Google Camera

Google's official camera app has received an update today with a few new things. We've got a new background blur effect that has become all the rage with SLR wannabes like the HTC One M8 and a new UI with extra-big capture button. It's also worth noting that the aspect ratio of the shot is properly reflected in the preview now, a longtime issue with the old stock Camera app. And the much maligned radial menu for controlling shooting modes has been dumped too, replaced with an overflow menu near the shutter key, which gives access to guidelines, HDR, flash and the front camera.

The new version has a lot in common with recent leaks purporting to show future Gmail and Calendar apps. It'll be great to see what else gets updated in the near future, as Google appears to be exploring a new visual direction for its Android apps.

Photospheres have been updated as well and now support resolutions of up to 50 megapixels.

The update is available for phones and tablets on Android 4.4 and up, so you don't need a Nexus or GPe device to take it for a spin. Download it now and let us know what you think.

More: +EvanRapoport

 
There are 155 comments

Thank you Google! The interface is so much better with some added features. The app is a lot more responsive. I am taking pictures, photo spheres, and lens blur just to test them out!

JFMobile says:

I Agree 100%. Google is awesome lol

DWR_31 says:

I just uninstalled FOCAL.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, K00949438Yd FRAMILY!

jeddo45 says:

They couldn't choose a better girl for the lens blur demo? I almost launched my phone!

Nexus 5...enough said

jdevenberg says:

Not supposed to be a comment. Disregard.
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jonovw says:

That was a girl???

Posted via Android Central App

DyceDown says:

Wow. That's not a dick comment... You must be a hit with the ladies, bro!

jeddo45 says:

Nah I'm actually not..lol. I'm as ugly as Sin...

Nexus 5...enough said

timtlm says:

Sucks! I see there is something in advanced settings to turn on Manual Exposure, but doesn't seem to change anything. Where are all the white balance, scenes, exposure settings? Gone!? The only thing that seems to be better is the view finder is finally fixed, and panorama is better. Video mode is still buried in the side menu. We need more controls that are easier to access! I hope this is just the first release that is laying the groundwork.

Agreed. Better interface, everything else is gutted and gone though. WTF?

steven booth says:

You can still use manual exposure if you swipe from the left, hit the settings button in the top right, advanced, manual exposure. Hope this helps a little

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timtlm says:

I did do that (read my post), but that doesn't change anything from what I can tell. I've turned manual exposure on, but don't see any additional settings. Am I missing them somewhere?

steven booth says:

Once switched on, go back to the camera mode, hit the 3 dot options and at the bottom (below hdr and grid options) is the exposure. Only ranges from -2 to +2 though. Haven't found anymore options...

Posted via Android Central App

timtlm says:

Do you have a Nexus 5? The only options I have are grid, hdr, flash, and swap front/back camera.

Edit: NM, just realized you have to disable hdr.

Working great for me so far.. need to spend some time playing with it. But 5 minutes in, I'm happy

Hamza Salau says:

finally a camera ui that is usable on the nexus 5. the shutter button has so much empty space around it though

etnpnys says:

Just makes it easier to actually snap the photo, IMO...

ConTejas says:

Yeah, at first I hated the new shutter button and "lost" screen real estate due to the corrected aspect ratio. I'm already over that and love the update. At least on a Nexus 5, it's pretty much an upgrade across the board in terms of functionality and responsiveness. Finally happy with using only the stock camera app on a Nexus! Can't wait to show off some blurred d*ck pics to my lady.

Ikeman90 says:

the only reason i use my camera!

(not really)

benhaube says:

For me.... Almost really haha

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luismedina says:

The entire black area is actually the shutter

zackmack7 says:

Yup makes it 10x easier to snap a photo. Especially when you only have one free hand and are holding the phone at weird angles

Posted via Android Central App

frozencloud says:

I usually just use the volume up button for those scenarios.

