iPhone App Review: LomoLomo Has Been Updated and Improved
Bottom Line: Not perfect, but recent updates have improved LomoLomo. The Pro version is worth the price to have access to all of the great film effects and frames.
I hate to leave a bad review out there. Recent updates and improvements have greatly improved LomoLomo Pro by MoMoTravel Consulting. The recent 1.2.1 update to LomoLomo Pro (and the free LomoLomo) have addressed several of the issues I originally had with the app. While not perfect, it’s now a good, usable app.
It’s got a way to go to catch up the the variety and texture of a fully loaded Hipstamatic, but it’s now a usable and interesting mix of toy cameras and analog film effects.
This review is of the better-featured LomoLomo Pro. A free version, LomoLomo is available with fewer films and more in-app purchases. The complete set of filmeffects are the best reason to spend the dollar and get LomoLomo Pro.
LomoLomo is a square format app. It simulates shooting with any one of several toy cameras — multishot SuperSampler, DoubleExposure, FishEye, TiltShift, ColorSplash, and all but the multishot ActionSampler and the versatile Lomo Diana will cost you $0.99 each. There’s nothing new here. All of these “cameras” and effects are available in other apps. For example, the excellent ClassicTOY by misskiwi has nearly all of them for $1.99 total.
The cameras do what you expect. They don’t add any damage, lightleaks or aberrations to the photos. That magic is done by the lenses and frames in this app. Here, the cameras merely shoot in the format and arrangement of the toy camera they recreate.
I purchased the DoubleExposure camera. Other than off or on, it’s not configurable at all. It has a 3 second delay between exposures. It has no manual release for the second exposure and it lacks the adjustable timer that ClassicTOY has. Both of these would be good features to add in an update. I didn’t purchase any of the other add-on lenses, but my guess is all of the multi-shot lenses in LomoLomo lack an adjustable timer. All the lenses support tap to focus. When tapping to focus in the upper corners of the smallish viewfinder, my big fingers sometimes accidentally enabled the flash or switched to the front camera.
The Lomo Diana camera is where I’ve spent most of my time in the app. It’s a straightforward square frame format shooter that gives you manual access to all of your films and frames. Lomo Diana is one of several cameras that allows manual selection of films and frames. The Lomo Diana camera combined with the full selection of film styles and frames made LomoLomo Pro made the purchase worthwhile for me. If you find anything else you like in this app, it’s bonus iPhoneography!
Using the Lomo Diana “camera”, you can also import and crop images from your iPhone’s photo library to apply LomoLomo’s great film effects and frames, an excellent addition that has been added since my original review. This greatly expands the usability of the app and allows you to use a much faster camera app for shooting while giving you all of the benefits of the Lomo Diana camera and LomoLomo’s community and sharing features.
Instead of using a standard film metaphor like Hipstamatic or ClassicTOY, the LomoLomo apps use a lens to change film effects — an odd interface choice which is a little confusing at first. LomoLomo’s film effects and frames make the app. The Pro version comes standard with 11 lenses (or film effects) and 6 frames. They are all manually accessible and user changeable from several of the cameras (the single exposure ones, not just the Lomo Diana), or you can switch the app to Random mode to discover random film and frame combinations. The film effects are great. The colors are lush and saturated. Most tend to look a little digitally cross-processed. The monochrome White Russian filter has great contrast, rich blacks and a natural looking, beefy film grain, simulating a very fast black & white film. Gorgeous, natural looking, random vignetting is applied in many of the frames.
I’ve created a LomoLomo Effects Grid. You can see all of LomoLomo’s lens and frame styles by clicking here.
LomoLomo isn’t perfect. Many of the cameras — the multi-shot ones — only shoot in Random mode and don’t allow you to select film and frame combinations. I still don’t like the pricing scheme where every additional camera costs another dollar, but it’s less painful when you start with the better featured LomoLomo Pro. If you already have ClassicTOY, AndiGraf, ClassicSAMP, TiltShift Generator, etc., you probably won’t be spending much if any additional money on cameras for the app. There’s nothing new here and nothing as compelling as the highly useful Diana camera included free.
There’s no way to save directly to the camera roll. You have to go through two screens to approve and save images, which is slow and clunky. You won’t be shooting in burst mode with LomoLomo — one of the reasons its ability to import from your photo library is such a great feature.
The app saves at full square resolution on an iPhone 4 — 1936×1936 pixels. It saves most of the EXIF data with your image. LomoLomo has excellent built-in image sharing. You can easily save your images to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Tumblr and the app’s own global Lomo Wall from a single screen. There are very few apps with that level of single-screen image sharing capability.
The LomoLomo App Store description beats you over the head with “Don’t Think. Just Shoot.” which is a good mantra for iPhoneographers to have. If you’ve already purchased LomoLomo Pro, recent updates have addressed many of the usability issues of the app and it’s worth a revisit. It’s now pretty good and the developer seems to push out more improvements on a steady basis. If you only downloaded the free LomoLomo, dropping a buck for the Pro version will get you more of the app’s great films.
Lomography isn’t perfect. In fact it celebrates its imperfections. LomoLomo Pro isn’t perfect either, but recent improvements in the app have made using its great films a lot better.
LomoLomo Pro and LomoLomo work on any iPhone or iPod Touch with a camera and iOS 4.0 or newer. There is an iPad-native version of LomoLomo for iPad , but I’m not sure how that would work. Many of LomoLomo Pro’s filters simply don’t work without a camera.
UPDATE: Some of the terminology has been changed to more accurately reflect the interface of the app. =M=