Variable Aperture Control Could Be Nokia's PureView 3.0 Innovation for Lumia Cameras
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Variable Aperture Control Could Be Nokia’s PureView 3.0 Innovation for Lumia Cameras

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Nokia, which has long innovated on camera technology for mobile from its N-series Symbian smartphones through its Lumia 920 flagship today, may be introducing a variable aperture camera control as part of its next-generation PureView technology for future smartphone cameras on the Lumia range. The variable aperture control was discovered as part of a patent that Nokia had filed and been awarded.

The company had focused on cramming an extremely large photo sensor packed with 41 megapixels on the Nokia 808 as part of its PureView 1.0 technology. PureView 2.0 debuted on the Windows Phone-powered Lumia 920, focusing on image stabilization for video and low light photography with a standard 8-megapixel camera sensor. And it looks like a variable aperture control could be the defining feature of what could amount to PureView 3.0.

aperture

A variable aperture could help, especially when coupled with a large sensor and good camera optics like those on the Nokia 808, create even more professional looking images with greater control on subject matter isolation and background blur. In essence, portraiture would benefit as well as a variety of other types of shots where users could focus on one subject in the scene and blur out either the foreground or background to help the viewer of the picture focus on what the photographer sees as important. This is possible with a large aperture, but the problem is that large apertures may let in too much light on a bright day, so filters would be applied to reduce the light. This is what’s essentially done on the Nokia 808, but users don’t have control on how much blur or focus they can have readily. Smaller apertures would be used in landscape photography to keep everything in focus.

Nokia writes of the benefits to aperture control:

Small aperture with high f- number increases the sharpness of distant objects, or in other words, increases depth-of-field, which means more elements of a picture, from foreground to background, become sharply focused. This can create a distinct sense of depth to a photograph, drawing the viewer into the picture. It is well-known that small apertures are used especially formost landscape photographs.

The large aperture produces shallow depth-of-field, which means the area of sharp focus in the picture will be small. It is well known that small apertures are used especially for isolating the subject of the picture while throwing the background and other distracting elements out of focus. Some useful applications of large apertures include portraits and wildlife close-ups.

On the Nokia 808, blurring of the background, or applying bokeh in photography lingo, can be achieved mostly with macro shots where users aim the camera close to the subject. This is done, for example, when shooting flowers, floral petals, or insects, and for the most part many modern smartphone cameras can do this as well.

To control aperture, Nokia will use electrodes to control a ring that can be activated with a charge of electricity:

The invention relates in general to the field of digital cameras, especially small digital cameras. In particularly the invention relates for adjusting an aperture for mobile cameras. The adjustable aperture construction of the invention comprises two electrodes, and an electrical circuit for applying a voltage to the electrodes in order to create an electric field between the electrodes. In addition the construction comprises between the electrodes a center unit with a hole in the middle of it, the center unit being made of an electroactive material, such as dielectric material or electrostrictive polymer. The aperture can be adjusted by deforming the shape of the center unit. The shape of the center unit is advantageously deformed by the electric field created between said electrodes by said electrical circuit.

Nokia has applied for a patent on the technology, which is being reported by Nokia Power User, and it’s unclear when we’ll begin seeing this technology.

 

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. 1984

    05/02/2013 at 8:06 am

    Proper cameras already have that. And I disgaree on 808’s optics, resolution chart shots(gsmarena for example) show that it’s resolving power is nowhere near 41 mp. The problem is the small size of the lens in smartphone cameras.

    • vv50

      05/02/2013 at 8:49 am

      you obviously failed to consider that the 808 can outresolve the gsm resolution chart which reaches only up to 3100 lph. and that at pureview (fullres) and low iso, the 808 with its “small size” lens can produce full size jpegs that has as much detail as a jpg from the 22mp eos5d Mk3. let’s see you find another f2.4 lens that can do that wide open.

  2. Spencer

    08/19/2014 at 6:19 pm

    This is a very good tip especially to those fresh to
    the blogosphere. Simple but very precise info… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

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Accessories

Best Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizers (2020)

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These are the best smartphone gimbals to help stabilize your video for professional-looking results. If you like to film videos with your phone, you’ve probably considered a gimbal for your iPhone or Android.

For those wondering, a gimbal is an electronic handheld device that mechanically stabilizes your phone to help you shoot smooth Hollywood-style footage just like your favorite vlogger. A gimbal eliminates the need for an expensive dolly or crazy tripods while recording videos with your mobile device. They are especially helpful during moving shots, so here are your best options.

