Analog Camera For iPhone: Who Needs Instagram For Filters? [Review]

Analog Camera - Image View

If Clear was for photos instead of to-dos, this would be it.

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about an upcoming iPhone app called Analog Camera. Developed by Realmac Software, maker of popular to-do app Clear, Analog Camera is a gorgeous app for taking pictures and quickly applying Instagram-like filters.

Analog Camera
Made by: Realmac Software
Category: Photography
Works With: iPhone, iPod touch
Price: $0.99

Now that Analog Camera is available for download in the App Store, it’s time to decide if it belongs on your iPhone’s Home screen.

How To Works

Filter-wise, Analog Camera offers eight effects that can be quickly previewed by hovering over each thumbnail with your finger. The drag and preview method works really well for the app. You can find most of the looks in Instagram already, but there are some subtle differences from filter to filter. There’s no ability to add tacky borders, which I appreciate.

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 11.40.19 PM

One cool feature is the ability to separate the exposure and focus of a photo with a two-finger tap on the image. You can combine exposure and focus again with a one-finger tap. There’s some neat auto-cropping that takes place when a non-square photo is opened in the app. Pinch-to-zoom and double tapping allows you to crop further if needed.

The point of Analog Camera is to enable you “to do the most important things with your photos, as quickly as possible.” The design of the app has obviously been influenced by Clear; the interface is very gesture-driven and filled with attention to detail.

“Very gesture-driven and filled with attention to detail”

Opening photos from the Camera Roll is super fast. “Every other app we’ve tried makes it really fiddly to access your Camera Roll – so in Analog Camera we wanted to fix that with what we think is the easiest Camera Roll access around,” said Realmac. “Whenever the camera’s visible, so are your last four photos – and you can tap to select them with the camera open. Swiping down hides the camera, and shows all your photos – with a swipe to the left taking you to your Photo Stream.” Photos can be shared on a number of social networks, like Facebook and Twitter. When you post to Instagram from the share menu, the app automatically adds the #analogcamera hashtag.

Realmac Software actually started Analog on the Mac. An update next month will add the eight filters from the iPhone app to the collection of great filters that already exist on the Mac version.

Conclusion

Analog Camera For iPhone: Who Needs Instagram For Filters? [Review]

“We’ve seen plenty of camera apps on iOS, and it feels as though the aim of each new one is to stuff in as many features as possible at the expense of a great user experience,” said Realmac. “Analog Camera has been built to change all that, with an strict focus on offering a fast, fun and simple experience that allows you to focus on creating beautiful photos.”

After using the app over this past weekend, I’m not sure I’ll be opening it frequently. I understand the appeal for a certain kind of iPhoneographer, but I already have a workflow for taking pictures that I’m happy with. It involves multiple apps, like AfterLight and Snapseed, with Instagram as the end result.

Honestly, there’s nothing about Analog Camera that makes it a better snap-and-filter app than Instagram. It’s meant to make taking photos and applying filters more efficient. From a design perspective, it’s very well done. The gestures and animations are lovely, and everything down to the sound design just works. I’m not questioning the beauty or functionality of Analog Camera, I just hope it has what it takes to stand the test of time.

Name:: Analog Camera

The Good: Great for quickly taking pics and adding filters. App is gorgeous.

The Bad: No big features to separate it from existing filter apps, like Instagram.

The Verdict: Undoubtedly great, but you may not find an excuse to actually use it. For only $1, why not give it a shot.

Download: App Store

Cult of Mac rating: Good

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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