ConTejas says:

Crazy how many people don't realize you can take pics with the volume buttons.

zackmack7 says:

You're right actually. Its funny because I always hit them by accident and end up taking a picture. But when its actually feasible to do so, I completely forget to use them. I just struggle to hit the capture button.

Does anyone feel like they should actually be used for zooming, though?

ConTejas says:

Since KitKat I've been plenty happy running stock+xposed+gravity box, but that's probably the only feature from custom roms I miss that's not on GB (or I can't find it). That being volume +/- to zoom and power button as a physical shutter button.

etnpnys says:

This is awesome. Seriously.

My favorite part, though? THE VIDEO MODE TELLS YOU TO ROTATE YOUR #@$(*&@$ PHONE TO TAKE THE VIDEO PROPERLY!

newboyx says:

+1

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anthonok says:

Made me so happy. So tired if vertical video. Not to mention when people condone it by applying that annoying blur double image thing on the sides of vertical YouTube videos.

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etnpnys says:

Yeah, kinda like the blurry side bars on SD video being shown on a widescreen TV - ESPN does that and it drives me nuts.

Jacques says:

+a million

From my Nexus 5 via the coolest of cool Android Central App

Hamza Salau says:

does it not support immersive mode?

AaronTV says:

Yeah, I think the new ui is very ugly on Nexus 5 in landscape. The huge black shutter area takes up enough space on its own. The on screen buttons taking up even more to its right is just bleh!

Posted with Nexus 5 via Android Central App

Deolarte says:

Is it me or the auto focus is at least twice as fast and the pictures are sharper and better at least on the nexus 5.

nnhs says:

It's much faster for me, too, and so is switching on and off HDR+.

mzanette says:

Only tested it out for a few minutes but it does seem quicker.

VAVA Mk2 says:

Way faster and better on Nexus 5 than it was before.

Sent from my Nexus 5 :-D

Jacques says:

Finally! :-) Will enjoy using this app even more now.

From my Nexus 5 via the coolest of cool Android Central App

This is great on the M8. Takes great pictures and the focus is just as fast as the stock camera. Although when I want to refocus some of my pictures I'll be using the stock app for that. Gotta try this out on the nexus 5 too.

udazavlanje says:

Definitely gotta give it a try, since moto x cam was pretty much disabled :-)

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Batwings says:

No HDR option showing for me on my Moto X.

Rirruto says:

No HDR option on my GS4. What gives?

HDR option present on my HTC One GPe

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Viper says:

You are in Camera, not Lens Blur mode, right? I did the same thing, then realized I was in lens blur mode. Nexus 5 though.

sdc1 says:

I'm loving this. 100% better.

Posted via Android Central App

chandlerweb says:

They've removed the ability to take photos while in video mode. Grrr. Other than that and the big ugly shutter button, it's a good update.

etnpnys says:

HOLY CRAP they did!!

That's seriously horrible - I need that feature, and it's probably one of the things I use the most!! Oh man... I didn't even bother to check that because it's such an obvious inclusion to me...

frozencloud says:

Son of a....I love that feature. I also wish that those front camera pictures save the pictures as i see it when taken and not the mirrored version of it...but oh well.

nnhs says:

They did, and no more time lapse either. Boo! I hope they get added back in an update.

chandlerweb says:

I wish these articles would concentrate just as much on what's been removed as they do on the improvements

ajpri says:

One of the 1st things I noticed. Don't rly like that change.

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abbott says:

But it looks like they added the ability to zoom during a video, I don't think that was there before

Very disappointed that there's no SAVE TO EXTERNAL SD CARD setting. I'll be using my other Camera apps by default unless that changes.

bleached says:

No option to save to floppy either!

21plays says:

That's cold, lol

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That'd be funny, if floppies could hold more than 1.44MB (vs 128GB) and could easily fit inside a phone, but they can't. SD Cards aren't going anywhere. Google even added save to sdcard back in Google Music. It'll come.

21plays says:

Here's to hoping

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zackmack7 says:

I really physically lol'd at this hahaaa

Zachylee says:

I physically lol'd at this as well. Love reading the comments for posts like this!