  • Best Phone Gimbal For Beginners: DJI Osmo Mobile 3
  • Best Overall Value: Zhiyun Smooth 4
  • Best For Pros: Freefly Movi
  • Best Budget Gimbal: Hohem Gimbal iSteady
  • Best All-in-one: DJI Osmo Pocket

DJI Osmo Mobile 3

$129 at Amazon

The most popular gimbal is probably the entire DJI Osmo lineup, and the newest DJI Osmo 3 is hands-down one of the best gimbals you can buy. It’s what we recommend for beginners. The Osmo 3 is compact, user-friendly, and the entire system is very plug-and-play so you can spend more time filming and less time with setup. DJI’s simple yet sophisticated user interface combined with a great design makes it easy to turn it on, snap-in, and start shooting.

Zhiyun Smooth 4

$119 at Amazon or Adorama

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck or the best overall value you’ll want to heavily consider the Zhiyun Smooth 4 gimbal. It has a crazy amount of features yet it’s not too difficult to use on the fly, making it perfect for beginners, pros, or a long-time vlogger looking to up their game. When you see the long list of features and the small price tag, you’ll want to buy it, turn it on, and get right to filming. It might not be as user-friendly as the Osmo 3, but you’ll love all the features available considering they’re the same price.

Freefly Movi Cinema Robot

$299 at Amazon

If you’re really serious about mobile video and can afford it, the Freefly Movi will take your videos and cinema to the next level, simply because it’s packed with big-screen technology. And while we don’t recommend something this expensive or capable for a vlogger, someone looking to do more advanced cinematography will love it.

Besides being an excellent video stabilizer, you also get to take advantage of a bunch of awesome features with the companion app, Movi App. It does “cinematic robot” tricks and moves, which will give your content something unique. You get a lot for the price, but some of the controls and features might be unnecessary and overboard for the average user. Just keep that in mind and know what you want or need.

Hohem Gimbal iSteady

$89 at Amazon

If you’re on a budget grab the Hohem iSteady. It’s one of the best gimbals for under $100 and will be more than enough for most mobile videographers. And while the companion app and zoom features might not be as polished as the Osmo 3 or others on this list, it doesn’t lack in features considering the price tag. We love the fact that you can get a 3-axis gimbal in 2020 for under $100.

The iSteady is lightweight, easy to hold, and has 12-hour battery life. And yes, it works with Android too, even though the name hints at iPhone users. You’ve probably never heard of Hohem, but thanks to a nice feature set and being an affordable gimbal it’s one of the best-selling options on Amazon and around the web.

DJI Osmo Pocket (All-in-one)

$340 at Amazon or $369 at DJI

Last but not least, we wanted to recommend the DJI Osmo pocket for anyone that wants to get into vlogging, video, or record their adventures. If you don’t have the latest fancy iPhone 11 Pro Max yet want excellent stabilized video, the DJI Osmo Pocket is an all-in-one. It’s a gimbal with the camera built-in. It’s an excellent alternative to the GoPro Hero 7 and has everything you’ll need to get started.

The DJI Osmo Pocket is tiny and easily fits into any pocket, even on skinny jeans. The video stabilization is just as good as the Smooth 4, yet it has a bunch of neat features and autonomous modes. It’s also super easy to use with just two buttons: Power on, and start/stop for video recording. So, take it on your next adventure and get some super-smooth, stable, beautiful 4k videos without your phone.

Then, stay tuned as we’ll constantly look for better or more affordable gimbals for iPhone and Android and update this list as we see fit.

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Accessories

Best Dash Cams For Your Car or Truck (2020)

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These are the best dash cams available in 2020 and why you should buy one for your car or truck. When it comes to choosing a dash cam there are several things you’ll want to consider. Things like the video quality, storage limits, collision detections, and companion apps for iPhone or Android.

However, the most important thing is video quality, so you have proof of an accident. So while there are dozens of dash cams to choose from, including several that cost upwards of $500, you can get a lot for far less. Our list has excellent options anywhere from $49 to $250. That way you can record a meteorite falling from the sky, crazy drivers, police interactions, or be protected in the unfortunate event of an accident and insurance claims.

Best Dash Cams in 2020

  • Nextbase 422GW – $190
  • Anker Roav DashCam S1 – $90
  • Garmin Dash Cam 65w – $160
  • Cobra Dash 2208 – $99
  • Kenwood DRV-A601 Dual – $279
  • Crosstour CR300 – $36
  • Magellan MiVue 420 – $99
  • Aukey DR02 4K – $69
  • Vantrue N2 Pro – $199
  • Yi NightScape Dash Cam – $69

1. Nextbase 422GW

One of the best brands when it comes to a dash cam is Nextbase, and they’ve been a favorite for a long time. And while the latest series is more expensive, and they have a 522GW that’s amazing, the Nextbase 422GW is the best all-around option in terms of overall value and the price.

