Several years ago, Hipstamatic was the camera app to have on your iPhone. It replicated analog cameras with a skeuomorphic interface that was completely retro, and it let users mix up different lens and film effects for fun results. Eventually, they branched out with several different offerings, with one of them being TinType.
TinType is a camera and photo app that's inspired by daguerreotypes, tintypes, and other photographic processes that were used from over a century ago. TinType will faithfully reproduce these hauntingly beautiful portraits and images with accuracy.
The latest update for TinType brings about some major changes and improvements. First, the app is now optimized for iPhone X, XR, XS, and XS Ma, and it also supports the popular Portrait Mode found on more recent devices like the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus. TinType can now also use both the front and rear cameras of your device, so the tintype images don't necessarily need to be portraits.
Some other changes in the update include the new "tap to focus" feature, where all you need to do is tap where you want the focus point to be. You can also now easily access your "Portraits" album to edit Portrait Mode images directly in TinType. And like other updates, there are refinements to the user interface, performance, and other bug fixes.
I've been a fan of Hipstamatic's original app and a few of their new creations over the years, and TinType is a fun one to have in my photography app repertoire. I found that the app launches pretty quickly and without issue on my iPhone XS. It defaults right to the selfie camera when you launch it, but switching to the rear camera is done with a tap of a button in the bottom right corner.
To take the photo, just press that large shutter button to capture, and the app will quickly render it. Usually, the default focus should be fine for TinType, but if you need to be more specific, such as focusing on the eyes (tintypes are great at making eyes the center of attention), you can change the focal point in the post-editing section (Depth of Field).
Other things you can edit are style, plate grain and frame, crop, eye intensity, and depth of field. Style contains classic B&W, hand-painted color, high contrast, and sepia-stained ambrotype. Picking any other style is a quick and easy affair, and you can also crop it to a square format for Instagram.
Plate Grain affects the texture of the image, and the frame gives it the old-timey, authentic feel, but it's completely optional. Eye intensity lets you adjust the strength of the eyes since tintypes can create rather eerie effects. The Depth of Field area lets you change the amount of blur in the background, and you can choose between standard Portrait Mode depth or go for a more radial blur.
Any images you snap in TinType are saved automatically, and any edits you make will ask you for permission to modify the original saved image in the Camera Roll. There's a button that lets you send to Instagram right away, or you can share via the native Share Sheet.
TinType is one of those apps that makes your photos totally unique in the world of filters and effects. If you want to make your images stand out from everyone else's, then TinType is worth a download.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.