Say hello to Oggl!

By on May 10, 2013

How can I sum up the concept of Oggl in a few words? You could describe Oggl as the love child (illegitimate of course!) resulting from a relationship between Hisptamatic and Instagram. I’ve said it! With the qualities of both, but laced with a Hipstamatic sauce.

I tested Oggl for a few days. I believe this latest addition to the Hipstamatic family complements the parent-app very well and will delight those who love to share on social networks. Oggl is designed around two key features: Capturing and curating photos.

Capturing images, or the art of dealing with our neuroses

All Hipstamatic users will at some point have to cope with the same problem, which can even develop into full-blown neurosis: what, in a specific situation, is THE combo to use? Editing is not possible with Hipstamatic, as the filters (objective, film and flash) are applied when taking the photo.

So to overcome this limitation, the user will take the same shot several times but with different combinations, and afterwards select the best result. With more than 16.800 basic possibilities (28 lenses, 30 films, 10 flashes and two flash options), the user can lose their head and sink into an anxiety state! "Should I choose Tejas/Blanko, W40/Wonder or Mabel/Pistil? Or should I in fact opt for black and white film? Should I use the flash?"

I haven’t even mentioned the Multi-Exposure option, which multiplies number of possible combinations exponentially! It is therefore clear that to best use Hipstamatic, a sound knowledge of the various films, lenses is needed. This is also one of the reasons that prompted me to set up Hipstography, as the combos and photos published can become a source of inspiration for others.

But let’s get back to the subject - Oggl. The principle of this application is simple: you take a picture and then apply the effect obtained with lens X and film Y. There is even some good news: the various components (lenses and films) are the same as for Hipstamatic! You can therefore find our 28 well-known lenses (Helga Viking, Lucifer VI, Loftus, John S, etc.) and of course our usual 30 films (BlacKeys SuperGrain, Pistil, Blanko Freedom13, etc.). It is therefore possible to get an overview of the possible combinations with just one photo. Many of us will breathe a sigh of relief!

Oggl is free and comes with 5 "Favorites" pre-loaded for situational shooting: Landscape, Food, Portrait, Nightlife and Sunset. Each favourite is a preset combo. For instance, "Food" combines the Loftus lens and DC film, a Hipstamatic classic. But Hipstamatic will charge 99 cents a month (or $9.99 per year)  for access to the full catalog of lenses and films. Oggl guarantees new gear each month.

The same chocolates, different packaging

In an interview with Ben Watts published on Hipstography, Ben told us: "Hipstamatic gives each lens, each pack a personality, comparing some effects to Polaroid 180 and 195 cameras. Instagram just throws names at them. (…) It’s that personality, and the number of possible combinations, that sets Hipstamatic apart. (…) Hipstamatic is like a box of chocolates — I like this one, I like that one with a nut in it, and that one’s a good toffee: there’s something for everyone."

Oggl can therefore be compared to a new box of chocolates, just as delicious as those offered by Hipstamatic but... you share the chocolates differently.

Let’s play curator!

What is remarkable about Oggl is its rather innovative way of sharing photos. There is of course the classic sharing on the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr), but there is also an internal network. Some feel that this area is already saturated, and the future will tell us whether there is room for Oggl.

As always with Hipstamatic, the design is meticulous and it really is a great addition. The "Sharing" section is divided into three parts: "Captured" includes your own shots, "Curated" unites the photos (by other users) that you have liked and "My Collection" is a summary of both parts, so you can play the role of a curator but it does not stop there.

Hipstamatic has really completely rethought the very concept of sharing and has adapted it to the concept of Hipstamatic combos. By way of example: you like another user’s photo and add it to your collection; by clicking on it, you can find the combination used (lens and film) and most importantly, shoot directly with this combo. It is simple and effective.

Slight downside: it is impossible to communicate with other users... I came across a few very beautiful pictures that I would like to publish on Hipstography, but there is no way of making contact with the photographer in question.


Oggl should be available by the 11th or 12th May, but nothing is certain, I think Hipstamatic is waiting for the green light from Apple. Anyway, the procedure is rather complex: a request must be sent ("invitation system") to Oggl’s official website. More news in the coming days...

Hipstamatic in all this?

Hipstamatic announced on its blog: "Fret not, friends. Hipstamatic is here to stay." I actually think that the two applications will coexist, because it all depends on the user. Personally, I'm not a fan of editing images and I do not like to spend time editing a photo. I love the unpredictability of Hipstamatic, and even if it is in fact a constraint, I like having to choose the combo to use before taking the photo.

That said, being a bit neurotic about finding the perfect combo, I often take the same picture 4, 5 or 6 times. Oggl can alleviate this  neurosis... At present there is no flash available on Oggl (except the basic iPhone flash) and no "Multiple Exposure" function. Purists will probably prefer the original application...

To conclude this first overview of Oggl, please note that I will of course publish photos taken with this application since the EXIF data clearly indicates the combo used and the application.

Eric Rozen (@ericrozen on Oggl)

PS: I asked the opinion of some users who tested Oggl before its launch. Click here to read what they said about it.

This post is also available in: French


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