Are you no longer satisfied with the quality of your smartphone’s camera? Then this article is made for you ! I tried several photo apps from Google Play Store and Apple App Store and compiled the best camera apps for Android and iOS in my opinion.
I’m sure you want to see the results as soon as possible, so you can head straight to your device selection via the links below:
Do you have any other suggestions that I should definitely include in this list? So let me know your trick in the comments. Preferably with a short description and information if it is a free app.
Photoshop Camera – the complete solution
If you are no longer satisfied with your smartphone photos with camera, you should definitely try Adobe’s “Photoshop Camera”. Even though the legendary Photoshop image-editing software is very expensive, Photoshop Camera doesn’t cost a penny.
However, Adobe would like to push you a bit to sign up for a cloud subscription, which is definitely recommended for ambitious amateur photographers. This way, images from your mobile phone will easily end up in Adobe Cloud for further post-processing on your PC. You also need an account with Adobe without a subscription.
Photoshop Camera helps you through the photo taking process. This means that you capture the subject using the built-in photo function, then adjust it with multiple sliders for exposure, cropping and color, and then apply filters to the photo. Basic features for image editing are also included.
Adobe’s camera app is a complete trick, as you directly install a complete photo studio with a single download. If you just want to capture images quickly, the app might be a bit too complicated. For quick snapshots, check out our next tip.
OpenCamera – the solution for snapshots and manual shots
Open Camera is a free and open source camera application. The camera app offers a powerful auto mode as well as an expanded professional mode. OpenCamera is a Swiss army knife for your mobile phone camera that is easy to use, but has the reserves of functions necessary for your further development as an amateur photographer.
After launching the app, you can take the first photo directly via the blue camera icon on the right edge of the screen. With this, you take a photo via auto mode and probably have the best snapshot in the box right away. There are more features on the left side of the screen, and there’s only one thing to do here: try, try, try.
VSCO: for filter fans
VSCO is an exciting mix of camera app, filters, image editing and an artistic social network. The application is unusually designed and initially seems limited to the simplest functions. After taking or importing an image, the user has access to numerous filters – many of which are chargeable – as well as a wide range of image editing options to modify a photo to achieve the look wish.
Within VSCO, users can share their photos with the community. Like other social networks, VSCO also allows you to network with your own friends, acquaintances and contacts so that you can admire photos together. The application itself and many basic options are free. However, there are plenty of in-app purchases and plenty of ways to spend your money with VSCO. The filters and presets that VSCO sells for up to $59 can also be used with other software, such as Adobe Lightroom or Camera Raw.
HedgeCam 2: Changes image processing (HDR and Co.)
If you are even more interested in mobile photography, you should try HedgeCam 2. Here you can not only vary the compression, but also specify the High Dynamic Range algorithm logic. Its predecessor HedgeCam is a further development of the already mentioned Open Camera. Especially in terms of usability, HedgeCam 2 is a good alternative to our tip.
HedgeCam 2’s icons and menus are a little prettier, and there are virtual sliders for aperture and manual focus. However, some Google Play Store users are reporting issues saving images. Therefore, HedgeCam doesn’t quite come in first place for us.
Google Camera (port): Best HDR and spherical panoramas
Google always manages to get the top spots in best camera phone lists with its Pixel smartphones. This is mainly due to the very good software, which is actually exclusive to Google’s own phones. But because the algorithms are so good, hobbyists started bringing the app to other phones.
Ingenious developers have successfully unlocked (“ported”) HDR+ to other smartphones with Qualcomm chips. With these modified app versions, you can take HDR photos and use other features with non-Google smartphones.
You can take panorama and photosphere. The latter is a single-storey spherical panorama that you can view with the Photos app via motion sensors; although 360 degree cameras are more suitable for such shots.
But some research is needed: there are now countless different versions of apps and not all of them work equally well. There may be a variant of the Google Camera suitable for your smartphone. If so, you will find it on the corresponding hub page at XDA Developers website.
Cymera: Our tip for better selfies
Cymera is the perfect app for the selfie generation. With built-in filters, beauty options, and post-processing options, you can take even more stylish self-portraits of yourself.
But Cymera can do more than just selfies. The app includes its own gallery, plenty of options for editing your photos, and plenty of options for playing with the camera.
As promised, we’ll also be covering camera apps for Apple iOS! Unfortunately, camera apps in particular are rarely found on both platforms. So if you use both iOS and Android, you’ll have to get used to it a bit.
ProCamera: the best complete solution for iOS
What Photoshop Camera is for Android, “ProCamera” is for iOS – but unfortunately not for free. Although the photo app costs just under $15 as a one-time purchase, it’s worth spending the money. Because compared to Apple’s standard application, there are many manual adjustment options, dozens of filters and many image editing functions.
In addition to taking and editing photos, you also have more control over your iPhone videos. ProCamera supports recording with the main camera and selfie camera at the same time or allows you to feed Bluetooth microphones directly into the video. It is not for nothing that ProCamera is ranked among the best photo apps for iOS, and it is the best app that allows you to take photos directly.
Focos: many filters, free
If ProCamera is too expensive for you, you should check out Focos. The application is completely free and offers creative possibilities. Among other things, you can take portraits and manually adjust the aperture used. It’s exciting to also be able to change direction afterwards. Many of these features are already available in the free version of the camera app.
If you really like Focos, you can unlock all functions for $12.99 and expand the range of functions. Spending money on apps is and always will be something you have to get used to as an iOS user. But again, some of the apps are way better than the Android alternatives.
VSCO: photo network with filters also available for iOS
VSCO, on the other hand, is completely free, and that’s partly because the app should encourage you to use the photo network of the same name. It’s kind of like Instagram, but the standard app gives you a lot more shooting features than Instagram.
With multiple filters and creative editing tools, you can create small works of art and share them with your friends or other VSCO users. You can find more information about VSCO in our Android app description above. Again, though, it’s safe to say that the app for iOS is a little nicer and more intuitive.
Facetune: The iOS trick for selfies
Yes, I also have a tip for iPhone users who prefer to take selfies. Apple equips its phones with good selfie cameras and to spice up their results a little more, I recommend Facetune. The app costs $3.99 and offers “reshaping” features, filters, exposure options, dark mode, and the ability to swap out the background of your selfies.
Apple’s camera app
You didn’t expect that, did you? Call me lazy if you will, but the native camera app on your iPhone is very powerful software. If you are not happy with the app then you might not have discovered all the features and tricks the app has to offer. Before downloading any new apps, maybe try Apple’s Photos app again and check out all the modes.
This application also allows Apple to make full use of its own algorithms to optimize images. For this reason, results before applying filters are usually a bit better than with other camera apps. By the way, the Photos app then allows you to make a lot of settings. If you haven’t used Apple’s own photo tools yet, you’re really missing out!
For now, this selection of camera apps should suffice, but I’ll be happy to make any necessary changes to this article. So let me know your tips in the comments and I’ll take a look at your suggestions.
This article is updated regularly. Older comments may therefore refer to an earlier version of the article and appear out of context accordingly.