RNI Films is a new iPhone photography app just released. The RNI is for ‘really nice images’ and I concur. The app is free with a limited set of filters, and their are 5 filter packs at $2.99 for each.
The filters very nicely mirror their analog counterparts and are named to match real film emulsions, like Agfa and Kodak. Other in-app purchases cover negative films, BW films, vintage films and an Instant film (Polaroid) type filters.
Using RNI Films
Start by opening an image from your camera roll. At the bottom of the screen in the free version are 13 film presets. Based on my experience I thought they nicely matched those actual films and can really transform image tone. After a film is selected, you are free to further edit parameters like saturation, shadows and highlights, tints, sharpening and creating vignettes. Each editing tool has a slider, so you can apply a minimum edit, or something more extreme. The controls were easy to understand, and there was no need of a help menu. When you are done, you can output your image to any of the social services, or save to your camera roll. When you first open an image you can resize it and set the aspect ratio, as well as straighten the image.
VSCO Cam is similar in intent. It’s also free, with a bucket of in-app purchases that can add up if you fully immerse yourself. I liked the filters in RNI Films better. To me they seemed more natural, and closer to the look of real film characteristics. The editing tools in the two apps are similar in selection and operation.
What I Don’t Like
First, I feel nickeled and dimed with the in-app purchase. If you get everything, it’s $15.00, which is too much for a photo editing app. There is no discount for buying them all, which is another negative.
Once you customize a filter, there is no way to save it. That seems a pretty obvious thing to do. It’s no fun trying to recreate a look from scratch. Why that was left out is a mystery to me.
The app runs in portrait mode only. An option to run in landscape mode would be most welcome.
You’re not going to find the deep editing capabilities in this app that you might find in some of the more powerful editors. Many may want to output their work in RNI Films into something else.
The Bottom Line
RNI Films has just come into the app store. It’s a great first effort, but in my estimation it has room to grow, especially in regard to saving customer pre-sets and in lowering the pricing of the filter sets. By the same token, that filters that are offered, even in the free version are really excellent, and improved, at least to my eye, every photo I tried the app with.
VSCO Cam vs. RNI Films is going to be a tossup because filters can be very subjective. I liked the look of the RNI filters a lot, but VSCO cam offers syncing between your iOS devices, and a sharing community that may or may not be important to some users. Both apps output your photos in full resolution.
Download RNI films
App Store link: RNI Films – RNI