Hipstamatic: iPhone Goes Retro

I look at fondness with my parents photos from the 70s. Red and yellowish hued pictures with a distinct retro feel…well that look is back and easier than ever to replicate using the Hipstamatic iPhone application.

I found this app in the What’s Hot section of my Application app and thought I’d give it a go. At £1.19 it’s more expensive than regular apps so had high expectations of what it has to offer. I must admit that at first glance I was disappointed. When inside the app there are lots of extras to buy (59p per new lens/film/flash) and you feel a little cheated that you haven’t been given everything that is available. However, the basics that you are given are good enough to keep you going. After a while I realised that I’d paid for an experience, not just an app and I’m very glad I did.

You are provided with three kits of vintage photography equipment – flash, lens and film – all of which can be combined to create different looks in all your photos. I was unsure at first whether the film runs out (remember the good old days of having 24 pictures to take?) and whether you’d have to buy another just to continue using the app but so far I haven’t had to. I’d be pretty anoyed if I did have to!

So to start off with you get the following:

  • John S Lens
  • Jimmy Lens
  • Kaimal Mark II Lens
  • Standard Flash
  • Dreampop Flash
  • Ina’s 1969 Film
  • Kodot Verichrome Film


Each item comes with a description and an example of what kind of photo you can expect to shoot using the lens. Alternating between the various options is simple, using just a swipe of your finger.

The camera interface is also very retro, with a small viewing window and slide on flash function.

The photos you take are stored within the app as well as your standard iPhone photo album. If there’s a format you particularly like, with a click of a button you can change your current settings (lens, flash and film) to recreate the setting for your next photo. Here are some examples I took  using different combinations.







Now this next bit is what I like in particular. From the app you can register with Hipstamatic directly which allows you to upload photos into competitions for which there are different themes. You can also register a Twitter and Flickr account with the app, as this helps you gain votes for the competitions (prizes include iTunes vouchers). The entries are impressive and so simple as you know they’ve all been taken using the app. You don’t have to be a professional 🙂

I’d definitely recommend this brilliant bit of software. It’s a vast improvement on the standard iPhone camera and you’ll take pics that will really make you smile 🙂


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