With advancements in technology, the camera has now become one of the most integral components of our smartphones. We now tend to gravitate towards buying a phone with much better optics and picture quality, thanks to our obsession with Instagram and other social networks. But, we all do need a camera app to match up to hardware capabilities of our devices.
The Android smartphones from top hardware makers such as Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi and others all come with advanced camera apps. But, we all know that the stock camera app from Google does not bring a ton of features to the table, especially for users who like to play around with manual controls.
Hence, we have to turn to the Play Store to scour for alternatives that are feature packed and offer great picture quality as well. There are a ton of options to choose from and it can definitely get confusing, therefore, here are our top 10 picks for you:
10 Best Camera Apps of Android
Note: I tried out all the camera apps on my Google Nexus 5X and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, running Android 8.1 Oreo and they were working perfectly fine.
1. Bacon Camera
As you can already tell, there are too many apps that offer manual controls to all Android users. Bacon Camera is one such app, which is new to the scene, but shows a lot of promise. It is comparable to the likes of Footej and Manual Camera, who seek to bring DSLR-like features to smartphones.
Bacon Camera offers you a clutter-free interface, reminiscent of iPhone’s camera, with the obvious highlight being the manual controls. Here’s what you get with this new entrant of the said ecosystem:
- Full Manual Focus
- Full Manual White Balance
- Full Manual Exposure Compensation
- Semi-Manual ISO speed
- Full Manual Exposure Time
- Bayer RAW and DNG support
- Live Histogram
And it’s not only the manual controls, this app also builds on the basic controls and offers you cool features such as panorama, virtual horizon, multi-exposure shots, timed shots for time-lapses and GIFs. It is monetized by ads, which you can turn off and then donate to the developer to help them actively work on building new features into this app.
Key Features: You not only get the complete set of manual controls, but add-on features such as multi-exposure shots, time-lapses, and GIFs.
2. Camera FV-5
Camera FV-5 is one of the most popular camera apps, which offers manual modes similar to DSLR cameras at your fingertips. You’ll get simple and easy-to-use features, along with RAW capture support, which attracts photographers and enthusiasts in huge numbers.
Just in like a DSLR camera, all photographic parameters namely exposure compensation, ISO, light metering mode, focus mode, white balance are adjustable. Camera FV-5 is the only trying the hardest to emulate most DSLR-like features and also offers you real-time details via a viewfinder at the top.
You’re free to capture photos in JPEG, true 16-bit RAW in DNG format, and lossless PNG formats. This makes it simpler for the user to edit the images in post-processing. It provides you most of these features via its ‘Free Lite’ variant but you’ll need to get the full paid version of the app to explore all the goodness.
Key Features: All the goodness of a bulky DSLR camera and more is now available at your fingertips.
Download (Free, upgrade to Pro version at $3.95)
3. Footej Camera
Though Footej Camera is one of the newer apps of this ecosystem, it is flush with a decent set of features. It can cater to both the average consumer who like to click pictures for fun and to photographers who’re looking for manual controls. It utilizes Android’s Camera 2 API to help you capture some stunning shots.
This app brings a clutter-free and simple UI to the table. It offers you manual control of the ISO, focal length, shutter speed, as well as exposure for your photo-capturing needs. You can click RAW photos, with a lot more data, if your device supports the same.
In addition to all the sophisticated features, you can have some fun with your selfie light (where the screen lights up to illuminate your face), slow-motion video recording, make GIFs, a photo histogram, and click multiple shots in quick succession with burst mode.
Key Features: Offers a clean and bloat-free interface, with DSLR-like manual modes, RAW photo capture, and Camera 2 API support.
Download (Free, upgrade to Pro version for $2.99)
4. Manual Camera
As the name exactly says, Manual Camera presents you with a slew of DSLR-like controls. It extends you a distinct user interface that’s stuffed with the complete set of manual controls.
You can adjust everything ranging from the shutter speed, focus distance, and ISO to the white balance, and exposure compensation. If you’re a pro photographer who wants full control over the shots they capture, this is the perfect app for you.
Note: Before you jump forward and pay up for Manual Camera, the developers suggest it is a good idea to check if your device is compatible with all the features on offer. You can do the same via this compatibility app right here.
Manual Camera makes complete use of the Camera 2 API to capture crisp photos, as well as videos. You start off with an “Auto Mode” but can instantly switch to manual to capture RAW (DNG) format pictures.
Key Features: Full manual control, with Camera 2 API support, makes this the absolute choice for pro photographers.
Download (Paid, $2.99)
5. Camera360 Ultimate
If you’ve been an Android user for long, you’d know that 360Camera is one of the most renowned camera apps on the Play Store. While it was once known for its fully fledged camera features, the app has been redesigned to cater to the needs of the social frenzy millennial population.
