Taking Android Photography to the next level – Editorial

Over the last week I have shown examples of 2 camera apps from iOS, ProCamera+ and Nightcap Pro. Both these apps produce excellent results. Nightcap Pro makes light work of long exposures to create silky water, or shoot the stars and much more.

Scenes around Dartmeet, Dartmoor #iphone6splus #LongExposureMode

ProCamera+ is all about multiple exposures to get the perfect shot, from 3 to 64 exposures to create that perfect photo. It works best shooting buildings. Below an example of a black and white HDR shot.

Architectural Porn #TamarSciencePark #iphone6splus #HDRBracketed

So many of you use android and have asked me what are the equivalent apps for this platform. The bad news is that I cannot find any app that is identical to those above. However, I am testing a few that show promise.

A Better Camera – I have a Huawei G8 and with A Better Camera I was able to produce much better quality photos than using the standard camera app. A Better Camera does have a HDR mode along with a host of other options. These include –

* HDR+ photo and video
* Panorama
* Multishot: Group portrait, Sequence shot, unwanted moving objects removal
* Night mode
* Video recording + pause
* Time lapse (video and photo)
* Pre-shot: negative shutter lag
* Burst and Expo-bracketing
* Self timer
* RAW capture (depends on device)
* Timestamps
* Manual controls (focus and shutter speed priority)
* full access to all Camera features

I will be receiving the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 soon so will wait to reveal my results once I can test this app with these new flagships to see what benefit a flagship phone can bring to A Better Camera. Currently it is on sale on the Google Play Store for £1.99 which is 70% off its normal price.

Camera FV-5 is another app I have been testing with some success. The key features of this app include –

* All photographic parameters are adjustable and always at hand: exposure compensation, ISO, light metering mode, focus mode, white balance and program mode.
● DSLR-like viewfinder display: see exposure time, aperture and stops display with EV and bracketing settings, in real-time!
● Full fledged exposure bracketing: from 3 to 7 frames, unlimited stops spacing, plus custom EV shifting.
● Built-in intervalometer: make stunning timelapses (even bracketed/HDR timelapses) and time-controlled picture series.
● Program and Speed-priority modes.
● Long exposure support: take beautiful night photos and light trails with long exposure times up to 30 seconds**.
● JPEG, true 16-bit RAW in DNG format*, and lossless PNG photo capturing formats, perfect for post-processing.
● Manual shutter speed: from 1/80000 to 2″, or the range available on your device*.
● All camera functions assignable to volume keys. You can adjust EV, ISO, color temperature and more using volume keys. Devices with hardware camera shutter key are also supported.
● EXIF and XMP sidecar metadata support.
● Autofocus, macro, touch-to-focus, true manual focus* and infinity focus modes. Autofocus lock feature (AF-L).
● Autoexposure (AE-L) and auto white balance (AWB-L) locks in Android 4.0+.
● In background photo and RAW developing and processing allows a smooth, uninterrupted camera operation.
● Digital zoom using multitouch pinch gesture. Also shows 35mm equivalent focal length!
● The most advanced electronic viewfinder: live RGB histogram, 10 composition grid overlays and 9 crop guides available.

Again, testing Camera FV-5 with the Huawei G8 improved upon the quality from the default camera app, but again I really want to test this app with something better and so will put this through its paces with the new flagship phones.

There is the possibility that these apps will not function with the new flagships due to the manufacturers not providing the proper camera API support. Fingers crossed this is not the case.

So my question to you all, can you name any of android apps that offer the functionality, or part of, to that of Nightcap Pro and ProCamera+ on iOS?

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10 thoughts on “Taking Android Photography to the next level – Editorial

  1. No more Android apps from me Gavin, you have picked the best two from the bunch. I really feel camera apps on Android are lacking the additional detail that you get from iOS.
    If editors were included then I will say I do miss PicSay Pro on iOS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Editing apps or apps with filters seem abundant. Just surprised at the difference in an area I would have thought both Eco systems would be fairly level. It seems though that in 12 months, iOS has kept forward a notch. 3D Touch, fingerprint integration into apps, Apple Pay etc etc. BTW are you still enjoying your iPad Pro and if so how are the apps now in terms of updates?

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  2. Yes, editors over camera apps do seem to be punching up everywhere and there lays the difference:- one is determined by the hardware whereas the other is software only. Makes it much easier when there are no api instructions to abide by.

    As to the Pro ~ oh yes Gavin I still have the BIG fella.
    I never purchased a keyboard in the end as I found the ones I have hanging around are suffice. The pen though is what makes it for me and if they ever bring the screen technology onto a standard iPad I would upgrade immediately.

    Apps for the Pro are much much better, utilising the extra space greatly.
    As one example for my accounting I use Account Tracker (now Pro and has watch support). On an iPad Pro you get to see nigh on 40% extra lines of transactions.
    Everything looks so much easier on the eyes (I don’t normally play games but you should see Sim City Buildit on both the iPad and the Pro, the Pro shows much more detail), which is the same for those four speakers. As such trust me with failing eyesight and hearing loss the Pro helps enormously in both areas.
    So yes, most of the big players and popular apps have made their titles compatible with the Pro.

    I just wish Apple would sort out the Home Screen. Those pathetic spaced icons are not a good advertisement for the device.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My guess is that for app makers, it might be too much effort to create good camera apps. The amount of different hardware configs you have to support for android is insane.

    I know myself from developing a (fairly simple) camera app how difficult interfacing with low level hardware can be. Manufacturers implement their APIs in different ways, and it’s so hard to create something that works on all devices.
    I test my app on the few devices I have to hand, but there are 10,000 other android device types out there on which your app might behave completely unexpectedly.

    IMO that’s what makes developing those kinds of apps appealing for iOS developers, but not so much for android.

    Quick plug: a link to the free version of my app!:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dallapps.lite

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  4. Gavin, in an old article, you had test a Apple APP with some HDR level with one picture, there is already no equivalent Android App ? 🙂

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    1. I tested and use regularly ProCamera+ for iOS. There is nothing on android that works in the same way or to the same effect. The other issue is developers have a tricky time keeping up with all the android devices. Plus manufacturers don’t always open up their camera API.

      I have tested several android HDR apps and most of them were rubbish.

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      1. The ridiculously simple app I did has been broken by almost every major (and a few minor) android updates. It’s a pain in the butt.
        Have you seen the app msqrd on iOS? It’s amazing, but I’d say the chances of it coming to android are next to nil because of many the different hardware configs. It’s just not worth the hassle.

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