$190 at Amazon

The Nextbase 422 has an easy click and go mounting system, records stunning 1440p HD video (30fps) at 140-degrees angles, and is one of the first dash cams that have Amazon Alexa, emergency SOS response, Bluetooth AND WiFi all in one system. Basically, it’s one of the most feature-complete options available.

We also really love the 3-inch touchscreen and built-in battery that lasts two weeks at a time. Not to mention the company offers a slew of add-ons like an inside camera for Uber/Lyft drivers, a rear window camera, and other attachments for a more complete experience.

2. Anker Roav DashCam S1

Another option is the Anker Roav S1, which uses a unique mount style that makes it very sleek and out of the way, angling with the windshield instead of dangling down out of the way. Not to mention it comes from a brand we know, use, and trust for smartphone accessories.

$90 at Amazon

This dashcam gives you a crisp 1080p HD video at 60 fps, has a decent wide-angle lens, HDR, GPS-tracking and even emergency accident recording. And while they don’t mention how wide the lens is, it does promise 4-lane views. You also get night-vision, an easy to use mobile app, and two USB ports for faster recharging. They even throw in a 32GB card, but you’ll likely want to add something bigger.

3. Garmin Dash Cam 65w

Garmin is a pioneer in the world of car accessories like GPS units and dash cams, which is why they had to make this list. And while they offer several quality cameras, the Dash Cam 65w is a great all-around option for the price category.

$160 at Amazon

The Garmin Dash Cam 65w is a tiny little thing in an unassuming package, but it’s a powerful device. You get an excellent 180-degree video in clear 1080p at 30 fps, GSP tracking with auto-incident recording and more. We really love the collision and lane-departure audible warnings, voice controls to start recording or take photos hands-free, and the 2-inch screen is a nice addition too.

4. Cobra Dash 2208

Another brand you’re probably familiar with is Cobra, and honestly, they have so many options it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A good middle ground in terms of quality, features, controls and pricing is the newer Dash 2208 for under $100.

$99 at Amazon

With the Cobra Dash 2208 you’re getting a great little camera that records in stunning 1296p HD on a capable 160-degree lens. There’s a 2-inch screen, voice controls, accident and lane-departure warnings and much more. Honestly, some of the voice options are great for teenagers, while is a big selling point. It has big, easy to use controls, and the dedicated emergency-recording button at the top is great for any situation. They also offer additional add-ons like passenger cams and such for those interested.

5. Kenwood DRV-A601 Dual

If you’re looking for a complete camera package that covers both the front and the back, there are several dual-camera setups. However, the Kenwood DRV-A601WDP should be near the top of your list.

$279 at Amazon

This Kenwood camera system connects to both the front and rear windows and they both offer crisp and clear 1080p video at 30 FPS with a wide-angle lens, night mode, and high dynamic range to avoid sun or road glare. Then, the front camera offers 4k capture too, for those that want a little better quality. The Magnetic mounts make them easy to install and remove, the main module does GPS-tracking, accident recording and more just like most on the market. This is a pretty great package for you or your teen drivers.

6. Crosstour CR300 (Great Value)

If you’re looking for a cheap and effective dash cam that does a little of everything, without breaking the bank, consider the Crosstour CR300. This camera system offers an insanely high feature-set while coming in at just $38.

$36 at Amazon

The Crosstour CR300 has a 1080p camera with a wide 170-degree lens that has a decent night mode too. They’ve packed in a 3-inch screen so you can easily see what you’re recording, too. However, it also has a G-sensor that can detect shocks, accidents, or even heavy braking and will instantly start recording. Most models this cheap don’t have the G-sensor.

You’re getting security options like motion-detection when parked, loop recording, on-off audio, license plate and time-stamps, and more. We like that it’ll automatically record over the oldest file when you’re out of space, that way you never miss a moment or accident when you need your dash camera the most.

7. Magellan MiVue 420 Dash Cam

Magellan is another brand that’s no stranger to car accessories like a dash cam, and you’ll love the 2k video the Magellan MiVue 420 has to offer. They also deliver some of the best enhanced and bright night vision video quality we’ve tested so far.

$99 at Amazon

Similar to a few others on our list, we love the big, blue, dedicated recording button in case of emergencies or while you’re getting pulled over. Perfect for any dangerous situation. The default recording option is Super HD (1296p) which looks great, and the included 8GB card will store plenty of hours of driving. However, we recommend getting something closer to 64 or even 128GB.

Magellan offers a 3-axis G-sensor for incidents and automatic recording moments, and an audible parking mode and forward-collision warning which you’ll love. I hate the lane-change and speed limit warnings, but you can turn those off. Oh, and this is guaranteed to work with 128GB microSD cards and the entire camera can swivel to face passengers if you’d like, or even toward the driver and a police officer at the window. Giving you full control over the recording when necessary.

8. Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam 4K

Aukey is another smartphone accessory brand that we know and use, and its DR-02 is a pretty great dash cam for the price. We really like the stealthy design, where it’ll hide behind your rear-view mirror and be completely out of sight. Furthermore, the adjustable camera lets you get the perfect view no matter the angle of your windshield glass.

$69 at Amazon

The Aukey DR-02 offers all the features of more expensive options, although the image does have a bit of that fisheye look with rounded edges. Still, you’re getting a 1080p HD video with 170-degrees views enough to see 6-lanes of traffic, support for 128GB microSD cards, and emergency recording with the G-sensor. You’re also getting video loop recording, night vision, and you can buy add-ons like an antenna for better GPS and speed controls.

9. Vantrue N2 Pro Dual Dash Cam (Uber Cam)

Next up is the Vantrue N2 Pro, which is a great dash cam for consumers or someone driving an Uber or Lyft vehicle. And while the N1 is more affordable, the Vantrue N2 Pro is a powerful system worth paying a little extra for.

$199 at Amazon

The N2 Pro has some of the best video quality in this price range, which is one of several things that makes it special. You’re getting a high-end Sony sensor shooting 2.5K HD video out the windshield at 170-degrees for a wide view. Then, there’s a passenger-facing 1080p HD camera at 140-degrees, all in one easy to use system.

This thing has Sony IR night-vision (which you’ll want as an Uber driver) along with 24/7 motion and parking modes for security, extremely great battery life, and support for 256GB micro-SD cards. Then, to preserve storage you can switch to dual 1080p front/rear recording at the same time, which is great. Honestly, this is one of the most feature-complete dash cameras available for under $200.

10. Yi NightScape Dash Cam

Last but not least, for those trying not to spend too much, is the Yi NightScape Smart Dash Cam which offers a pretty great package without breaking the bank. Plus, this is one of the cheapest models that offers an enhanced night-vision mode.

$69 at Amazon

Not everyone needs tons of crazy features. If you just want a capable little dash camera consider this one. The Yi Smart Dashcam has a 1080p HD camera at 60 FPS, so it’s super smooth, plus a 165-degree wide-angle view. There are DVR recording options, the G-sensor for emergencies or accidents, night-vision, lane departure warnings, and even an audible distance and collision warning.

Honestly, the built-in 2.4 inch screen, loop recording to delete old clips in case of emergencies, and the WiFi quick video sharing app are all pretty great for the price. You can instantly access your videos with your phone, or save them in a few seconds.

Everyone has different needs, wants and price points, so choose what dash cam is best for you. Then, for more car goodies check out our 30 favorite smartphone car accessories.

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Apple

How to Take Great Fireworks Pictures on iPhone

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It’s easy to take amazing fireworks pictures with the iPhone XR and iPhone XS if you know what settings to use and have access to an essential iPhone accessory that will supercharge your photos.

Even if you don’t have time to get an iPhone tripod to steady your shots you can use these tips and tricks to take incredible fireworks photos with your iPhone

If you own a DSLR or high-end point and shoot you’ll probably have better luck with that camera than the one in your iPhone, but you can still get many amazing fireworks pictures with your iPhone if you don’t have another option.

Tips to take amazing fireworks pictures on iPhone.

Tips to take amazing fireworks pictures on the iPhone.

On the Fourth of July and other at special events in July, you can use these tips to take better-looking fireworks pictures with the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and other iPhones. By taking the photos on your iPhone you can quickly share them on Instagram or Facebook.

You can use these fireworks pictures tips on the iPhone, to take better-looking photos in the dark. If you have a chance, test these iPhone firework picture tips before you are standing or sitting in a crowd trying to take photos of Fireworks.

Take Live Photos of Fireworks

The iPhone can take Live Photos, which combine a short bit of video with photos and sound. It’s a cool and shareable way to take fireworks photos on the iPhone.

You’re probably already taking Live Photos on your iPhone, but you can check this by opening the camera and looking to see if there is a yellow circle in the top bar in portrait or on the left side when in landscape. If it is yellow, you will take Live Photos. You will also see LIVE show up when you take a photo.

When the fireworks start, you can hold the phone as still as possible, push the shutter button and keep holding the phone still for about a second after the photo ends. This will give you a good live photo that can show the firework in motion and exploding.

After you take a Live Photo, go to the Photos app to see it. You can 3D Touch the screen to animate it. If you need to trim it or change the photo to a better moment, you can tap on Edit. Now tap on the bottom edge and you’ll see other photos the iPhone took with one press. Find the best one, tap on it and then tap on Make Key Photo.

You can also add effects to the Live Photos to show off movement in cool ways. Experiment with the Live Photo effects to get a version you think is great and then share it.

Don’t Use the iPhone Flash

When you try to take fireworks pictures on the iPhone, turn off the flash. The flash will ruin your photos and annoy everyone around you. Don’t be the person who is using the iPhone flash to take fireworks pictures in the dark.

