The five best retro filter apps for iPhones –

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With the retro trend driving a newfound appreciation for past photographic technologies, from Brownie cameras and SLRs to Polaroid SX70s and even the first smartphones, here are our favorite apps to give your iPhone photos a retro look. With one exception, we prioritized apps that let you shoot with your chosen filter from the get-go, rather than send you down a post-production rabbit hole. Read on to find the one that suits you best.


The app that started it all still has one of the strongest games in terms of effects. Hipstamatic’s interface is designed to look like an analog camera with interchangeable lenses, films and flashes, each producing a different look. While the company has included a state-of-the-art post-production editing suite that you can use to correct balance, contrast, noise, and so on, the app is at its best when you equip the camera before shooting and leave whatever happens untouched. There’s also a shuffle feature that loads random gears when you shake your phone; it’s hit and miss, sure, but it produces combinations of effects that you might otherwise have missed. Hipstamatic regularly releases upgrades, and their offerings range from 70s-inspired effects to a look best described as “90s anime lighting.” Additional components are sold separately so you can create your own personalized range of filters.
Buy Hipstamatic: $2.99 ​​+ in-app purchases


VSCO is a photo editing app that offers more than 200 presets, some of which are developed by Kodak, Agfa and Ilford. It’s not strictly a retro-inspired app, as it has plenty of options for those who want their iPhone photos to look sleeker, cleaner, and more ‘editorial’. look. That said, retro photography fans will enjoy options such as M4-6 (“Subtle Fade”), intended to evoke the vintage tones of the ’70s, and P 1-3 (“Instant-Warm”), which pays tribute to instant film and its signature creamy overtones. VSCO also has the Film X Library, which mimics the look of films from Kodak, Fuji, Agfa and Gilford. For example, KCP2, with its low contrast and saturation and slightly warmer tones, is a tribute to Kodak’s 1970s film Color Plus 200. While that film is still available today, it’s nice to have a digital version on hand. to have.
Download VSCO: Free Download; monthly membership starts at $7.99

Huji Cam

Around 2018, people started calling the Instagram aesthetic dead: it was too perfect, too polished, too contrived. Enter Hujicam, an app whose premise is to help you take photos as if it were the 1990s. The interface has the look and feel of a disposable camera, with on-screen buttons for the flash and shutter. There’s also a makeshift keyhole finder that you have to look into to magnify it. Once you shoot, you can expect distorted colors, light leaks, blur, and a digital timestamp that will take you back to the year 1998. You can’t tinker with the effects, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options offered by other retro apps, Huji Cam’s lack of choices is refreshing.
Download Huji Cam: Free Download + In-App Purchase


NOMO combines Hipstamatic’s plethora of options with an interface similar to Huji Cam’s. It allows you to switch cameras: if you shoot with, say, FR2, a preset developed with the Japanese fashion brand of the same name, you’ll get images similar in color and grain, shot with Fujifilm disposable cameras. More playful options include “Cam Boy”, a return to Nintendo’s Game Boy camera and printer, which produces 2-bit photos in four shades of gray, and “2007”, which, as the name suggests, reduces the low-resolution of the first iPhone replicates cameras — it was originally released as an April Fools’ Day joke in 2019, but three years later, it’s still around. It wouldn’t be surprising if it became its own trend! Funnily enough, every time you install new gear, you have to pretend to physically unpack it.
Get NOMO CAM: Free Download + In-App Purchase


Focusing solely on black and white photography, Argentum offers nothing but six filters (each sold separately) named after and inspired by photographers Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn, Garry Winogrand, Yousuf Karsh and Dorothea Lange. For example, the AA (Ansel Adams) filter gives images higher contrast, darkens blues, and brightens greens and reds, and is recommended for landscape photography; HCB (Henri Cartier-Bresson), on the other hand, softens the images, lightening both blues and skin tones. For those who want a little bit of everything, the GW filter has high contrast, lighter reds, yellows and oranges, and darker blues.
Download Argentum: free download + first filter for free

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