Google Camera, Open Camera and more!

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Smartphone cameras have improved dramatically over the years. Modern smartphones have eliminated the need for a compact camera and come very close to what a DSLR or mirrorless camera can capture in terms of color and detail. While you can find multiple phones with the best camera hardware for multiple scenarios, one thing that differs between these phones is the software responsible for processing the captured images. Each OEM uses an image processing pipeline unique to their camera application and this processing can make or break the job. To a very large extent, most users don’t need to explore camera apps beyond the original camera app preinstalled on their phone.

iPhone 12 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, Samsung S21 Ultra and Vivo X60 Pro Plus

But many of them are disappointed with poor software optimization and poor image processing, and that’s where a third-party camera comes in. Not only image processing, but a few phones may have poor image processing. camera app which is straightforward and may not have a lot of built-in features. To resolve these issues, it’s a good idea to install a third-party camera app. Or maybe you’re just bored of the camera app and want to try something new and new.

To make it easier for you, we’ve tried several camera apps from the Play Store and put together a list of the best camera apps you can download to improve your smartphone’s camera performance (OEM agnostic) , or get more functionality and use manual controls that may not be present on your smartphone’s default camera app. We have a similar list for those of you looking for the best Android apps overall, other than for taking photos.

Google and GCam camera ports

Google Camera app

Google’s Pixel line of smartphones have always been one of the best smartphones for taking photos and that’s mainly because of their computer photography prowess. Even with older hardware, Pixel smartphones produce incredible images thanks to the processing done by the Google Camera app. Google also introduced Night Sight a few years ago and has since revolutionized low-light photography.

Night Sight and Portrait modes on Google Camera are both unmatched and the best part is that you can also install a worn version of Google Camera on your existing smartphone and enjoy pixel-like images. You can refer to our guide for the best Google Camera port for your phone and install it, and you will surely be amazed with the results.

Open the camera

Open the camera user interface

Open the camera is a free and simple app that can be used to take photos and film videos using your smartphone. If you want extra control over which photos you click and want to experiment with manual settings, Open Camera is a good app to start with.

You get cool features like an alignment blip that ensures your photos are straight, low-light noise reduction, and the ability to take photos while saying slogans like cheese or by making a specific sound. The user interface is simple and there are no ads in the app.

Candy camera

Candy Camera app

This one dates back to the days when default camera apps on most smartphones were straightforward and you needed an app that could capture good selfies with colored filters. Candy camera is primarily intended for selfies and especially for those who like to post their photos on Instagram or other social media apps.

While most social media apps have their own set of filters these days, Candy Camera has a good selection as well, and a few years ago it was the go-to photo app for taking cute selfies alongside. Retrica, another application that OGs would know.

Footej Camera 2

Footej Camera 2

If you are looking for a reliable alternative to your stock camera app for photos and videos, Footej Camera 2 might be a good option for you. There are different formats and resolutions to choose from, as well as Auto-HDR capabilities. There is also support for Live Photos, similar to iPhone or motion-activated photos taken by Google Camera.

As for videos, you can pause a video while recording and then resume it from a different frame and merge the two clips in real time, as well as convert small videos to GIF. You also get several different built-in effects as well as a photo editor for doing basic edits.

Simple camera

Simple Camera app

As indicated by his name, Simple camera is probably the simplest app on this list, both in terms of user interface and features. The user interface looks clean and minimal and only displays the minimal options that you would need to capture a photo or video. There are no ads on the app which adds to the straightforward user experience.

While this app doesn’t offer a lot of features, it’s straightforward to use and doesn’t have too many confusing options. If you give a phone to someone who doesn’t have much experience with smartphones, this camera app will surely give them hassle free experience.

FV-5 Lite Camera

FV-5 Lite Camera

FV-5 Camera is an app that provides powerful tools to capture photos exactly the way you want. The reason we chose the Lite version of the app is because it’s free, so it’s a good way to try out the app. If you like the way it works, you can always get the full version to unlock the full set of features.

The FV-5 camera offers a full range of manual controls that you may be familiar with if you’ve used a professional camera. From exposure to focus distance and shutter speed, you get full control over the images you click. You can also shoot in RAW using this app and you also have the option to display a histogram in the viewfinder which can be handy.

Silent camera

Silent camera app

Looking at the name, you probably realize that the focus of this app is clicking images silently without a shutter sound. While most camera apps, including your default app, can already turn off the shutter sound, some phones don’t come with this option, or it may not be available in some parts of the world. .

In addition to silencing the sound of your shutter, Silent camera Also provides a good set of additional features like the ability to take 40 frames in one second using burst mode as well as some in-app effects and filters. One caveat with this app is that it displays advertisements in the camera UI which may put some people off.

ProCam X – Lite

ProCam X-Lite

Again, we’ve included a lite version of an app because it’s free, and if you like the features, you can purchase the full version. ProCam X – Lite offers pro-level features like granular control over shutter speed, white balance, ISO, and more, plus all the options you would expect from any camera app manual.

When it comes to videos, you also get manual shooting options as well as the ability to select a custom bit rate and support for shooting up to 4K. There is an interval shooting feature that you can use to shoot stop motion videos or time lapse videos right from the app.

Bacon Camera

Bacon Camera app

All of the camera apps we mentioned earlier require Camera2 API support on your smartphone, which should ideally be present on all modern smartphones. However, if your phone does not support Camera1 API, Bacon Camera is the app for you.

It’s one of the only apps in the Play Store to offer full-fledged manual controls without the need for Camera2 API support. You get manual focus, ISO, white balance, live histogram, exposure support, GIF creation, and lots of other features that you can explore on the app. The user interface is also simple and intuitive.


These are some of the best camera apps that you can use on your android smartphone to take better quality photos or just enhance your camera functionality to take GIFs or long exposure photos in low light with manual controls. If you are aiming for the best image quality, Google Camera is your best bet. You can’t go wrong especially when photographing human subjects or clicking images in low light conditions.

Which camera app are you using on your smartphone? Did we miss a camera app that you found interesting and useful? Let us know in the comments below.


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