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All Things Appy: Top 5 Android Camera Apps

All Things Appy: Top 5 Android Camera Apps

Smartphone cameras keep getting better, and so do camera apps. Our No. 1 pick among the many options for Android is Camera Zoom FX, which includes a lot of sophisticated image settings. No. 2 is Vignette, which offers some great post-processing effects. Rounding out the top three is Fast Burst Camera Lite, which captures up to 30 photographs per second on high-end cameras.

As the geek world drools over the first 13-megapixel smartphone camera -- the Android-driven Samsung Galaxy S4 -- TechNewsWorld takes a look at the current state-of-play in the must-have camera app genre for Android.

Ready, set, go.

About the Platform

Google's Android OS apps can be downloaded from Google's Play Store.

Click on the Google Play icon in the smartphone's app drawer. Then just search for the required app.

No. 1: Camera Zoom FX

Camera Zoom FX claims 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 installs and has an average Google Play Store rating of 4.4 stars out of a possible 5 from 48,163 reviewers.

Camera Zoom FX

While TechNewsWorld tries to restrict the All Things Appy recommendations to free apps, occasionally an app comes along that blows everything else away. This one unfortunately, you've got to pay for.

However, the US$2.99 Camera Zoom FX from Androidslide is the ultimate high-quality Android camera imaging app.

Camera settings include pro-level ISO for darkened shots, stable shot, white balance and night shooting.

Post Processing gives you all of the common smartphone effects like Retro and Holga 35mm, plus Tilt Shift and other more sophisticated filters. Free download packs like Composites expand the app.

No. 2: Vignette Demo

Vignette Demo claims 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 installs and has an average Google Play Store rating of 4.4 stars out of a possible 5 from 11,581 reviewers.

Another strong player with multiple Post effects like charcoal, cross-process and duotone. An adjustable JPEG compression quality setting provides large Superfine images and 10x digital zoom, exposure, saturation, contrast and sharpness are all customizable.

The free version outputs at low resolution, unlike the $2.60 Vignette paid version, or paid Camera Zoom FX, our No. 1 app -- but it's still worth playing with for features alone.

No. 3: Fast Burst Camera Lite

Fast Burst Camera Lite claims 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 installs and has an average Google Play Store rating of 4.1 stars out of a possible 5 from 5,198 reviewers.

Fast Burst Camera Lite from Spritefish captures up to 30 photographs per second on high-end cameras. You hold down the shooting button and the app takes a continuous burst with no shutter lag.

The app works on less-specified cameras, just not as quickly. This is a super app for any sporting event or anytime you can't afford camera startup lag -- like when you're shooting kids or animals.

No. 4: HDR Camera

HDR Camera claims 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 installs and has an average Google Play Store rating of 4 stars out of a possible 5 from 7, 551 reviewers.

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is the effect that allows you to capture detail in bright and dark areas of the scene and often exaggerate it to produce arty images.

The HDR process involves taking multiple images at roughly the same time and then exposing each one differently. Finally, the images are merged.

Problems with the technique can involve camera shake and the subject moving, thus creating ghosting. This app, from Almalence, goes some way toward fixing that problem through an algorithm.

No. 5: Instagram

Instagram claims 100,000,000 to 500,000,000 installs and has an average Google Play Store rating of 4.6 stars out of a possible 5 from 3,868,522 reviewers.

We couldn't provide a top five must-have camera app list without including sensation Instagram. Just the fact that it claims more than100 million users makes it worth including.

This app is a fun way to take pictures and then share them.

Take a picture, add a filter, and then instantly share it to social networks. Filters include the vivid Lux, and also blur and tilt-shift effects. We also like the fact that it's introducing a generation to the art of photography.

Want to Suggest an Apps Collection?

Is there a batch of apps you'd like to suggest for review? Remember, they must all be for the same platform, and they must all be geared toward the same general purpose. Please send the names of five or more apps to me, and I'll consider them for a future All Things Appy column.

And use the Talkback feature below to add your comments!


Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication Producer Report and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School and wrote the cult-classic novel Sprawlism. His introduction to technology was as a nomadic talent scout in the eighties, where regular scrabbling around under hotel room beds was necessary to connect modems with alligator clips to hotel telephone wiring to get a fax out. He tasted down and dirty technology, and never looked back.


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