Samsung Galaxy S5 camera

Are you looking for something a little extra in your Android camera app? Maybe more creative options, or more detailed technical control? Maybe something easier to use? We've got our five favourite camera apps for Android right here. It's worth noting that though there's a ton of overlap with photo editing apps, we're trying to focus on apps that are primarily for taking pictures for this round-up, rather than apps for editing the end result.

Ready, shutterbugs? It's time to fire up the Google Play Store.


Reader comments

The best camera apps for Android


I've always wondered, do these third party apps do as good of a job as whatever stock camera app you have? I mean do the OEM's give their own software deeper hooks into the camera's hardware than what these apps can achieve?

I seem to get better pictures from the Google Camera app than I do from the stock Samsung Note 3 app. Both do a good job, but the pics taken with the Google App seem brighter and clearer in lower light. You could always test that one since it's free and compare.

I've noticed that the Google Camera app produces photos with better color than the stock Moto X camera app, but only with close up shots (I only use the Google camera app for Lens Blur). Wide shots look pretty much the same.

I would love to use the Google camera as my default but for some reason it seems as those my stock camera on my M8 shoots with a higher MP

I like Camera Zoom FX... I also like Camera 360 (which strangely didn't make this list...) but it's become a bit annoying with the tie-ins to the other apps by the company.

Still like Vignette as a option opposite the stock camera on my LG G2, it's got some great filters that can be tweaked to your liking and it's easy to use. I also have the Google camera installed.

Posted via Android Central App w/G2

I'm really enjoying the stock camera app on my OnePlus One. I'll extract the apk and test it on some other devices.

I love MagicHour. It is a filter type app but you combine filters in as many ways possible as you want and can even share your filter creations with others or download the filters they made

I have a question. Generally looking for the answer not trolling or anything. Why is AOSP camera slow? I mean visually? the view isn't fluid. Most companies like Samsung, HTC, LG, have fluid camera apps why is google shying away from something like this?

Current stock one is A Better Camera (with its widget on my home screen). For simple colour replace and other gimmicks I use Camera 360 and Lapse It Pro handles any timelapse requirements.

I'd love to be able to use other camera apps, but for some reason they only look good on the stock camera app on my s3. and front facing camera shots look horrible no matter what once processed, but look great in the view finder.

AT&T Galaxy S III

Google camera all the way. I don't like tons of fancy filters and effects. Google camera has some great features while remaining very simple. However, I have the stock camera on my Moto X disabled because it's too simple.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

I like the stock camera app on my GS5. Lots of filters and different modes to choose from.

Posted via Android Central App on GS5

I like the stock app on my Moto G, but for cleaning it up or filters, I really, really like Handy photo. It lets you do everything you could possibly think of, and does it all well.

If I want a shot to be as nice as possible I go to Camera FV-5, lossless .png files do make a difference. If it is just a quick snapshot I will use the Google camera or stock depending on the ROM.

Two I've been enjoying lately is Cameringo and A Better Camera. Both seem to have lots of control and real time effects. That said the Google Camera is still tops for regular shots for me.

I second "A Better Camera." It's has more options to help take a great shot than any other app out there. It's not user friendly, so you'll want to experiment with it quite a bit before you try figuring it out when that perfect moment arises unexpectedly. But after I got used to it, I became a picture taking fool with my 2013N7. I use other apps for effects and filters afterwards....if needed.

Posted via Android Central App

As long as android api blocks direct access to manual stuff like shutter and manual focus there's nothing truly interesting those cameras can offer.

Posted via Android Central App

I have no idea if I'd gain or lose anything by trying the Google Camera app. I like the stock Motorola app on my Moto G.

Google camera. I'm a point-and-shoot-from-the-lockscreen-and-auto-awesome kind of guy.

Posted via Android Central App

I'll stick to Sony's stock camera. But I really like the Paper camera... Picked it up with the 50% discount. Some nice filter effects :)

I wouldn't mind having more control than the stock app on my GS5 offers, but do these third party camera apps support the fast auto focus and one-shot HDR capabilities of the phone?

Interesting review, thanks Simon. Definitely thinking about FV-5, I'd never heard of it. I presently use the standard Google Camera app which I find okay for "just taking a photo" when I have nothing else with me. Using my DSLR and high-end P&S cameras, with which I take the majority of photos, I shoot in RAW. Is there any way this can be done on a smartphone camera?

