Disposable Hipstamatic - iOS App Review

Disposable Hipstamatic (v 12.3) - Free
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch (iOS 4.3 or later) 

Few could argue that the original Hipstamatic app didn't accurately imitate the somewhat erratic nature (and fun) of toy cameras. Disposable builds on that by adding another unpredictable facet, by being able share the camera and 'user experience' with friends over the net via Facebook. This image was shot with the MegaZuck84 camera (which is free after 'liking' the app on Facebook).

When Synthetic announced its Hipstamatic toy camera app for the iPhone (and iPod touch), few could have predicted just how popular it would become. Their latest effort - Disposable Hipstamatic - still centers on the appealling unpredictability of toy film cameras but introduces sharing. Although you can opt to shoot by yourself if you want to, the idea is to invite other Disposable users or 'friends' to share via Facebook and contribute to the same series of pictures in 'real time' (more or less) over a WiFi or Cellular network.

If you don't have Disposable Hipstamatic installed of course, there's nothing to stop you from creating Facebook photo albums with pictures from your phones and tagging friends so they can see them, but the Hipstamatic Disposable app structures it a little better via invites (essentially scheduling photo-taking 'events'). It's easy to imagine how popular this app would be at an event like a wedding or any number of other occasions, for that matter. 

A total of three virtual 'cameras' are provided free of charge and include unlimited use. The cameras are fairly basic and once used they 'regenerate' after exposing 24 frames. Disposable Hipstamatic syncs with Facebook and other Disposable users or 'friends' can be invited to contribute to the same camera anywhere in world, providing they have access to the Internet.

Disposable is bundled with two complimentary cameras (in essence, digital equivalents to disposable film cameras), though you can pick up a third for free simply from 'liking' the app on Facebook. Each one has an individual look or 'style', a filter effect with a slider to adjust the strength, but are limited to just 24 exposures. When the camera has 'finished', this 24-image roll is synced between all the contributors, or 'friends', and individual images can be saved to your camera roll or shared via Twitter. After that, you simply start again just as you would with film. 

There’s no charge to reuse the complimentary cameras but that wasn’t always the case. When Disposable was launched at the end of last year, users had to buy a camera each time (alternative camera styles are still available as in app purchases, prices start from $0.99). Although the update to v12 brought a welcome change in the pricing model, a few shortcomings remain. First, just like film, you can’t preview the filter effect in real-time, and, second, you can’t check the results until the camera has finished the 24-image roll. While the app is a unique proposition, ultimately, it’s not quite as engaging as the original, but it can be a lot of fun to use, even if the novelty wears off after a while. 

What we like: Free to install and to use (although if you want more than three camera styles you'll have to purchase them). Fun to use at an event like a wedding, or party.

What we don't like: Images can’t be viewed until the roll is finished. Restricted to a single filter effect, or 'style', per camera, which, similarly, can’t be viewed until the roll is completely exposed. Restricted to three camera styles (more are available as in-app purchases).  

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 38
MalloryBose
By MalloryBose (Oct 24, 2012)

I first encountered this app while reading the reviews on www.applatter.com. :) I think it's great but I don't have an iOS device. Boohoo. But it's alright with me because my nieces and nephews would rather play the Maddie and Matt's Happy Earth app on my device. You can check it out through this link: www.maddieandmatt.com. I sure hope they'd create an Android version of Hipstamatic. :">

0 upvotes
appwiz
By appwiz (Jul 16, 2012)

for those who love sharing photos and are comparatively less interested about filters and other features go for LiveAlbum. (http://www.livealbum.me)

this upcoming app has unique features like instant photo sharing (as and when photo is clicked), location awareness by which it adds location meta tags to each photo. these just a few.

interesting i must say.. worth a try..

0 upvotes
iMommy
By iMommy (Mar 12, 2012)

Well, coming from someone who LOVES the idea of a disposable camera on every table during a big event (like a wedding or marriage vow renewal or big anniversary party), I LOVE the idea of tagging all my FB friends (of my choosing) and having them all using the app to take pictures of the same event. Then all the pictures are developed and put into the same place on my iPhone. I love it! I also love the idea of playing games with it. Everyone gets the app and has one week to take the best pictures they can of whatever topic is chosen (say, nature for example). I get pictures from my friends from all over the world who went out and took pictures of nature - 24 pics at a time - just like old school - in the mail. I like the aspect of waiting to see the pics. Just like you HAD to before digital cameras. It makes it fun and exciting.

0 upvotes
Sam Carleton
By Sam Carleton (Feb 7, 2012)

I LOVE this app, I have started a photo series using this app called "My World". I post directly from my phone to my web site. Here is the gallery:

http://www.miltonstreetphotography.com/myworld

0 upvotes
nicola
By nicola (Feb 6, 2012)

Can someone tell me what's the point for this app?
Digital advent has liberated millions of photogs from the long wait to shoot through a roll of film. I can't see why one would want to experience that again, unless some sort of hidden SM intentions where behind its development.