Do not use the flash when taking fireworks pictures on the iPhone.

Do not use the flash when taking fireworks pictures on the iPhone.

Open the iPhone camera app and tap on the flash so that it is inside the international no circle. The flash will not help your iPhone fireworks pictures at all. It’s also a good idea to turn down the brightness of your screen while taking photos in the dark.

Test the iPhone Camera Speed

The iPhone XS and iPhone 8 take pictures faster than older iPhones. If you upgraded to a new iPhone, spend a few minutes figuring out how long it takes from the press of the shutter until the photo is complete.

Read: Secrets to Taking Better iPhone Photos

Once you know this you can time your shutter press to take a photo when the firework is just starting, or at the fullest, instead of catching trails of smoke.

It’s also a handy idea to use the volume down button to take a photo instead of trying to press the on-screen button.

Use the iPhone Burst Mode

The iPhone can capture a burst of photos when you hold the shutter down. As soon as you hear the firework shoot off, you can hold down the shutter and take a burst of photos back to back to back as long as you hold the shutter. The video below walks through how this works.

When you hold the shutter button on-screen or the volume down button the iPhone can take 10 or more photos per second. When you are done taking photos you can see the best photos out of those and then choose to save them.

Shoot iPhone Fireworks Videos

The iPhone can take an excellent video of fireworks and in some cases, this will turn out better than taking a picture. You can shoot a regular video of fireworks without any need to tweak settings, but there are other cool options.

A slow-motion video of Fireworks can slow the explosion to a crawl for dramatic effect and offer something that stands out. A time-lapse video on the iPhone can condense the full fireworks show into a few minutes, sped up to about a minute or two.

Use a Tripod or iPhone Camera Accessory

If you really want your iPhone fireworks pictures to stand out, stop and buy a tripod that includes a way to connect the iPhone.

You can buy a Joby GripTight or similar iPhone tripod or tripod mount at Walmart or Best Buy so that you have it in time for the fourth of July.

Use Your Apple Watch

You can use your Apple Watch to control the shutter on your iPhone. This will let you set your phone on a tripod or prop it up against something so that it is steady. A steady iPhone will help you get better photos.

With the iPhone setup and camera open, find the remote shutter app on your Apple Watch. It looks like a small camera icon. When ready, tap the shutter icon on your Apple Watch and the iPhone will take a picture of the fireworks. Repeat as needed.

Don’t Zoom for iPhone Fireworks Pictures

It is tempting to zoom in closer to the fireworks, but this is a bad idea. Zooming in with the screen on most iPhones is a digital zoom, which essentially means it is just blowing up the image you are seeing instead of actually taking you closer like with a camera with a zoom lens.

In dark settings, this will lead to poor looking photos and a waste of your time. It is better to get closer to the fireworks by walking. Also, keep an eye for nearby lights that can ruin your photos and try to find a spot where people won’t be walking in front of you.

If you have the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max you can zoom in 2X with an optical zoom, which allows you to zoom without losing quality.

Avoid taking fireworks selfies with the iPhone.

Avoid taking fireworks selfies with the iPhone.

You should also avoid using the front-facing camera to take a fireworks selfie, as it is not as good as the one on the back of the iPhone.

9 Best Selfie Apps for 2020

Camera+ 2

Camera+ 2

Camera+ 2 is an iPhone only app that helps you turn your selfies into amazing photos with the tap of a button. You can use Camera+ 2 to take a better-looking Selfie with the camera portion of the app that allows you to control many other features, or you can simply rely on it to edit your photos for an upgraded look.

There is a Clarity filter that will brighten up selfies that are too dark and a Portrait filter that smooths your skin slightly and adds light to the background of the photo for an impressive upgrade to any selfie. 

Other tools allow you to fully edit your photos and make changes so that you end up with the best-looking selfie you can. You'll also find cropping options, frames and array of filters. 

$3.99 on iPhone and iPad

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Android

10 Best Android Camera Apps

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These are the best camera apps for Android that will improve your photography. The best camera you have is usually the one in your pocket, your phone. And while most Android phones come with a pretty capable camera app, these Android camera apps will deliver more options and better results.

It’s not about megapixels either, the camera software is half the battle, as we’ve seen with Google’s capable single camera system on the Pixel 3 XL. Getting a good camera app can add new features, different shooting modes, GIFs, or even composition overlays. See the benefits?

Whether you’re looking for more features, pro modes, extra filters, or just want to try something else, a new camera app is a great place to start. These are some of our favorites and what they each have to offer. Helping you take your photography skills to the next level in 2019.

