AMITIAE - Thursday 15 December 2011

A Useful Effects App for the iPhone: Vintage Camera

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Vintge Camera

What has made the iPhone such a useful device for me is not just the camera, but the photographic apps that make use of the feature. Instead of having to waste so much time, as we might with a desktop application (at least in the past) to apply filters, jiggle with contrast and brightness, then sharpen, an app can do all of this in micro-seconds.

Many apps not only apply effects as a photograph is taken, but can also be used with images already in the Photo Library. I have actually lost count of the photo apps I have. As they arrive in the iTunes app store, I have a look and download some to try them out.

Vintage Cam, as the name suggests, has a specific range of effects that can be applied in order that the photographs may look like those of days past. While there is a certain nostalgia, being able to provide a different way of looking at a standard scene is refreshing and many such images can be seen on sites like Facebook these days. Even in photography, the medium is the message.

Vintage Camera

The interface is gorgeous and looks something like an old Leica camera, even down to the lettering. As this is a free version, there are ads within the app interface and these may become intrusive for some. A Pro version of the app is available as an in-app purchase for $0.99. Apart from the icons, the rest of the main panel is inactive.

Below the "lens" on the main screen are three icons. A film roll for the app Gallery to the left, a gear icon to the right for settings, and a red camera icon in the center. Initially, there are no images in the Gallery. The Settings panel has a link to purchase the Professional Edition at the top, with camera settings below. These allow photos to be stored on the device and changes to the order of effects. There are 14 effects -- filters if you will -- and we may change the order by simply touching and sliding the effect up or down. Below Camera settings are those for Sharing: Facebook, Twitter and Presselite. This is the app Developer's own site.

Pressing the Camera icon reveals a second camera-like interface -- the back -- where the scene is viewed in a large square panel. At the top are controls to switch between forward and backward facing cameras, for flash (on/off/Auto) and an X icon which takes us back to the main screen.

We take a picture using another red camera icon. The image is displayed in the panel and below are the effects that can be applied, one by one, until the desired filter is found. These can be scrolled left and right.

Vintage Camera Vintage Camera Vintage Camera

Once an effect is chosen, the user presses a Save button at top right and three icons for export (plus Delete) are shown: Facebook, Twitter and Email. When email is selected I was offered three size options: Small (61.8KB), Medium (208KB) and Large (650KB). There is no option to save to the iPhone Camera Roll and while I initially thought this had not occurred, I later found the images there. The process does not appear to be instant unlike some other apps. All images are saved to the Vintage Camera Gallery where they may be viewed again and, when selected, may be re-exported (Facebook, Twitter, email).

A couple of email images I sent were 640 x 640 (660KB) while another was slightly smaller at 600KB with the same resolution. All image exports via email were in PNG format.


The developer rubric in the iTunes app store tells us that an update is due soon and that this will address any questions concerning size: a higher resolution will be available.

This is a nice little app with some useful effects that some may find useful. The developers have shown a degree of care, particularly with the lovely interface and this care seems to have been carried over into the app and its operations.

Vintage Camera



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