These Dispo dupes are peak nostalgia.
After a few weeks of beta testing and a temporary invite-only status, David Dobrik’s Dispo app is officially available to all iOS users in the App Store. But while Dispo has some unique social network functions — like Rolls — it’s not the only app that turns your high resolution iPhone snaps into distressed, light-damaged photos, reminiscent of disposable film. There are many apps like Dispo that have vintage filters, or mimic processing times and roll count restrictions, so that you can fully embrace the retro experience of using a disposable camera without having to open your wallet or leave your house.
If you’re not aware of the latest resurrection of ‘90s budget camera work, the prospect of taking low-fi pictures might not seem appealing to you. Why take bad pictures when you paid to have a 12 mega pixel sensor on your iPhone? The reason this method is appealing to people right now is less about the photo quality, and more about the approach to photo-taking. It reminds people of a time when they’d just point and shoot and look forward to seeing what was captured later on — instead of taking a dozen shots of the same thing and then fiddling with edits and filters to achieve a certain look. The disposable camera app experience takes the pressure off taking the perfect shot and encourages users to have a candid approach to picture taking.
If this appeals to you, you’ll enjoy these apps similar to Dispo, without any social media features that require you to make another profile just to access the camera function.
Gudak Cam creates a realistic disposable camera experience by giving users 24 exposures on each roll. You have you have to wait an hour to “load” another roll after you take 24 pictures, and wait three days to see the photos you’ve taken. There are no effects to turn on or off on the photos, and the viewfinder is small, which means you might be surprised to find out what’s made it in each frame. The app is $0.99 and available only for iOS.
Hipstamatic X — Vintage Camera
Hisptamatic X brings back the early days of contrived grainy, faded Instagrams, while also closely mimicking the disposable camera feel. This iPhone-only app has a variety of filters that make your photos look impossibly retro. There are decorative options and a lot of customization when it comes to effects, so if you’re looking for that dated-photo feel, but don’t want to give up the camera bag just yet, this free app slaps.
Lightsnap App is as close to a digital disposable camera as you can get. The app allows you to take 24 pictures at a time, which you won’t see until they arrive at your doorstep (yes, your IRL doorstep) about a week later. Once your photos are processed, you’ll get to see digital versions of them, too. The app is free to download for iOS and Android, but you’ll have to pay for your printed film rolls.
KD Pro allows you to play with different vintage effects and filters, but you’ll only be able to manipulate pictures taken in-app. You can adjust color, contrast, flash, ratio, and more. The app is free and available for Android and iOS users.
Dazz Cam - Vintage Camera
Dazz Cam has a disposable camera-esque filter, but this app is an epic modern take on vintage camera effects — there’s nothing low-fi about it. You can create double exposures, 3D images, fish-eye effects, and utilize a self-timer. The app is free and available only for iOS users, though you can pay in-app for upgraded features like pro filters and effects.
The Calla Cam app comes with a variety of vintage camera filters, but you don’t have to spend any time trying to find the right one — the app picks a random one for you. If you want a more hands-on approach to photo editing, you can pick a film type, but the app likes to surprise you with the perfect filter that you might not have picked yourself.