Yes. Mi2RAW takes raw photos in the DNG format (25 MB per photo with my 13 MP phone). And they are actual raw photos, including A TON of noise.

The downside is that only the Xiaomi Mi2/Mi2S/Mi3 and the LG G2 and G3 (I think) are supported at the moment. These phones IIRC have in common the Sony IMX 135 camera, but it has been used in many flagship phones. Not sure why other phones aren't supported.

Stock Camera on my G3 is an absolute must have. Augmented with Googles camera. After four years of shit cameras, finally. I use Google +for editing. Auto Awesome works pretty good for me.

Posted via Android Central App

Ah, thanks for that NoNexus. Confirmed RAW support November last year, so yeah maybe in Android L. I see that FV-5 software equates RAW to PNG. No, PNG is not RAW.

Perfectly Clear (free) or paid version. It really fixes almost all picture as you take them. The android version works really well on my MOTO G (LTE). Try the free version and see!

Realistically, if you don't really know what the hell you're doing when it comes to photography, whatever came with your phone will probably work out better for you than anything on this list (save maybe the google camera.) If you actually know how to use a DSLR in full-on manual mode to achieve some good looking photos, then Camera FV-5 will probably get you the best looking photos you can get on your android phone, regardless of what model it is.

The only exceptions I can think of are phones with camera gimmicks that only THEIR stock camera can hook into properly (HTC comes to mind) and any of the Sony phones with 20.7mp camera lenses in them - In my experience, any of the third party camera apps with ridiculous amounts of camera controls still fail to take as good a picture as the stock Xperia camera in Superior Auto mode, even if you know what the hell you're doing. Those 20.7 megapixels only really look good when their proprietary software is scaling them down to 8 megapixels and working voodoo to make them look sharp.

Not true for the LG G2 and G3 and the Xiaomi Mi2, Mi2S and Mi3. Mi2RAW is able to save actual raw files on these phones.

Do any of these work over the lock screen? I have tried several other cameras, but only the Google Camera does not force me to enter my password to take a picture when using the camera icon on the lock screen.

No photosphere and panorama for my Samsung galaxy grand 2. What limit is with phone

Posted via Android Central App

Tried to download Google camera in the play store and it says my note 3 isn't compatible with this version. Thoughts anyone?

Posted from from my Galaxy Note 3.

I have been using Snap camera for the rapid shot features.. Especially handy with grandkids. Loads quickly and tap to shoot. I like the fact that you can completely hide the UI except for the necessary camera / video toggle & a shutter button, leaving the rest of the screen to view. Lots of developer functions too.

Posted via Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy Express i437p on AT&T's 4G LTE Network

PerfectlyClear has rich postprocessing features including eye enhancement, wrinkle smoothing, spot/acne removal, processing of dark photos, several features for enhancing landscape photos, built-in smooth panorama picture taking etc. Well wortth the money

I would love a better camera app. BUT - now that we have Android 4.4, none of these third party apps can save photos directly to the SD card, right?

Which is why I'm still on 4.2.2

I love Android, but Google is REALLY starting to piss me off in a serious way.

I love the Camera Xoom FX. My hands aren't as steady as they once were, and not only does this offer all kinds of options, but one of them is image stabilization. The photos taken are much sharper than with stock. Just remember, try not to use the zoom feature. This is digital zoom on most off our tablets and phones. Resolution falls off extremely fast.

Posted via Android Central App

I downloaded a camera app called candy camera and wow. I genuinely thought it would be a simple camera app but it really impressed me. Try it. Candy camera.

I love Mi2RAW, which takes raw photos. Real raw photos, in the DNG format, and with no processing applied (i.e. the denoiser in Lightroom only goes to 100... it should go to 1000).

Few drawbacks... it's not blazingly fast, but that's to be expected with 25 MB per photo. It also uses up a lot of space, again, to be expected. You can't set the exposure time (there's just a fast and slow option), while the stock app on my Xiaomi offers that option. At least ISO can be set manually. It also doesn't save the white balance, so you'll have to adjust it for every single photo in Lightroom. And you can't look at the photos you've taken... it does save a preview if you want to, but that will be _another_ photo the phone has taken a moment earlier.

The image quality this lets you get is ridiculous though (for a phone).

I would recommend Camera MX too. I use them for a while and I am very satisfied with it. It has become my favorite camera and replaced my stock one.