8Bit Photo Lab, Retro Effects

In-app purchases
14.9K reviews
Content rating
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About this app

8Bit Photo Lab converts any picture on your phone or straight from your camera to retro 8-bit pixel art!

Choose a picture, scroll through a selection of pre-defined 8-bit filters and immediately review the vintage effect. Save or share the result in just one click!

★ make pixel art, pixelate your photos, create memes, design flashy posters, have fun!
★ choose from over 50 color palettes: GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, NES, TO7/70, Amstrad CPC 6128, Apple II, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 16 & 64, VIC 20, CGA, EGA, Atari ST, Amiga, VGA (256 colors)...
★ custom color palettes with the option to interpolate colors, allowing for duotone effects
★ 15 dithering types: error diffusion, noise, pattern, checkerboard...
★ huge finely selectable resolution range from 8 x 8 to 2048 x 2048
★ multiple pixel aspect ratios and attribute clash modes
★ output styles offer alternatives to regular flat pixels: fuse beads, bricks, puzzle, painted...
★ add retro 8-bit text and glitches
★ tastefully decorate with a selection of 8-bit stickers
★ flick right or left and immediately apply the filter to another picture from your collection!
★ high quality output, up to 4096 x 4096 in PNG
★ optional grid overlay for bead artists and cross-stitchers

The app has two goals: be dead simple to use and powerful enough to produce good-looking and effective results.
The reality of old school graphic conversions is that it can be tricky to get good results in all conditions. Low contrast or greyish images tend to be rendered as a murky mess if a straightforward downsampling is applied. 8Bit Photo Lab has a number of parameters that are key to optimizing the final look of your images. Every pixel counts when dealing with low resolution images.

Start off with one of the predefined looks (star icon) then mix and match colors, ditherings, resolutions and more until you get the effect you want.

Change a parameter and the result is immediately updated. Browse through multiple looks in an instant!

The three main parameters are resolution, palettes and dithering. Ditherings allow to simulate a larger range of colors than what the limited palette offers. Various options are offered here. Pattern dithering was often seen used in older paint software as well as the user interfaces for many operating systems. Checkerboard dithering was commonly employed in games. Error diffusion, gives the most faithful rendering.

Four parameters adjust color values for each pixel. You'll find familiar brightness, saturation and contrast settings as well as the very useful local contrast setting (also known as unsharp mask). Local contrast is very effective at bringing out detail and allowing to reduce resolution while retaining good subject definition. As an interesting side effect, reducing local contrast produces a soft focus effect which may take your art in another direction altogether. Giving saturation a boost can help make the most of some of the flashy color palettes.

Cropping will allow you to select just the part of your pic that you like. A tiny part of an image can still have enough resolution to be turned to an 8-bit picture. Even if your subject is small there is hope!

Old computers had few colors to play. They also crashed often in weird ways. Use the glitch menu (blender icon) to add mayhem to your pics. Screen melt, pixel scattering, pixel sorting, cellular automaton, block swapping, RGB offsetting, interlacing are on the menu.

Finally a good old text tool is always useful, whether you're looking to make memes, add a title or a text bubble, the app has a large selection of 8-bit fonts and borders to choose from!

PRO version
Unlocks the following:
★ wallpapers
★ larger range of parameters
★ more ditherings and palettes, including custom palettes
★ extra fonts and borders
★ extra glitches
★ lossless file compression (PNG), higher output resolution (up to 4096 x 4096), 1:1 output resolution
Updated on
Dec 14, 2018

Data safety

Safety starts with understanding how developers collect and share your data. Data privacy and security practices may vary based on your use, region, and age. The developer provided this information and may update it over time.
No data shared with third parties
Learn more about how developers declare sharing
No data collected
Learn more about how developers declare collection

Ratings and reviews

14.2K reviews
A Google user
December 28, 2018
Pretty much every app this guy makes is superb. I played with the free version for a while and have no regrets jumping on the Pro for a couple of bucks. It's feature-packed, very well thought out, and the built in tool explanations are very helpful. The only minor concern issue I ran into is that in some cases you can undo almost all your work with one click. I wish that a major UNDO like that came with a confirmation option. Other than that, this app is fantastic.
129 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
September 19, 2018
Simple to use, but not restrictive. The interface allows both quick presets to apply and allows intricate in-depth customization of filters. It's a powerful application and surprisingly robust for what I've come to expect from mobile photo editing apps. Some menus can be a pain to navigate but it's never frustrating. Images can only be saved as jpgs (a poorly suited file type for most images you'll be creating) as well, but it seems to be possible to export as different file types in the pro version. Despite these minor shortcomings, it's still easily worth a download.
44 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
October 8, 2018
Admittedly, I'm kind of an image nut already, but to give you some idea of how addictive it is, I've saved so many images from this thing that it's starting to fill up my 32Gb SD card. And there's still a ton of stuff to figure out. As soon as I can remember it during that narrow window of time when I have money in my account, I'm going to upgrade to pro. Gold pro, in fact. And if they come up with versions made out of better, brighter, gaudier, more imageworthy metals, I'll probably buy them. If there ARE any metals like that. Are there? And when my brain is all whacked out from working with images, or if I don't have anything more important to do (or even if I do), I'll just take an image and start tapping the "random" button, just to see what happens, and save the best of the output. And so far, the ONLY flaw I've encountered (and maybe I just haven't found the right way to do it) is that when I'm hitting the random button, if I go too fast and pass up an image I decide I want to save, there's no way to back up one step. Instead of going back to the previous group of settings, the back button takes me out of random mode and the previous settings are lost. This is important because, as much as I hate to admit it, the random algorithm generates output at least as good, and often much better, than anything my brain has created yet. So saving the output is about more than just filling up my SD card. It's about saving settings for future reference. Show me a solution to that and I'll love you forever.
24 people found this review helpful
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What's new

Fixed photo orientation on Android 7.0 and above
Fixed grid rendering when output is higher than wide