Okay, let’s face it. Film photography is expensive and downright time-consuming. Even disposable cameras are more of a burden than a present these days. Many stores have stopped developing film, never mind the time and effort it takes to digitise and share the photos with friends and family.
Thankfully, app developers have also clocked on to the faff and inconvenience film cameras are for the consumer. So, with spring cleaning and fresh beginnings in the air, I have reviewed the most popular vintage photography apps to help you pick the right one.
These apps are free to use but may include in-app purchases (much to my dismay).
HUJI has been my go-to app for the last few years. It imitates disposable film photography from 1998 by changing your phone screen into the back of a disposable camera and date stamping your photos with 1998.
I love HUJI’s simplicity and filters. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have drunkenly recommended this app to one too many strangers on a night out. It can’t be helped – the filter detracts from all that HD ugliness your normal phone camera captures (and make your legs look great!).
The only downside is the time it takes to process a photograph. I would not recommend giving this app to your mum because the seconds it takes to process can be confusing and cause blurry photographs.
This app is the embodiment of someone taking a project brief a little too literally. GUDAK has caused controversy, and there is a good reason for it. The app is designed to completely imitate a disposable camera, with the time taken to develop the photographs included in its design.
Basically, this app is designed to bring back the element of surprise you get when waiting for your film to be developed. You must wait for three days until you can view your photographs as the app pretends to develop your film. Not only that, but you can only take 24 photographs per roll and must wait an hour before starting a new film roll.
However, it misses the beat.
The developing time means you cannot correct your photographs, forgetting the purpose of taking photographs on your phone. Also, the viewfinder is tiny and cannot be expanded! An infuriating function since it does not work as an actual viewfinder.
Perhaps this app’s novelty is better when taking photos at a party rather than photos of my house in lockdown.
This app is different to the others I am reviewing because you cannot point and shoot on Android phones.
CALLA Cam is good for editing your existing photographs by playing around with film camera filters. The filters are easy to switch and play around with on your phone. Although, I did have to create a folder in my phone’s gallery to save my photos which were quite confusing.
The main problem with this app is the in-app purchases. It is very apparent how limited you are with the free app. They have included an advertising feature to give you a limited range of paid filters for free. However, you must watch 33 adverts before you can download them. That’s a TV show’s worth of adverts to watch for a film effect!
In terms of novelty, this app blows the others out of the water! The app is designed to imitate a collection of film cameras. NOMO changes your phone’s interface to replicate the film camera you have selected and includes authentic sound effects to really take you back in time.
At first, I was disparaged by the subscription fee service to access all the cameras available. However, after scrolling through the menu, there are a few cameras for you to use for free.
NOMO takes other film photography apps’ ideas but executes them better by incorporating the phone’s functionality. For instance, their Instax-Mini camera imitates the processing time of polaroid film but gives you the option to speed up the process by shaking your phone (like a polaroid picture).
It is an enjoyable and creative app that I am definitely keeping on my phone!
This app is like NOMO but offers a selection of film rather than cameras.
The interface of this app is what really makes it stand out compared to the other apps. Your phone screen replicates an old school camera (including the scratches). The viewing screen is big and easy to view on your phone screen and gives you the option to zoom in and out!
Unfortunately, the processing time when taking photographs is quite slow and tends to blur many photographs.
All in all, film photography apps are great for saving money and time. However, they never quite touch upon the authenticity of using a film camera.
If you have printed photographs that you would like to preserve and share with friends, get them digitised with Digital Converters.