Disposable Hipstamatic for iPhone
Remember disposable cameras—you know, those plastic film cameras people used to carry around on vacation, where the roll had to be developed before you could see the prints? Sure, they may still make the odd appearance now and then, but you'd probably be safe in adding them to the list nearly obsolete gadgets. But while the technology may be on its way out, the style of images it produces has definitely made a comeback.
Leave it to Synthetic Corp, the folks behind Hipstamatic, to make the disposable camera cool again. Disposable Hipstamatic incorporates Hipstamatic's popular lo-fi filters into the functionality of a disposable camera to create a fun photo app that emphasizes sharing the photographic process with your friends.
Think of Disposable Hipstamatic as a simpler, more shareable, but equally lo-fi version of the original Hipstamatic. Here’s how it works: The app starts out by offering two free cameras with 24 shots each. You invite friends to share a camera with you via Facebook (this earns you a third free camera) and you’re ready to start snapping. This app is really meant to be shared with friends, and this point is emphasized throughout the interface. In keeping with the disposable camera idea, you and your friends cannot “develop” and view each other’s photos until the “roll” is finished.
You can customize the outside appearance of the cameras by changing the color and theme of the outside sticker and by naming the camera. In this way, you can personalize cameras for specific events or friends with whom you’ve shared it.
The cameras themselves have the same retro toy camera feel as the original Hipstamatic but are exclusively oriented in portrait mode. In keeping with the disposable camera theme, you can’t change the lens or film you use. All cameras have the same three basic functions: a shutter button, a flash (which takes a second to "warm up"), and an F/X slider that controls the effects of each photo.
While admittedly less versatile than the cameras on the original Hipstamatic, those who love the retro look won’t be disappointed by the quality of the free D-series cameras. I was pleasantly surprised by the photos I took. The free cameras include D-Fault, D-Lite, and MegaZuck 84. The D-Fault—my favorite—has the clearest images with the highest contrast. D-Lite is the among the most lo-fi I’ve seen seen so far; the pictures have a pinkish glow with streaks of light leaking through parts of the photos. The MegaZuck84, on the other hand, has a more unsaturated look, similar to other “1984” style filters.
You get unlimited use of the three free cameras, though you can use only one of each at a time. If you get tired of them, a quick trip over to the Hipstamart can get you up to seven additional cameras for an in-app purchase. Additional cameras range in price from $1 to $4 depending on the camera and number of exposures. Once you buy one, these cameras can be shared among your friends without them having to also purchase them.
For the most part, I appreciated the simplicity of Disposable Hipstamatic when compared to the original. But one feature I did miss was the original program’s Field Guide, which explains the different filters and what each camera is best suited for—especially since you have to wait until you take all 24 shots before you can actually see your photos.
The simplicity and highly social nature of Disposable Hipstamatic may not appeal to everyone, especially if you are used to the control and flexibility afforded by the original Hipstamatic. But if you want a fun way to share quality lo-fi photos with friends anywhere, Disposable Hipstamatic won’t disappoint.
[Karissa Bell is a Macworld editorial intern.]