Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vignette for Android — mini review

Wimbledon Common, originally uploaded by Andy Waterman.
A few weeks ago I bought a new phone, an HTC Desire. One of the reasons I wanted a proper smart phone (I had a Nokia E71 before) was for a decent camera with some nice photo apps. I was jealous of my friends posting hipstamatic pics from their iPhones and I wanted a piece of the action.
I didn't really want an iPhone though — too common in my circle of friends — which left me with Android, which suited me just fine.
Vignette for Android was the first app I downloaded from the app store (cost £2.50) and I'm very glad I did. It's really very good. There are 62 built in effects and 20 frame styles. Additionally, all those built in effects are customisable to allow you to over or under expose, add light leaks, fade or over-saturate the colours etc.
So far, my favourite setting is Vintage>Faded in a bordered 5x4 frame — as above. It creates a really nice, desaturated but warm image, much as I've often tried to achieve with other cameras and processing styles. With a flash against a white background, this setting makes for pretty cool portraits too.
I should know by now I never get everything I need into one basket
I'm looking forward to playing with the more contrasty presets when summer comes along. At the moment I'm finding the Holgaesque settings too dark for my taste, but when there's a bit of blue sky to play with, I bet they'll be very good.
I also really like the ability to create a strip or a 2x2 grid of images as below in my Condor Italian job post — that top shot was created in my phone, using Vignette.
Lastly, the double exposure feature is very cool.
Having used Vignette for a fortnight or so now, I'm wondering why normal compact cameras don't come with in built processing presets like this? Maybe something like Vignette for Canon or Nikon compacts would help stem the decline in compact sales? For me, I really can't see myself using a compact for anything anymore...

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