super retro for iPhone


Super Retro
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
Price: $1.99

Rating 2.5 stars

Bottom Line: Super Retro has potential. Some really great features throughout the app, but this version is too slow, buggy and unstable.

super retroSuper Retro is a recent photo app that’s a combination image editor and retro photo filter app with a few advanced camera features thrown in to boot. It’s had a few updates to work out the bugs. It’s an interesting app with a lot of options — more than you’d expect from a retro camera app. Unfortunately, it’s still a few updates away from working out all of the kinks.

super retro for iPhone


Super Retro has a good interface and some really nice filter presets to start from. Each has an slider to adjust the intensity of the effect. The colors are lush and remind me of the color saturation in Lomora, but without the unpredictabilty and with much better controol. Effects can be stacked on top of each other and conveniently saved as presets in the app’s Favorites menu. The Favorites menu comes nicely preloaded with some really well-done combinations. There’s a good selection of frame styles to choose from, including an Instant frame with the SX70 tab. Super Retro creates good-looking vignettes, although the tool lacks much of the fine control found in other apps. Processed images have good texture.

There’s no randomness to the applied effects like in Hipstamatic, but by stacking effects, you can achieve some degree of random appearance.

There’s a pane of quick, one-click image enhancements, such as contrast, color, blur, lighten/darken, and more — all also further adjustable with a slider if you wish. The one-click effects make editing easy and the addition of a slider adds a little more advanced control over the effects. It’s a good step up from a straight one-click app.

Super Retro has a good, convenient freeform crop and rotate tool which also has several standard preset aspect ratios. With a two-finger twist, you can straighten images in-app as well.

Super Retro’s Enhance feature is really nice. It’s like the Clarity feature of Camera+ except made better with a slider. With a click and a slide, Enhance improves contrast and color.

The app supports full 8 MP resolution of the iPhone 4S, but it’s very slow in full res mode. It also has a low-res mode just for online sharing. The app strips out most EXIF data, including geotags.

The app has a lot of good features inspired by other apps. It also has some pretty big frustrating problems.

Super Retro is very slow, especially when processing full-size images. In camera mode, shot-to-shot time has been improved greatly. But the app is very unstable, especially in camera mode. I was only able to take about 5 shots before the app crashed on me. In fact, for me, it crashed often in camera mode. If you’re taking a valuable shot, use another camera app and import until stability is fixed.

Although they’ve been fixed from previous versions of the app, the settings are still a little buggy. No matter how my prefs were set, the app always opened in camera mode. I really prefer to go straight to lightbox. Check your settings on this app anyway. Once installed, it app defaults to lo-res mode and doesn’t save your original image — you’ll need to change these if needed.

Help is random. It just pops up when the app thinks you need it. There’s no way to easily access it from the main screen. There’s no undo button, only a cancel button. You need to shake your iPhone to undo (and I only found that out after several minutes because the app’s random help popped up and told me). The lack of help access and the silly shake to undo is unnecessarily frustating, given the attention to detail throughout the rest of the app. Multiple undos? Forget it. You’ll have to go back to your original image in your camera roll and start over. Once an edit is set, it’s saved back to the app’s lightbox with no way to reedit the image.

There’s a store that’s been “Coming Soon” for a couple of updates. Nice animation, but no indication in the app as to what you’ll be able to buy at 99¢ a throw.

There’s no way to Save As to Super Retro’s lightbox. This omission makes it more difficult and time consuming to create multiple versions of one image.

Super Retro has some really nice filters and features. It has the great color and image qualities of Lomora or the Leme Leme apps, but with much more features and control of both. For what it does, the slowness of the app isn’t a deal-breaker for me — it’s chewing some pixels to create these effects. But omissions in the interface and overall app bugginess and instability make it frustrating to use.

I tested this on an iPhone 4S with both 8 MP and 1 MP images. I can’t imagine performance would be much improved with an older, slower iPhone. The developers have already fixed some pretty major issues with the app. Super Retro will be a good app when the rest are fixed. It has potential.

Super Retro is $1.99 in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Super Retro ™ -