Hipstamatic is a digital photography application for the Apple iPhone and Windows Phone sold by Hipstamatic, LLC. It uses the phone's camera to allow the user to shoot photographs, to which it applies a number of software filters to make the images look as though they were taken with a vintage film camera. The user can choose among a number of effects which are presented in the application as simulated lenses, films and flashes. Several of these are included with the application, while others may be acquired through an in-app purchase. The application has sold four million copies as of January 2012.[1]


According to Synthetic, the Hipstamatic 100 camera was developed in the early 1980s by Bruce and Winston Dorbowski, but was a commercial failure, selling fewer than 200 units. The application's styling is based on the style of a cheap plastic analog photographic camera.[2] It is assumed that the backstory is viral advertising.[3][4][5]

Hipstamatic is part of a retro trend in photography, which has seen a rise in the popularity of cheap and technically obsolete analog cameras (such as Lomography and Polaroid instant cameras), as well as software filters and smartphone software that emulate such cameras. Other vintage photography applications include CameraBag and Instagram. Like Hipstamatic, they often include social networking features.[6][7] Some phones include similar built-in filters.[8]


The application has sold 4 million times as of January 2012.[1] It received additional publicity when The New York Times photographer Damon Winter used it in 2010 to illustrate a front-page story about the Afghanistan War.[9] Winter's images gained recognition by receiving third place in the Pictures of the Year International photojournalism competition.[10] In 2013, P&TLuxembourg issued a series of postage stamps featuring Hipstamatic photographs realized by François Besch.[11]


  1. "No Filter: Inside Hipstamatic's Lost Year Searching For The Next Killer Social App". 9 October 2012.
  2. Richmond, Shane (19 August 2011). "Instagram, Hipstamatic and the mobile photography movement". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  3. Plummer, Libby (16 November 2010). "Hipstamatic - behind the lens". Pocket-lint.com. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  4. LaFrombois, Rick (22 December 2010). "The little hipster who could". Wausau City Pages.
  5. Yawnick, Marty (23 December 2010). "News: Wausau City Pages uncovers the real Hipstamatic backstory?". LifeInLoFi.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  6. von Gehlen, Dirk (7 November 2010). "Das sieht so richtig schön alt aus". Süddeutsche Zeitung. jetzt.de. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  7. Taylor, Kristen (2 November 2010). "What Does a Future of Retro Camera Apps Look Like?". Fast Company. FC Expert Blog. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  8. "The HTC Titan 2: A Closer Look at a Windows Phone With an Amazing Camera". Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  9. Estrin, James (21 November 2010). "Finding the Right Tool to Tell a War Story". Lens blog. The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2010. The story so illustrated was: Dao, James (21 November 2010). "Between Firefights, Jokes, Sweat and Tedium". The New York Times.
  10. David Rowan, Wired UK. "Making good photography more portable on your travels." 25 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  11. "4th issue in 2013 - 02 - Book of stamps – Luxembourg Mushrooms - Stamps - POST Philately". www.postphilately.lu.

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