CameraBag Desktop review

The latest must-boast-about app for iPhone users is Hipstamatic, a program that transforms digital pictures into grungy snaps. Not to be outdone by a phone, we went in search of a similar program for the Mac, and came up with CameraBag Desktop – an easy-to-use standalone, film-emulation package for digital pics.

While not quite as full-featured as Hipstamatic, CameraBag does a pretty good job of adding some retro style to your photo collection. There are 11 filters, each emulating a camera type or film process. You can use them alone or stack the filters up to create custom effects. As well as the image filters, there are border controls that mimic old school prints, including Polaroids. Here, the preset is called Instant. If you run out of things to do with your pictures, you can download further filters online.

You’re not confined to processing one image at a time, either. You can transform a folder full of pictures in one batch, automatically saving the results.

CameraBag is a fun toy with some useful applications, but it doesn’t do quite as much as we’d like. For example, Hipstamatic adds grain and grunge to images, and it can emulate photographic degradation over time. There are no such tools in CameraBag. There’s also not much control over the subtleties of the image.

OUR VERDICT

There’s another application, ToyCamera AnalogColor (www.pentacom.jp/pentacom/toycamera_analogcolor) that offers complementary features, but by the time you’ve paid for both you’ll have shelled out close to £40. So, CameraBag – lots of fun, with some professional applications. But don’t expect too much for your buck.

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