The application MAGIX Camera MX promises to bring a number of filter effects straight to the live image before shooting a picture, as well as enable you to create an online album.
I'm a devoted hobby photographer so I've always got my finger on the pulse of – erm – the photo-editing-application-vein. I've tried out my fair share of editing apps and have been both pleasantly surprised and let down by free and pay-for apps alike. Let's find out if MAGIX Camera MX offers a good and cheap (read: free) alternative to other editing apps in today's review.
Test device: Samsung Galaxy S2 (I9100)
Android version: 2.3.4
Runs as of: 2.2
Upon opening MAGIX Camera MX you will find a stylish main menu harbouring four different modes: Online Album, Media Manager, Settings and Take Photo.
Let's start with the essentials: taking a picture. Doing so is relatively intuitive and there are five small symbols in the top left hand corner that allow you to set the flash, auto-timer, GPS localisation and zooming in and out. The placement of the symbols adapt to landscape / portrait format.
The following 16 filters are available:
Image line up
The effects can't be changed individually, and whilst some of them are very nice and rather professional-looking, others strike me as being somewhat run-of-the-mill (negative, sepia, black and white... they're classics, sure, but not all that refreshing).
What really got my goat is that there is a lot of lagging to contend with. The image resolution is high (up to 3264x2448) and there are a lot of formats to choose from, but there's no escaping the lags. Some of the more demanding effects will generate intense lagging, which is often the case with camera tools, granted, but which is annoying nonetheless.
Images are saved automatically to an album labelled Camera MX album. There are options for sharing a photo, uploading it to an online album (provided you've registered), combining it with more effects and editing it in any number of ways (crop, auto-optimise, contrast, saturation, rotate, mirror, etc.).
Hit Media Manager in order to view your albums as well as see how many pictures you've got stored on your device.
Go to settings if you want to make changes to anything and everything, ranging from the sound the device makes when taking a photo to the image quality. The front camera is also supported, which is ace.
Upon installing the application the icon One Shot Cam will appear which provides instant access to the photo menu. You can select whether a picture should be taken right after you tap on this icon. I didn't find this feature to be particularly useful, but it isn't harmful in any way, either.
Bottom line: MAGIX Camera MX comes with some wonderful effects that can be applied immediately, but some of the filters don't seem all that special.
More advantages: having the option to use the front camera, the ton of post-editing options, the high quality image sizes and the slideshow function.
The biggest drawback is certainly the constant lagging.
Screen & Controls
MAGIX Camera MX looks great, there's no denying it: the main screen and the different features, buttons and tabs are well designed and the whole thing comes across as very user friendly.
The live image covers the entire display and the tabs adapt to the image when the device is tilted.
There are a lot of features and settings options but everything's set up intelligently, making it easy to use. For example: there are 16 available effects; they're displayed in miniature before the user has to make their choice re: which effect to choose, so that you don't waste time trying each one out.
An optic highlight: the slideshow, which can even be displayed as a 3D die and background music.
Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of lagging to contend with, but that's the only negative aspect.
Speed & Stability
To keep this short and sweet: the live view function isn't all that and the image wobbles a lot more then when using the stock camera app.
That said, the app boasts great image formats and remains stable even when a lot of complex functions are activated.
MAGIX Camera MX didn't crash at all throughout our test runs, but its main function (shooting photos) is affected by the app's low performance on some levels. The interface is great but the speed isn't exactly top banana.
MAGIX Camera MX can be downloaded for free from the Android Market. The app is a great freeware alternative to pay-for apps as it harbours a lot of fun features.