Nov 18 AT 4:11 PM Dima Aryeh 19 Comments

New camera software and Camera RAW support coming to Android

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One of Android’s biggest problems is software optimization. This could apply to anything from fluidity to the camera, but while Google has worked on fluidity, the camera software has never been fixed. Manufacturer skins feature much better camera software, allowing for some great photos to be taken, but AOSP has never been quite as good for photo taking. In fact, flashing an AOSP ROM pretty much guarantees a drop in image quality for most devices.

According to already existing code, Google is working on a new camera API for Android, which would include a lot more features to take better photos. This new API is called “” to replace “” and includes these features:

Full-capability devices allow for per-frame control of capture hardware and post-processing parameters at high frame rates. They also provide output data at high resolution in uncompressed formats, in addition to compressed JPEG output.

This new API comes with Camera RAW support, following Nokia’s decision to include Camera RAW support in the Lumia 1520. Camera RAW allows for saving of uncompressed and unprocessed shots, allowing for much more powerful editing later on. JPEGs only support a minimal amount of editing before the editing gets destructive. RAW could be a pretty cool feature for Android phones, especially with Google’s new focus on making good photo editing apps.

There are also smaller things included, like face detection, burst mode, and support for detachable cameras (presumably like Sony’s offerings). They’re all good additions that should have been added a while ago, so we can’t wait until Google actually releases this API. Are you excited to see it? Leave a comment!

Via: Engadget

Source: Ars Technica

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Fulaman

    I guess the question is more about when this will be released. However, I am looking forward to it.

  • don

    Is this wishful thinking, would this be an update that could be loaded on to an XT912? Or are we looking at a newer phone?

  • sepehr

    I look forward to this.
    Meanwhile, I am desperately waiting for a fix on my Nexus 5 camera app. It work fine on the stock app but all the other apps which require camera access (e.g. snapchat or even the built-in Face Unlock feature) will result in a crash and afterwards the stock camera app will display a black screen plus non-working controls. This is definitely a software issue (my guess a KitKat bug) and it is pretty common among 32Gb Black versions of nexus 5. What irritates me is that there are no official news on this bug but it exists both on xda and google products forum.
    How nexus 5 is introduced as a camera phone on Play Store is beyond me!

    • Fulaman

      I have the exact same problem on my white 32gb Nexus 5, I usually have to reboot the phone to get the camera working again. If you call Google Play Support, they may be able to make a trouble case labeling it as a bug, or Google product forums.

  • Mohammed

    it would great to get new camera app updates from play store as they do with google keyboard app
    thank you

  • h0ruza

    This all sounds very good but we need speed and a higher success rate.

    It won’t be easy but anything less will be laughed at and pointless.

    Make us proud Google

  • Jay

    Hi note: “This new API comes with Camera RAW support, following Nokia‚Äôs decision to include Camera RAW support in the Lumia 1520″ RAW support for Lumia devices is NOT ONLY included in the Nokia Lumia 1520 which can already be preordered for $99 at ATT, but is also part of he Lumia Black update that will be releases soon on Nokia Pure View devices.
    What Android is doing is playing catch up with Nokia’s already APPLIED advancements.
    Nokia, despite and in full acknowledgment of Windows Phone, distant third place status IS the undisputed leader in mobile phone photography. An area which is the next frontier in smartphone advancement, Nokia is clearly leading the market.

    • Dima Aryeh

      My statement is correct. It’s available only on the Lumia 1520, no other Lumia. Sure, there will be an update, but as of this moment, it’s only on the 1520.

    • ari-free

      Nokia may have a great camera but very few want Windows and Internet Explorer on their phone. That just holds the web back.

  • Shizz

    The idea of detachable or remote cameras definitely would be nice. It is always silly when people are taking a bunch of pictures with a tablet. Use of a remote camera would even allow for more comfortable taking of pictures along with allowing for upgrading the camera without having to replace the entire device.

  • jasper

    Wow, raw file which will be using a lot of space for 1 Picture!!

    Now 64G mem wont be enough

  • Jimmy_Jo

    Hope this comes sooner than later! I’m happy for it because I really like AOSP. Android doesn’t need skins anymore.

  • Scott

    I can hardly wait, the lack of solid camera software is a significant weakness for the Android system. Now, hopefully the wait will have been worth it when it is introduced.

  • redraider133

    I like how google is continuing to improve one area that really has been a weak point in terms of software with stock android. I am interested to see when this will be implemented and how well it will improve the current stock camera software on android.

  • CTown

    The modding community is going to LOVE the fact that this new API is backwards compatible with older devices since with ICS many devices lost camera support with unoffical ICS updates.

  • yoaj

    First for the N5, please!

    • donger


  • not sure

    Too little too late.

  • Chase Vegas

    I have a DNA as my work phone and a iPhone 5s as my personal. When I need to take pics for my business..I try to give Android a chance to get the right pic.. But as I got use to it, the DNA has fail me over and over. So I take the pics that I need with my iPhone, no issues at all. I do have to say that Android does give you ALOT MORE OPTIONS IN EDITING YOUR PICTURES. So hopefully one day I can just pull out my DNA w/ 4.4 (soon i hope B4 2014) and take a pic with google update to its camera software..u have to give it to Nokia they know what they are doing when it comes to camera software.. The iPhone 5s takes GREAT PICS..BUT I WOULD LIKE TO USE MY DNA TO TAKE PICS AND USE THAT GREAT BIG SCREEN TO EDIT MY to wishing and maybe 2014 could be a GREAT YEAR for ANDROID..we will c.