The Android Market is rife with great camera apps, but CameraZoom FX gives you the most control over your photos, making it our choice for the best app around.
NOTE: This App Directory entry has been updated. Click here for the most recent version.
Platform: Android Price: $4.48 Download Page
- 40 different effects, like vignette, LOMO, retro and Polaroid
- Stable Shot meter
- Clap to take a picture
- Self Timer
- Real-time digital zoom
- Geotagging of photos using your phone's GPS
- Autosave of images when you take them
- Silent photo shooting
- Customise all the hardware buttons on your phone and assign them to camera functions, e.g. zooming with the volume controls
- Customisable grid overlays (so you can make use of the rule of thirds)
- Burst mode of up to 16 shots
- White balance tweaking
- One-tap upload to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more
- Skin packs, borders, frames, props, shutter animations and other add-ons
CameraZoom has more features and options than you can shake a stick at (the above list is testimonial enough). Your phone's camera probably isn't the best you own, but with the sheer number of options in this app, it'll look much closer to your point-and-shoot than if you had just used the default camera app. From white balance tweaking to a fantastic stable shot meter to the autofocus, you have a lot of control. Couple that with the ability to silence the shutter, assign functions to any button on your phone, and being able to take a picture by clapping, and you've got yourself the most powerful camera app on the Market, hands down. It also has a ton of different effects if you're in the mood for a Hipstamatic-type shot.
CameraZoom doesn't have very many downsides (apart from a very ugly icon). It doesn't seem to have a good HDR mode like Camera360, and it doesn't quite offer the sheer number of effects support that Vignette has, but overall it's still the most feature-filled of the bunch. The settings menu can get a little overwhelming, but that comes with the territory of having a billion different settings to tweak. I'd say that if you're only looking for effects, you're better off with something else, but if you want the highest number of options, stick with CameraZoom.
The other big apps for Android are Vignette and Camera360, and with good reason. Both have some serious effects capabilities (Camera360 even has a nice HDR feature), and if you're looking for an app like Instagram or Hipstamatic, those are the ones you'll want to go with. Vignette also has a really great interface for shooting photos. Retro Camera is also immensely popular, and unlike the other two is completely free.
The default camera app is a little different on every phone (Motorola's will be different than HTC's which is different than Samsung's and so on), but in general they don't offer a ton in the way of power. They'll do in a pinch, and while they're certainly competition, their only advantage is their simplicity (which is nice, sometimes).
Lifehacker's App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories. This week, we're focusing on camera apps.