Hipstamatic | iPhone photography app review

Hipstamatic is one of the many photography apps available for the iPhone. It mimics the look of Lomo cameras (I tend to shy away from calling them "plastic toy cameras" because with the price of Lomo cameras, film, and developing, there is nothing cheap about it). The name Hipstamatic probably comes from the term "shooting from the hip", which basically means fire the shutter and what you'll get will be a surprise. Some Lomo cameras don't even have a viewfinder (such as the SuperSampler). The name could also come from the fact that Lomo cameras have become pretty popualr with the Hipster crowd and are sold at exorbitant prices at places like Urban Outfitters.

Hipstamatic retails at $1.99 which isn't bad at all for an iPhone app. But don't expect to get all the features for that price. With the invention of in app purchases, you can buy extra features within the app. You can buy "HipstaPaks", which include extra lenses, films, and flashes for an extra $.99 a set. So the total for everything came to $4.99, which still is a pretty good price for everything you're getting.

Now on to the pros and cons. I like that there are so many options for lenses and films. I assume they have recommended films to work with certain lenses which you'll see in the HipstaPaks menu but you can mix and match and the results are endless. I also like that you can upload directly from the app to Facebook. Hopefully soon they will add the feature to send to Twitter as well.

The downside is the layout is horrible. It's designed beautifully but if you touch the wrong thing you end up in the in app store or you don't get back to the camera or you end up in the HipstaPak menu... It's a mess. I find myself clicking on everything else except what I want to when I'm just trying to get to the viewfinder. I'm sure after much use you'll get used to where you're going but when you're in a rush and you're trying to take a photo, you might miss your chance. Which leads to another problem, you can't use a photo you've already taken. Most iPhone apps (I know every other one I've ever used) lets you import a photo already in your library to edit. You can't with this one and that is a major bummer. There are photos that I've already taken that I would love to edit within the app but I can't. Another let down are the flashes. They're pretty much pointless.

EDIT: Another downside is that the photo only saves to 525 pixels which is pretty small compared to other apps that can save in higher resolution.

Even though it seems I have more cons than pros, I actually do like the app. It offers features some of the other popular iPhone apps don't offer, like the ability to change lenses and film. According to the website, some of the new features are coming are exporting to Flickr, shake to randomize, a new free flash, and a new HipstaPak. I hope that they add a fisheye and a tilt shift lens to the app.

All in all, I would give the app 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.