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zackmack7 says:

Yes! Love it!

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Nanchomex says:

blur effect works pretty good..!

trekk says:

very nice upgrade to the camera

Jaysus says:

Are "scenes" gone in this update, or am I just missing them? I liked to be able to select kids mode or night mode or whatever.

sabre1982 says:

Looks that way. No more power user options. I guess most people never use them but the option for a "basic" and "advanced" mode would've been nice... Perhaps in a future update?!

Posted via Android Central App

etnpnys says:

I would like to know this as well...

TemporalBeef says:

Just installed, very nice. Snappy and uncumbersome, love it.

Wondering if this update fixed the mmq.camera-daemon bug on the Nexus 5... I'm not seeing it in my battery usage. If you have a Nexus 5 and have had that problem lemme know if yours is there or not.

Posted via Android Central App

ConTejas says:

AFAIK that bug is at the system level and will be fixed in 4.4.3.

sabre1982 says:

It's pretty nice. Missing the more advanced options. The biggest annoyance for me is the lack of immersive mode. You would've thought that seeing as Google implemented immersive mode in the latest version of their operating system, they'd at least support it in their own apps!

Posted via Android Central App

ConTejas says:

I'm not sure immersive mode would make sense in the camera app. In immersive mode you have to touch the screen to bring back the status bar/nav buttons and in the camera that either focuses (hdr)/ focuses and turns on the flash or snaps the picture (since the whole black area is the shutter button).

zackmack7 says:

makes sense

So does this completely replace the stock camera app on Nexus Devices? and if so will this be the new camera app for future Cyanogen Mod Updates?

21plays says:

It replaces it on Nexus. Doesn't Cm use their own camera app focal
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Yes, they used too but now it is in the Play Store. But by default CM use the Camera App which is found on Nexus Devices, I was wondering if CM would replace the old version with this new version as it is much better.

21plays says:

Never tried focal, is it any good? I would assume cm would also use the updated app soon enough

Posted via Android Central App

It's Okay, I haven't used it in a long time as I recently reverted my LG G2 back to Stock.

etnpnys says:

Anybody know how to use the "Manual Exposure" feature?

clone73 says:

It works much better on my Nexus 5. Still wishing for a burst mode.

bloo0153 says:

I don't really care for the new icon.

rovex says:

Well its better than the old Stock Camera, which was just terrible, but it wont win any awards. Its still clunky to use and very limited.

Limited..........yet when features get added, you'll call them gimmicks. I'm no google disciple but it always makes me laugh how impossible it is to please people.

rovex says:

Actually I wont. It would be nice to be able to make basic adjustments to the settings, as it is there are almost no settings at all.

Jaysus says:

Also, not available for my Nexus 7 - BOOO!

jhilker says:

Do you have the 2012 version? I was able to get it on my 2013 model.

Posted via Android Central App

Jaysus says:

It is the 2012... and I realize the front camera is limited, but still ;)

greatgoogly says:

Timer mode seems gone :-(

avantard says:

Yes and I am furious about that.

vtmtnbiker01 says:

Just an FYI I noticed some issues running this on an AOKP 4.4.2: black view finder in photosphere and pano, FC with blur. Co-worker saw no issues running on CM11 nightly

rbarnes65 says:

It would be nice if I could try it out on my Verizon S4...

Galaxy S4

anubis2kx says:

Or my AT&T HTC OneX. But at least one of us is getting an update...

jayjay234 says:

HDR+ is gone?

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greatgoogly says:

Also it appears that there is no option to turn off the shutter sound when taking a picture. This seems more like a Beta release than a fully baked, ready for prime time effort. Yes the pictures seem better, but they've stripped so many features out that it is a bit of a disappointment.

21plays says:

No shutter sound in vibrate mode

Posted via Android Central App

Tasker

matt3166 says:

I really like the update but I really wish they world add burst mode to it. I'll stick with snap camera for now

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21plays says:

By Marginz software?
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matt3166 says:

Yeah that's the one. Its the stock camera app just with a bunch of extras added to it

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21plays says:

Super app

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matt3166 says:

Yeah definitely one of my most used apps. Was a nice surprise to find it.

