Base – Film Stock Camera ($0.99) is an interesting app that defies conventions. Usually, we take a photo, then edit it. Base does things a little different, and reverses the traditional digital workflow and returns us to the analog film days.

Older photographers will remember how we often picked a particular film for a particular purpose. Kodachrome for portraits, Velvia for landscapes. Other photographers would make different choices. Base lets you work the same way, providing 14 curated live analog film looks like X-400 film (Tri-X) or AG-50.

Using Base

It’s simple enough. Use base to set up your photo. Along the bottom of the screen are red dots that denote the 14 film types available. Tap each one to see what effect the different film stocks have on your photo, then snap away. Your image gets saved to your camera roll. My memory for what these old film stocks looks like is not perfect, but I think Base gets it right. These are not just slapped together filters.

Some of the film stocks are subtle, others are quite noticeable in how the interact with the iPhone camera.


There is no way to load a photo from your camera roll and apply a filter after the fact. In fact, the developer has done that purposely, and believes there are plenty of other apps that do that job. He’s not trying to be in the post-processing game. He’s taking a different approach. Initially, I was confused, as there is an icon that represents the camera roll, but that’s only for pulling up photos you’ve taken with Base. I think that’s a bit confusing, and I spent many minutes trying to figure out how to load photos.

There are no editing tools in Base, but again, that’s as it should be. The app is for taking pictures, and there are plenty of options for editing those photos in other apps.

Of course even Apple’s built-in camera app allows you to see live filters, but frankly the filters are anything but subtle. It may be fine for the average user playing with the camera, but I think our readers will want more.

Summing up

Base is a very clever idea. It turns the usual iPhone camera workflow on its head, and returns us to the days of analog film. It does that quite well, and seeing the film emulations applied live to match the subject is a nice idea and works quite well. Base uses digital technology to emulate the old analog world of film photography where people chose the film to fit the purpose. Besides being nostalgic, and fun, the app works well and can give you some very striking photos. That after all, is the point.

I’m putting Base in my main photo app folder, along with Snapseed, Pixelmator and Sunscout, all apps I use frequently and don’t want to search for.

At $0.99 the price is low, and the rewards are certainly there.

Download Base – Film Stock Camera

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App Store link: Base – Film Stock Camera – Stay Kids


Base – Film Stock Camera 1.0

Effects Quality/Toolbox
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Base returns us to the days of analog film. It does that quite well. At $0.99 the price is low, and the rewards are certainly there.

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