7 Vintage iPhone Film Camera Apps Worth Using
For many of us, the blemishes and imperfections that come with shooting film are a distant memory. While the fundamentals of shutter speed and aperture settings persist, the process of shooting and sharing an image has changed massively.
It makes sense, then, that there exists a subset of vintage camera apps designed to recreate the experience of shooting film. Here are seven of the best options.
1. Huji Cam
Huji Cam is a faithful recreation of a disposable camera from 1998, right down to the date stamped on your images. The film simulation is fairly convincing, with light leak effects, color fringing, and an overall contrasted look, reminiscent of a roll of cheap ISO 400.
The free version is a camera, and only a camera. In order to process an image with Huji, you need to shoot the image with Huji. You can’t import your own images and process them, nor can you reprocess images you’ve already taken without a $1 in-app purchase.
You can adjust the date format so that it reads correctly, or pretend like it’s 1998 with the default settings.
It’s up to you whether or not you enable or disable light leaks, set a timer, opt for low-quality images, or shoot with the front-facing camera.
Download: Huji Cam (Free, in-app purchases available)
If you’re desperate to recreate the entire process of shooting with disposable film cameras, Gudak is the app for you. Unlike the other apps on this list, this one really limits what you can do with a strict set of rules.
Gudak shoots virtual rolls of film, and you get 24 exposures on each roll. When you finish a roll, you have to wait an hour before you can load another and begin shooting again. In order to see your images, hit the Develop button and wait three days.
By doing so, the app reintroduces the long-lost element of surprise. By the time your photos are ready, you probably won’t remember exactly what it was you were shooting. The developers have gone to considerable lengths to stop you from cheating by changing your device’s date and time too.
The photos are fine, but it’s the experience that really shines. Gudak limits your view to a tiny viewfinder, removes focus and exposure controls, and strips photography back to its point-and-shoot basics.
Download: Gudak ($0.99)
If Gudak and Huji Cam are the best apps at imitating disposable film cameras, CALLA is the best app imitation of a cheap 35mm point-and-shoot camera. The app itself is heavily stylized and a bit confusing to use due to its unconventional button placement alongside a mixture of Korean and English languages.
CALLA includes a few different types of films, but you only get one for free. The images we shot with this preset looked pretty good, with a softness to the image reminiscent of cheap plastic lenses. The colors are warm, and there’s a fair amount of grain, but no light leaks.
There’s a full set of photo controls, including touch-to-focus and expose. You can also manually control your focus using the ring near the shutter button (it’s a lot of fun). Additionally, the app supports importing iPhone images into CALLA and processing them.
There are in-app purchases to unlock more looks, with the option of watching ads instead (but that will take a while).
Download: CALLA (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. KD Pro
Not only is KD Pro free, but it also includes three entirely separate film-like looks: Kudak (Kodak), Kuji (Fujifilm), and a black and white preset. If you want, you can also enable the date stamp and light leaks.
The app allows you to choose your own development time, whether it’s instant, an hour, or a day. While a nice idea, this is a little pointless because most people are always going to choose the instant option. You may prefer Gudak’s method of forcing you to wait, especially if you have little self-control.
Overall, KD Pro does a great job of creating some heavily stylized photos. You can mix film styles in a roll simply by changing the filter in your app’s settings. Unless you upgrade to premium ($0.99), you can’t reprocess anything after you’ve taken it nor can you import images from your Camera Roll.
Download: KD Pro (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Hipstamatic X
One of the best apps like Huji is Hipstamatic X. It’s packed with filters, presets, and camera settings that make your images look like they originated in the 1980s or 1990s.
Although the app is mainly aimed at beginners, pro photographers will find plenty to satisfy themselves as well. For example, there’s an all-new editing darkroom feature, the ability to tweak gear, light, color, and focus, and even a grain tool.
Make sure you also check out the Passport feature. It lets you keep a log of your photographic history using gamification features like daily stamps, photo streaks, and more.
Overall we think this is one of the best camera apps for iOS.
Download: Hipstamatic X (Free, in-app purchases available)
6. Retro Camera +
Still not found the perfect app to make photos look like film? Try Retro Camera +. Mainly geared towards Instagram users, the app’s range of filters will turn new photos into something that looks decades old.
Some of the app’s key features include live camera filters, more than 40 effects, a timer, a flash mode, and support for the selfie cam.
Retro Camera + also makes it easy to share your pictures directly onto your preferred social media network. In total, more than 30 networks are available.
Download: Retro Camera + (Free, in-app purchases available)
7. Dazz Cam
The final vintage camera app on our list is Dazz Cam. Like the other entries, it’s designed to recreate the analog film look of the 80s.
Dazz Cam can restore color, texture, and noise to an image, and it has a host of light leakage effects to give photos an even more authentic look.
Some of the other noteworthy features include the ability to superimpose two images over the top of each other, a self-timer, fisheye lens, flash colors, and exposure adjustment. There’s even a square frame—it’s ideal for people who want to upload their creations to Instagram.
Download: Dazz Cam (Free, in-app purchases available)
These vintage film camera apps are arguably toys, but there’s nothing wrong with that. They offer not just filters and styles, but the chance to step out of your comfort zone and approach photography from another perspective.
Give a couple of them a try and see what creations you can come up with.
We look at why vintage lenses are useful, the pros and cons of vintage lenses, and how to start using them with your own cameras.
About The Author