There surely are a huge number of apps putting funky retro filters on your photos, but must of them focus on editing after the photo is taken, rather than doing it on the fly. Retrica is a camera app best known for the wide range of neat and artistic filters that are applied live as you take photos, and lets you easily share them anywhere afterwords.
By having this particular feature Retrica offers the user a whole new dynamic of photo shooting by instantly changing filters, rather than laboring tweaks later. For a lot of people this is a more fun and spontaneous experience. Read this review of Retrica, another nice choice in a market full of camera apps.
Retrica is a simple app with an easy to learn interface. The interface itself is composed by a shutter key on the bottom, accompanied with some quick settings buttons to add vignetting, a shallow depth of field effect, simple border and timer. The aspect ratio is also manually changeable between 3:4 and 1:1, along with the option to use a multi-panel effect that captures photos on a custom interval and stitches them into a collage.
The most intimidating thing about Retrica is obviously the pile of filters it offers, accessible in the bottom right corner of the interface. You can either select the filter manually, or a random button can do it for you. Filters are grouped in categories like “elegant”, “chic” and “retro”, with each of them containing a number of different filter looks. You can tap them to instantly see how it looks before you tap the shutter button. Another option available is to change the intensity by using a slider along the bottom.
And that’s about it. The fact that you get a live preview of what your picture will look like in the viewfinder is the real draw here, and it’s an important one. I never noticed any slowdowns while the filters were being shown, which would be a deal breaker, and pictures turned out just as they looked before I hit the shutter key.
When a photo is taken it will take some seconds to process the image and than you can directly view it in the gallery portion of the app, which in fact is a very simple one. You can’t delete or share multiple images. There is no option of post-precessing and you can only share or delete the photo after you tap the shutter button. Of course you can share it out to another photo app to edit it further, but this is not very user friendly.
Considering how thick the filters are laid by default and the fact that you have to think about the composition since the beginning, it doesn’t need much of an effort to work out a nice looking photo. We should be glad the developers stuck to their guns and kept things simple, since from my experience I didn’t need to further edit the photos coming out of Retrica.
Another easy to do thing is turning off geo tagging of photos and the watermarking of pictures with a “Retrica” logo in the bottom right corner. A funny thing about Retrica is the pro version which except additional filters, comes “free of ads”, while in fact I have never seen ads in my time using the app. If you plan in using Retrica for a considerable amount of time, I believe the price of $1.99 for the one-time payment “Pro Upgrade” is a reasonable price.
The casual mobile photographers will find Retrica exciting for the variety of filters and the occasional spontaneous collage, but the more “serious” photographers will find it lacking compared to the apps they are used to using. Of course Retrica is not the only camera app that can add live filters out there, but it sure is one of the few that is well know for the quality it serves and keeping the photo exactly as it looks before you tap the shutter button.
As I have earlier said, not everybody will like and be fond of Retrica, but considering the fact it is free to use, I would encourage everyone to give it a try and see if they can find the photography style that suits them best.