The best camera is the one you have with you and we pretty much always have our smartphones with us. With many Android phones, the camera alone will sell the device for some customers. Needless to say, there are plenty of apps in the Play Store that cater to all kinds of shutterbugs and their smartphone cameras for when the built-in camera application on your phone just doesn’t cut it. So, in this guide, we’re going to go over the best camera apps for your device.
Camera Zoom FX is one of the most popular camera applications on the Play Store and for good reason. It combines a full suite of extra camera functions with a ton of photo editing options for one of the most feature-rich applications you can find. If you’re looking for just a solid camera replacement, this app has everything you can think of. It fully supports the regular zoom of your smartphone’s lens, as well as your phone’s front-facing camera, and throws in lots of extra features your OEM camera software probably doesn’t have. Plus you won’t lose any control over things like your ISO settings, exposure, contrast, brightness, etc.
Camera Zoom FX supports complete hardware customization, so if you want to reassign your volume rocker to a dedicated camera button, you can. Maybe you don’t want to actually touch the phone to take pictures? There’s an option for voice activated shots. It’s also advertised as one of the fastest cameras for Android devices, as the burst shot mode takes up to 10 shots per second. In addition to the traditional burst shot, there are also time lapse shots, collage shots, and tons of live effects to stick on your photos. And if you’re the type who likes to share photos quickly with friends, there’s one-tap sharing to all of your favorite social sites.
Camera Zoom FX runs $2.99, but it’s more than worth the price for all the features. Best of all, there’s several add-on apps available for free from the developer to extend what the app can do.
Pudding Camera is a unique camera replacement that lets you mix and match different kinds of film and camera to get a certain effect on pictures. There are 9 different camera types to pick from and 8 different kinds of film to use, which creates tons of different possibilities to make different or unique shots.
Different camera types take different shots. Your basic camera takes a standard 4:3 aspect ratio shot or you can use a 45mm snap camera with a 3:2 aspect ratio. There are also more creative and useful cameras, such as the motion camera, which takes four pictures of a subject moving across the picture. It then stitches all four shots together into a single picture. There are fish-eye lenses, panoramic shots, and other types of motion cameras.
On top of picking your specific camera, you can also change the film you’re using. Maybe you’re going for a really retro shot or you just want colors to pop more. You can easily switch to vintage film for an old-school look or vivid film to make things a bit more colorful. Combine all the different types of film with the camera selection, and you can easily spice up your average pictures.
Unfortunately, Pudding Camera can’t take video and you do lose some fine-tuning control in the settings that you normally get with your stock camera, but if you’re just looking for something basic that easily makes your pictures look a bit more exciting, Pudding Camera is worth taking a look at. Besides, it’s free.
Retro camera is a great, polished camera replacement to get an old school feel to your photos, with six different cameras to select from. It’s a pretty specific app that really only does the old-school shots, so you wouldn’t want to use it as a complete camera replacement, but more of a complementary camera app to what you’re already using.
The interface is pretty simple and gives you a shutter button, a menu button to select a different camera, a toggle for color photos or black and white photos, an info button about your currently selected camera, and a gallery button. The entire UI changes depending on which camera you’re currently using, but the buttons more or less stay the same and keep their functions. Overall, it’s a really well designed app that’s a ton of fun to use, especially if you want the camera app to apply effects to your photos instead of manually doing the work post-shot.
If you enjoy sharing your photos with the world, there are also some links in the app to share your best shots to Retro Camera’s Facebook wall. Those photos are public for other people to look at, and you can check the wall to see what other people are taking pictures of. It’s a nice touch to add an element of social networking into a camera application.
Maybe you’ve tried the other camera apps and you really just want something simple and straightforward to take pictures. Not too many unnecessary settings, no crazy filters, just a camera application.
Camera JB+ is the stock Android Jelly Bean camera for any Android device running 4.0.3 or higher. So if you’ve got a device that your OEM or carrier won’t update, or you’re stuck with an OEM skin but you want a stock Android camera experience, this is the way to go. It doesn’t include Photo Sphere, unfortunately, but it has all the same features that the stock camera does otherwise, including pinch to zoom, photo, video, and panoramic modes, and a burst mode. It also includes the ability to swipe left or right to immediately start checking out your latest photos.
The app does also come bundled with a small photo editor for your pictures. It doesn’t have as many filters and borders as some other apps, but if you’re just looking for subtle effects to touch up your pictures, it’s excellent. It can even trim videos, which is something none of the other applications can do. The app only costs $1.99, but there’s an older version of the Ice Cream Sandwich stock camera you can try out first if you’re still unsure.
There are countless photography apps on the Play Store, and Google regularly shows off the best of the best. These four apps cover a broad range of what you can do with your smartphone camera, but there’s plenty more apps that specialize in certain kinds of pictures if none of these quite fit what you’re trying to do. Let us know in the comments if we missed one of your favorite camera apps.