What are the best camera apps for Android and what makes them better than traditional apps? In this guide, we’ll discuss some great camera apps for your smartphone.
Why You Should Use an Alternative Camera App
Many smartphones are already equipped with very good photo apps. Alternative camera apps offer some new features and advanced settings options. And we will discuss these peculiarities in the following examples.
Some of the camera apps featured here require that your smartphone support Android’s Camera2 API – which unfortunately does not apply to all. The developer of the Manual Camera has developed a stand-alone app that tests the Camera2 API on your smartphone.
Nevertheless, there are disadvantages with alternative camera apps. Although Google has made changes to the API to allow third-party to access both sensors of a dual camera, this works only on Android 9. Therefore, some apps still cannot take the full advantage of your smartphone’s lenses. And on the other hand, HDR modes such as HDR + on Google smartphones are usually also not available via alternative camera apps.
Kuji Cam is different than any other camera apps that are listed in this article. Because Kuji Cam is more focused on retro photography. This awesome app allows you to take retro themed photos without any hassle. It also has built-in features like timestamp which allows you to add the date into your photos like in old times.
Our first choice is “Google Camera”. Google Camera is a beginner-friendly, fast and exclusive camera app for Android devices. Google Camera is an Android-exclusive app since it offers HDR+ functionality to Nexus and Pixel smartphones. This is a special HDR mode that combines some individually exposed images into one image.
Some reputed Android developers have managed to unlock HDR + on other smartphones with Qualcomm chip. Thanks to these modifications, you can take HDR photos with non-Google smartphones and use the other exclusive features.
With Google Camera, you can take pictures as Panorama and as Photo Sphere. The latter is a walk-in sphere panorama that you can view with the matching photo app via the motion sensors – but 360-degree cameras are better for such shots.
As the name implies, Open Camera is a free open source Android camera app. Anyone can see that the user interface is kept simple at first glance. In addition to a few general information, such as how much device memory is still free or the time, you still see the virtual shutter button for photos and videos and some options. Open Camera can tell you what angle your smartphone is holding at the moment – together with the optional overlay guides, this will give you the best perspective before you take your photos.
In the Open Camera submenu, you will have many more options to choose from, which can help, for example, with smartphones that have only one camera app without manual mode. One of our favorite options is “Exposure” because it can change the photo quality dramatically. It also has a feature called “Exposure Lock” which helps you to take lowlight photos with ease.
VSCO is another camera app which allows you to apply filters, edit images and make some cool arts for your favorite social media networks. VSCO app is initially limited to the simplest functions. After taking or importing a picture, however, there are numerous filters available to the user.
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 in order to marvel at pictures together. The app itself and many basic options are free, but there are many in-app purchases and ways to spend money with VSCO. There are many presets VSCO sells. If you purchase these presets you can use them with photo editing softwares like Adobe Lightroom.
Cymera is the perfect app for the selfie generation. With the built-in filters, beauty options and post-processing options, you can make even smarter self-portraits of you.
But Cymera can do more than just selfies. The app includes its own gallery, numerous options for editing your photos and many ways to play around with the camera.
The Camera MX app from Magix comes with a whole set of features and options that are especially admired by enthusiastic photographers all around the world.
One of the most exciting features of Camera MX is called “Shoot the Past”. The smartphone not only records a single image but also a few seconds before it. The user can then select exactly on the touchscreen, which moment should be stored. This is especially helpful for scenes with a lot of movement and is reminiscent of the motion feature of the pixel smartphone or live pics of the iPhone.
Simple Camera is a complete opposite of apps like Camera MX. The app comes along as simple as possible and offers only the things that you absolutely need to take pictures and video: shutter, camera switch, video mode. There are a few other options in the Settings menu that are unlikely to be used by anyone who wants just that: A simple, easy-to-use camera app.
It uses very little resources since it is very lightweight. Simple Camera can be used on almost any phone because of that.
A Better Camera
A Better Camera, as the name implies, wants to be a better camera than the default cameras on many smartphones. A Better Camera offers a number of interesting features, including group snapshots, burst modes, the ability to easily remove unwanted objects from images, and the ability to use focus and metering from separate points. There is also a useful option that works like Google’s “Top Shot” feature.
Immediate post-processing is also possible within the app and videos can be recorded with real-time HDR. Unfortunately, many of the best features are available only through the purchase, so sometimes A Better Camera feels a bit like an annoying free-to-play game.
If you take a lot of photos and ready to make a small investment, the camera app lives up to its name. If you would like to edit recordings directly after snapping, you will need to install the companion app called A Better Editor.
Camera360 is one of the most popular camera apps in the Google Play Store and especially extensive. These include live filters and a variety of options and effects. In some places, even to the point of wondering if some of them are really useful. Especially good is the simple operation, in which not all options are hidden in nested single menus.
It also has the functions like stickers and cartoon effects which can be applied before you take your photos. These features are very similar to the features that are now also found in messenger apps such as Line or WhatsApp, but some people find it more useful to add directly from the camera app.
All of these listed alternative camera apps are great. But we recommend you to do a research of your own before installing Google Camera. You can try XDA forums to check if it works with your device. There are now countless different app versions and not all work equally great.