The transition from analog to digital has been a contested one for photo and video enthusiasts. Although the glories of digital are profound, as file sizes shrink while quality improves thanks to advanced compression and codecs, digital media lacks that personal, one-of-a-kind feel of analog film. Different film stocks, lenses, film formats and cameras are quickly being eradicated by the proliferation of digital, but the mobile apps that imitate analog film just keep coming. This overview highlights the best mobile apps that imitate analog film, and may also heal some analog-hearts, too.
The Super 8 app
was originally part of the promo kit for the J.J. Abrams summer '11 flick "Super 8". It's arguable that the app has outlived the film, as this is one of the most popular photo/video apps, and has won a 2012 Webby Award for Best Use of Device Camera. This app lets you virtually experience every aspect of shooting analog Super 8 film, from reading the instruction manual, to processing and projecting the film. The Super 8 app keeps it simple by limiting the in-app editing tools to deleting and re-arranging clips. It costs $0.99, and can be downloaded from the App store or iTunes. Learn how to get started with Super 8 here.
The iSupr8 app
is similar to the Super 8 app mentioned above, but costs $1.99 and includes more shooting features. According to the website, "iSupr8 is not just a fun novelty app, it is an effort to revive and increase awareness of a commercially dying format to a new generation." Still relatively simple to use, the iSupr8 app lets you choose you shoot in the standard 24 frames per second, but you can also opt to shoot in 12 or 18 fps. Also, iSupr8 lets you choose between Medium, 720p and 1080p for control over the size of your video. There's no need to feel daunted by the added features of this app - a convenient help icon highlights each feature and labels its function. Interested? Read more about iSupr8 in this app review.
Hipstamatic is the analog photo app that started it all. It's been purchased from the app store literally millions of times, and was even used by Damon Winters for a NYTimes photo spread on the War in Afghanistan. The Hipstamatic app lets you 'attach' accessories to your camera case, including lenses, flashes and different types of film. The $1.99 purchase price includes plenty of accessories, but there are more available for purchase. If you really miss holding photos in your hand, you can order physical copies of any of your Hipstamatic creations.
Tiltshift Video and Photo:
Tiltshift photography and time-lapse video uses a special lens to give the illusion that your subject is in miniature. This effect usually requires a very expensive lens, precise exposures and focus, but with Tiltshift photo and video apps you can achieve it for under $2! The original Tiltshift (for photos) and Tiltshift Video are both available for purchase in the App store, and produce awesome photos with a shift in perspective. Check out this Tiltshift Video
app review to learn more.
Diptic lets you arrange multiple photos from your camera roll to make a collage, or tell a visual story through photos. Unlike a lot of the most popular photo and video apps, Diptic is available for both Android and iOS devices. It's a very intuitive app that leads you through the step-by-step process of making a collage, and then allows you to export the collage and share it with family and friends. The app works in conjunction with Flickr and Facebook, giving you a wide variety of photos to choose from. At just $1.99, this app is worth a try for a different approach to capturing memories and telling stories.