You either love or hate your taking pictures with your Android phone. There is no way in between. All this is due to the fact that Android devices are backed by Google OS but any phone producer can create its own camera applications. Obviously, some developers are better than others when it comes to enrich the camera experience. Therefore, it is better to utilize a camera application produced by a third party than the one extant on the phone.
There are dozens of camera applications available for customers on the Google Play Store. However, there are three of them that stand out due to their features, excellent performance and interface. They can be used to take high quality picture and capture unique moments.
Each of these three applications requires the minimum version of Android OS. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that both features and performance might vary quite a lot in accordance with the model of the phone and with the Android version on which it is functioning. The following applications have been tested with the help of a Samsung Galaxy S5 running on Android 4.4.2.
Camera Awesome is an application created by SmugMug to round its photo sharing web site. The application has a sensible organized interface. It is not a free application. Those who want it on their phones have to pay 2.99 US dollars. However, it unlocks various editing filters and it also pre-sets the in application purchase that can be found on the iOS. The SmugMug has numerous options that can be used in order to control the exposure.
The user has the possibility set and close focus and exposure on different zones just by gently tapping the phone screen. Unfortunately, with numerous smart phones, the Samsung Galaxy S5 included the icon for the exposure stands still right in the middle of the phone screen. The phone user has to reframe the shot as soon as the exposure closes down. The exposure compensation slider may be used in order to bring more light or darkness to the scene. This is possible because the camera adjust in an automatic manner its ISO as well as its shutter. The ISO setting can be selected manually. There are four white pre-sets for the user to choose from.
The application has a simple design, which makes it easy to use. The shooting modes are placed at one end of viewfinder. In the opposite part are located the camera setting along with the preferences. The HDR shooting allows the mixing of several photos. The panorama mode allows the user to move the camera so as to form an arc of 180 degrees.
Time lapse photos are possible due to the sixty seconds time mode and to the interval shooting option. The mode for the full resolution mode is conditioned by the rapidity with which a phone can store images. The Samsung Galaxy S5 with its 8 fps and 12 megapixels images can be used to get some blink free face portraits. The application allows a single axis level to prevent crooked horizons to pop out. The image stabilizer mode prevents the camera from taking the picture, until the phone is hold properly.
The front and the rear cameras can take advantages of the resolution created for still and moving captures. Users having a SmugMug application can save their pictures online and can also permit automatic cloud backups. Files can also be shared if Facebook and Twitter applications are installed on the phone. Photos can be downsized in an automatic manner before being shared. SmugMug functions either on Android 4.1 or a newer version.
Not so long ago, it was impossible to have a genuine Android camera experience in the absence of a Google Nexus phone. But there is good news for owners of phones running on Android. They can use Google’s camera application with any type of smart phone that is functioning with the help of the new version of Android.
Taking a closer look at the application, it is obvious that Google had no intention into dazzling users with numerous features. The application has a button for exposure compensation but it has only five different shooting possibilities. These include a HDR, a timer mode and video capture. The users will definitely be impressed by the panorama mode and the Photo Sphere which permit the creation of a 360 degree scrollable image, similar to the one of Google Street View.
The sweep panorama operation is done better with the help of the Photo Sphere and Panorama. The user has to take the first shot and then to move the camera in the direction of some large white coloured dots which appear on the screen on both side of an image thumbnail. If the user focuses the frame on one of the dots, it becomes blue. At this point the camera has to be held still because another photo is taken in an automatic way. This is probably the least complicated method to create panoramas. The photo sphere or the panorama (it depends on the user’s momentary desires) can be created from the left, right, edge or centre. There is no specific position from where to start the panorama. Other dots pop up on both sides of the photo frames.
The photos are amazing and only rarely can one perceive misaligned objects or unclear images of people moving around. Google uses various algorithms in order to mix seams and eliminate objects on the move. In the pictures taken with the help of this application pedestrians and cars on roads either appear as in real life or are removed from the scene. The panoramas are presented in full details. While taking panoramas the application sets the camera in the auto mode. In this way the final pictures to not have portions that are too dark or too bright.
The HDR feature can retain details and soften shadows without giving the impression of a surreal landscape as it is the case with so many other applications displaying this feature. The Google Camera HD features can be utilized together with the settings for exposure compensation. The Lens Blur imitates the field depth of traditional lenses. However, this simulation makes picture look quite surreal and therefore the feature cannot be classified as useful for photography enthusiasts.
The application has an easy to use interface. There are also icons to control the camera, an amazing photo gallery and obviously a shooting mode. It is extremely interesting to see the icons sliding into darkness when the user no longer needs them. Like Camera Awesome above, Google Camera needs and Android 4.4 or an even more recent version.
The Camera FV-5 is a bit more complicated applications since it was created for photographers who enjoy having lots of manual control on both camera and settings. The user has the possibility to choose between focus modes and various metering possibilities. There is also a white balance pre-set to make the experience even more enjoyable. The ISO speed of the camera can be adjusted manually.
The slider for exposure compensation can be used in order to modify brightness fast and without too many complications. The application comes in with a histogram. This permits the users to follow individual RGB channels or if he/she really wants to a composite luminance view.
The exposure can be adjusted manually or automatically. The speed of the shutter and the values of the ISO can be seen on the screen. One press of the button and the users can shoot up to seven pictures. Time lapse pictures are possible to crate due to the option for the interval shootings. This option allows the user to set the amount of time between shots. It also sets a limit to the number of pictures to be taken.
The setting menu is very complex. It allows the user to fix the resolution of images and to compress JPEG files. Default parameters can be selected for contrast and other photo characteristics. The Camera FV-5 is ideal for people who enjoy uploading their files on cloud. It gives them the possibility to make filename templates which have custom text as well as image metadata. Exposures can be recorded for sixty seconds.
In spite of the numerous options the interface is rather simple. However, it is quite difficult to discover all by yourself the functionality of each button so the manual should not be thrown into the dust bin. It is obvious that the camera was created having experienced photographers in mind but even beginners will appreciate the exposure compensation slider. The Camera FV-5 functions with Android 2.2 or any other more recent version. For the time being, there is a free version available, but with a limited resolution.