You’re now offered a selfie and beauty camera, with pro image editing tools, as well as a plethora of cool stickers, AR face masks similar to the ones seen in Snapchat, art filters, and poster templates that’ll allow you to jazz up your pictures. You also get the ability to create photo collages and grids, along with customizable and filtered videos.
Key Features: If Snapchat and Instagram filters are your jam, you’d definitely like what Camera360 has to offer.
Download (Free, in-app purchases start at $0.99)
6. Google Camera
As the name suggests, Google Camera is the official camera app for Android devices. This app is quite simplistic and can help click some crisp pictures but isn’t quite heavy on features. The prominent features included in this app are lens blur mode, slow-motion videos (on supported devices), photo spheres, video stabilization and more.
While Google Camera is great and usable, its primary downside is that the app is not compatible with all the Android devices out there. The aforementioned features work on latest Android versions, whose percentage is quite low.
You may find that Google Camera isn’t accessible for many of you from the link below, but you need not worry. There are a plethora of camera mods, such as Camera NX, that brings the app’s top-notch features such as Portrait Mode, to many Android devices. You can read all about it right here.
Key Features: Simple and easy-to-use for most types of Android users. It is now heavy on flashy features.
7. Open Camera
With over 10 million installs, Open Camera is also seen as one of the most-popular and old apps available on the Play Store for professional photographers. Just like the multitude of camera apps discussed above, this app also brings a wide variety of manual controls to enable you to adjust the shot as per your liking.
You get support for various focus modes, scene modes, color effects, white balance, ISO, exposure compensation/lock and face detection. You can configure the photo-capture experience with two choices, volume controls or voice activation. It is open-source and you’re free to contribute to the same.
Open Camera support HDR and Android’s Camera 2 API, and offers this complete package to you for free. There are no in-app purchases or intrusive pop-up ads, but you could donate to the developers to keep the app up and running.
Key Features: A free and open-source app that’s loaded with manual controls, as well as cool functionalities to the brim.
Download (Free, in-app purchase starts at $1.99)
8. Camera MX
It is not manual controls or Pro mode that everyone desires. An average user is looking for a snappy camera app that captures great pictures while offering a few add-on features to top off their experience. Camera MX has been nailing this for years and is one of the most popular camera apps among newbie photo enthusiasts.
Camera MX is all about simplicity, which shows in the clean and snappy interface. You get various camera modes, to not only capture the ideal photo but also videos. The highlight of the app is “Live Shot mode” which lets you create your own GIFs and the robust photo editor that’s been baked right into the app.
The developers are super active and have been keeping Camera MX up-to-date in order to fall in line with today’s standards.
Key Features: An all-in-one solution with great GIF-making capabilities for newbies.
Download (Free, in-app purchases start at $0.99)
9. Sweet Selfie
The selfie craze is not only limited to hardware innovations, but has also trickled down into Android apps such as Sweet Selfie as well. The Gen-Z’s obsession with selfies has now pushed them to embrace beautification apps. All they want now is to look the best for Instagram posts, so the world can take notice of them.
Sweet Selfie, which was previously known as Candy Camera, is one of the overly popular apps that has fueled this craze and now has over 100 million downloads. The app has now gotten a visual makeover (with a homescreen) and loads of smart selfie modes, filters, and other fun features to make it stand out from the competition.
This app allows you to put in less effort into clicking the selfies and later editing it with the smart auto-beautify mode, emojis, stickers and typical vintage filters. It adds to the whole fun by bringing a social touch, in the form of special contests, to the users.
Key Features: Smart auto-beautify mode and fresh filters, along with the contests make this a well-made camera app for casual users.
Download (Free, upgrade to ad-free version for $0.99)
VSCO is yet another gem from the past. It has been present on the Play Store for quite a while, offering you the capability to shoot and edit pictures on the fly. The app is loaded with film-inspired presets and advanced camera controls, which let you change the contrast, brightness, highlights and more.
While many users believe that the main highlight of the VSCO app is its wide set of photo editing features, but I think it’s the social component that has been built around the app.
You’re no longer just clicking pictures and storing them away in your gallery, but have the choice to share it with the world and build a community around your work. You’re also free to explore other people’s artworks and follow them for inspiration if you like.
Key Features: Great filters and photo editing features, coupled with a social network to show off your creative artworks.
Download (Free, in-app purchases start at $0.99)
Top Camera Apps for Android in 2018
Even after having a powerful lens on your smartphone, it all boils down to the app you’re using to click pictures/ videos and your experience as well. We hope you’d have found the app which suits your needs, be it jazzed-up portraits, funky masked selfies or that picture perfect moment you’ve always wanted to capture on your phone. Which app did you pick and why? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.