The camera on your Android smartphone can easily deliver spectacular shots on par with many point and shoot cameras. While the camera app will vary from phone to phone, you can always upgrade to a better camera app to take your Android photography skills to the next level. Next time you go out for a photography walk leave your point and shoot at home and see where your Android camera can take you.
We’ve rounded up the best Android camera replacement and camera companion apps to help you get the most out of your Android’s built in camera. With a few apps and a bit of practice even older Android smart phones can deliver frame-worthy photos.
Apps can only take you so far. If you want to truly up your photo taking skills we suggest you head over to KenRockwell.com where you can learn the basics behind taking better photos with whatever camera you have in your hands. We suggest you start with F.A.R.T. First for Great Photos, Composition and What Makes a Great Photo.
Take Better Pictures
Camera Advance – $2.99 (Limited Free version)
Camera Advance is by far our favorite Android camera replacement thanks to the wide range of features packed into this one app.
Camera Advance offers the following features:
- Burst photo capture
- Reduced noise by capturing multiple photos (a.k.a tripod mode)
- Panorama mode produces a wide angle shot from 3 photos (different than 360 panoramas, only on supported devices)
- Zoom (only on supported devices)
- Exposure Compensation (only on supported devices)
- Live camera histogram (best on Android 2.2 and up)
- On screen camera aids to capture best photos: grid and Fibonacci spiral
- Configure volume buttons for zoom or photo capture
The built in panorama mode works fairly well thanks to a ghost image that is placed over the display. Lining up the shots in bright sunlight may be your biggest problem on devices that offer poor visibility in the sun.
The paid and lite versions over many of the same features, but the paid version will allow you to save your images at a higher quality.
Camera360 Ultimate – $3.99 (Limited Free version)
Camera360 delivers a collection of photo effects and features that users will enjoy using. Features include filters and settings to deliver LOMO, HDR, axis shift, effects, colour-shift, scenery mode and more. If you like to place effects on your pictures as you take them this app is for you.
While the free app will fit the needs of some users, many of the effects are limited to the paid version of Camera360.
Lightbox bills itself as the connected camera, differentiating itself from the other Android camera replacement apps with a heavy emphasis on social. When you snap a photo in the fairly basic camera app you will be prompted to share the pic with your friends on the Lightbox website. From inside the app you can also browse photos from your friends. This app reminds us of Instagram in terms of trying to build community.
The camera app is pretty basic, but will get the job done. We seldom use this app because it forces you to choose your filter after you take a shot and to press another time to save instead of allowing you to shoot and tag or edit later.
Touching Up Photos
Adobe Photoshop Express – Free
If you need to touch up a photo on the go the Photoshop Express App will help you turn a poor snap into something worth sharing. You don’t get to control too much with this app, but you can crop, adjust exposure and saturation as well as apply some filters to change the look of your photo.
If you really need to turn your photo into something better we suggest waiting until you get back to your computer, but Photoshop Express will do in a pinch.
PicSayPro is one of our favorite apps for adding a little something extra to a photo before uploading to Facebook or sending to a friend. If you want to add some fun to a photo you’ll love the props, stickers and speech bubbles which make an ordinary photo hilarious.
BeFunky Photo Editor – Free
The BeFunky Photo Editor Android app delivers over 20 effects to your Android phone, allowing you to change and tweak your favorite shots taken with any camera app. The app won’t clog up your screen with ads and requires no registration, which we love.
After you prepare a masterpiece you can post to Flickr, BeFunky Facebook and more.
Backing Up and Sharing
SugarSync – Free
The last thing you want to do is lose all of your new photos, which is why you should install SugarSync right now. This app gives you access to all of your SugarSync documents, but even more important it backs all of your photos up to your SugarSync account. You can store up to 5GB of photos online with a free SugarSync account. After you sign up for SugarSync and install it on your computer you can sync your photos to your Mac or PC so that you always have access to your favorite photos, even without plugging in a cable.
If you are on a limited bandwidth data plan or want to conserve your battery life while away from home you can set up the app to only backup your photos while on WiFi.