iOS App Review: Paper Camera

I’m the farthest thing from a professional or even amateur photographer, but I have a developing (analog pun intended!) obsession with apps that augment my phone’s camera.  My latest find is Paper Camera, which I happily purchased for my iPhone and iPad.  At the time of this writing, it’s on sale for $.99, which is 66% off of the regular price.

 JFDP‘s (the developer) blurb:

Seeing the world through the stylish and artistic lens of Paper Camera transforms your ordinary world into a magical experience. No boring post-process needed!!

What if you could see your everyday life, your house, your street, your school, your family as a sketch up, a cartoon, a comic book?

Paper Camera delivers instant gratification, amazes you, and it can do it anywhere at anytime.

The app provides a multitude of “stylish cartoon filters” that deliver a hand-drawn (or in one case, old-printer-printed) effect to your photos.  They are quite generous with the filter options, offering 11 of  ’em by just the second version (1.1). As far as settings go, you can tweak three (not a lot!) properties: contrast, brightness, and lines. Each filter comes with tweakable preset levels.

In its most recent iteration, the app works only for still photography, which is a little confusing because one of the developer’s screen shots indicates a “real time video effect” mode.  However, in the version notes, JFDP clearly state that videography is in the works. They also plan on providing easy sharing capability, full res photos, and “video saving.” Again…I’m a tad confused…hopefully they’ll add video *capture* at the same time. 😉

The app does exactly what it says and I can imagine a ton of possibilities for each filter. My sample shots (below) are limited to one scenario for filter comparison’s sake, but I found myself wanting to find unique setups. That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned: the app encourages creativity!

The real thing (iPhone camera app).

 Old Printer


 Sketch Up

Comic Boom

Pastel Perfect

Granny’s Paper

Half Ton (The developer acknowledges that this effect is normally referred to as “half tone.”

Gotham Noir

Neon Cola


Con Tours

As you can see there’s a ton of variety here.  The app works quite smoothly and offers a cornucopia of filter choices.  While some basic features haven’t been released (sharing, video, high res), they are forthcoming. In the meantime, this app is just fun and well worth a buck!

Price: $.99 (for now! that’s 66% off the regular price)

What I like: Lots of filters; ample whimsy; runs flawlessly

What Needs Improvement: Mixed message on video; missing a couple of basic features likely to show up in subsequent versions.

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2 replies

  1. Excellent. Love those options. Just used the sketch option on my PSP for vacation bible school pictures this week. :-)

  2. That’s a great use of that kind of filter! I’m glad you mentioned it… because now you have me thinking about how I can use it for lectures (I’m a professor). I’m sure my students would appreciate some design variety! :)