Filmborn App for iPhone: Kicking Ass and It’s FREE

Before we dive into this, do yourself a favor and download the app.

You deserve a new toy (or app) to play with and for me, Filmborn my go to app that helps me put my DSLR down.

Let’s talk about what this app is all about. Film emulation.


Filmborn was created to bring the beauty, history, and consistency of
traditional film stocks to the iPhone. Filmborn not only allows people to quickly
and easily make consistent, timeless work, but it also educates the user on
photography basics and film as they explore tools and techniques in the app.
– Kirk Mastin, founder of Mastin Labs and Filmborn

Until now I’ve been fairly stalwart when it comes to taking photos with my iPhone. It never gets the white balance how I like it and the exposure ALWAYS is just a liiiiittle too dark and I’m a sucker for that film look, which I really haven’t found until now. However, using the Filmborn App has gotten to the root of those issues and really made amazing use of the technology behind the iPhone’s camera.

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Out of the features that the Filmborn app houses let me speak to my favorite real quick like.

Gesture Based Exposure Changes!

Okay, hang on, I know there isn’t anything exciting happening in the frame, but I’m changing the exposure by ONLY SWIPING UP AND DOWN ON THE SCREEN!

No hunting for 5 billion ways to adjust the exposure. No tap hold, wait for AE lock, then swiping up or down. Swipe up, it gets brighter, swipe down, darker.

Also, see this little guy?

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 11.40.34 AM

Tap on him in the corner and BOOM on goes highlight clipping. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to make sure I preserved detail in the highlights when shooting on my phone.

There a HUGE amount of features aside from this that Filmborn offers, but for me this was a clear victory and reason to keep this app as a staple in my mobile workflow.

Here are other features that the crew at Filmborn has listed on their iTunes page:


● Gesture Based Controls Dial in the perfect shot quickly with gesture based white balance and exposure, highlight clipping, 2-Axis Level, Rangefinder mode, and quick review.

● Non-Destructive True-to-Film Presets Our presets are born from an intensive side-by-side comparison process between actual film scans from a Fuji Frontier Scanner, and digital images shot with the iPhone. Mastin Labs’ proprietary color science makes it so no other app can match film as accurately as Filmborn.

● Curves Filmborn’s curves control is powerful. The curves tool gives you the ability to control the details of the shadows, midtones, and highlights, allowing maximum creative control.

● Tone Profiles We’ve included real scanning tone profiles such as all hard, shadow soft, and shadow hard, to help with tricky lighting situations.

● Custom Camera Kits With 4 viewfinders, 3 virtual lenses, and 9 true-to-film presets, you can create camera kits for specific uses, such as a street photography kit, or a large format landscape kit. Effortlessly switch between your kits with a simple swipe in camera mode.

● Learn to Shoot Real Film Filmborn™ is designed to bridge the analog history of film with its digital future. Built not only to emulate film, Filmborn also educates digital natives on the techniques and history of film. Users will find education on film photography peppered throughout the app, and ongoing education in our FilmBorn User Group on Facebook.

Don’t put it off, grab your phone and download today because guys, it’s free and it’s amazing.

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Casey Cosley

As a Seattle-based photographer, I incorporate the culture and style of the city into the sense and attitude of my work. I deliver a stunning and vibrant body of work for my clients, and am available for commercial & editorial travel and/or location photo assignments worldwide. Check out my work on Instagram.