/12/2009
Posted in: iPhone