Posted via Android Central App

leafs123 says:

I'm really excited about the new Android stock camera app. Looks much better on the surface. Much needed for the Nexus 5.

Ikeman90 says:

I notice it now links to the newish photos app. guess next android update will do away with gallery entirely. the blur is pretty cool. ive never touched one of the oem blur effects but i played with a few apps and they were terrible, this is pretty simple. not a fan of the icon tho

robocopvn says:

Play with it for 30 minutes. Some conclusion on my LG G Pro camera:

1. Didnt get how less blur works. (just figure out how to take it: you need to hold your phone very steady for the camera to take multiple shots, then move it slowly, and you can edit the blur with G+ photo app, again, only G+ photo application)
2. Back camera either have 13 megapixels or 8 megapixel (4:3 ratio only), dont have 10 megapixels 16:9, front camer still has it. If you have 4:3 photos, it will have a big black bar at the bottom (ugly). If you have 16:9 ratio, it will have the transparent one with the camera button.
3. Photosphere works well, but cannot see it 360 degree with current gallery( EDIT: You can see it in G+ photo app).
4. No HDR or HDR+ (It's not acceptable)
5. No scenes and effects options
6. Swipe right will leads us to G+ photo apps, not ordinary google gallery anymore.
7. No count-down timer
8. Still no face detection on vanilla android camera.
9. Sometimes there is kind of a setting buttons but there is nothing when you touch it.
10. Manuall exposure doesn't work (I did enable it on advance setting, but it remains 0 no matter how I try)
11. No touch to focus-then-takephoto option.
12. No power button or volume key option to take photo. It's important to some one who wanna take selfie but with the back camera not the front :)

21plays says:

Some of the options you mentioned are there on Nexus devices only

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robocopvn says:

you mean HDR and HDR+ ? why is it only for nexus devices ?

21plays says:

4 and 9. Manual exposure is turned on/off in the settings. And just hdr, no plus.
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robocopvn says:

As I mention, I turned the manual exposure on in advance, but I cannot change it, it stills 0. And I don't even have HDR on my device (LG E980, which can shot HDR :D). BTW, what is your device ?

21plays says:

Nexus 4

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Jaysus says:

Great summary! Has the volume down shutter button been a thing in the stock camera or is that new here too?

robocopvn says:

Sorry, it has been removed , for now.

Wait... so on my G2 when I click the '...' and it's shows the HDR icon with a slash through it and I click it to remove the slash it's not _really_ taking HDR pictures?

uknow85 says:

Can any Android phone just add an swipe to the left or right to get an actual instagram size shot? that's one simple thing I really miss coming for an iPhone to the nexus I can't even find a app besides taking the full shot & shrinking it which adds the white bars on the side of the full photo.

anubis2kx says:

You could use the camera thats inside Instagram...but I don't know of anyone who actually does that. I deal with the awkward cropping or use PhotoGrid (http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roidapp.photogrid) to crop or size my pics. It sucks, but I don't know of any app that automatically sizes the picture for you.

ts1506 says:

New Google Camera app rolled out.

Made a small video about this update, please check it out - http://youtu.be/DnqLLzAPxnQ

Should show you guys what changed.

keith2k1 says:

Thx Google

UnarmerAaron says:

Worse than before on the N4

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bhatech says:

Awesome and simple. Good job Google.

Posted via Android Central App

kgh00007 says:

Awesome, now we can properly frame shots without guessing and this new version is FAST on my nexus 5!

Happy Days!

heyyu says:

The lens blur feature is actually pretty cool. You are able to adjust focus area after the photo has been taken! http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2014/04/lens-blur-in-new-google-camer...

ajpri says:

Gonna take getting used to the new UI. I like it!

