Jun 19 AT 3:53 PM Christopher Earle 18 Comments

Camera Pro: High End Functions in an Android Camera

One of the things that was surprising to many people was the simplicity of the camera in T-Mobile’s G1. The Android platform always seemed ideal for a really feature-rich camera, which isn’t what the G1 shipped with. Even the camera in the Cupcake OS release is a little weak.

Camera Pro is an app that replaces the built-in camera app that adds an incredible number of really useful features. The first is zoom. Camera Pro offers a sliding zoom level. The app uses digital zoom. With digital zoom, the camera doesn’t physically zoom. It crops the image to include only the image area included on the LCD. When zooming in, the camera actually crops a lower resolution image from the overall image that is seen by the camera. This process is seamless to the user, so appears to be a zoom function. In spite of its potential resolution problems, this zoom feature is outstanding, fast, and a very welcome addition to the G1.

The second higher end function is white balance. White balance adjusts for the varying color temperatures of different types of light. Incorrectly set white balance is the reason that many photographs taken under incandescent lights look yellow and others under fluorescent lights look blue. Although Auto is quite good, in some cases you may want to set manual white balance. Camera Pro supports white balance for Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Cloudy, Twilight and Shade.

Camera Pro also offers a number of compositional aids. Compositional aids are: Crosshairs, Circle, Golden Ratio, and a very cool function that uses the G1s accelerometer to correctly photograph straight horizons.

Although many of the filters are extreme, and as a result of limited usefulness, Camera Pro has a number of filters. The most useful ones are Mono and Sepia. In addition to these two filters, the following filters are supplied: Negative, Solarize, Pastel, Mosaic, Posterize, Whiteboard, Blackboard and Aqua.

Camera Pro can be set to replace the default camera app. It supports a number of other useful functions, like default image size and JPG quality. The default white balance and default filter can also be set from the app settings.

Camera Pro is a reasonable $1.99 in the Android Market and is a very good, very capable replacement for the default camera app.

A full list of features includes:

  • Digital Zoom(up to 4x)
  • Effect filters(b/w, sepia, aqua,…)
  • Whitebalance
  • Grid lines (using acceleroemeters, golden ration,…)
  • Stability, autofocus
  • Just tap screen for a snap shot
  • Sending photo via email/MMS
Camera Pro for Android
Version: 1.1
Developed By: Swiss Codemonkeys
Price: €1.49 ($2.08)
Filesize: 111KB
Christopher Earle has been working as a freelance writer since 1987. He currently lives in the Denver, Colorado area with his wife, son, and their two cats. He has been a fan of open source software for many years.

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  • ESPOO

    the only feature I really want in a camera app is reasonable speed.

    snapfoto, the stock app…both of them take 20 seconds to start up, and then another 10 seconds to take a picture. kind of defeats the purpose for about half of the photos you try to take…

    does this app handle this better?

    • http://Website doug

      Kinda funny when you stop and think that we’ve evolved quite a bit over the past 170 years the inception of the camera and thus photography, yet despite all our technology it still takes a damn long time to take a picture…

  • Paul

    @ESPOO: I completely agree with you. The camera startup time is a huge disincentive to take photos.

  • http://zooid.org/~vid?androidandme davidm

    snapphoto appears to offer more features on balance, though it’s nice camera pro offers digital zoom like the default cam app, however snapphoto is friendlier in tone; pro is an obnoxious name and impossible to apply to the base cam’s quality in today’s android devices.

    neither offers the ability to take a continuous sequence of photos every X seconds, or according to movement, basic features on other devices.

  • http://www.dylandersen.me Dylan Andersen

    Unfortunately, you can do all these things and more with the stock HTC Magic Camera app, available to G1 users and Google Ion/Magic/Sapphire users with modified firmwares.

  • Drew

    Yeah

    Runnin a g1 with ion firmware , the stock camera is far better than stock g1 , however did use the camera pro app , and proved fit for its purpose

  • Mark

    This article has completely missed the fact that it was a different camera app that did zoom first on Android – Camera Zoom. Camera Zoom also has some pretty cool shutter animation effects which are skinnable and now has custom borders too.

    Startup times are very fast.

  • Joseph

    I use SnapPhoto Pro and it works great for me and has all these features. just no Zoom. but id rather have no zoom than a fake one.

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  • Roy

    Snapphoto is better IMO as well. I can really be seen that it has been around since day one, because it is constantly improving. It’s nice to have new features like zoom, but frankly, zoom sucks and gives crappy pictures. Snapphoto’s quality lies in the fact that it aims to make good pictures instead of making an app for people to play around with (no one will actually want to use the zoom for example).

    Snapphoto ftw!

  • http://swisscodemonkeys.appspot.com/app/camera/android_camera_pro_adds_zoom__effect_filters__and_many_other_features.html Android Camera Pro

    Thank you very much for writing this great review about our Camera Pro app!
    We recently released a new version with new features such as brightness / contrast control and color balance.

    Thanks,
    Swiss Codemonkey Team

  • http://www.brainhandles.com Greg Bulmash

    While trying out this app, I tried to switch from a negative to solarize photo effect and this app froze up my phone so completely, I had to remove the battery to be able to reboot it.

    It did some nice, fast test shots, but this ability to totally lock up my phone was not a nice feature.

  • http://www.headstonesandmemorials.com/Headstones.php Name (required)

    It is good to see the develpers of the application commenting on this review. It shows that they are trying to see what people want and make the changes needed.

    I like that. I will check it out as I like the camera app the LEAST of anything currently.

  • http://Website Skidoo

    Camera **PRO**?? Pshaw. No mention of a timer. No mention of a continuous mode. No mention of rear or slow flash sync modes, flash strobiing, or continuous flash illumination.

    All of the white balance and many (perhaps all?) of the other “custom” settings are built into the device’s camera ALREADY and exposed as simple API parameters.

    Hello. You can set custom WB and “scene” filters (e.g. mono and sepia) in the Moto Droid’s default camera app (ref. 2.1).

    Camera “Pro” indeed. Buyer beware of fool’s gold.

  • http://Website Slammer

    Skidoo,

    I agree on the Camera PRO warning. I have recently tried every camera app on the Android Market using my Droid.

    There is no question to me one stands out above all the rest. PRO Zoom Camera is my favorite. It has the right combination of speed, great easy to use interface and many creative effects. I mean you can even add text to your photo!!

    Seriously, try it folks. PRO Zoom Camera is the bomb.

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