Friends of mine recommended Instagram to me and I’ll definitely use it over Hipstamatic, but I am not in love. For one, there is an attempt at an Instagram social network, and I’m pretty over everything being about connecting with people. Really, I just want to take my damn photos, make them pretty, and share them where I want to–I don’t care about popular photos taken by people I’ll never meet. Also on the cons list, the navigation of Instagram feels weird to me. Not necessarily bad and far from unusable, but I especially dislike that actually using the program means pushing a button called “Share”.
With all that said, I like Instagram. You can import an image you’ve already taken or take the picture with either of the iPhone 4 cameras. When taking the photo through Instagram, everything looks normal but as soon as you click the button to capture it, you’ll be moved to a screen with 14 different filters. I was surprisingly pleased with the variation between them and the results these filters give. I’m not keen on the fact that all images are automatically cropped to be square (when you import an image you move and scale it so you have the bit you want in the square), but that’s part of the Instagram style I suppose.
As a Lensbaby lover I am completely biased, but the surprise appearance of a tilt-shift feature made me squee in delight. With some more searching I found TiltShift Generator, which I like more than Instagram for this effect, but if you only want to bother with a single app, Instagram’s tilt-shift does the trick.
Instagram is not an app that has me swooning, but I’d definitely recommend it to users who just want a few fun, quirky image options (especially if you don’t want to pay for them).
(in this image I applied tilt-shift and the Walden filter)