Posted via Android Central App

jsabo says:

Manual exposure also not working for me on my S4 Google Play Edition.

jdevenberg says:

The lens on the logo is the Picasa logo

Posted via Android Central App

Wont download on my HTC One M7. Gets to 92% then just hangs there. Anyone else?

rkirmeier says:

GOOGLE PLEASE LISTEN! The year is 2014 and people don't have 4:3 aspect ratio screens anymore unless you are an iPad user! WE NEED WIDESCREEN IN YOUR CAMERA APP!!!

retsaw says:

It's showing you the aspect ratio for the pictures the camera is taking. If they make it fullscreen then you don't actually see all of the picture you are taking.

Posted via Android Central App

rkirmeier says:

I realize the sensor is 4:3 but 9 out of 10 people would rather lose some MPs to get a widescreen picture. I've always done this, would be silly to with a 4:3 picture just to get the full MPs. And don't suggest to just crop the picture afterwards just that is idiotic to say the least!

Again, it's 2014 and basically every smartphone, tablet (other then ipad), and TV are widescreen. This is a very stupid mistake not to provide the option for widescreen (16:9) regardless of losing some of the MPs.

Keeps saying problem parsing package on my s3 trying to side load it any ideas ?

Posted via Android Central App

I tried side loading it from the mirror at Android Police and it did the same thing as on the play store. It wouldn't finish downloading. Hung up at around 90%. I cant seem to get it to download from anywhere.

jdevenberg says:

Do you have KitKat? If so, why sideload instead of getting it through the store? If you don't have KitKat, that is the problem. The app is KitKat only.

Posted via Android Central App

Damn hoping no one would say that .all Samsung need to do now is hurry up and update my s3 :\

Posted via Android Central App

flattie says:

Great stuff Google. Really great stuff; this is the update I was waiting for on the Nexus 5 and I'm not disappointed.

Xtian Zark says:

Anyone have the problem on the Nexus 5 of not having the Camera swap option to go to front camera? I have tried factory reset, safe mode, uninstalling any app that used the camera. And I cannot get the front camera to come back. I have also used a device tester diagnostic app and it says the front camera doesn't even exist? Anyone know if this issue will be addressed with 4.4.3 https://productforums.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/nexus/MATebxlFYyA?

Posted via Android Central App

vividrich says:

Front camera works for me....

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

droid4g32 says:

Great update!

Posted via Android Central App

rolefourlife says:

This is a much welcomed update. Love that they remind users to rotate to landscape for video.
But bummed that they removed (or I just can't find it anymore) the Time Lapse video feature. I liked messing around wit that. And all the other apps for time lapse that I try reboot my phone (Lapse It Pro and PicPac). And since SnapChat also reboots my phone, I figured it might be a photo app issue on Nexus 4. Anyone else have a similar experience?

rovex says:

Virtually useless bloatware on a Nexus, pointless waste of space on anything else.

neonworm says:

Huh? How is the camera app bloatware?

rovex says:

It is when it's total junk, like this is.

Awesome. I am a huge fan of this update on my Nexus 5. Delightful. Great focus, and it holds the focus. The old camera app would try to refocus every second and it was so frustrating.

Wow. All these core apps being released means almost any phone can have a Nexus-ish experience. Way to go, G!

PapiManCT says:

SO FAR IS GOOD, THE ONLY THING MISSING IS THE TIMER. IS NOT CRITICAL BUT IS A GOOD OPTION TO HAVE. ALSO ONE THING I FOUND IS THE EXPOSURE IS AUTOMATICALLY BUT YOU CAN CHANGE IN THE ADVANCE SETTINGS TO MANUAL. OH ANOTHER THING, WE NEED TO ADD THE ABILITY TO TAKE PICTURES WHILE RECORDING, THATS A KEY FEATURE.

neonworm says:

Was the caps lock necessary?

jhilker says:

I've updated on my Nexus 2013,but have hesitated on my HTC One. I guess it won't replace the HTC camera app, but give me another option, right?

