After having my fun with QuadCamera for a while I really wanted to see what Takayuki Fukatsu’s ToyCamera could do, and it’s just as kickass as Quad even though it only shoots one pic at a time! It simulates the optical quirkiness found in “toy cameras” that, waaaaaay back in the day, were built to be as cheap as humany possible. The irony is that the toy camera’s imperfections made for some really cool photography, and that’s what this app helps you create.

ToyCamera isn’t just about photo filters… it’s also about photo surprises, much like the cheap plastic cameras this app tries to emulate. Behind the “info” icon is a bunch of effects that can be toggled on and off, things like sepia tone, vintage warm tone, yellow, green, black and white, and several others. By default all of these filters are set to On, and when you take a picture with the app’s built-in camera you get a surprise! A filter is randomly applied to your pic, and if you love what just happened you can share it with the world by uploading it to a free app called Big Canvas PhotoShare by Big Canvas, Inc.

If you prefer to know what filter will be applied to your photos you can turn off everything but the effect you want, or select just a few if you like surprises of a limited variety. Unfortunately these filters can’t be applied to existing photos on your camera roll which I find tragic… imagine how cool it would be to go back to your fav pics and make them look like they were shot 30 years ago, or at least by someone with just a tiny bit of talent? The filter effects in ToyCamera are great and can make even the dumbest photo look halfway interesting, so I’m really hoping this feature will come around in a future update.

Another feature that would be super-handy would be showing the cropping lines in camera view if you have cropping turned on. Right now you just have to mentally chop off the top and bottom of your iPhone screen while you snap photos in this mode because it seems that’s how ToyCamera crops things.

My feature wishlist aside, I love what this app does. QuadCamera is fun although sort of a novelty, but ToyCamera could legitimately replace your iPhone’s default camera because every photo you take with this app gets saved to your camera roll automatically as a single frame. $1.99 seems like a fair price, and if the usefulness of the filters could be expanded it may even be worth a buck or two more.

3 Responses to “ToyCamera”

  1. Swain Valasek Says:

    Very neat app, perfect for the folks who don’t want to mess with settings and just want to snap and go but still have something unique. That said, I have to reiterate that, for the rest of us, it’s a crying shame you can’t have direct control over the filters and load from the camera roll. If that was added, it could replace my current favorite ‘filter app’ Photonasis (which is excellent in its own right) that has more filters but doesn’t have an auto-apply feature.
    Also, to all app dev’s who deal with the camera, *please* take a cue from Darkroom and include the option to use the accelerometer for image stabilization!

  2. Chrisa Says:

    I’m enjoying playing with it as well. I am that sort of person Swain is talking about, who can’t figure out how to do much more but point and click with any camera. I love that it saves the pics right to the photo roll, but I also agree, I’d love to be able to “Toy Camera” the photos I already have on my roll.

    I’m going to the Academy Awards next week (seriously, I am), and I’m going to give Toy Camera a go on Brad and Angelina. I’ll post them to the Facebook group after I get back.

  3. Michael (Admin) Says:

    You’re really going to the Oscars huh? COOL!! Looking forward to your pics. If you see George Clooney or the Coen brothers please tell them they owe me $10.50 and two hours of my life back for Burn After Reading.

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