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Hipstamatic 260: The Retro Camera App Gets an Upgrade!

Updated on November 29, 2013
Spiders and Flies - taken with multi-exposure
Spiders and Flies - taken with multi-exposure

Hipstamatic, the funky photo app for the iPhone launched it’s latest update - 260 this week. Revamped for iPhone 5 and IOS6 it also includes bug fixes, some new features and freebies!

New Features

The flash switch has been redesigned to make it simpler to select the hardware or software flash. It also stays on until you turn it off.

The prints and stacks view has a new look and has support for portrait as well as landscape. A handy button has been added allowing you to return directly to camera mode from viewing an image.


New Equipment

A Rock the Vote Freepak has been released along with the update. It is designed to inspire young people to register to vote and make their voices heard on election day. It includes two films and a case if you want to bling up the app political activist style! The RTV film is grainy, with strong colours and black marker style lines round the edge. The RTV Shout! film produces the same effect with the addition of a slogan on the theme of voting applied at random on top of the image.

The film has a nice colour and texture but I don’t see much use for RTV Shout! film. The slogans are more likely to detract from the image rather than enhance it. I’ve already disabled it from being selected in random mode. Still, there will be some happy accidents. A competition is being run for photos taken with the films and entrants have already posted some strong images, some with slogans so appropriate you wonder if they kept shooting the same subject until the right one happened to come up.

RTV
RTV
RTV Shout!
RTV Shout!

Multi-Exposure

A more exciting addition is the Multiple Exposure Kit available for $0.99. This allows you to combine multiple shots into one image. Simply activate the switch in the top left hand corner and take one shot, then take another and the shutter falls on the viewfinder for a moment while the two shots are combined. You can keep pushing the switch back to combine more than two shots.

This is the first extra piece of kit I’ve purchased. None of the other photo apps I have offer a feature like it and it significantly increases the apps potential for creating interesting and original pictures. I was particularly pleased with my first attempt. I photographed the face of a Nepalese puppet that caught my eye then added a shot of the dimly lit living room. I had only hoped to see how the effect worked but when the image finished developing I felt that lovely buzz that comes when your camera produces something stunning. The process is very hit and miss but I’m having a lot of fun trying to get the hits. I’ve also started exploring a similar feature on my DSLR.


Bugs

Hipstamatic is a lot more stable that it was when I started using it two years ago. Unfortunately, it has already crashed twice when moving from a single print back to the main prints page. No images were lost though which was sometimes the case in the past.

For the next update...

A couple of further developments I would like to see are:

Exposure control - Photos often end up too bright or dark because you can’t select which part of the frame to meter off as you can with the standard iPhone camera. This may already be possible with later iPhone models. I have a 3Gs.

Option to disable automatic copying to the camera roll - The deliberate lack of control given to users on how images are processed means you get duff images along with the masterpieces. All images are automatically copied to the camera roll and end up cluttering your phone as you have to delete them from both places separately. The problem’s compounded with Photo Stream as they also end up on your computer, automatically copied to your iPhoto library.

As photos can be easily viewed, organised and shared within the app it would be better if users had the option of choosing photos to export to the camera roll instead of having their devices cluttered with multiple copies of every photo they take.


Conclusion

It is good to see Hipstamatic keeping up to date and adding innovative new features. It remains distinctive in the photo app market place. With its retro style and thriving community it offers far more than just adding some effects to your photos. It may not be as flexible and versatile as apps that allow you to edit and manipulate images in a variety of ways but that’s not what it’s about. Hipstamatic offers you a completely different camera allowing you to take photos you wouldn’t be likely to produce with other apps. When it produces a great photo with effects you weren’t even trying to achieve it’s exciting and inspirational. It’s an app that keeps my photography fresh. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with the features in this update and I look forward to the next one.

Hipstamatic is available from the app store for $1.98 hipstamatic.com

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