Posted via Android Central App

Everybody calm down a minute. I don't like how the time lapse,hdr,and a bunch of other features were pulled. Bit lets think about this. Remeber photos? When that was initially released,it sucked. But look at the update that added all of the editing features! This is what will probably happen with this app. Yes,the app was probably pushed out too early,but if any of you have a problem,do what I did, uninstall the update! Boom! Back to normal.

Posted via Android Central App

mzanette says:

Ok ok hang on Google and imma let you finish. This camera update is good but the Google hangouts update with voice calling would be the greatest update of all time!

Posted via Android Central App

avantard says:

I am pretty irritated that the timer is gone. This is one of my most used features. I could give a shit about lens blurs.. that's what my REAL camera is for. Rolling back to the factory version of the camera until they fix this shit. Seriously, Google, what kind of crack are you smoking?

Saturn1217 says:

Does anyone else feel like actual image quality has gotten worse? A lot of my shots have come out with a weird yellowish caste as if the white balance is off. This is with a Nexus 5 with 4.4.2. It is kind of random too. I just took several shots of my brightly lit work area and they all came out with a yellow tint. I went to write this post and then tried once more and the white balance was much better (taking picture of the exact same thing). I'm also sad that the general grainyness hasn't gone away from the photos. Hopefully Google keeps working on this. I think this is a good step in the right direction but I'd like to have an easy to use decent camera. Right not I have an easy to use not so good camera.

how's that urban legend go? when Google apps all get updates an OS update follows soon after? fingers crossed 4.4.3 Nexus 5

Posted via Android Central App

tompro53 says:

I dont see the hdr feature on my Samsung Galaxy S4 or my 2013 Nexus 7.

Posted via Android Central App

udazavlanje says:

Thank goodness for manual exposure and resolution settings too, both lacking on Moto X

Moto X VZW

jfs101 says:

Can't download in my country... WTF?

Posted via Android Central App

I would like to have the ability to choose which camera app to use. This way I could compare them.
My first impression of this new app is that it is a giant step backwards! Many features have been removed and I don't see anything on the plus side.

Google - Please give us back the shutter timer and the time lapse video features.

Posted via Android Central App

ChromeJob says:

[cross-post]

This isn't an "update." It's making a stripped down version of the stock Nexus Camera app available to other devices.

Problem is that it's missing some settings and options available on my stock Nexus 4 with the 4.4.2 camera app. Well, that's not the problem. The problem is that my 4.4.2 N4 sees this as an "update" on the Play store to that stock app, so if I leave Auto Update enabled, my stock camera app is overwritten with a "lite" version with less flexibility. Yes I do like (and use) those settings and options, and no, Google, I do not want to lose those.

That's a big ol' #FAIL from Google. Don't override my better, stock application with a new "lite" version on the Play store for other device users. Duh.

tlehmann says:

I don't have HDR on my Verizon S3 running Beanstalk, but I do have it on my LG G Pad 8.3. It doesn't seem to work at all, though. It just seems to bump the exposure up slightly, exposing the dark areas but blowing out the light areas. It does seem like a rather half-assed effort, but at least Google is trying.

Kharl says:

Mejor lo hubieran dejado como esta, el indicador de enfoque (las barras que cuando algo esta enfocadoc orrectmente se ponen verde) lo han eliminado, consume recursos, se calienta, es deficiente con los, recursos, en vez de crar una aplicaciion nueva proque no simplemente actualizar la anteriro con las coas que le faltban? se comportancomo politicos tercermundistas estos desarolladores. Que dejan deteriorar una structura para justificarse y construir una nueva en vez de mejorar la anterior cuando aun es posible

Kharl says:

Where did the focus indicator go? why the device gets so hot? where are the white balance options? why does it use so many resources? why i have all the settings together in one place? when i am in the video mode ionly want to edit video setting, when i am in panorama mode i only want the panorama settings... why all modes have no settings instead blending them in one page? what does tell you thats better? in any camera from a DSLR to a Point and Shot, each setting is under the selected camera mode