InstantCam™: instant photography on the iPhone has rarely been so bad

by Pu on August 30, 2010

Polaroid-imitating applications are not a novelty. There are quite a few in the App Store, some with only very basic functionalities, some with many gimmicks and features to keep everybody busy for a while. The renown instant look in all its variations is an everlasting favorite of the public and thus an inexhaustible money-making source. Even those who have never used an actual instant camera in the Polaroid brand to take a photo, know them by name and by their looks.

The Polaroid Corporation recently woke up from their torpor, ages after the App Store had reached the saturation level with instant photography apps. The original Polaroid® appeared in the app store with its own application developed by Montreal-based Penté Group. But is it really worth it? Let’s look at the app in detail.


  • Multiple cameras: InstantCam™ offers four different camera modes, B&W, Vintage, Colorize and Digital, to recreate the looks of old and recent Polaroids
  • Camera and library mode: to take a picture on the spot or edit previously taken photos
  • Shake or blow: like with the original Polaroids, shake or blow to develop the photo
  • Add text: annotate photos in handwriting-looking text on the bottom border with the built-in editor
  • Compatibility with Polaroid Studio: create custom albums to organize the photos and share them online. Requires a Polaroid Studio account

Appotography Opinion
In theory it’s all very good, but actually the InstantCam™ app is a big letdown. And letdown is a compliment. It’s been proved more than once than big brands and companies are not necessarily equivalent to great quality. It’s usually the opposite, as big brands tend to take advantage of their name instead of worrying about substantial matters. Using the original “Polaroid Instant Camera application for iPhone” reinforced this thought even more.

InstantCam™ iPhone

InstantCam™ iPhoneInstantCam™ iPhone
Not only the quality of the photos isn’t particularly good, the effects aren’t particularly striking – hardly mediocre I’d say – , but also the final picture resolution is a mere 302 x 307 pixels. I mean, really… what were they thinking?! Yes, those we posted are not resized images; they are the actual images. Absolutely ridiculous. Also, the final image has an added white border around the Polaroid-style frame (around 8 pixels) to grant the drop shadow effect on the Polaroid frame the  that is very annoying to look at and very troublesome if you have to, for example, use the photo against a background that isn’t white. Of course, you could get rid of those additional pixels importing the image in Photoshop or some equivalent photo editing program, but what would be the point?

Even paying a small amount of money for such a useless app is quite outrageous, especially with all non-original Polaroid apps out there that deliver the same and more, in a much better and effective way.


Name: InstantCam™
Developer: Penté Mobile
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 3.1.3 or later.
Price: £0.59||$0.99||€0.79

Vote: 1/5

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