Tested version: 2.3
Latest version: 3.84
Requires Android: from 2.2
A cell phone camera with three, five or even more megapixels may look impressive on paper, but real photo enthusiasts know that photography isn’t just about technical specs. A truly good camera takes pictures with character. Antique film cameras have a certain esthetic quality to them that can be very appealing to photography lovers. Retro Camera now lets you take retro-style photographs straight from your Android phone.
Features & Use
Retro Camera offers you four built-in presets based on different old cameras making your shots look scratched, old or generally “retro”.
According to the description from the market, the app’s presets are based on the following camera models:
The names of the actual presets are:
Little Orange Box
Pictures always come with a frame around them based on the specific preset (the typical white Polaroid frame, for example).
You can view, delete or forward your snapshots using the Retro Camera gallery. Except for “The Bärbl”, all cameras can shoot in either b/w or color. The flash goes off automatically if the lighting conditions require it. The flash cannot be adjusted manually. You also cannot zoom using this app just like with actual retro cameras.
Detailed information is available for every camera including all modifications. As an example here’s the Xolaroid 2000 model:
Code: Xolaroid 2000 (San Francisco 1972)
Saturation - High X-Processing
Colour Cast - Blue/Green
Scratches - Minor, Glossy
Frame - Instant
Contrast - High
Every information page includes a sample picture.
As you can see, this app was done with a lot of passion and attention to details. I don’t know how well the pictures taken by Retro Camera compare to those taken with the original cameras, but this app is definitely pretty impressive. For everyone who loves “old-school” photography Retro Camera is a fun camera app to try out. This may be just the perfect app for all you young hipsters out there :)
Screen & Controls
After start-up Retro Camera not only lets you look through the viewfinder of four different camera models, but also displays the virtual body of these old-school cameras. Definitely a nice little personal touch, even though it makes the viewfinder a bit too small.
On the left you can switch between b/w and color modes. Even the switch looks different depending on the camera model. Now that’s what I call love for detail!
On the right you have the shutter button with an Info button just below it. Here you can access the already mentioned specs of the camera model and view a sample picture of the camera’s effects.
At the bottom left you can access the picture gallery and select your camera model on the bottom right.
In the gallery you’ll find your Retro Camera pictures freshly developed and hung up on a wall.
With your finger you can slide through the pictures and click on them for full-screen display.
The following buttons are available at the bottom:
In camera selection mode you can also slide between different cameras.
Retro Camera is not an app with a lot of adjustment options. You adjust your picture quality by selecting cameras with different esthetic characteristics giving your pictures a real retro feeling. Retro Camera has now become my back-up camera app for vacation pictures, for example. Using Retro Camera I can email my old-school pictures directly without having to edit them on a computer. It’s great having an app that lets you take artsy pictures with character on the go using your Android phone.
Speed & Stability
Retro Camera ran smoothly during the test.
Retro Camera can be downloaded for free from the Android Market. The app is financed through ads, which appear at the bottom of the screen. During my test these banner areas appeared blank, but it still ruined the look of the app a bit.
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