The 12 best apps for Android cameras

Urban’s retro camera is a favorite, but the Pudding Camera is used more and more these days.

Screenshot by Joshua Goldman / CNET

As a de facto point-and-shoot camera reviewer for CNET, I spend a lot of time living in the world of automatic snapshots and easy post-shoot editing. Although I can tell you several ways of a separate point-and-shoot is better than a smartphone camera (and not just in image quality) I’d be a liar if I said I never use my smartphone camera when photographing.

I am regularly looking for new applications that will allow me to do more and work efficiently. For a long time, however, it seemed like there was a complete lack of decent camera apps for Android. I remember trying to put together a list of apps that I liked about this time last year and could barely find five. This is no longer the case.

These are the dozen or so camera apps that I use the most, making them, I guess, my favorites. I have others that I use for various things (which I mentioned along with my other choices below), but I keep coming back to them.

The links will take you to the pages of these applications on CNET, where many of them have full reviews from associate editor Jaymar Cabebe. If I missed any of your favorites – whether it’s editing, filming, both, or neither – let me know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 8, 2012, but is updated regularly. It was updated on July 13, 2012 to include the Cymera, Pixlr-o-matic, Vignette, and Wondershare Panorama apps.

Zoom FX Camera
This $ 2.99 app calls itself the ultimate Android camera app, and it really is. It’s certainly the most feature-rich, handling both shooting and editing tasks from a single interface.

And although I find them a bit cheesy, there are a bunch of free expansion packs to stick celebrities or props into your photos.

Also to be discovered in this category Thumbnail. While I don’t like its interface and workflow as much as Camera Zoom FX’s, it is packed with features and the only thing that is retained for the Pro version at $ 3.99 is the ability to use resolutions. greater than 0.8 megapixels.

If you don’t want to spend the money on either of these, check out Camera360 Where PhotosArt, which have similar characteristics, but they are free.

Small photo
Little Photo is cool because the workflow is quite fast.

Open the app, tap the screen to take a photo, then tap your photo to open a vertical list of editing tools, filters, and effects with live previews when you select them.

It’s free, but a $ 3.85 plugin adds tools like cropping and controls for contrast, exposure, and saturation.

Pudding Camera
Like that of Urbian Retro camera, the free Pudding Camera app from KTH offers several types of cameras as well as films that you can combine to achieve the desired effect. You also get quick exposure control, front camera support, and snap shooting.

The biggest problem I have with this is that your biggest photo resolution is 1280 pixels, but it’s fine for online sharing.

In the same vein as Pudding Camera is Cymera, a camera app from Saskatchewan Communication. The interface is nice and fast, and it offers plenty of editing options after shooting. It is, however, linked to SK Comm’s Korean social network, Cyworld, and every time you start the app, it asks you to log in. You can choose not to use the app, but this is an extra step that might reach you after a while. In addition, it is limited to a maximum resolution of 1,024 pixels. It’s free, however, so checking it out won’t cost you anything.

BeFunky Photo Editor
If you’re just looking for a good free photo editor, BeFunky’s is solid and ad-free.

Everything you’d expect to find to fine-tune your shots before sharing is here and easy to use.

The $ 3.99 Pro Version more than doubles the number of effects, but, like my next pick, the free selection should be enough for most.

Aviary photo editor
Aviary is not an app, but I have included it here because it is free and works well. It’s actually a plug-in that adds to your phone’s sharing options. You take a photo with the app of your choice or open a photo and tap your Share icon. Select Aviary from the list and it opens an editing options window.

There are plenty of tools to work with, from quick cropping to teeth whitening, as well as filters and effects. Aviary sells a few expansion packs of six effects each for 99 cents a pop, but the free stuff is all I’ve ever used.

PicSay Pro
If you have to pay for a photo editor I would go with PicSay Pro. It’s only $ 3.99, but it’s one of the easiest editing apps you’ll find.

Open an image and select what you want to do: Adjust, Effect, or Stickers. It then displays a small thumbnail of your photo next to your editing options, giving you a little preview. It is particularly practical with its long, long list of effects.

However, if all you’re looking for is a ton of effects, download the Pixlr-o-matic. The interface lets you quickly apply various filters, lighting effects, and frames to see what each looks like before saving and sharing. And if you’re not happy with the selection that comes with it, there are several additional packs for you to download for free.

After focus
Basically, this allows you to simulate a shallow depth of field. Or, more specifically, it lets you blur out distracting backgrounds, bringing your subject in focus – all with the swipe of your finger.

You shouldn’t be afraid to dive; it’s a pretty straightforward app to start with. But, if you want to see how to use it before you start, here’s a tutorial from CNET’s Nicole Cozma.

Paper camera
If you’ve never used Paper Camera, you should. It really is a pretty amazing app that gives you a live view of a variety of simulated drawn or painted effects like turning your subject into cartoon or line art. It can be a bit slow to perform depending on the device you are using, but the results are great. Moreover, you can use it for photos and videos.

Fast burst camera
If there is one must-have camera app for people with young children, this is it. The rapid burst can take up to 30 frames per second, triggered simply by long pressing a shutter button on the screen or anywhere on the screen if desired. When you fire, you basically get a little fuel gauge in the corner as your buffer (which is adjustable) fills up. Once it starts to empty, you can start shooting again.

There’s a free Lite version, but for $ 3.99 you get support for flash, focus, and digital zoom, and the shutter sound can be muted, which looks different. to a machine gun when he begins to take pictures.

Professional HDR camera
There are several reasons for using an HDR (high dynamic range) application. Smartphone cameras don’t always produce the best dynamic range when shooting high contrast subjects. HDR apps help balance things out by taking photos at different exposures, then combining them into a single photo for a more even exposure. However, you can also use HDR for a creative effect. Pro HDR lets you do both. For instructions, consult the CNET editor Sharon Vaknin’s article on HDR photography for smartphones.

The big problem with HDR using smartphone cameras is that they don’t focus and shoot fast enough to work with moving subjects. Even slight movements will spoil the results, which is why HDR is best used on landscapes and still subjects. Another application, simply called HDR Camera, does a decent job of handling light movement by removing ghosting.

If you want the most geotagging data for your photos or for other purposes, Imageotag records everything. It captures 16: 9 geotagged images, integrating GPS and NET tracking, accelerometer, bearing, compass, date, light lux, magnetic field, pitch, proximity, roll, speed, temperature and time data. If I’m shooting with a regular camera and want to get the correct information for my location, I just take a quick photo of my location with this app and tag my photos later using its data. Imageotag also creates Google Earth tours using GPS image sequences.

Panorama of Sharing Wonders
One of my favorite point-and-shoot camera features is the ability to quickly capture panoramas just by swiping the camera. This is how the Wondershare app works – just aim, shoot and swipe. It can be used in portrait or landscape mode and has several effects options that can be applied immediately after the capture is finished. It’s also free, which overlooks its lack of size and resolution options.

If you really like taking ultra-wide photos, I recommend Photaf Panorama Pro. It takes a bit more effort as you need to line up a ghost image on the screen from your previous shot to take your full shot. But it automatically triggers the camera when it is properly aligned and you can take a 360 degree photo.

There is a free version, but the Pro version for $ 3.99 lets you set panoramas as your live wallpaper and has HD mode for best results, and you can use your camera in portrait mode. . Visit the Photaf website to see a gallery of photos taken with the app.

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