Polamatic: Refurbishing the Past

 
Polamatic by Polaroid

Polamatic by Polaroid

Supriya Joshi goes back to the past by testing Polamatic, the app inspired by the original instant camera.

Nostalgia. We are all suckers for it, aren’t we? In the recent years, the collective human conscience woke up to this intense yearning for the past, and well, organisations were quick to cash in on this feeling. Many companies today offer customers ways in which they can relive old moments, from Buzzfeed’s 90s nostalgia posts to the release of Fujifilm Instax cameras. For photographers, one of the most important of these services has been Instagram, the most used photography app, which gives your images a vintage look.

This image was processed using the 600 Series Film pack, which recreates classic Polaroid film. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

This image was processed using the 600 Series Film pack, which recreates classic Polaroid film. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Did you know that Instagram has based off its look on the very popular Polaroid cameras? Four years after the release of Instagram, Polaroid has put forth its own ‘instant photography’ app, Polamatic for iOS and Android devices. This is not a new app, however. The company rereleased it recently, after completely changing the UI and functions.

The Filter Effect
The premise of the app is simple enough, it replicates the Polaroid photography experience, without the use of a Polaroid camera. After launching the app, you shoot a picture and the picture ‘develops’ on photo paper, right in front of your eyes.

Adjusting brightness or contrast is a cinch with the exposure controls of the app. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Adjusting brightness or contrast is a cinch with the exposure controls of the app. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Polamatic has a large variety of filters you can choose from. Additional filters can be purches from the In-App store as well. Moreover, each filter can further be edited for exposure, contrast and saturation, amongst other settings. The photo paper can be changed as well for various effects. Of course, you can choose a previously shot photo and apply the various filters to it.

Writing Away!
How can a Polaroid experience be complete without the ability to write messages on the print? After you’re satisfied with the image, Polamatic gives you the option to write on the print. This is also highly customisable, and you can write the message from a range of fonts, change the opacity of the writing, and even play with the text placement.

You can personalise your Polaroid prints with text messages. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

You can personalise your Polaroid prints with text messages. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

Arriving too Late?
As a filter app, Polamatic has a lot going for it. Most importantly, once you edit your image, it exports a high-res version of the same. So, you can print large sized versions and put them up on display.

There is a wide variety of photo ‘paper’ you can use to recreate the Polaroid effect. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

There is a wide variety of photo ‘paper’ you can use to recreate the Polaroid effect. Photograph/Supriya Joshi

As an app that allows you to have the complete instant photography experience, Polamatic is one of the best. It does not have the image sharing network that Instagram does, but you can always upload an image made by Polamatic on your Instagram feed. Of course, with the market saturated with filter apps, Polamatic needs to really establish itself. If only it was released four years earlier…

AT A GLANCE
SPECIFICATIONS iOS 7.0, Android 2.3.3 or later. Rs. 60
WHAT WE LIKE The amount of filters which replicate Polaroid film
WHAT WE DISLIKE  In-app purchases!
WHY BUY IT Wider choice of filters, plus for nostalgia seekers, this is the ultimate app

FINAL RATINGS 86%
FEATURES  Great filters, control over exposure, but lacks ingenuity  20/25 
PERFORMANCE  Highly customisable filters for various effects  26/30
EASE OF USE  Simple interface, easy to understand  31/35
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Quick and instant  9/10

 

Tags: cellphone app, october 2014, Polamatic, Polamatic review, polaroid, Supriya Joshi