QuickAdvice: Bringing Retro Back With Polaroid Digital Camera
Polaroid Digital Camera App ($1.99) by LoL Software is an app that brings back the Polaroid on your iPhone.
Remember the days of yore, where Polaroids were all the rage? Well now those days can be yours again with the Polaroid Digital Camera app!
This app may remind you of that ever-popular Hipstamatic app, with the unique analog interface and viewfinder and whatnot. However, this is not like Hipstamatic, which has plenty of various retro effects, this app provides various filters but they all have the same Polaroid look, borders and all.
You can see the image through the viewfinder, but this one seems a bit bigger than the viewfinder in Hipstamatic, which is a plus. There is no tap-to-focus or anything that you'll find in the default camera app, but that's expected (it IS Polaroids, after all). Also, like Hipstamatic, you can't use the front-facing camera on the iPhone 4.
Beneath the viewfinder are options for Flash (uses real flash on iPhone 4), Medium or High resolution (high is actually full resolution), Instant Facebook upload and Instant Print. A big red button is your shutter button, and there is a "rotating dial" to go through the various effects, or you can simply use the arrow buttons above the filter preview.
There's a nice little sound effect to go along with the app when you are going through filters with either the dial or the arrows, though I wasn't able to find a way to turn it off, unless the device is in Silent mode. Along with the various filter effects, there are plenty of colored Polaroid borders to go along with your photo, so it's a nice touch.
Medium resolution photos process fairly quickly, but High resolution takes a considerably longer amount of time to develop. The long developing time for high-res images is a turnoff, since you also can't do anything else in the app while waiting. I hope the developer can improve this in future updates.
If you want to view your photos taken with the app, there is a "Photo Library" button right beneath the viewfinder window. Unfortunately those that think this would allow importing photos from your device Photo Library will be disappointed - alas it doesn't allow that, like Hipstamatic. This is the place to view all of your photos that have been taken with the Polaroid Digital Camera app only.
The Photo Library screen is also the place to select a photo to be emailed, uploaded to Facebook, or even printed via AirPrint. The "gear" icon at the top is for Settings, although the only setting that you are given is to login to your Facebook.
I found that the Facebook upload never worked either. The app gave me a confirmation but when I look at my Facebook profile, the photos aren't there. The developers may want to check on that, because I'm not sure what happened there. Additionally, I found it to be a bit annoying that I would have to toggle High resolution again after coming back to the app after quitting it before - it is automatically set to default on Medium. I would like it to stay on the last resolution that I picked and not revert back. Faster processing time for high resolution images would be nice too.
I found the app decent to use, and the effects are pretty cool looking with the retro Polaroid effect. Real Polaroid lovers will love this, but others can skip it.