They are both apps that have massive followings among the shutterbug community. One has been around for a while. One has just about arrived. But which suits you betttter - the old favorite Instagram, or the new kid on the block, Prisma? We pit the two apps against each other to find out.
The past month has seen the app world being all abuzz about a new image editing app called Prisma. While photo editing apps are a penny a dozen in app stores all around the world, what made Prisma special was the fact that it transformed photographs into something approaching works of art by masters such as Van Gogh and Munk. So rapidly did its popularity grow that many asserted that it would replace Instagram as the people’s favourite image tweaking app. But can it actually do so? After being asked that question by dozens of people, we decided to compare the two apps in our very first app-based Versus. The results were very interesting:
While Instagram’s biggest strength is the fact that it can transform your photographs into retro looking snaps, Prisma tends to try to convert them into works of art inspired by the sketches of some of the masters. Which is better? Well, it really depends on what you give more importance to. We have to concede that Prisma has a winner here as it actually tries to convert the picture into something radically different from the original, whereas Instagram tries to place a layer of sorts over it.
Ease of use
In terms of sheer ease of use, the Force lies with Instagram. Whereas in Prisma, you actually have to choose the image and then wait a while to see how the app alters it, Instagram not only instantly shows you the effect a filter will have on the picture, but also includes thumbnail previews of the effect of other filters below it. This is also important because in both cases, the names of the filters and effects (Clarendon, Lark, Reyes, Dreams, Raoul, Urban, etc.) are unlikely to be understood by the mainstream user.
Filters and effects
Both apps have more than two dozen filters and effects and keep adding to them as well. However, while Instagram’s filters are more designed towards just adding a few touches - generally retro - to the selected photographs, the effects on Prisma are much more in-depth, as they try to change the photograph into not just a painting but one by a famous painter. Interestingly, while Prisma allows you to increase or lessen the impact and intensity of its effects, Instagram has only one level, even though it does allow you to tweak smaller elements like brightness. Another win for Prisma here, simply because its results are way more spectacular at the time of writing than Instagram’s.
When it comes to additional editing, Instagram is an easy winner. It allows you to straighten and crop an image, edit contrast levels, saturation, colours, and even sharpen images and add vignettes among other things. Prisma on the other hand, is limited to letting you decide the orientation of the image and the intensity of the effect. For those who like to tweak their images endlessly, there is only one winner here.
So you have tweaked your image and added the requisite effects. What next? Well, both Prisma and Instagram allow you to save your edited images and also share them across social networks. But this is where an important difference comes into play – while Instagram itself is a social network with its own subscriber base, Prisma is basically an app. In fact, Prisma even describes itself as an “Art Photo Editor With Free Picture Effects & Cool Image Filters for Instagram, Pics and Selfies.” Yes, both apps allow you to tweak images and share them, but Instagram is a social network in its own right, which gives it this round.
So, which of the two should you use? Well, actually, we would suggest using both as both are free and awesome - although at the time of writing, Prisma was available only for iOS devices (an Android version is expected soon, though). But if you had to choose one of the two, then it would really depend on your own tastes and preferences. Those who love retro photoraphy and like quick results with a number of editing options would love Instagram, while those looking to revamo their pictures radically and with an eye for art would love Prisma. Either way, you don’t have to pay a penny. Either way, you are a winner. We just hope someone now blends the best features of both apps - Prismagram would be perfect!