8mm Vintage Camera: Old-fashioned Video Recorder on the iPhone

by Pu on January 10, 2011

Old amateur films have that special flavor you cannot find on average in contemporary videos recorded with digital cameras. The polished look, the absence of grain and other imperfections, seem sometimes to be a defect rather than an added value. On the other hand, even the most technically rough family movie has that something… that something that truly make it look special, in spite of its actual merits; do you know what I mean?

From Nexvio, already known in the App Store for its many other video processing tools, we get now 8mm Vintage Camera, an app that will let you shoot videos in the vintage style on the iPhone. All in real-time.

Main Features

  • Up to 480×360 pixels;
  • Real-time processing;
  • Five filters (1920, 70s, Sakura, XPro, Siena);
  • Five lenses (clear, flickering frame, spotlight, light leak and Color Fringed);
  • Switch between front and back camera (on supported devices only);
  • Microphone on/off;
  • Flash on/off (on supported devices only);
  • Jitter button;
  • Share via email or Youtube.

Appotography Opinion

8mm Vintage Camera’s aesthetics lay on the same line of many other apps that try to recreate the feel of retro equipment. So far, it’s one of those I liked the most. Not only the 8mm Vintage Camera is very easy to use, without confusing features and weird knickknacks of no use whatsoever, but it’s also very good in delivering captivating results. The filters and additional lens effects — differing the one from the other enough to cover a variety of possibilities, from very old black and white to more up-to-date lo-fi — do convey the feel of authentic old cameras, unlike what happens with some other apps in the same category, that  more than anything will often make your video appear like you have applied a colored dirty layer on it. Not to forget, the real-time feature allows you to know right away how your final recording will be like.

There aren’t post-processing waiting times: what you see in your viewfinder is exactly how your video will look like. You just have to go through the filters and lenses, which you can also interchange while you are recording; for additional variety, you can press the jitter button to simulate frame displacement. After the video is recorded, you can go to your gallery and decide either to save it to the camera roll, to send it via email or to upload it to your Youtube account.

In general, the app works fairly well: especially replacing lenses is a cinch and all the effects are very well-done. The app works both on iPhone 3GS and 4, but on the 3GS especially there can be slowdowns due to real-time processing.

8mm Vintage Camera iPhone

Here you can watch a little video that shows how the 8mm Vintage Camera app works. As you can see, switching from a filter to the other is very easy.

The only serious flaw one could find in this app is the resolution of the videos: disappointingly small. Although this is totally excusable in consideration of the real-time processing factor — it wouldn’t be possible to obtain the same immediateness at higher resolutions, given the iPhone’s current capabilities — it is still quite unsatisfactory if you intend making the videos fully usable also outside the iPhone. If you think you can bear with the resolution issue though, I am confident  you will love 8mm Vintage Camera for its simplicity of use and visually pleasing results.


Name: 8mm Vintage Camera
Developer: Nexvio
Compatibility: iPhone (3GS/4), iPod Touch (4th). iOS 4.1 or later.
Price: £1.19||$1.99||€1.59
Vote: 3/5

8mm Vintage Camera - Nexvio Inc.

Astrid January 12, 2011 at 1:29 am

Too bad this app doesn’t allow HD. I looove the pretty effects but videos are no good enough for youtube. I’d rather use another app like cinemafxv to add effects.

Mutairi January 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

iPhone 4 using 8mm Vintage Camera

Pu January 13, 2011 at 1:12 am

Thanks for the link’s submission! Interesting video =)

Jen January 13, 2011 at 1:59 am

I’m satisfied with this app, even if higher res would definitely bring it on another level. But i totally understand right now it’s hard to make realtime work at higher res. I experienced slowdowns more than once at curent res, so i guess higher would make it even worse. I do appreciate there are no waiting times tho, so i’m gonna use it more and more from now on.

Mutairi, very nice vid, thanks for sharing!

– Jen

Alexander January 13, 2011 at 10:07 am

I like the app a lot. And the idea seems to be simple and great. Make a good and user friendly video hipstamatic app… No wonder it is such a success. Thumbs up for the developer.

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