Photo App Review: Vintique is not a better app than Snapseed or Hipstamatic
Version reviewed: 1.0
Price: $0.99 on sale
Bottom Line: I don’t like it. Nothing special about the filters. Cheesy frames. Low 612×612 output.
Right now, burning up the photo app charts — number 10 with a bullet — is new photo app Vintique. The app features 32 vintage filters, 49 frames, 19 different vignette styles and a set of image editing tools.
It’s a square format, low-res Instagram companion app that isn’t horrible, but it isn’t worth the percentage of five-star App Store user reviews it’s getting or its high App Store charting.
The filters emulate faux-vintage “looks” through a combination of color effects, textures and edge effects. Effects are an interesting sandwich of layers that you can see if you edit any of the 32 filter presets. Unlike other filter apps that let you edit and tweak effects, Vintique only lets you turn layers on or off. There’s no way to adjust the intensity of each action.
The vintage effects overall are just okay. Not horrible. There is little here that’s really outstanding that we haven’t seen in other vintage effects apps. While many of the effects look good for what they are, there’s nothing unique here that made me really want to use this app for more than a few minutes to try it out. Filters are obscurely named things like “remember” and “some day” and “phantasm”. I’m not a fan of overly obscure filter names, preferring more descriptive ones. At least the filter names in 100 Cameras in One are almost haiku and entertaining.
The Adjustments menu has a thorough set of tools. There are more than you would expect from an app like this, including brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure and hue. Vibrance, gamma and highlight & shadow tools were a pleasant surprise. Tool preview shows the raw image so you have to apply the adjustment before you see its effect on the filtered image and there’s no undo. That can be frustrating, especially when you have to start over completely if you mess up an adjustment.
The 49 frames are mostly pretty cheesy and hideous. Most are useless embellishments unless you’re Instagramming these photos to your aunt. There are a few basic black, grunge and white frames that aren’t as bad — even a few that look good. You have to wade through a lot of hearts and filigree to find a useful frame. These frames aren’t cool vintage like Steam Punk. These are cheesy. I expected to see balloons.
Vintique has good sharing options, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and PhotoAppLink support. It’s among the better sharing options for this type of app.
Vintique is another low-res app, saving at the barely usable 612×612 pixels. Even Instagram saves at about 2000×2000 now. Even higher 1280×1280 resolution would make output more usable for Flickr and Facebook. Vintique saves almost no EXIF data, including Geotags.
Right now, Vintique is in the Photo Apps Top 10, which means this app is selling a ton of copies right now. It’s selling better than more worthy apps like Hipstamatic, FX Photo Studio, Snapseed and many others. Vintique is not a serious vintage effects app. It’s a toy. It’s good for slapping a vintage coat of paint on a snapshot and sharing it to Instagram. For a more serious vintage effects apps, there are plenty to choose from in the App Store. One that comes to mind is the great Vintage Scene by JixiPix Software. There’s always room in the App Store for another good vintage app with a unique take on its effects. Vintique is not that app.
Vintique is currently $0.99, on sale from $2.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 5.0 or later.