Hipstamatic is an app that I fell in love with at first use. The sheer volume and variety of photo taking combinations one can come up with simply by changing the lens, flash and/or film type is mind blowing. Or if you want to live dangerously you can leave your combo to fate simply by shaking your iPhone and seeing which settings combo it lands on. I find it remarkable that this app allows me to take photos on my iPhone that look like they were taken on a vintage camera. This is all done before you ever take the photo on your camera. When you take the actual photo it’s just a matter of pointing and shooting. The results are always unpredictably beautiful.
I love the fact that the app is affordable at a whopping $1.99 and I can buy upgrade packages with more options of lenses, film and flashes. It’s easy to use and takes great photos. What could be easier for someone on the go? It allows us the convenience of a Digital SLR with a touch of creative license but without the tedium of having to pull your photos into Photoshop. The Hipstamatic app also makes photo sharing instantly via Flickr, Facebook, and email easy and convenient. The Hipstamatic app is available for the iPhone and Android but has yet to be released in a version for the Blackberry.
The Instagram app is the Hipstamatic apps younger, streamlined sister. While Instagram is very much like Hipstamatic, it offers a few crucial options that the Hipstamatic app does not. Instagram allows you to take your photo first or use an existing photo and then you have the option of applying one of the fifteen filters to the photo to achieve the affect that you want. Basically, you can take your photo and plug it into a variety of filters before deciding which you like the best. Of course, you are limited to just the fifteen filters.The photo filters can create incredible effect. It’s just a matter of playing with the app and learning what looks best aesthetically to you.
The Instagram app allows you to share your photos as well, almost immediately after taking the photo and choosing your filter effect, you are asked to save and then you are prompted to identify the photo as What ( a caption) and Where ( location) which it defaults to your current location unless you specify otherwise or decline.
The Instagram app has a much greater social aspect to it. It allows you to share your photos via Twitter, Facebook, email, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare or Posterous. This has no bearing on the quality of the photos in comparison to Hipstamatic, it is only for socialization sake. The Instagram app also allows you to find and invite friends to follow you on Instagram. If you are a private person or want to keep photos of your children private, you can set your security settings to private. The Instagram app is currently only available for the iPhone.
All in all, I prefer Hipstamatic for photo taking because I use the app for quality aesthetically pleasing photos. I feel that the combination of lenses, film and flashes lends itself to a much greater degree of variety in your photos and allows you to be more creative. But if you want an app that allows you the ease of sharing photos via social networks, Instagram is for you. They are both great apps. I’d liken it to the difference between using a Digital SLR and a point and shoot. Both have their place and assets, but I prefer my Digital SLR. In the battle of the best camera apps for your iPhone between Hipstamatic and Instagram there are no losers.