Photo-sharing app Dispo has brought back the nostalgia of an analog camera by letting people see the images they take a day later. Now a new company called Camera later wants to create similar magic by not only providing an analog-like photo-taking experience, but also delivering prints of those photos in a single take.
The idea is simple: users can choose a “disposable camera” style in the Later Cam app via “Digital Disposable” mode, then take up to 27 photos. Like an old school camera, you can’t see previews after taking or editing these images. However, users will have the option of using the old-school or full-screen viewfinder (as shown in the image below) and can switch between different lenses or turn the flash on and off.
Users can also invite their friends through the “party cam” feature by sending them a link to the shared camera. Friends can install the app through this link and take photos of an event with a collective limit of 27 photos.
As users take photos, the Laer Cam app displays the number of photos you have left via a counter on the camera interface, just like a disposable camera would. But you can’t see the “developed” digital images until three days after you’ve taken all 27 photos. People can choose to use the ‘Develop Early’ option to see the photos before they complete the reel, but then they’ll lose that camera’s unused slots. If they try disposable digital camera mode – the free option where you don’t pay upfront – it doesn’t really matter.
Paid users can get the photos they like to print and ship to their home. This could be ideal for a birthday party or a get-together where everyone wants to have physical memories of the event.
The company charges $3.99 for five photos, $5.99 for 10, $8.99 for 17, and $12.99 for all 27 photos to print. Later Cam also offers a wedding package of 270 photos for $149, which allows attendees to scan QR codes from wedding invitations and take photos of the event which are then sent to those getting married at a later date. Shipping is free in the US, and the company said it is exploring different models for sending the photos overseas. Users can also choose to download photos to their phone, but where’s the fun in that?
The startup was founded by Alex Cook, who got this idea from his other startup called NanaGram. This service allows you and your family members to text photos, which the company then prints and sends to elderly family members who may not have a smartphone. He was inspired to build Later Cam after noticing that many supermarkets were still selling disposable cameras for $25 apiece, and thought it would be fun to bring that experience to users’ phones at a cheaper price.
After interviewing some early Later Cam users during testing, Cook added an OG Print Disposable mode – where you pay the price for a set of 5, 10, 17 or 27 photos up front, and see them first. times directly when they arrive in prints arrive in the email — before the public launch.
Currently, the app only has one film filter which gives photos a grainy, slightly vintage look. Cook said he explores different filters when taking a photo.
“Our camera phones are obviously much more convenient and since our phones are almost always with us, we take more photos. Before we had to wait impatiently, now we take ten photos of the same thing to get the perfect shot. As we made the transition from analog to digital, we sacrificed magic for convenience. Later Ca m brings back some of the magic,” Cook said in an email conversation with TechCrunch.
The Later Cam app is available on both iOS and Android. As the company aims to get more customers to print their photos, it will certainly draw a comparison to Dispo, whose founder David Dobrik faced sexual assault allegations last year and then left the company.
Dobrik played a huge role in bringing Dispo to the masses, and without him, the company’s path to becoming a mainstream social media app is hazy. With the success of new social networks like BeReal, Dispo’s figures are already on a downward curve. According to data from analytics firm Apptopia, Dispo has been downloaded 1.64 million times this year through August, down 26% from the same period year-on-year; the app has 7.32 million lifetime downloads.