It’s never been more popular or easy to share pictures and videos. Just upload one to your Facebook/Flickr/MobileMe account, and link away to the world. But with all of the millions of images out on the Internet, there needs to be a way to set yours apart from the masses.
We’ve talked about the many different types of vintage video apps out on the market before, but one of those from the roundup deserves a little bit deeper look. It’s called 8mm Vintage Camera, and it’s been gaining popularity among users. So what makes this thing so great? Let’s take a moment to find out.
How it Works
The camera built into the iPhone is neat, but there’s nothing particularly exciting that stands out about it. Sure, it has a digital zoom that works decently, and a flash, but any video you shoot on your iPhone is going to look just as good as everybody else’s — and what fun is that?
8mm Vintage Camera uses the same hardware as the iPhone’s built-in video capturing software, but applies filters to make everything look more exciting. But there’s more to it than just filters. You can add a few different sound effects to make things more old-school and authentic, integrate a flash, plus change the film type. There’s a lot to the app, even though it doesn’t seem like it at first.
Let’s take a moment and discuss why this app works. Instagram has taken off in popularity because it takes a regular picture and makes it look more exciting by adding a filter. It’s essentially a cheap version of Photoshop done on the fly, then it posts the image online to your various accounts.
So with 8mm Vintage Camera, you’ve got the same basic premise as Instagram, but with video. With the right filters, anybody’s videos can look good, which means that the average user can pick up the app and get after it with very little time spent trying to learn how it works.
Open up the app and you’re greeted with a diagram showing what each button does. From there, you choose your options, and this provides for a lot of different combinations. The first thing you select is the lens, which is one component in the overall view. There’s the clear lens, which is essentially no lens, then flickering frame, spotlight, light leak and color fringing. Each one has its own unique look, which you can preview before you start recording by looking at the viewfinder.
Next, you choose the type of film on which the video is recorded. As you’d expect, each film has its own quality to it, making the end result look remarkably different. There’s 1920s, 70s, Sakura, XPro and Siena available, and each one puts its own hue on the overall video. As an added bonus, you can change out any of the options on the fly, changing the look of your movie on the spot.
Adding Sounds to the Mix
To really make the videos look authentic, add a few sounds. You can mute the sound entirely, making it a silent movie that would look perfect with the 1920s film. Or you can add a film flapping sound that would work great with a 70s film, which dominates the audio of the final video. Finally, you can add no sound effect at all, and just use the built-in mic to get the job done.
So Is It Worth It?
As usual, this is a bit of a subjective question. It’s no bank breaker at $1.99, so let’s just get that out of the way because it’s definitely worth the low price. But is it fun to use? Will it last?
I put the app on my home screen for a week so I could see if it was something that I’d use fairly frequently or if it would just fade off into the sunset like so many other apps on my iPhone. On day one, I took a few videos of my kid playing in this little tent he has, my dog eating a biscuit and my wife cooking dinner, all of them with different hues. I e-mailed one of them to my wife for future reference and she asked me right away where I got the app. “That looks so cool! I love it!”
That’s the general consensus here: It’s cool and different. Sure, you’re not going to use it every day, but you probably don’t shoot video on your iPhone daily as it is. But when the occasion arises, having a cool app to make your videos stand out from the herd is definitely worth the price.