Oh HAI 8bitlibrary readers! I’ve been part of the 8bit team for awhile now, but have spent most of my time sendin out ur tweetz. But now I am up in ur blog, typin up posts! (Ok, sorry, I’m done with that now. Just had to get it out of my system, ya know?)Ike E. Puppy

Aaaanyway, I just found an excellent new app for my iPhone called Instagram. If you like Hipstamatic (another awesome iPhone photo app) you’ll love Instagram. The difference? Well, Hipstamatic is an app that lets you apply different virtual lenses and film-types to your smartphone pics. The resulting photos have a vintage, washed out or color saturated effect, often with burn-out or frayed edges, depending on the lens-film combo you choose. Here’s an example (which is of course of my cat.)–>

To save yourself some time and trouble (although playing around with the app is half the fun) check out Photojojo’s Ultimate Hipstamatic Guide, which demonstrates the effects of all 336 lens-film combinations.

The downside to Hipstamatic? For one, the viewfinder is tiny, and not very accurate. You’ll spend time trying to get your subject right where you want it, only to have it be out of place once the picture is taken. Also, it only works with pictures you take through the app. As in, if you want a Hipstamatic-style pic, you need to take the picture with the Hipstamatic app.

Enter: Instagram. It’s free (unlike Hipstamatic, which will run you $1.99, plus an extra $.99 per new lens/film package, of which there are currently five.) Also, it allows you to apply filters to pics you already have in your iPhone’s photo library, as well as take pics through the app. Finally, Instagram allows you to find and invite your friends, and creates a feed of your/their photos, which you can then “like” or comment on.

This feature adds tons of value to the app, since once you get decent at creating quality photos, you really want to share them with others. The app will even let you post to Facebook and/or Twitter, for even wider sharing potential.

Some examples of Instagram shots:

Carlo's BakeryPA Creek

As of the time I’m posting this, Hipstamatic and Instagram are iPhone-only apps. For Android users, try picplz (which also has an iPhone app, but I have not tried it.)

More info:

Hipstamatic review (BoingBoing)

Instagram review (ReadWriteWeb)

Picplz review (TechCrunch)