Instant Camera fake Polaroid for iPhone


Instant Camera
Version 1.3.1
Price: $1.99

Rating 3 stars

Bottom Line: One of the more authentic-looking faux-Polaroid apps. Resolution isn’t the greatest, though.

There are a lot of fake Polaroid apps available. I notice subtle differences between them. Some are better than others. Some of them create square images similar to the old Kodak instant prints. Some have the textured, knurled frame. The vignette around the frame differs. Color saturation varies greatly. Instant Camera by bbcddc has been around for a while, but of the fake Polaroids or “fauxlaroids”, it comes awfully close to looking like the real thing.

Original image. Click to enlarge

Have you ever really looked at a bunch of Polaroid instant photos shot with an SX70? An interesting photoblogs was My Last Polaroid, an online repository of the last Polaroids taken (at least until the film stock was resurrected this year). While there used to be many more Polaroids displayed in the galleries, many of the images online now are yellow, warm and washed out. Like any classic analog lo-fi photography, the photographs have unique qualities and characteristics.

Instant Camera comes really close to capturing these flat, color-shifted tonal qualities. It creates images that aren’t super washed out. There are no deep, rich saturation in these images. Overall tones are a little on the yellow side, like a Polaroid that stopped developing about 15 seconds before it was really finished. Contrast is clipped, like in the real analog print.

Photos can be imported from your camera roll or taken within the app. The top and bottom of the frame is cropped out in the square images.

The shape of the images is identical to an old Polaroid SX70 instant print — complete with the developer tab at the foot of the print. There’s just a subtle hint of a vignette around the edge of the frame. The border has a slight knurled texture. There’s also an option for a more full-frame instant print without the tab.

There are no adjustable filters in the app. There’s a toolbar which allows you to use a brush tool write or draw on the image using your finger. I’ve always found that to be a pretty clunky way of adding handwriting on an iPhone. Without a stylus, my writing looks mechanical, like an Etch-a-Sketch and even worse than it actually is.

Processed with ShakeIt Photo. Click to enlarge

The app is not skinned and fun like ShakeItPhoto or ClassicINSTA. It doesn’t support full resolution like CameraBag or lo-mob does. Instant Camera outputs at a maximum of 1000x1160px — not great, but currently larger than ShakeIt Photo and Polarize. Size is good for sharing on Facebook or Flickr. If you’re making prints for home, gifts or gallery, you’ll be able to enlarge your photos to about the size of a real Polaroid. For an instant photo app, it’s all you need, but higher resolution support in a future update would be a good option.

Instant Camera doesn’t recreate what we want a Polaroid to look like. It tries to recreate the ways that Polaroids really look like and it comes very close. Along with a real-looking Polaroid border, Instant Camera does a superior job of capturing the qualities, or should I say appearance, of the classic instant photographs. At $1.99, it’s more expensive than other fauxlaroid apps, but it creates a better, more realistic photo than many of the other fauxlaroid apps. Instant Camera is an app for those who like the real instant photos. I’m not saying it looks the prettiest — I personally prefer the color and look of ShakeIt Photo. I’m just saying that it looks accurate.

If you’ve already got ShakeIt Photo, ClassicINSTA , or lo-mob, you’re probably covered for instant photo apps. Instant Camera isn’t essential, but because of the attention to accuracy and detail, I think it’s one of the better ones and it’s not a bad app to have. It’s definitely worth a look whenever it’s on sale.