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Create awesome, vintage-looking vignettes with Hipstamatic’s video-based sister app

Cinamatic has arrived from the same team responsible for Hipstamatic, the millions-selling camera filter tool that’s almost as old as the App Store itself. Expectations were high for this video-based filter machine, and it hasn’t disappointed. Much more than a simple overlay tool, its transitions and scene-stitching capabilities enable users to create multiple, dream-like vignettes of between three and fifteen seconds to share with friends, or put online.

After you’ve shot some footage, choose your overlay.

After you’ve shot some footage, choose your overlay.

The original app was based on a poor-performing, but cheaply-made physical camera in the 1980s that produced lo-fi, vintage looking photos. The app was very much like Instagram, but with less of an in-built social element. Cinamatic, takes the same approach to overlays, but applies them to video.

More than just filters

These overlays are far more than simply filters, though. They also come with jumps, juddering transitions, color bleeds and loads more. However, this often results in your film looking like a Dharma Initiative video from Lost, or a bad skateboarding video. Additionally, there is no option for keeping it simple. With Cinamatic, you will not be using a #nofilter hashtag.

Default filters not enough? There are some great ones in the Cinamatic store.

Default filters not enough? There are some great ones in the Cinamatic store.

However, you can still grow your affects library. While standard overlays give the affect of shooting a 1930s movie, or 8mm style clips, in-app purchases allow you to vastly improve on this, employing vivid colours, and others that play with the saturation. To access these you have to make IAPs – generally, $0.99/£0.69 for a single overlay, or around $3.99/£2.99 for collection packs.

Edit later

In terms of usability, Cinamatic is wildly simple, and fast too. You start with a screen, the top half showing the familiar ‘vintage square’ ratio, and below, a big red button. Hold your thumb down on the button and you’ll start filming, release your thumb, and it stops. If you want to shoot something else, hold your thumb down again and it’ll add it on to a timer – you can even go back and edit later, so changing shooting location is no trouble either. When you’re done, you can confirm and then you’ll be taken to a page of filters. The viewfinder remains, and you can view a live preview. Once you’ve decided on the effect, the app will ‘process’ the film, and within a minute, you’re able to share, send, or save your film for future viewing. It’s as simple as that!

Choose how you want to share while you wait for your film to process.

Choose how you want to share while you wait for your film to process.

Cinamatic is a great app, loads of fun, and beautiful looking. But we did have one gripe. Far too often, we’d finish a short film, apply our chosen filter, and wish we could just tone it down, just a little bit. Or, as mentioned before, have no filter at all – but then, is that missing the point of this app? Perhaps. But if Cinamatic was to at least provide options for intensity levels, so that you could personalize your clips even further, then we’d be giving the app an even higher score.

Price: $1.99 / £1.49
Size: 17.3 MB
Version: 1.0.1
Developer: Hipstamatic Inc.

App Store Download button

Cinamatic Review: Create and Share stylish videos with ease
“Easy clip-stitching and filters allow you to create and share vintage-style videos on the fly. And it’s a whole bunch of fun too.”
  • Easy to use, and easy to add additional clips
  • Filters are highly stylised, giving you some unique visuals
  • Lots of fun, lots of silliness
  • Could do with some plainer options when it comes to overlays
  • The jumps in the overlays effects can sometimes ruin key bits to a shot
  • There aren't a huge amount of filters to use before you have to pay for more
4.0Overall Score