Which iPhone Photo App Has the Best Filters? Comparing Instagram & Hipstamatic
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This week's Giveaway Tuesdays Photo Challenge calls for your best camera phone photo taken with a filter. Vintage looking filters offered in apps such as Instagram (free) and Hipstamatic ($1.99) are widely popular, and while they may be seen as cheesy or dull by some, your challenge is to come up with a fantastic photo regardless of your stance.
In light of this week's theme, we've compiled a side-by-side comparison of Instagram and Hipstamatic. Many of you are already familiar with these apps and likely have an opinion on which one is better—if so, please comment below. For those who aren't familiar, scroll down for a visual examination of all the different filters offered, as well as some thoughts on user interface.
Like last week, I've used the Giveaway Tuesdays mascot (shown above) as a sample image. After you scan through, again, share your thoughts—do you use Instagram or Hipstamatic? If neither, which photography app do you prefer? Comment below.
Instagram is easily the most popular iPhone app available, with a whopping eleven million registered users. Much of its popularity is attributed to its ease of use, as well as how painless it is to share photos via email or social media. Also, it's completely free to download—with no ads or solicitations for in-app purchases.
The selection of filters are pretty standard, differing very little (if at all) from those offered by competitive photography apps. Many of the filters churn out quite similar results (compare Amaro and Rise above). Scroll down to view sample images of every filter available.
Hipstamatic is more complicated to use than Instagram. First, while the concept of forcing the user to take photos as if one were operating a real camera is clever (e.g. peering through a small window to frame your shot, as shown in the video below), it is also ultimately not user-friendly.
The $1.99 app provides four different lenses to choose from, plus three different "film" types. I've sampled each combination below. I never use a flash, so I haven't incorporated the three free flashes that come with the app into the mix. If you want more variety, Hipstagram offers in-app purchases for more film, lenses and flashes.
In conclusion, the user interface of Instagram is pretty effortless, while Hipstamatic requires quite a bit of maneuvering. If you're looking for quick, easy (and free!), Instagram is the superior choice. And while Hipstamatic does offer more variety in terms of film, lenses and flashes, the end results don't appear to vary too greatly between the two apps. To compare results from both apps, check out our inspiration roundups of photos taken with both apps:
- Get Inspired! 50 Amazing Shots Taken with Instagram
- Get Inspired! 50 Amazing Shots Taken with Hipstamatic
Don't forget to participate in this week's Photo Challenge for a chance to win a set of conductive silicone "Digits" that you can attach to your winter gloves for easy winter touchscreen maneuvering. You have until Monday, November 14th, 11:59pm PST to participate; more details here.
If you're an Android user interested in writing a comparable article on Vignette, Picsay or whichever app you choose, please post to the community corkboard or message me directly.