CamCam ($2.99) by CnC is a fun camera app that hops onto the retro filter/effect bandwagon. If you enjoy apps like Hipstamatic, you’ll find a lot to love in this app. If you just don’t get the appeal of the whole retro-camera thing, I’m not going to try to sell you on it, but I will say one thing. When I went to find something to shoot for this article, I noticed that all of my summer flowers were dead. And the beautiful colors of fall have yet to arrive. So, I found one hydrangea that wasn’t 100% dead, but as you can see from the “No Filter” photo, it’s faded, spotty, not exactly gorgeous. And yet, look at some of the filtered photos. Apps like this can take a so-so subject and make it so much more interesting and rich in color. And for those of you shooting on the iPod’s low resolution camera, an app like this can distract somewhat from the camera’s lack of megapixels. So, take that as you will.
CamCam offers one big advantage over Hipstamatic, and actually, most of the apps in this genre. It actually takes still photos AND video with the same fun effects. But, do be aware, that like Hipstamatic, you must use the effects live, they cannot be added to photos or video you have already taken.
One thing I really like about CamCam is the live previews. Some apps show you what the filter will look like on THEIR gorgeous sunset or whatever. This app shows you what the filter looks like on whatever YOU’RE looking at through the camera of your iPhone or iPod touch. This gives you a much better idea of what your finished result will actually be like.
I do have the say, the filters offered in this app are quite beautiful, as I hope you can see from my amateur photos. In addition to the thirty filters, there are also seven different frames you can use, including a square one, specifically designed to go with Instagram. I just want to emphasize once again how very cool it is to be able to film video live with all of these lovely filters. The artistic possibilities are intriguing.
You can set the focus and exposure separately in both photo and video mode. You won’t lose any resolution, like you would in some apps. Share your photos to Facebook and your videos to YouTube directly from the app. Strangely, you can’t share directly to Instagram. I find this odd for two reasons. First, because CamCam offers that nice IG-sized square frame, as I mentioned earlier. Secondly, because when you click for support on CamCam’s listing in iTunes, you are brought to their Statigr.am (associated with Instagram, where they have thousands of followers) page rather than a regular website. Perhaps that direct Instagram loading will come in an update. I'd also like to see the ability to add these great effects to photos and videos from my library.
At any rate, if you’re into the retro/filter/effect genre, this app is a worthy addition your photography app folder(s). The price, as of this writing, is a bit high at $2.99, but still, we’re talking less than this morning’s cappuccino.