At this time last year, Young position recommended five smartphone camera apps that can add a retro touch to your photos. With the film photography trend still going strong in the new decade, we’ve picked out five more apps that let you explore different vintage aesthetics with the tap of a finger.
What makes a photo vintage? Retro colors, shimmer, light leaks, dust and scratches can all be added to your photos in Fimo to instantly age them with just a touch. The app comes with seven presets that replicate the look of an old-school film camera – our favorites include the Business 400 and the Pan 100. You can also make a one-time purchase of individual presets, for 8 at HK$15.
The app has a fun interface design that lets you watch your photos as if they were part of a real camera roll. The camera also has a zoom function, which means you can use the wide angle or telephoto lens on your smartphones, which is rare in vintage camera apps. Good news for Android users: the app is available on iOS and Google Play.
Photo edited with FIMO HK200 film. Photo: SCMP/Kelly Ho
VHS Cam – Retro Camcorder FX
There are many apps that mimic the look of VHS recorders, which were first developed in the 1970s. This particular VHS camera app comes with six effects and features date and time display. VHS time in the lower left corner, as well as the “play” signal in the upper left corner. Users can both record videos and take photos with the app, but be prepared to be interrupted by advertisements that appear frequently in the free version. You can, of course, get an upgrade, but the annual subscription fee is HK$158. Maybe you should take advantage of the seven-day free trial first to decide if it’s worth it.
This app is for iOS users only, but there are alternatives in the Google Play app store, such as VHS Camcorder Lite.
The VHS Cam app layout. Photo: SCMP/Kelly Ho
This is a photo editing app that offers several retro film filters that can add a vintage touch to your modern photos. RNI Films offers five film packs: negative, slide, instant, NB and vintage. The app offers a few filters from each pack that users can use for free. Most of the films reproduce the effects of Agfacolor film, which is a series of color film products. For even more choice, you can purchase individual movie packs for HK$28. The app is currently only available on the Apple App Store.
A photo of a man delivering petrol in Hong Kong, edited with the RNI Films app using the “Fuji Instax” preset.
Like many other film camera apps available, the design of KD Pro mimics the setup of disposable cameras from the 90s. The app comes with four filter themes: Kudak, Kuji, Kuji Light, and Black & White. It also adds random light leaks to your photos. If you’re not a fan of this effect, just head into settings to turn the feature off. You can also decide what the timestamp looks like, but you can’t change the date the photo was taken.
The free version has limited functions, but you can upgrade to the premium version for just HK$8, which allows you to import photos, re-develop them, and customize the camera interface color. Most importantly, there will be no ads to distract you from producing your vintage photographs. The app is available for iOS and Android.
A photo of “Young Post” mascot Dennis taken with the KD Pro app. Photo: SCMP/Kelly Ho
Dazz – Vintage Camera
Developers from Dazz describe the app as a “pocket photographer”, which we think is a pretty accurate way of explaining it. The app allows users to experiment with both film photography and videography, offering over 10 analog cameras to try. These cameras can be used in combination with several accessories, such as an ND filter, prism and date stamp, to create more unique retro photos.
Taken with Dazz Cam’s D Exp camera.
The app also launches new cameras from time to time; the latest is a three-dimensional called D3D. It captures a photo from three different angles with its three lenses which, when combined, give the photo a 3D effect and make the subject appear to be moving. The Retro 3D camera can achieve the same effect, but why pay HK$780 when you can get the app for free? The problem, however, is that the app’s camera only works on devices that support iPhone Portrait mode. It also means that the app is exclusive to iOS users.