The Disposable camera… Once my arch nemesis. Working my way through college I had a few different jobs at Photo Labs. Everytime I saw someone come up to the counter with a huge bag I cringed. Knowing it was someone that just had a wedding and 40 disposable cameras on the tables for people to have fun and “help capture the moments of the day”. 50% of the images would be so dark they were worthless, another 40% just really bad photos that kids took of their feet and then the 10% that were decent (still kids feet but artistic kids with the camera). The old disposable cameras plainly just were terrible.

When I saw Hipstamatic had a new app out called “disposable” it got me curious. Having always loved the original Hipstamatic app, which is still in my top 10 of all time apps I knew I had to check out this new app. The reason why they called it the Hipstamatic Disposable isn’t because it takes terrible photos but instead it focuses on the group nature of those old disposable cameras. If you and your friends are all at an event you can add them all to a camera roll on the app. Then everyone shoots images on their own iPhone using the app and at the end of the roll (24 exposures) all of the images are shared with everyone. It’s really a unique concept and I think a great idea. Here is a little info from the developer:

The new Hipstamatic Disposable-series camera makes it a snap to create and share a camera with your friends. From the first click to the last, everyone shoots to one camera roll, and at the end photos are magically exchanged to all of the camera’s contributors. You’ll never have to swap doubles or email from your friend’s phone again. You can shoot alone but sharing a roll of film has never been this much fun.

Here is a quick review of the app and how it works. First when you launch it you will start a new camera roll and choose the type of camera. This will effect the style of the images just like the Hipstamatic lenses do on their original app. You only get 2 cameras with the app standard and can get a 3rd one by liking their page on Facebook. Normally I would think that’s pretty weak but the app is free to start with. For extra cameras you can purchase them with in-app purchases.

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After you choose the style of the camera you will be prompted to add your Friends. The app shows friends from Facebook with the app already installed or lets you invite selected Facebook friends to get the app. You can also skip this step if you just want to test it out with yourself. You can set a sticker for the camera which is just a skin that identifies that camera. Since you can setup multiple cameras the sticker skin gives you a easy way to navigate back to your other camera rolls you have going on.

Then you will arrive at the camera which gives you a cool retro looking camera. There are only a few buttons; a large yellow button to take a photo, a flash button to turn on the flash and a FX slider to change the special effects. Just start clicking away. You will see a counter at the bottom left that shows how many photos you have left on the film roll. One of the cool things with it is that you can only see the photos after all 24 pictures have been taken just like with film. As you and your friends take photos you will see the counter go down and it does seem to be in real time, so if a friend just took a photo you will see the counter go down right away. I do like the fact that you can’t see the photos until afterwards, it used to be one of those really fun surprises that film had and does sharpen your skills as a photographer to not fully see what you are capturing until later.

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After you finish all 24 photos then the roll will develop and everything is available to view on the app or in your camera roll on your phone. On the app view it gives you some additional information about what camera type you shot the photo on and below that give you the ability to share the photo on Twitter or via email.

The app isn’t perfect and there were a few things that did bug me a little in my first few uses:

– Under the preview screen there is a FX slider. With this you can slide back and forth to change the strength of the special effect, however it’s not a real time preview so you can’t see the actual effect until after you take the entire roll of photos. I guess this really goes along with the fact that its supposed to be like a film camera so you can’t see the final results until the film is developed. But still it would be nice to at least preview the styles once before shooting. I didn’t know what the different “camera styles” even were until I picked one and shot a full roll to see what the effect of that camera style was.

– Also it would be nice to be able to add a friend in mid roll. If you are at an event and a friend arrives late it would be nice to be able to add them to the camera roll afterwards.

Overall it’s a pretty awesome app, really great design to every page and I like the community aspect of it. Even though it’s promoted for friends taking photos at the same event it could be cool to have people from all over the world taking photos on the same day to document a day in the life style series. After using it the first day I think that could be fun and even a way that some of the readers here could connect. How cool would it be to get a few groups of people together from all over the world to use this app and share highlights of their day and where they live! If you are interested leave a comment below, I think it could be a fun idea!

You can get the app in iTunes here: Hipstamatic Disposable iPhone app and check out this great promo video they have:

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