Best Camera Apps for Android

If you have a new phone like the Galaxy S9+ or an LG V40, you already have a capable camera and great software. However, some of these can still add benefits to your usage, depending on the situation. Then, those with older phones can really benefit from trying a 3rd party application.

Our list is in no particular order, as each camera app has different strengths or features. These are the Android camera app replacements worth considering or spending a few bucks on.

Camera Zoom FX

First up is Camera Zoom FX, an app that’s been available on the Google Play Store for more than a few years and has plenty of fans here. Zoom FX is perfect for those that want a simple camera experience, and more serious stuff all at the same time. It has a clean interface, nice controls, and a large shutter button.

With Camera Zoom FX you’ll get your typical filters, HDR options, and multiple photo modes. Then, more experienced users will enjoy manual controls like ISO, shutter speed, exposure levels, and other small adjustments. This app has more features than most, and you can even unlock more for in the pro version for only $3.49

Download – Camera Zoom FX

Google Camera

Of course, we had to include Google’s Camera app in our roundup. Not just because it comes from Google, but because it’s actually a highly capable and powerful camera app. I mean, it’s what the highest rated smartphone camera on the market uses, the Pixel 3 XL.

Google Camera delivers an exceptionally clean and simple experience, with some nice features sprinkled throughout. Those include lens blur mode, slow motion (on supported devices), photo spheres, video stabilization, Night Sight and auto HDR. This app allows the Pixel 3 single camera to do what Apple and other manufacturers need dual, or even triple cameras to achieve.

However, only select devices can take advantage of everything, and if your device is too old, and runs software older than Android 7.1.1 Nougat, it won’t benefit from Google Camera. However, it’s still a good app for the features, and anyone can benefit by trying it.

Download – Google Camera

Camera FV-5

If you’re looking for a camera with those full manual DSLR-type controls, this is our first recommendation. Camera FV-5 is pretty powerful and almost has too many options. Basically, you’ll want to know what you’re doing before paying $3 for the Pro version of this app.

Skip the free version and go right to FV-5 Pro for $3.95 and enjoy all the benefits. You’ll get full manual controls and the option to shoot in RAW. Then, use full automatic exposure bracketing, composition grids, exposure controls, ISO levels, timelapse, burst mode and other choices. Yes, you can do a little of everything, or keep it simple with a quality auto mode.

Download – Camera FV-5 

Cymera

Everyone wants to take great selfies, right? Cymera delivers thousands of filters, stickers, collages, frames and other effects to spruce up your selfie game. Perfect for the selfie and portrait mode phase of 2017-18.

The biggest reason people download Cymera is the Beauty mode, which instantly changes skin tone similar to popular effects on Samsung smartphones. It makes you prettier with silky smooth skin. You can also add a mole, remove moles or freckles, or remove red marks from your face and body.

Download – Cymera

Camera MX

Another extremely popular camera, possibly one of the best, is Camera MX. It’s a basic point-and-shoot camera app for Android, but then they’ve filled it with lots of extra features. Take time-lapse photos or videos, share and create GIFs, add filters (live filters), and much more.

We enjoy the built-in photo editor, creating GIFs, and the slew of filters. It’s a pretty well-rounded all-in-one camera app that does a little of everything. Camera MX is one of the highest rated options on the Play Store, too.

Download – Camera MX

Open Camera

We also recommend Open camera for those that are professional photographers or need a few more features than most. In fact, it’s pretty feature-complete, free, and even has a remote app for those who need remote control access to snap the perfect photos.

Open camera gives you most of the advanced controls of other cameras, as well as a few extras. These include a manual mode, exposure and brackets, timers, screen modes, color effects, white balance, ISO, and even external microphones in some cases.

As you can see from the name, it’s completely open source. So other versions with varying features can likely be found on Github or other popular sites. Give it a try today.

Download – Open Camera

DSLR Camera Pro

If you’re looking for pro-level DSLR controls, as the name implies, this application is perfect. One of the features we love the most is the two-stage shutter controls. Press to focus, and release to take the photo. Giving you extra control over what and when you focus, and where. It’s pretty powerful and very helpful for getting the best shot.

The best part though is the fact that nearly every option or setting (and there’s a lot) is just a tap away. As you can see from the image above, everything is in one simple and easy to find and use place.

Rather than explain all the features this camera has, we’ll just direct you to the Play Store to see for yourself.

Download – DSLR Camera Pro

Footej Camera

When I think of a new-age smartphone camera experience, I think of Footej. This app has a beautiful yet simple user interface, easy controls, and lots of options. And while it’s great for a beginner, it also has more than enough for someone more advanced or even a professional wanting to take better photos.

The main feature is RAW photos if your phone supports it. Then, enjoy exposure and ISO controls, full manual mode, you can shoot GIFs, histogram, slow-motion video recording and more. One big benefit of Footej is this uses Google’s latest Camera2 API’s too, for the best experience on newer devices. You’ll like the Footej Camera Gallery too.

