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Mood.camera is an iOS application that provides the experience of using a vintage analog camera.

Phone cameras have come a long way, with image processing playing an increasingly vital role and offering users more precise controls to enhance their images. Nevertheless, there is still a strong affinity among many individuals for traditional photography styles and techniques. Developer Alex Fox aimed to capture the essence of nostalgia while creating the Mood.camera app.

The iPhone app offers a delightful selection of retro filters for capturing photos. You have the option to adjust the quality and tone using a dial. Switching between different lenses and adjusting exposure from the main screen is a breeze. This all feels quite familiar, but what you may not realize is the incredible joy of seeing a live preview of your photo as it “develops.” The end result is truly captivating and filled with endless possibilities.

Fox emphasized the importance of users focusing on the image in the viewfinder rather than the effects. That’s why he made the deliberate decision not to include a live preview feature. With this app, you’ll see the same thing as you would in the default camera app. On a positive note, the app does not offer an editing feature, and unfortunately, you cannot import photos from the gallery to apply filters to old photos.


“Since the first Polaroid camera, photography has been centered around convenience and control, but it seems that we may have lost a bit of the enchantment along the journey,” Fox expressed to Eltrys via email.

“Some of the design decisions I made aimed to enhance the user experience by encouraging them to fully immerse themselves in the present moment, rather than getting caught up in choosing filters or endlessly editing on their phones.”

The developer enthusiastically began working on a prototype of the app in October 2023 and recently shared a beta version on Reddit.

Fox mentioned that in the past two months, a dedicated group of photographers has greatly contributed to improving the app by capturing over 100,000 photos. You can enjoy a complimentary trial of the app for a full week, after which you have the option to subscribe for just $1.99 per month or make a one-time payment of $14.99.


In recent years, apps such as Lapse, Dispo, and Later Cam have embraced the charm of retro cameras by incorporating certain limitations into their functionality. Although Lapse and Dispo initially attracted investors, their growth eventually began to taper off. However, even though an indie developer may not experience a venture-backed outcome, there is still the potential for their app to become a sustainable source of income and achieve long-term success.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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