I will say it right off the bat – I have never been a fan of “phone” photography. pixelated, terrible colours, almost always crappy selfies and the cheap feel of Instagram. In other words I hate phone photography. With that said, I still made the decision to bring only my Iphone 5s with me on my Coast 2 coast Sweden thru-hike. Why? I just couldn’t be bothered to bring my lovely Sony A7 and Zeiss 35mm lens. It was added weight that the hike couldn’t really justify.

So that was my decision – 140gram iphone to use as my camera or bring an extra kilo of camera gear. In any case sitting on the train to Kalmar (4 hour train ride from Stockholm central) I started playing with the iphone and looking for different camera apps. What I was looking for was DSLR capabilities in an app. This of course doesn’t exist, something I didn’t know before hand as, well, as I stated earlier – I hate iphone photography. In any case I stumbled upon an app called Hipstamatic. Simplicity at it’s core. I started shooting a few shots and soon enough I was hooked.

During just the train ride I ended up buying a bunch of different kit setups from their online store. Hipstamatic works a little differently from most other Iphone apps in that you choose which lens and effects you want before you actually start taking pictures. This to me gives it a kind of authentic quality in a way. As post processing of photos is not really my strong point, I certainly prefer being able to choose what lenses and what film works best for a certain desired effect. It feels a lot more like taking actual pictures with an actual camera than just taking quick snaps and editing with pre-determined filters.

In a short while I started playing with different film and lens combinations and saved my favorite styles and boom! I felt the love of taking pictures without that cheap ass iphone Instagram feeling. Here are some pictures I took with different lens and film settings:



Overall I simply love this app. For anything but publishing I feel this app and camera combination is pretty adequate. Definitely for online galleries and blogs in any case. I will be ordering a few prints and will be able to update this review with my thoughts on that as well.

I can only hope that Hipstamatic releases filter combinations for the Sony A7 App store in the near future. I would much prefer these filters and effects on a real camera than on an Iphone. Even if the pictures are good, I would like the ability to make professional shots using real lenses. Maybe I’m just dreaming. I know a lot of you would suggest I learn to use the different effects and filter combinations in Photoshop – but I really don’t like the post processing of photos. I prefer being outdoors taking photos than sitting in front of computers.

Anyway, I can definitely recommend Hipstamatic for an ultralight backpacking trip. Quick, easy and relatively good pictures. If your like me and never cared for Instagram than Hipstamatic might just be the perfect app for you! Yes you can easily upload to Facebook, Instagram and twitter. You can also choose which resolution and quality of the pics you want by flipping a switch on the front panel of the camera. All of my shots are done using the highest quality setting.

Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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