Three Instagram photo app rivals for the iPhone

There are now more than seven million users actively sharing photos on the Instagram platform, manically applying grungy, retro filters left, right and centre, which is a pretty impressive stat considering the app was only launched onto the iTunes app store late last year!

Dedicated Instagrammers will cite a number of reasons as to why they love the app so much, the basic choice of filters, the intuitive UI, the sense of community, the list really could go on and on.

Of course there are those that argue it’s a poor excuse for photography and are irritated by the obsession with making every photo look like it was taken in decades past. But, you have to admit it’s fairly addictive and grungy-looking photos have become so popular anything that looks like it’s actually from 2011 makes my eyes sting a little and seems boring and far too bright in comparison.

There are plenty of retro photo apps on the market, including Instagram’s biggest rival, Hipstamatic, but which others could give Instagram a run for its money?



It only seemed fair to showcase Instagram’s skillz in comparison to the rest. So, as we all know far too well, Instagram is a popular photo app with a choice of 15 different filters, as well as the ability to apply tilt-shift effects to your final image. You can then share your photos to your social networks instantly, or just to the rest of the Instagram community.

Available from iTunes for Free.

100 Cameras in 1


The beauty of 100 Cameras in 1, is that you can actually edit photos from within the app itself and then send them automatically through to Instagram. So if you’re frustrated by the lack of filters Instagram offers, then this would be a good option, as it still allows you to share your images with your followers.

The app has a handy intensity slider, so you can decide how extreme the final effects are going to look, which is a really nice touch and makes your images look much more subtle. There’s a lot of variety with 100 Cameras in 1, 100 filters to be exact, which some users may find appealing, but personally I really like the simplicity of Instagram’s 15 filter offering.

You can achieve a dated and grungy look with a few of the filters, but overall the effects are fairly subtle and light. To combat this you can apply one filter and then see yet another 100 variations of that edited one, so if you’re looking for something deeper and more intense, you can venture further into the effects labyrinth, so to speak.

Available from iTunes for £0.69.



We’ve written about our love for CameraBag before on Shiny Shiny, but it always comes up as one of the top apps for photo editing because it’s just so simple and allows users to instantly preview all 15 filters by simply swiping through them.

Unlike 100 Cameras in 1 and Instagram users aren’t constrained by a square image, which means less will be lost due to irritating cropping.

Unfortunately you can’t share your finished images to social networks, but can save them to you camera roll or send to others via email.

Available from iTunes for £1.49.

Magic Hour


I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with Magic Hour. It’s probably one of my all time favourite photo apps, but the interface annoys the hell out of me as it looks like it’s been drawn by a three year old.

You can choose between LOADS of filters and then edit them afterwards, adjusting curves, textures and frames and also applying tilt shift effects too. So you can quickly apply a filter and go, or spend time tweaking it until it looks just right.

There’s a huge range of effects and most are just as good (if not better) than those available within Instagram, from the subtle and light to the deep and “contrasty”. There are more than enough available within the app itself, but it does also have a dedicated filer store where you can buy more.

Available from iTunes for £1.49.

Oh, and if you’re looking for something to add the Instagram-like tilt-shift effects I’d recommend something like TiltShift Generator, available from iTunes for £0.69.

Becca Caddy


  • well – nice info and yes photo-artist tools has just boomed since the smartphone took over our everyday life.

    An online option out there is – they can do a bit like this for your pictures from your computer.

    All the best


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