Cameras on smartphones are a much bigger deal than they used to be. Companies are chomping at the bit to make their cameras more reliable, work better in low light, and add features that people want. Many will base their purchase decisions on the strength of the camera. Of course, the experience has the potential to be improved with the right camera apps that could add additional features that make things work a little better. Here are the best camera apps for Android!
BestMe Selfie Camera is a free camera application for those who love to take selfies. The app includes 125 real-time filters, stickers, and emoji along with vignettes, blur effects, selfie stick support, and more. It’s an effective app, especially for people who often share their photos to social media and it’s about as good as it gets for selfie photos. The developers have also expressed that things like Android Wear support and real-time filter for video are coming soon so keep an eye out for that! The same developer crew also does HD Camera, which is a pretty decent camera app as well.
[Price: Free / $3.95]
Camera FV-5 is a camera app that is quickly growing in popularity. It’s known most for its manual camera features, including adjustable settings for exposure compensation, shutter speed, ISO, light metering, focus, and white balance. This is similar to how DSLR cameras do things and it can give photographers better control over what their photos are going to look like. It also suppers RAW, lossless PNG, and JPEG files, a live RGB histogram, and various overlays and crop grids. It’s effective and powerful.
Camera JB+ is a remake of the stock camera from Android Jelly Bean. It features a simple layout that really lets you just point and shoot like you could back in the old days. It includes camera, video capture, and panorama mode along with things like live effects, burst mode, picture quality settings, and 4K video support (if your phone camera supports 4K). It’s a good experience, especially if you need something really easy. The developer has also done Camera KK (KitKat) and Camera ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) if you’re interested in those.
Camera MX is one of the older camera apps that has been around for awhile but has managed to remain relevant. It boasts a bunch of features, including a Live Shot mode, scene modes, support for 16:9 aspect ratios, and it has a variety of photo and video editing tools that let you adjust things like brightness, rotation, contrast, saturation, temperature, and others. It doesn’t have the manual controls that more serious photographers look for, but it’s more than good enough for non-pros looking to get a good shot.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases / $0.99]
Camera Zoom FX is another one of the camera apps that have been around for a long time. It was good back then, but has improved over time by adding things like manual camera controls (ISO, focus, shutter speed, etc) and RAW capture support. On top of that, it has HDR, time lapse, 360-degree panorama photos, live effects, and a variety of post processing effects to make your photos really pop. It’s a good mix of “pro” and “Instagram” and should be good enough for people who want manual camera stuff, but also want filters too.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Candy Camera wasn’t around a couple of years ago, but it’s already one of the most popular camera apps ever with over 100 million installs. Feature-wise, it’s pretty decent and includes a ton of filters with simple swipe gestures to switch between them, various editing tools (including unusual stuff like concealer and lipstick options), stickers, collage mode, and more. It could definitely use some manual camera controls and RAW support, but it’s still pretty decent without them.
Cardboard Camera is about the only competent 360-degree photo camera available right now. It’s meant to be used with Google Cardboard and allows you to take 360-degree photos that can be viewed in VR. The app itself will help you take the photos and also provides a gallery that lets you find and view your 360-degree image content. It’s completely free to use and while VR photography is a tad niche, it’s really nice that there is a decent app to take those kind of photos.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Cymera has been around for a while and currently boasts over 200 million downloads. Popularity aside, the app has some decent features including a ton of filters, stickers, and you can brush or draw on images that you take. It comes with a photo editor that includes some unique features, including editing tools for skin, hair, eyes, and more to make selfies really pop. It doesn’t have manual camera controls which is bit of a shame, but everything else works very well.
DSLR camera pro tries emulate the experience you’d have on a DSLR camera. It comes with the general manual camera controls, including ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, and a live RGB histogram. On top of that, it comes with some unique stuff like a two-state shutter button function where you press to focus and then release to take a photo and the ability to use the volume rocker as a shutter button. There isn’t a free version, so you’ll have to buy it and try it inside of its refund time, but it’s a positive experience overall.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
GO has a ton of apps and one of their more recent forays has been into the camera apps market. Ironically, given how “bloated” many of their apps can feel, GO Camera is actually rather simple. It comes with real-time filters, HDR mode, a lens blur mode, and filters specifically for those who like to take selfies. It also comes with a built-in photo editor that comes with some basic tools to patch things up if need be. It’s simple, easy, and it works pretty well.
Google Camera wasn’t always one of the best camera apps, but it has been improving dramatically over the years. It features a simple interface that should be easy to use for just about everyone. It comes with a few features including auto-HDR+, slow motion video capture, SmartBurst (burst mode), lens blur mode, wide angle mode, panorama mode, and photo sphere mode. It’s not overly feature heavy, which is great if you need something simple and clean.
When Android Lollipop came out, it included the camera2 API which allowed for stuff like manual camera controls. At the time, no camera apps actually used it until Manual Camera came along. This app is very simple and really only includes a camera interface that lets you use manual controls. That includes shutter speed, focus distance, ISO, white balance, and exposure compensation. It also has RAW capture. It has virtually no other features, which makes it a great option for photographers that don’t want any nonsense. The only downside is that there isn’t a free version to try first, but there is a free compatibility test you can run to make sure the app will work on your phone.
Open Camera is one of the only fully featured and free camera apps that is also open source. It includes quite a few features, including auto-stabilization, manual camera controls, various camera modes to take specialized shots, voice controls, and it even has support for some external microphones if you’re looking for something more professional. Again, it’s completely free, open source, and it doesn’t even include advertising.
Paper Camera is a long-time favorite camera app for a lot of people. It’s a relatively simple app that takes a picture of your subject and gives it a filter that makes it look like a drawing on paper. You can adjust the contrast to make the images colorful or black and white if you wish and there are also brightness settings depending on how bright you want the image to be. It’s not really useful for anything else, but it’s a unique filter that very few camera apps get right. The only downside is that there is no free version to try first.
[Price: Free trial / $1.99]
Snap Camera HDR is another app that can cater to both amateurs and pro type photographers. It includes all of the manual controls , RAW support, 4K video recording, and HDR mode. The app also comes with some fun stuff like various shoot modes, photo and video quality settings, and a photo editor that allows you to make some basic edits. It even includes some unique settings, like turning on your camera LED for low light video recording. It’s simple, but effective, and there is a trial version you can try before you buy it.