How To: Shoot Retro-Style VHS Videos on Your Phone

Shoot Retro-Style VHS Videos on Your Phone

Technology can move really fast. Just consider the format for which we consume videos and movies, which has transformed from film reels to VHS to DVD to Blu-ray to steaming with nothing physical at all. But for some odd reason—maybe because it strikes a nostalgic chord or it's just the new hipster trend—VHS is in again. Yes, shaky, grainy, low-quality videos with timestamps are cool again, and I dig it.

As a fan of found-footage horror flicks like the first two V/H/S films, I can definitely see the appeal of having an app that enables me to achieve a VHS-effect on my smartphone. What isn't as appealing is the four-dollar price tag that some devs place on a glorified retro filter.

But there is a really great free option that just surfaced called The Camcorder by developer Shahvilla, which is currently available on the iOS App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch (requires iOS 7 or later), and on Android devices on the Google Play Store and Amazon App Store.

Just like the format it's attempting to mimic, the app is pretty damn basic, which is a good thing. Just launch it and begin recording. What I like is that you're forced to shoot in landscape mode and the timestamp reflects the actual time and date on your device. You also get basic features like zoom, flash, and swapping camera perspective.

While you may not use this all the time, the change may warrant some extra social media likes, and shooting a short horror flick will probably have more of an eerie tone with this camera than with other options. The only thing I wish this camera did was let you change the year, in case you wanted to act like you actually found old footage from the past.

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