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Feb 5, 2012)

I will be eagerly waiting for the next app: One that actually lets you virtually fold an email, virtually insert it in a digital envelope, virtually lick and stamp it and, once "Send" is pressed, only make it available to the addressee 10 days later.

It will be called the iMail!

(Good grief...)

PK

0 upvotes
dominiks
By dominiks (Feb 5, 2012)

If you don't want to have to like something on facebook, but still want to use the MegaZuck84 camera, take a look at the app called "aremaC". In its online library you find this camera as a free preset, too.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Feb 3, 2012)

This would be a good app if I actually liked the results.

I think the 'shooting a roll of 'film' before you see the results' idea is very imaginative, quite brilliant actually.

This app lasted about 30mins on my iPhone before being removed. As I said, I don't like the results, personal taste I know, and I didn't like the look of the pre-views of film you can buy. I suppose, at some point in the future a roll of 'film' may be made available which I do like. Until then, this app is a 'no'!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
juliancamilo
By juliancamilo (Feb 3, 2012)

"Images can’t be viewed until the roll is finished."

This actually sounds like one of the more interesting features. That and the fact your shots are (somewhat artifically, admittedly) grouped into groups of 24, like a roll. It's just taking the film cues one step further than just the (perceived, wrongly or rightly) "look". Though I can see how some might see it is an unnecessary step back.

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Feb 2, 2012)

Maybe they will eventually make an app that morphs into whatever is the current fad at the time. That way you can always automatically be on the "cutting edge" as an "artist."

Possibly even make a way to post your images so they will change in the future to whatever is in vogue without you doing anything yourself.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
twenty200
By twenty200 (Feb 2, 2012)

This app is garbage. The fact that you're reviewing it here really makes me question your level of expertise in regard to mobile photography. I mean, really now. Out of the thousands of photography apps, many of which are stellar, you choose to review THIS?

The original Hipstamatic app is surprisingly impressive. This app is garbage. It's nothing more than an attempt at clever marketing in order to make an easy buck, and they got hammered for it from many of their fans when it was released, so much so that they had to quickly rework the pricing scheme due to the backlash.

I love dpreview, but your expertise in mobile photography is lacking to the point where it's embarrassing. It's obvious to anyone who shoots with an iPhone.

4 stars for this app. Yikes.

1 upvote
theappwhisperer
By theappwhisperer (Feb 2, 2012)

Hi, thanks for your comment, just to reiterate, we actually gave it 3.5 stars and not 4. What's your experience of this app, we'd love to know more. Joanne

2 upvotes
Jonne Ollakka
By Jonne Ollakka (Feb 3, 2012)

Hipstamatic is probably the most popular photo app ever. It's only natural to check out something else from the same maker, not to mention it has the H-word in the name.

I doubt that it's free though. You don't have to pay when you're the commodity being sold (sharing and privacy and so on).

1 upvote
MuddyNYC
By MuddyNYC (Feb 2, 2012)

I absolutely LOVE Hipstamatic! But this Disposable Hipstomatic is absolute garbage.

0 upvotes
spsawyer
By spsawyer (Feb 2, 2012)

The app serves a purpose in extending an aesthetic. Of course that aesthetic comes from the film process rather than the digital but it's one that appeals to a lot of people. I'd give it a go if I had an apple device. I've no objection to it on aesthetic grounds or believe it shows a lack of integrity. I feel that there are some people who join a technical "society" be it the Nikon, Canon, Holga or Hasselbrad and adopt a methodolgy they think is more valid than someone else's while in fact it has it's own limitations in terms of expression.

1 upvote
CAClark
By CAClark (Feb 2, 2012)

I'll join in with those that find it just a little bizarre that the cons are what makes the app what it is.

Of course you could go to the effort of making a lightroom preset to mimic what the app does, but that misses the point as well. The whole notion to my mind is that the phone camera is ideal to base the toy effect on. it's in your pocket, quick, and average quality in real terms before you 'toy' it.

I think sometimes its easy to miss the fun aim of these apps.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Feb 2, 2012)

"What -we- don't like"

I remember a guy screaming at me for using the word 'we' is such a subjective matter. Now i know what he's on about. It's not like you needed multiple people to come to this (idiotic) conclusion. The main goal of the app listed as Con, seriously ? How about just leaving in the last sentence, where it says more styles cost more money, and categorize the -one style per camera- part etc as 'questionable'.

1 upvote
Boaz Arad
By Boaz Arad (Feb 2, 2012)

I think this review fails to properly address the film-like qualities of the app. Viewing the 24 photo waiting period as 'bug' rather than a feature with a specific purpose. Frankly, I expected more from such a highly regarded photography website.

