Best camera apps for Android
19th Dec 2013 | 11:45
For many people purchasing a smartphone, having a decent camera is still one of the biggest draws. It seems forever ago that cameras were first introduced on mobile phones, with 13 years being about 6 life times in the tech world.
Some manufacturers are taking a different tack, with HTC looking at creating larger pixels to let in more light. Its proprietary UltraPixel technology means that the flagship HTC One, and its brothers the One Mini and One Max creates some stunning low light imagery.
It is then probably no surprise that the Play Store has found itself populated with numerous camera apps, designed to replace the stock camera app with something either more fun or more intuitive. Here's our guide to what we feel are the best camera apps on the Play Store right now.
One of the fun things about having a third party camera app is filters. There are so many filters around that choosing the right app for each purpose might prove a little difficult.
An app that we can recommend is Paper Camera, as we love the varying sketch style filters that it provides. These are provided in real time, meaning that you can see what the image is going to look like before you snap it.
There are 14 filters to choose from, with these also being able to be transferred over to video recording. You can also use Paper Camera to edit existing images, and share them to varying social accounts.
If you've decided that this isn't the app for you, but you would still like to use the sketchy effects, why not try Pencil Camera (or variants). These apps also provide real time filters, and cover a range of devices with both free and paid for versions available.
Instagram is a photo app that is likely to appear on most modern smartphone users wish lists. The photo sharing site got so popular that it soon got bought out by Facebook.
The biggest feature that Instagram brings is its variety of filters, allowing users to take some strange looking pictures of their dinner, or their cat. These can then be instantly shared to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare.
The app also allows you to manage your Instagram account, viewing photos from those that you follow, and make comments. There isn't a whole to say about the Instagram app really, as its popularity means that most of it has already been said.
If you're unsure whether Instagram is for you, you could always try InstaLomo HD for Instagram. It too provides different filters, with sharing also heavily built in.
Camera ZOOM FX
On the face of things, Camera ZOOM FX is well designed, with there being no real surprises in layout as it follows the same layout as stock cameras that we have encountered.
Photo editing is also included, as with nigh on every camera app that we have seen these days, but it comes with a decent range of features.
If you're into downloading add-ons, there are over 90 that can be added to Camera ZOOM FX, including Frames, Props, Composites and more Composites.
Morphing photos is also supported, meaning that you can distort images. There is even a clever sound activated shutter a la LG devices, meaning you can set the app to take a photo with a clap or shout.
Photo distortion is rather popular, so for those that aren't impressed with Camera ZOOM FX and want a more specific app, Photo Warp will cater to your every warp need.
We could easily focus on the filters that come in Cymera, but if we did that with every single photo app, we would be here all day. The more interesting features that Cymera offers are found deeper into the app.
Editing existing, or taking and editing photos is easy, and there are a lot of options available. The more interesting ones allow you to overlay decorations to make photos more fun, or free draw on images.
Facial detection is also built in, meaning that you can edit the faces of subjects after taking a photo. They can become slimmer, have bigger eyes and bigger smiles, and Cymera will also intelligently place varying hair styles or make up, should you desire.
If you're choosing the Cymera app because of these facial features, it might be worth checking out BeautyPlus, an app that bills itself as the ultimate self-portrait camera. It provides real time filters and removes facial blemishes to aid the less photoshop inclined.
Camera HDR Studio
HDR shooting is something that is built into many different stock cameras these days, but chances are that you might want to grab yourself a more dedicated app if HDR photography is something that you are going to be doing on a large scale.
This is where the likes of Camera HDR Studio comes in, with its ability to take HDR photographs even without HDR capabilities. It supports a whole variety of HDR modes, meaning you can take standard HDR photos, artistic or even cartoon like photos.
In total, there are 9 HDR modes, 50 colour effects, 12 artistic effects etc. Camera HDR Studio also allows you to shoot up to 30 photos per second depending on your device's speed. Lower specced devices come with support up to 10 photos per second.
If HDR is your thing, but Camera HDR Studio isn't, why not check out (confusingly-named) HDR Camera. It doesn't come with photo filters, providing a more steam-lined app in the process. HDR Camera also comes with a paid version, packing in more features.
Flickr is a photo app and photo site that has been around for a while, now under the stewardship of Yahoo. It is one of the biggest and best known photo sharing apps, being used around the globe.
Coming with a terabyte of storage, it is popular amongst intensive photographers as a way of storing photos to the cloud, as well as providing a level of photo manipulation that includes 16 different filters.
Like Instagram, the Flickr app also allows you take to take control of your Flickr account, meaning that you can connect with friends and access their photo streams.
For those that want a little more control over their images, Flickr also allows you total privacy control meaning no Insta-ads.
If you're using Flickr for photo storage, why not consider using Dropbox. Whilst not a photography app in the regular form, it does come with the ability to instantly upload your photos from your camera, via only Wi-Fi or can coerce your data plan to do the same thing too.