Some camera apps are better
Android comes with a pretty good camera app. I treasure a user interface that quickly accesses the most important functions, and Google Camera does that in its latest incarnations.It is good enough that I don't use any third-party app, even though I have paid for a few of them over the years.
But Camera minimalist, no doubt so as to not compete with third party products. And so once in a while I'll look for one that does more functions that are useful and convenient to access. The latest one I am using I learned from a press release sent by Georg Krüger to upFront.eZine from Berlin. (While we pronounce George as "jorg" with a soft g, Germans spell the name Georg with no e, and pronounce it "gay-org" with a hard g.)
Camera MX's interface; access to the gallery is at the upper right
Camera MX is free, has 10 million downloads, and offers a few extras I have not seen before:
- One Shot is like a shortcut with one purpose: (1) point the phone like a camera, and then (2) press One Shot button. The software switches to camera mode and takes the picture right away.
- Shoot the Past takes three seconds of photos before you press the shutter button. (I have this on a Canon regular camera.)
Other new functions include:
- EV - I like to bias photos to be a 1/3 or 1/2-stop darker. This has three benefits: (1) darker photos look richer; (2) darker photos use a faster shutter speed, so less likelihood of blurring; and (3) digital photos can recover more detail from overly-dark photos than from overly-light ones.
- SceneModes - I am not crazy about these, as they tend to clutter up the camera's interface -- yet are found in most digital cameras and smartphone apps. All we really need are Auto, Program, and maybe Fireworks mode. Everything else is minor variations that I don't see being useful, except for marketing.
- Timelapse - I took a lot of these with my very first digital camera (1999), but more recent digital cameras have dropped this function for the most part.
Camera MX also comes with a dozen or so effects and frames. Again, I don't care for these sorts of things, because the photo I take is the photo I want. What is cool about Camera MX, however, is that we see the effects before we take the photo, instead applying them afterwards.
The editing app
The app comes with a gallery app for viewing photos stored on the phone, as well a decent set of editing functions for fixing flaws -- crop, brightness, straightening, and so on. I require that a camera app allow me to switch quickly between camera and gallery modes, and Camera MX does this.
It takes high-def videos and edits them.
To reduce artifacts created by JPEG compression, photos are stored in PNG format.
For phones and tablets, Android v2.3 and up: