Price: Free (IAP)
Size: 139 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
RTRO is a fairly powerful, but quite specific video editor catering primarily to those that like to shoot short, vintage-flecked videos primed and ready for social media. The perpetual traveler or the home-movie enthusiast will find everything they need here.
However, RTRO is largely based on a subscription model that runs at $4/£4 billed monthly, or less than half that if billed annually. The simplest way is to first discuss everything the paid version of RTRO can do because the free tier – spoiler alert – is pretty limited.
So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, RTRO turns your video content into 70s and 80s inspired bleached out and grainy looks. There are 18 filters to choose from and each provides a different vibe from black and white to the wonderfully named ‘Dadcam’.
To create your video, you open the app, choose your look, and hold down the red record button. You can hold it down for as long as you like up to 60 seconds, or you can stop and start to creating a minute-long, multi-shot video, and is clearly designed with apps like TikTok in mind. It’s a great way to capture a day out in just a minute. Better still, you have the option to change the filter after the fact, while you can also take still photos while filming a video. When you’ve finished, you can edit each clip too.
RTRO also has a decent range of bells and whistles without feeling too bloated. One touch we particularly enjoyed was the focal zoom effect: While filming, you can swipe your finger over the screen towards a point and it will smash-zoom to that location. Depending on how aggressive you are with the finger, the effect can provide quite the impact.
Elsewhere, we also enjoyed that the app also lets you shoot in slo-mo. Of course, the iPhone’s own camera also has this capability but RTRO’s approach lets you swipe to the right of the shutter button to produce a more nuanced version of this effect.
You don’t have to shoot in the app, either – RTRO also lets you upload items from your Camera Roll to apply the filters, and then edit into the story. It’s a great way to pull in extra clips or toy around with old footage.
Now, that’s everything – but what do you get for free? Not a great deal. You get access to 3 basic filters, one being a basic black and white effect. You can shoot video, edit and crop the files, but you can’t import from your Camera Roll or use slo-mo.
However, unlike other camera apps, there is an option to buy individual filters. Some users may find they’re happy with just a couple of filters and the ability to shoot and edit, in which case they can ignore the subscription. Others might find they’ll want to go further. Either way, the app balances its approach nicely and the results look good!