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Five of the best: Vintage Camera Apps for the Apple iPhone

Note that I independently write and research everything in this article. But it may contain affiliate links.

Turn your iPhone into a vintage film camera – we pick out the best apps for going vintage.

Let’s be honest, we all live and in the modern world and because of that, it’s useful to have a modern handset. As a good number of you currently use Apple’s iPhone and an equally significant number of you love vintage photography, I thought it might be a good idea to mix the two, courtesy of a feature on vintage camera apps for the iPhone.

Like anything, there are good ones and bad ones – but here are five of the best.

1. Hipstamatic

It’s the star of the show, at least in terms of sales. It comes with three rolls of vintage-style film (simulated of course). plus a selection of lenses and flashes for the initial price. Once you’re in, you can buy more, as well as share via the social networks and if you love your work lots, you can even order your analogue prints.

It’s the market leader for good reason and is easy to use. But unless you start spending, you might get a little bored of the limited options fairly soon.

We like: Ease of use, finished and the options to share.
Not so sure about: Cost of add-ons and how quickly we got tired of the initial set up.

Price: £1.19
Find out more about Hipstamatic

Pudding Camera
Pudding Camera

2. Pudding Camera

No, we don’t know why it’s called that either, but typing that in is the only way you’ll find this free Japanese app. Worth the effort too, with a whole range of Lomo-style cameras at your fingertips, packed with tricks like Panorama, four shots in one, sequenced shots, split shots and fisheye, as well as a host of simulated vintage films to choose from.

You can even alter the settings of your vintage snapper, with futher options to share your photographic efforts. After a bit of trial and error that is – many of the instructions are in Japanese.

We like: The vast array of options, it’s like having the entire Lomography range in your back pocket. All for free too
Not so sure about: How to do some things, due to the language barrier. With time, you’ll work it out though.

Price: Free
Find out more about Pudding Camera

Shake It Photo Polaroid app
Shake It Photo Polaroid app

3. Shake It Photo Polaroid app

Polaroid is making something of a comeback right now, both with reissues of older cameras and new instant snap cameras. But you can also get it for your iPhone using the Shake It Photo Polaroid app.

Everything you would expect – take your photo, shake it to develop it more quickly, some quirky sound effects and some fairly distinctive finished images with a white border. If you like Polaroid, there’s much to like here.

We like: The quirkiness of it all, it’s fun and certain to impress your retro-loving mates.
Not so sure about: How long that fun will last. Although with a price tag of just 59p, it’s not exactly a lot to pay if you tire of it after a week.

Price: 59p
Find out more about Shake It Photo

Retro Camera Plus
Retro Camera Plus

4. Retro Camera Plus

The name is a giveaway. Yes, we’re talking vintage-style camera. In fact, we’re actually talking replicas – 1950s Barbl (East Germany), 1970s Little Orange Box (USSR), 1972 Polaroid-like Xolaroid 2000 (USA), Canadian FudgeCan (1961) and a classic pinhole camera. All are replicated in detail, most have a black and white or colour film option and all have very distinctive finishes. In a good way.

If you love the Lomo thing, this is likely to be for you. Easy to save your works of art and share round the social networks too.

We like: The detail and the bizarre effects you can create, all of it for free.
Not so sure about: The longevity of it. Like the others, there’s only so much you can do – although as it’s free, so what’s the loss?

Price: Free
Find out more about Retro Camera Plus


5. Camera+

On the face of it, not a retro/vintage app. But it’s all about the detail with Camera+. For a start, it’s a great alternative to Apple’s built-in camera functionality – touch focus and exposure, stabiliser, light adjustment, digital zoom, lots of great features for your phone. Once you’ve snapped, head to the lightbox for more fun.

In there are plenty of retro filters (amongst a wider set), allowing you to adjust the colouring, or give your photo a Lomo, 70s, hipster or antique feel. You can test out all of them before you save your final image, which is a real bonus. If you love photography in general, this app is really is worth investing in.

We like: All the features, turning your phone into a top-notch compact camera, throwing in a tasty editing suite too for a very decent price.
Not so sure about: The ease of use at times, but the ability to undo pretty much everything is a bonus. Just remember to save to your camera roll when you’re done.

Price: £1.26
Find out more about Camera+

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