TOY CAMERA APP REVIEW
Toy cameras have long been used by photographers to get whimsical, ethereal and fun images using simple hardware and sometimes fun and funky film. Many iPhone apps are designed to replicate the look and feel of an analog toy camera. The Toy Camera photo application for the iPhone by Takayuki Fukatsu was the first app I used extensively. It’s simple, clean, effective and transforms basic photos into more interesting images. I documented a bouldering trip to Bishop, CA during the fall of 2008 using Toy Camera and it’s sister application Old Camera. I still had the original iPhone with it’s meager 1 megapixel camera. I’d rarely used it in the past to take photos, finding it was a poor substitute for a “real camera”. After buying Toy Camera I found myself choosing my iPhone over both of my point and shoot cameras. Suddenly my photos were interesting in a new and exciting way.
Toy Camera only allows the photographer to apply a photo affect on photos taken within the application. There are a number of options in settings which can be used to control the affect applied to the photo. You can select one style or a short list of styles to be applied at random. But this means either having to fuss with settings often or going with the flow and choosing random, giving the photographer much less control than other applications of its type.
- The restrictions built into the application make for a more whimsical experience. Images are a bit out of the photographer’s control, sometimes resulting in unexpected and lovely results.
- The best simple toy camera emulator for the iPhone.
- Easy to use for people who don’t want a lot of frills.
- Has 8 color or black and white image style settings total with no restrictions or other “films”or “effects” to purchase like Hipstamatic.
- Allows you to select square or rectangular photos and turn the vignette setting on and off.
- Taking the photo and applying the affect one image at a time makes for a slow process. This is not the application to use if you want to catch action shots.
- Can’t apply the affect to images already in the camera roll.
- Don’t have easy control over which affect to apply. You have to go in and change in settings each time or select random and just see what you get.
- Can’t apply multiple affects to the same image.
Recommendation: Buy It - Overall I think the application is worth the few dollars it costs. Especially if you want a simple tool or to surrender some artistic control and let your images be transformed into something fun and unexpected.