Android News

Camera App Shoot Out: Which Is Right For You?

July 20, 2010 | by noxdineen

Android Apps, Multimedia, Reviews


As smartphones continue to evolve and improve into superphones they offer excellent replacements not only for digital cameras but also for basic photo editing software. Although iPhones had an enviable selection of photo apps the gap has closed, the Android Market offers a great selection of fun and powerful apps for photography. But which is ideal for you?

Digital Darkroom Addict

When there’s a new version of Photoshop available you’re among the first to install it. You enjoy the post-processing almost as much as you love taking the photos themselves and you think of your computer as a digital darkroom.

Your ideal app is Vignette, a camera app so feature-packed that it’s guaranteed to make you forget about Photoshop (if only for a moment). Vignette comes with 62 different effects, 56 frames and allows you to further tweak options such as contrast, saturation and even color shift for many of the effects. Any customization you make can be saved as a favorite effect for later use.

The best part is that you can either take a photo with a pre-selected effect, or simply take a normal photo and try out different settings after the fact. You can save multiple versions of a photograph, each with different editing.

Not convinced? Try the free version before investing in the £2.99 full version. The only limitation on the free version is you cannot use the full resolution of your phone’s camera.

Digital Lomographer

The best part about light, powerful digital cameras is that they’ve eliminated the need to spend money on film while still letting you shoot visually distinct images that look like they were taken on toy film cameras like the popular Lomo.

Hands down the best faux Lomo images are produced by Camera 360 Pro, which offers not one but three different Lomo options each of which produces contrasty, vignetted images with gorgeous tonal nuances. It also supports HDR, axis shift, and more. You can test drive the free version, Camera 360, but will be limited to your phone’s screen resolution as maximum image size (and subject to intrusive nag screens). The full version costs $3.99.

The one drawback with this app is that even using a task killer to manually shut it down after use I found it caused incredible battery drain. If your Android is more camera than phone to you, though, it’s worth the inconvenience.

Budget Photographer

You’ve spent enough on an awesome phone, why should you have to spend more on an app to get incredible photos with it? Lucky for you FxCamera, without a doubt the best free camera app available on the Android Market, offers great options with minimal compromise.

The Toy Camera effect has 9 different choices, many of which produce photos that are second only to Camera 360 Pro for that popular vintage look. You can also add Polaroid-style frames, or simulate circular or full-frame fisheye lenses.

The downside to FxCamera is that maximum resolution is currently a mere 960 x 640 pixels. That’s good enough for any web use, but there’s no chance of getting a decent print made.