For many of us, the flaws and imperfections that come with filming are a distant memory. While the fundamentals of shutter speed and aperture settings persist, the process of shooting and sharing an image has changed dramatically.
1. Huji Camera
Huji Cam is a faithful recreation of a disposable camera from 1998, up to the date stamped in your images. It is one of the best disposable camera apps.
The film simulation is quite convincing, with light leak effects, color fringing and an overall contrasty look reminiscent of a cheap ISO 400 roll. Note that the free version is a camera and only a camera.
To process an image with Huji, you need to take the image with Huji. You can’t import your own images and process them, or reprocess images you’ve already taken without a $1 in-app purchase.
You can adjust the date format so it reads correctly, or pretend it’s 1998 with the default settings. It’s up to you whether you turn light leaks on or off, set a timer, go for low-quality images, or take photos with the front camera.
To download: Huji Cam (Free in-app purchases available)
If you’re desperate to recreate the entire process of shooting with disposable cameras, Gudak is the best film camera app for you. Unlike the other apps on this list, this one restricts what you can do with a strict set of rules, mimicking the old way cameras work.
Gudak spins virtual rolls of film and you get 24 exposures on each roll. When you finish a roll, you have to wait an hour before you can load another one and start shooting again. To view your images, press the Develop button and wait three days.
The 3-day waiting period allows the app to reintroduce the long-lost element of surprise. By the time your photos are ready, you probably won’t remember what you’ve taken. The developers have gone to great lengths to prevent you from cheating by changing the date and time of your device as well.
The photos are fine, but it’s the experience that really shines. Gudak limits your sight to a small viewfinder, removes focus and exposure controls, and brings photography back to its point-and-shoot basics.
To download: Gudak ($0.99)
If Gudak and Huji Cam are the best apps to imitate disposable cameras, CALLA is the best app to imitate a cheap 35mm compact camera. The app itself is heavily stylized and a bit confusing due to its unconventional button placement alongside a mix of Korean and English languages.
CALLA includes a few different movie types, but you only get one for free. Images taken with presets are pretty good. There’s a softness to the image reminiscent of cheap plastic lenses. The colors are warm and there is a good amount of grain but no light leaks.
There’s a comprehensive set of photo controls, including touch focus and exposure. You can also manually control your focus using the ring near the shutter button (it’s a lot of fun). Additionally, the app supports importing iPhone images into CALLA and processing them.
There are in-app purchases to unlock more looks, with the option to watch ads instead (but that will take some time).
To download: CALLA (Free in-app purchases available)
Not only is KD Pro free, but it also includes three entirely distinct film looks: Kudak (Kodak), Kuji (Fujifilm), and a black and white preset. You can also enable time stamping and light leaks if you want.
This film camera app for iPhone lets you choose your development time, whether it’s instant, one hour, or one day. Although it’s a good idea, it’s a bit pointless because most people are impatient and will always choose the instant option. You may prefer Gudak’s method of forcing yourself to wait, especially if you have little self-control.
Overall, KD Pro does a great job of creating heavily styled photos. You can simply mix film styles in a roll by changing the filter in your app settings. Unless you upgrade to the premium version ($0.99), you can’t reprocess anything after taking it, or import images from your camera roll.
To download: KD Pro (Free in-app purchases available)
5. Hipstamatic X
One of the best apps like Huji is Hipstamatic X. It comes with filters, presets, and camera settings that make your images look vintage like they’re from the 1980s or 1990s.
Although this film camera app for iPhone mainly targets beginners, professional photographers will also find something to satisfy. For example, there’s an all-new darkroom editing feature, the ability to change gear, light, color, and focus, and even a grain tool.
Also be sure to check out the Passport feature. It lets you keep a log of your photography history using gamification features like daily stamps, photo streaks, and more. Overall, we think this is one of the best camera apps for iOS.
To download: Hipstamatic X (Free, in-app purchases available)
6. Retro Camera +
Still haven’t found the perfect app to make your photos look like movies? Try Retro Camera+. Some of the app’s key features include live camera filters, 40+ effects, timer, flash mode, and selfie camera support.
Primarily aimed at Instagram users, the app’s range of filters will transform new photos into something that looks decades old. Therefore, Retro Camera+ is a handy app if you go for vintage as an aesthetic to make your photos stand out on social media.
Retro Camera+ also makes it easy to share your photos directly to your favorite social media network. In total, more than 30 networks are available.
To download: Retro Camera+ (Free, in-app purchases available)
Darkr’s vintage camera mimics the experience of using an analog camera. When you want to take a close-up, you actually have to walk towards your subject – no zooming in is allowed!
Darkr offers three types of cameras: large format, medium format and pocket. All photos taken on this film camera app will be in black and white, evoking a vintage feel to the photographs.
Once your photo is taken, head to the darkroom to develop your image. If you don’t know what a test strip is or how to dodge and burn when processing your photo, Darkr has tutorials to walk you through the process. The app also has articles that teach you how to take better photos on your iPhone.
To download: Darkr (Free in-app purchases available)
8. Camera Dazz
The last vintage camera app on our list is Dazz Cam. Like the other inputs, it’s designed to recreate the look of 80s analog film.
Dazz Cam can restore an image’s color, texture, and noise, and it has a host of light leak effects to make photos look even more authentic.
Other notable features include the ability to superimpose two images on top of each other, self-timer, fisheye lens, flash colors, and exposure adjustment. There’s even a square frame, perfect for people who want to upload their creations to Instagram.
To download: Dazz Cam (Free, in-app purchases available)
These vintage camera apps may be toys, but there’s nothing wrong with that. They not only offer filters and styles, but the ability to step out of your comfort zone and approach photography from a different angle.
Try some of these film camera apps for iPhone and see what creations you can create.