Today’s iPhotograph was taken using Hipstamatic (tejas lens with blanko film.)
This week I want to take a look at the app NoFinder. This app is touted as a toy camera with the bare essentials that you can operate with one hand. The icon itself is very plain, just a big red button, which made me want to start clicking away. I tossed it in my “camera bag” and gave it a test run.
So many apps have a gazillion features with buttons and settings and things you have to focus on and look at. This app has a few settings but for the most part the screen is plain and the BIGGEST thing on the screen is the button, which you can move from top to bottom. It also includes a middle bar with a few different lens, film, resolution and other options to let you choose how you want your images to work. As a side note I am working with the free version of NoFinder, but for 99 cents you can get more options for lens and film.
The other simple thing about this app is the info screen with an explanation of your settings. You can easily gain an idea of how to use the app within a few moments. By tapping the icon and sliding your finger to a new resolution, frame, lens or film, you can select a new way to shoot. This makes for easy adjustments if you’re out and want to switch your film for the settings.
There are two lenses in the free version, regular and toy 1 vignette. As you can imagine the toy version is vignetted, which is the only effect you get. Coupled with the right film in the app, this can be quite powerful. Below are the four different films.
Through these films and the lens you get with the free version, I’ve found certain images and lighting can be captured quite well. My favorite film was the high contrast black and white film. It seemed to be very hit or miss depending on the lighting, but I did enjoy the way it made most of the images dark and brooding. There are other films available as well as other settings for a 99 cent upgrade.
Keeping in mind that this app is simple and for shooting on the go, quickly and without any excessive features, there is not a viewfinder. You’ll notice that you just have to hit the big red button and check your results later. Where do you find the photos? They are saved automatically to your camera roll. I find it’s nice to go shooting and check the roll later, much like film photography. Also have to leave the app to check, which seems to make me want to hold off on checking each photo I take more than other apps do.
One thing that tends to be overlooked with touch screen operated programs, is the lack of physical feedback of the button. I find shooting from the hip from this app is tough, as you do have to look at your phone to hit the button, or you can miss it quite easily (even though it’s huge, apparently I can’t aim without looking for the button. My guess is that other people can’t either.) I never quite got used to using this app one handed as well. It might be easier with a little practice, but for right now, it doesn’t seem intuitive to hold the phone down and press the button with one hand. Though one great feature is if you turn the phone upside down, the button will stay in one place to help you keep shooting. The only thing I may suggest to improve the app is to let the user place the button where they like on the screen.
Overall this app is a great toy camera to try shooting from the hip and grabbing a few photos for fun. I think the best use of this may be to download it before your next party, event or walk downtown and choose a film, and keep this app up and ready to go. It’s easy to use and when you get home, only then open up your camera roll and see what they day brought. It would gain more effect if it were easier to use one handed for shooting from the hip, but it seems too complicated to do that.
Rating: 5 out of 10
( If you do download it, check out the NoFinder Flickr group. )
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