Free with in-app purchases www.vsco.co
Unlike the other apps here, VSCO filters are also available as Lightroom Presets and ACR Presets for Photoshop CS6 and CC. These filters can be purchased from the VSCO website, and seek to emulate a wide range of classic colour and black & white films, plus there are themed packs available aimed at specific types of photography or based around an editing style. The app itself is available for free and offers 20 presets that can be applied to images that you load into the app, or take using the app’s camera function. Once images have been imported or shot using the app, they remain in the gallery/organiser, where they can be accessed quickly.
There are also controls for editing photos, and these can be used exclusively or to personalise one of the presets. They allow you to do all the things you’d expect, such as crop, and control brightness and contrast, but following the overall aesthetic created by the presets. Other controls are aimed at creating retro-style film effects. A great feature is that you can change the order of these manual controls to speed up your workflow.
Just like the Adobe- compatible presets that are available to purchase, you can also buy additional presets through the app. These range from free to £3.49, and are aimed at specific genres of photography such as portraiture and landscape, or based around an editing style. The fact that there are quite a few options available that cost just a few pounds helps to make them a compelling purchase.
There is also a community, but it lacks the finesse of Instagram. You can create a profile, follow other photographers and be followed yourself. The platform isn’t as popular, but still boasts over 30 million active users. The strength of the app is the stylish retro effects it allows you to apply. Unlike the other editing apps, this is one that makes its money through selling features and functionality to users in the form of preset packs and VSCO X –a $19.99 per year subscription service that provides enhanced tools and community content.