Download – Footej Camera

Manual Camera

As the name implies, this app is all about full customizable manual controls on Android smartphones or tablets. In fact, it takes full advantage of the latest Camera2 API from Android Lollipop to deliver the most manual controls for any camera app on the Google Play Store. This does a little of everything,

As long as your phone has some sort of manual controls or manual mode, and runs Android Lollipop or newer, which most do, this app is perfect for you. Take control over manual shutter speed, focus distance, ISO, white balance, exposure comps, and a few other things.

You’ll also enjoy GRID lines, Geo tagging, RAW support and an insanely fast camera experience overall.

Download – Manual Camera

ProShot

Last but not least is one of our favorites, ProShot camera. This once popular Windows Phone camera app came to Android a few years ago, and it’s a refreshing change of pace. While most camera apps for Android look, feel, and work the same, ProShot is completely different. From the looks, the way you interact with the controls, change ISO levels, add grid lines and more.

As you can see from the image above, all the controls are very neat and simple. From the color scheme to the obvious buttons and different modes. It’s unlike anything else, and in a good way.

When it comes to feature-complete camera apps, ProShot is right up with the best of them. And while it does cost $3.99, it’s worth every penny and will have you shooting photos and changing settings just because you can. Honestly, ProShot camera is one of our favorite Android camera apps of the year.

Download – ProShot Camera

Final Thoughts

These are some of our favorite camera apps for Android. Delivering the best features, RAW support, manual controls, or tons of beauty modes and filters for any social butterfly. We have a little of something for everyone.

A few honorary mentions go out to VSCO Cam, Pro Capture, A Better Camera, Google Cardboard Camera, or Simple Camera if you just want to take photos with no distractions. Find one from our list and enjoy taking better photos on your phone right away.

While you’re here learn about these 5 best photo editing apps for Android.

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Android

LG V40 Release Date, News, Specs & Price

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With the exciting new LG V40 now official and the release date just a few days away, potential buyers are looking for more details. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the LG V40. From the specs, features, release date, price, then compare it to some of the competition.

After months of leaks and rumors, LG just confirmed the LG V40 with a huge 6.4-inch OLED display, five cameras, fast performance and premium sound. Building on the success of the V30 with improvements across the board. Now that we have official information, the release date and pricing, here’s why it’s worth the wait.

  • LG V40 Release Date: October 3rd pre-order and October 18th release date (US)
  • What is the LG V40?: LG’s premium high-end phone built for power users. Delivering powerful audio, a huge screen and five cameras.
  • What to expect?: A big edge-to-edge display, familiar design like the V30, five cameras and all-day battery life
  • LG V40 Price: Starting at $900

Now that you know a few of the basics and we’ve answered some important questions, read on for more details and where you can buy one come October 18th.

LG V40 Release Date

After countless leaks and rumors suggested a super-late November release date, we’re happy to confirm LG will deliver this phone to fans faster than ever before.

The LG V40 release date in the United States is October 18th or 19th depending on your carrier. The phone goes up for pre-order in select regions starting October 3rd, with carriers like Verizon offering it in just over a week.

Basically, the in-store release date is October 19th, but those who pre-order the phone online will get it delivered to their home starting October 18th in the United States. This is faster than we expected, faster than the V30, and one of the fastest product launches we’ve ever seen from LG Mobile.

LG V40 Pre-Order Dates & Deals

As we said above, pre-orders begin starting October 3rd in Korea, then later this week in other regions around the globe or in the United States. And while that’s not super important, the deal LG has to offer is important and worth considering.

  • Verizon Pre-Orders begin October 11th
  • T-Mobile Pre-Orders begin Friday, October 12th
  • Similar dates expected from AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular

If you pre-order the impressive new LG V40 from LG, carriers, or almost any other retail store LG is giving buyers some exciting incentives.

  • Free SanDisk Ultra 256GB MicroSD Card
  • Free DJI OSMO Mobile 2 Gimbal (perfect for shooting 4K video)
  • and auto-enrollment into the LG Second Year Warranty Promise Program

Basically, LG is offering freebies similar to Samsung giving out free micro-SD cards or Gear VR headsets.

LG V40 Design & Display

Here’s where things get exciting. The LG V30 last year had a big edge-to-edge display, small bezels, and looked great. This year, we’re getting more of the same, only it’s even bigger.

The LG V40 comes with a new and improved OLED panel from LG that’s 6.4-inches big. The same size as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and a hair smaller than the iPhone Xs Max. You do have a notch in the screen, but the bezels on the top and bottom are smaller than the Galaxy Note 9 and smaller than most other phones on the market. Plus, you can hide the notch with software customization.