Waiting for you 'film' to be 'developed' forces you to make every shot count, instead of mindlessly clicking away and selecting the best shots later. Even more so if you've invested in the truly 'disposable' cameras that actually charge you for each shot.

I find that using this app is a great exercise in photography for both budding photographers that have never used film, and seasoned professional who might have forgotten what photography used to be like before the digital revolution.

1 upvote
Lea5
By Lea5 (Feb 2, 2012)

I use the hipstamatic frequently with my IPad2 and I really like it. But when I read "This image was shot with the MegaZuck84 camera (which is free after 'liking' the app on Facebook)." I get a red face. I don't want to be forced to do something on Facebook to get it free. I rather pay for it. I cancelled my Facebook account a few month ago, cause of bad security policies and now this company wants to force me back to Facebook. No thanks! Bad, bad! I think I remove my hipstmatic app from my IPad. There are many other very good "old style camera" alternatives in the appshop.

2 upvotes
leno
By leno (Feb 2, 2012)

Facebook is only insecure if you put lots of personal details into their care. Don't tell them your age and they can't share it.

0 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 6, 2012)

This type of marketing tie-in is standard operating procedure these days. Something for free or they enroll you in a contest, if you open an account and provide personal information that they can re-sell in various ways, for example to data miners for 'social networking' reports, etc.

Hipstamatic also has some very poor terms of service. From what I understand, anything you upload to their server for their contests or galleries, they claim 100% rights ownership. This is an aspect of apps that DPReview doesn't cover in their reviews, but they should.

0 upvotes
elquixote
By elquixote (Feb 2, 2012)

Pixlr-o-matic for Android, in my opinion, is better than instagram for effects/picture taking, but isn't as smooth for sharing/social. Probably best photo app of its kind on Android and unfortunately under-appreciate due to lack of coverage.

1 upvote
theappwhisperer
By theappwhisperer (Feb 2, 2012)

We like this app too and hope to cover it soon, so keep checking back for that.

1 upvote
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 2, 2012)

Hipstamatic is worthy, but charging for digital exposures? This consists of failure.

0 upvotes
Essai
By Essai (Feb 2, 2012)

There are free ones on the Android Market for those interested.

0 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Feb 2, 2012)

I think I'll load a roll of film into my Holga and forget about this fake nonsense.

3 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 2, 2012)

Are you sure? It's not's a real camera. It's not a tool. It can't take interesting photos:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/essays/vanRiper/010706.htm

Of course, neither can a mobile phone:

http://gizmodo.com/5758350/why-a-war-photographer-shot-an-award+winning-photo-with-a-2-iphone-app

Poor slobs, a dpreview forum member should put these photogs straight.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Feb 2, 2012)

Some folks love toys, others prefer tools.

4 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 2, 2012)

So what you're saying is, you like tools.

6 upvotes
HiRez
By HiRez (Feb 2, 2012)

Charging me for things that cost you nothing (digital pictures)? 0 STARS!!! This is the single dumbest and most insulting app idea, ever.

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Feb 2, 2012)

Develop a preset for Lightroom and Photoshop (Elements) so the same look (admittedly I somewhat like the look) can be applied to images taken with a real camera. That would be far more useful.

0 upvotes
deniz erdem
By deniz erdem (Feb 2, 2012)

'What we don't like: Images can’t be viewed until the roll is finished. Restricted to a single filter effect, or 'style', per camera, which, similarly, can’t be viewed until the roll is completely exposed.'

that is the single most important point of the app :D its kind of absurd listing it under the cons list. Just like using a film camera, there is a sense of surprise and excitement in the whole process. That is what the whole idea this app is built upon. im sure a lot of people here might dislike the idea but that is the idea. its not a shortcoming :) this really is kind of funny :)

1 upvote
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Feb 2, 2012)

ALERT!
run Apple boys, run!
ALERT!
new toy to show off!!!
ALERT!

3 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 2, 2012)

yuk yuk yuk har har

0 upvotes
gwales
By gwales (Feb 2, 2012)

We need to invent a word for "the time it takes someone to bring up (a usually negative comment about) Apple in a thread that is not actually about Apple".

"pipsqueak"?

3 upvotes
OB1Coyote
By OB1Coyote (Feb 2, 2012)

I thought the word was "troll"...?

2 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Feb 2, 2012)

I am sure I didnt write anything negative regarding Apple.

Maybe was towards apple-boys/trolls

1 upvote
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Feb 3, 2012)

I think people who don't hate or don't like Apple should stop obsessing about it and actually get a life. I mean, I don't care if people use Andoid or whatever. Sad anti-Apple people.

1 upvote
Total comments: 38