Camera Phone Apps, A Very Small Survey

Recently I found myself thinking about camera phone apps, more specifically about Hipstamatic and do folks really use it past the week they bought it out of the App Store?
Amongst the photographers and designers I know and follow on Flickr, I will occasionally see a photo that looks like it was Hipstamatic-d but not often, which makes me to wonder if it is due to the fact that Hipstamatic does not make a back up of the original photo before it is processed or if folks just aren’t interested in Lomo like mobile camera phone photos.
My curiosity continued to wander and I started to wonder really how many camera phone apps people were using past the first week of buying them. Furthermore, what iPhone and Android camera phone apps were people buying and using with any regularity. Do folks like the ‘toy camera’ apps or were they using camera apps with other functionality?
The Camera phone app world has quite exploded on the iPhone and Android is catching up, but when I searched the Ovi Store there were very few camera phone apps for Symbian devices and those that were there were more geared to an East Asian J-Pop photo booth cute overload on neon aesthetic than the Graham Parson-esque Silver Like circa 1972 via a yellow daisy filled green meadow in misty sunlight aesthetic of Hipstamatic.
There was one Symbian app, Joyeye, that promised Lomo style photos, but it did not work on my Nokia N86 and I did not try to download a version for the N97. It may be that it is only for touchscreen Symbian devices or it may be that the Ovi Store seems dead set on thinking my N86 is an N97.
Two weeks ago to satisfy my curiosity, I conducted a very small survey on Twitter by asking:

msjen: iPhone folk, what is your favorite camera or photo app & why?

And here are a sampling of the replies I received about the iPhone and its available camera phone apps:

mikesten – re: iPhone cameras. I like the lack of control – and the anticipation – in Hipstamatic. Produces some very nice photos too.

stephalicious – hipstermatic!

michald – ShakeItPhoto is good, love its simplicity. Hipstamatic’s twin, Swankolab also good but too gimmicky

mezzoblue – CameraBag is still fun two years later. I go through my photo roll when I have a few minutes to kill every so often. /cc @theadnostic

TheAdnostic – I only use the native app, but I’ve been thinking about hipstamatic and I know that @mezzoblue used to have a crush on camerabag

SteveMarshall – To be honest, I only user the built-in Camera and Photos apps; don’t use iPhone camera for much, even with iPhone 4.

thereisnocat – my favorite iPhone photo app is Camera. Its photos look just like they were shot with an iPhone. (TBC)
thereisnocat – anything other than Camera is inauthentic, trying to make the iPhone something it isn’t. That’s not very punk rock.

jamesburland – iMovie. It’s fast, and produces classy results.

Summary for iPhone Camera Apps:
2 Hipstamatic
1 You Gotta See This*
1 ShakeIt Photo
1 Camerabag
2 Native iPhone Camera
1 iMovie
* This person has a private Twitter, so I did not include his reply Tweet to me above.
Later in the day, I asked:

msjen: Android Owners, do you have any camera or photo apps that your really like/use & why?

And some of the replies:

craigcook – I’ve been having fun with Vignette for Android. I suppose I should leave my apartment so I can take some shots worth posting.

sirabhinav – layar,fxcamera and flash!

clintonjeff – I liked photoshop mobile on the Galaxy S that i trialed. Good for some basic editing stuff 🙂

Jason Magro – I just loaded FxCamera on my DroidX. It’s pretty much a camera app that adds some cool effects to the photos you take. The ‘toy camera’ is my fav so far. Also, I’ve been using Photoshop Mobile for some photo editing and it has come in pretty useful.
Comment on my Facebook Wall

SandraD – the camera on the G1 sucks and I haven’t found anything that makes it better.
Summary for Android Camera Apps:
1 Vignette
1 Layar
2 FX Camera
1 Flash
2 Photoshop
1 The G1 Camera sucks & nothing makes it better
My first thought after reviewing the replies I received from my very small survey is: Hey! Android has a Photoshop mobile app? When will Symbian/Meego get one?
My second thought is that the Lomo/toy camera apps weren’t as popular as I thought they would be with the various folks I know on Twitter. And that leads to the corollary, there is a fairy wide sampling of camera phone usage that then informs what apps folks are using on their mobiles.
By looking at the lists above the apps range from the Lomo-esque, to wider camera effects, to photo & video editing, to augmented reality over a photo. I am not going to try to make any conclusions on given the small sampling, but it is interesting slice into the types of camera phone apps currently in usage.
What about you? What apps are you using on your mobile / cell phone for or with or in place of the native camera app?

3 thoughts on “Camera Phone Apps, A Very Small Survey

  1. I have been actively using Hipstamatic, iMovie, and Adobe PS on the iPhone 4. The camera takes fairly decent if not great photos in good lighting. And the videos also look good. I enjoy sending the photos to family and freinds or posting.

  2. FXCamera: I like it a lot. Am using shortcuts to normal, ToyCam, Polandroid and Fisheye settings in one of my home screens, but never really using Fisheye yet.
    Retro Camera: It’s nice, not as much fun as FXCamera
    Vignette: Didn’t like the demo, didn’t feel like popping for the full version.
    Photoshop: Whoa. Didn’t know it existed. *goes off to try it*
    Layar: Got it, haven’t done much with it or Googles yet.

  3. I don’t have any camera app at all, since I like the pure photo with only touches to correct the trueness of the colour and lights.
    I reckon that the usage of camera on the phone itself and the apps that entail depends on the demography of the user. I used to solely take photos using my 6630 1.3 megapixel camera….but I soon hit the limitation of phone cameras and wasn’t satisfied any more. With my E61i 3 megapixel, I pretty much never use the camera on it. Now that I have upgraded to my N97 mini, I’m trying to use the 5 megapixel that comes with the phone, but the camera itself is slow, comparing to my proper point-and-shoot trusty old Sanyo Xacti C6 (only 6 megapixel), which I pretty much carry with me everywhere.
    As for the apps, my opinion on that is a bit biased, since I like photos as photos and not with any add-on effects that apps can offer.

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