Screen aside, the LG V40 looks extremely similar to the LG V30 from 2017, and that’s a good thing. The phone has a premium all-metal and glass design, rounded edges that make it easier to hold than the square Galaxy Note 9, and it’s super thin.

On top of the huge screen and five cameras, LG continues to offer wireless charging, expandable storage, and an IP68 dust and water-resistant rating.

With a big 6.4-inch screen the LG V40 is bigger than any V-series before it, and will directly compete with the Galaxy Note 9, Pixel 3 XL, and a bigger Galaxy S10 coming in early 2019.

LG V40 Specs & Features

The V-series is LG’s best and most expensive smartphone. Lately, the LG G phones are a great package with a few compromises, while the V is LG’s “flagship” device. What that means is you can expect all the latest bells and whistles in the V40.

LG V40 Specs 

  • 6.4-inch 3120 x 1440 Quad-HD OLED Display (532 PPI)
  • Snapdragon 845 Processor with 6 of RAM
  • 64/128GB of storage with microSD expansion (only 64GB in the US)
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Android Pie coming…. eventually)
  • Triple Cameras: 12MP main camera with OIS, 16MP wide-angle lens, and 12MP telephoto 2z optical zoom lens.
  • Dual Front-Facing 8 MP and 5MP wide-angle cameras
  • LG BoomBox bottom speaker
  • 3,300 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and wireless charging
  • IP68 Dust & Water-resistance
  • USB Type-C, Google Assistant button
  • Quad-DAC, 32-bit sound, 3.5mm headphone jack, etc
  • Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue in the US

As expected, the LG V40 will be one powerful and capable smartphone. Delivering high-end specs across the board that can compete with anything available.

We do worry about battery life though. LG’s has used the same 3,300 mAh battery in phones for years on end. All while screens get bigger and everything else is more powerful. And with a huge 6.4-inch Quad-HD OLED screen we expected something bigger. That said, initial reviews are quite positive on battery life and say it lasts just as long as competing devices with bigger batteries inside.

Seeing the Light with Five Cameras

Earlier this year Huawei released a phone with three cameras on the back. It’s extremely impressive, and we’re expecting others to follow suit. And of course, LG did that and then some. The LG V40 doesn’t have three, or four, but five cameras total. For what it’s worth, we’re hearing something similar about Samsung’s bigger Galaxy S10+ coming in 2019.

For years LG has offered dual cameras on its smartphones. One is a capable main camera, usually 16MP, while the second one is a super wide-angle lens for landscape photography and wide shots. When most other manufacturers like Apple and Samsung added a telephoto lens, they stuck to the wide-lens approach. The V30 had two 16MP cameras on the back.

In 2018 with the LG V40, the company packed five sensors inside. On the rear, you’ll get a regular 12MP camera that’s extremely capable. This has a fast f/1.5 aperture and OIS. Then, there’s a 107 degrees wide-angle 16MP camera and a 12MP 2x optical zoom telephoto lens. They’ve combined the best of both worlds into one. Offering their own signature feature while stealing one from the competition at the same time.

Oh, and the Triple Shot feature stitches together the images captured with each of the three lenses into a short video file for easy sharing. That’s neat.

LG V40 Price & Final Details

So, this all sounds great and the release date is earlier than we expected, but how much does one cost? Well, it’s an expensive phone right up there with the Galaxy Note 9 and most other phones. It is slightly cheaper than the latest Samsung, but not by much.

Read: 5 Reasons to Wait for the V40 & 4 Reasons Not To

The LG V20 cost $830, the V30 was $800, and the newer V35 is $900. So, as expected, the all-new LG V40 costs $900 depending on where or how you buy it. In fact, each US carrier has a different price, which is frustrating. Here’s the breakdown for potential buyers.

LG V40 US Carrier Pricing

  • US Cellular – $900
  • T-Mobile – $920 ($200 down and $30 a month for 24 months)
  • AT&T – $950
  • Sprint – $960
  • Verizon – $980 ($40.83 a month for 24 months on Verizon device payment)

That’s an expensive phone but you’re still saving around $100 off the $999 Galaxy Note 9. For what it’s worth, this is only the 64GB model as that’s the only option being sold in the United States.

When you factor in the huge screen, small bezels, five cameras, Quad-DAC and everything else, this price makes sense. It’s more than some are likely willing to pay, but the phone does have plenty to offer. You might not get 128GB of storage or an S-Pen stylus, but the cameras and sound make up for those differences. LG has a strong following and offers features for niche markets, which makes this a great phone for millions of potential buyers. If you’re wondering, here’s our LG V40 vs Galaxy Note 9 comparison.

Are you planning on buying the LG V40 or are you holding out for no bezels with the OnePlus 6T or Galaxy S10 in 2019? Let us know in the comment section below.

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