Bottom Line: Gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Lomo effects, and now supports full-resolution on all iPhones
Plastic Bullet from Red Giant Software is a plastic camera-style app. It’s fairly simple to use — either use the app’s built-in camera or load an image from your iPhone’s camera roll. Four images at a time are then previewed. Save the one you like or refresh the screen for more previews.
The app is a true electronic lomography app — one that encourages you to explore the “happy accidents” in your photography.
There’s not much to do — basically set your preferences in the Settings app and go. Load pictures, hit refresh and save the images you like. Plastic Bullet is easy to use and stable.
Plastic Bullet randomly applies a variety of color and saturation effects, blurs, vignettes, as well as well rendered, grungy analog-looking borders. Plastic Bullet doesn’t recreate the look of any one type of plastic camera, but randomly generates the look of many combinations of cameras, lenses and films.
The effects are often moody and gorgeous — thankfully, the randomness hasn’t changed since the previous version. I found myself hitting save within one or two screens, but continuing on to see what other effects it would generate. Often, I found myself saving more than one iteration of an image.
As promised by the developer, Plastic Bullet now supports full resolution on all iPhones. My biggest disappointment with the previous release of Plastic Bullet was the lack of 2MP full-resolution support for even the oldest iPhones. Version 1.1 now supports a number of output resolutions, including 5MP output on the iPhone 4. These photos are pretty enough that you’ll want to make and display prints.
Version 1.1 doesn’t introduce any new effects — it really doesn’t need to as the app already generates a huge number of random variations. In addition to the higher resolution, the app touts speed improvements up to 25% faster than the previous version. It now supports iOS4 multitasking so you can leave the app and return to an image you were processing — a very helpful feature to help avoid reloading an image from a very full camera roll (I personally wouldn’t know what that was like…). That combined with the faster CPU of the newer iPhones and Plastic Bullet noticeably screams when rendering previews. Plastic Bullet now has built-in Facebook and Flickr support for fast and and easy sharing with these two sites. There are a number of other under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements.
The output of Plastic Bullet is gorgeous and the results truly unique. The images look like they were taken with any number of plastic lo-fi camerasÂ probably even better looking than the real analog camera in many cases. Its ease of use allows plenty of flexibility to explore the many beautiful variations and stumble upon one or more that you like. With this update, Plastic Bullet is ready for prime time.