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Best camera apps for Android: 9 tools to make your photos better

Update: Camera Zoom FX added to the list

While smartphone cameras have gotten a lot better in recent years, increasing our ability to capture even more stunning images, if you have the skills. But often, if you want to get the best out of your Android camera, you'll want to install a third-party option, and that's where this list of the best Android camera apps comes in handy. 

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Camera Zoom FX

Camera Zoom FX is a classic among Android camera apps - having been on the market for quite some time, providing a continuous stream of updates and features for its users.

The camera app allows you to use preset filters, but also lets you use it as a no frills, pure camera app. Camera Zoom FX will let you set up grid lines as well as display a stabilization indicator. With this option turned on, you'll see a red circle on your display if you are shaking too much while trying to take a photo.

An interesting feature is the incognito mode. If you're ever in a situation where you want to take a photo, but don't want your surroundings to see what you are doing, you can launch the incognito mode. The camera launches a image which masks as a web page, with a small camera window in the top corner. If you tap on the display, the camera will then take a photo. Camera Zoom FX has a host features which will make be sure to satisfy every smartphone photographer. Camera Zoom FX is available as a free and paid app. 

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Camera Zoom FX / © Screenshot: ANDROIDPIT
Camera ZOOM FX - FREE Install on Google Play Camera ZOOM FX Premium Install on Google Play

ProShot

While its interface might take a little while to learn to navigate, it's a feature-packed app for shooting better pictures. The grid overlay is a useful thing to have on hand, and there are two kinds of on-screen levels to help make sure you're shooting straight.

The usual manual controls are present – ISO, exposure, focus, white balance –  and the built-in gallery also displays ISO and shutter speeds for each picture you've taken. It's not the best-looking gallery but it's certainly a powerful app that has some intuitive features throughout - like the precise one-finger zooming and a fun Light Painting option that 'develops' photos in front of your eyes.

It'll even support up to 4K video capture, providing you have the right hardware. 

While there used to be a free version to try out, there's now just a paid $5 version.

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ProShot's interface is clean, and at first a little confusing. / © AndroidPIT
ProShot Install on Google Play

Camera FV-5

FV-5 also offers grid overlays, histograms and other similar options, but they're tucked away in the menus, making them less accessible than through ProShot's interface. You're afforded full control over ISO, light-metering, focus, white balance and the like. There's also an exposure bracketing feature that allows you take several photos in quick succession with different exposure values, letting you review them and choose the best to keep.

It's cheaper than ProShot, and worth it considering alongside that and a Manual Camera (see below) is there – if you're after high-quality manual control. There's also now a 'lite' version that gives you a taster of the app too. 

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FV-5 is one of the best manual camera apps available. / © AndroidPIT
Camera FV-5 Install on Google Play

Open Camera

When you want a lightweight camera app, and you want it to be totally free, there's not much better than Open Camera. It has many of the same manual control features as premium apps and even offers up a handy home screen widget that lets you take a photo with a single press. 

Using that widget isn't going to get you the best visual results from your camera, but when that isn't a priority, it's a handy button to have. Otherwise, the multitude of options provided in the app will help you get your pictures looking just the way you want.

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Open Camera's widget lets you take a photo from your home screen. / © AndroidPIT
Open Camera Install on Google Play

VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam isn't the most user-friendly camera on our list, but it is trusted by an awful lot of people and has been around for a long while. It's a little different to most of the apps we've seen in this list up until now though. 

This is primarily because it combines - and indeed, focuses on - providing an Instagram-like capturing and sharing experience. There are a number of pre-made filters you can apply to your images to change the tone and feel, and the quality of those adjustments is one of the reasons to use VSCO Cam. And if they don't cut it, there are some rather unintuitive menus to dig your way through, in which you can adjust image settings manually. 

The company killed the photo edit syncing feature it used to offer, but VSCO Cam still has some worthwhile skills. 

androidpit vsco cam camera app
The original photo (left) and a few steps later. / © AndroidPIT
VSCO Install on Google Play

A Better Camera

A Better Camera is basically what it says it is: a superior camera app to the standard Android one that comes pre-installed on 'vanilla' devices. A Better Camera brings a number of interesting features, including group portrait settings, 'Sequence Shot' and the ability to remove unwanted objects from images simply. There's also a useful Best Shot option that takes multiple images then allows you to select the one you think looks best, and the ability to use focus and exposure metering from separate points. 

A Better Camera also includes immediate post-processing, and you can record video with real-time HDR. Unfortunately, many of the app's best functions are only available via in-app purchase, so A Better Camera sometimes feels a bit like an annoying free-to-play game - for example, you get 5 free Super Shots, but then need to upgrade. Thankfully, the app's on sale at the moment so you can unlock everything for very little money. 

If you take a lot of pictures, and are happy with a little investment, A Better Camera certainly lives up to its name – and more camera apps should make use of its slide-out grid gesture. If you want an app that lets you apply filters and easily edit the shots post-capture, you'll need to install another companion app called A Better Editor. 

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A Better Camera doesn't come with a vast number of features, but provides quality snaps. / © AndroidPIT
A Better Camera Install on Google Play

Camera360 Ultimate

Camera360 is hugely popular in the Google Play Store. It offers a comprehensive camera app that's capable of pretty much anything. It uses a lens-filter system that can be applied before a picture is taken, meaning you don't have to wait until later to see whether your picture is fixable by adding a cheeky filter. It contains a huge variety of options and effects, even to the point whether you might wonder if some of them are truly a lot of use.

What's particularly good is that it's easy to use and doesn't bury all of the options away in individual menus. This is something which other cameras lack, but it's really useful to have everything in one place instead of going through several different screens. 

It also brings across features like stickers and cartoon effects that you can apply to your photos easily enough before sharing or saving them. Those are features more often found in messenger apps like Line or WhatsApp, but some people will find having that ability directly in the camera app more useful. 

androidpit camera 360 app screenshot
The on-screen dials, which adjust in real-time (left), and one of the warmer filters (right). / © AndroidPIT
Camera360- Selfie Photo Editor Install on Google Play

Manual Camera

Most camera apps are designed to make photography as easy as possible for the end-user. This results in some Facebook-friendly snapshots, but certainly not professional pictures. Experienced photographers may be more at home with Manual Camera, which provides a range of settings options that many other apps just don't offer. 

Shutter speed, focus, white balance, exposure compensation – you get to control every detail of your picture. This app also lets you save images in the lossless RAW format. 

So, if you take photographs pretty seriously, but still want to use your smartphone, Manual Camera is an excellent solution. As it's a paid app ($2.99) on the Play Store, you'll probably want to test out the compatibility checker before you cough up any cash. 

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Manual Camera is a fantastic recent app with a wealth of options.  / © GD Software
Manual Camera Install on Google Play

Pixlr

Pixlr has come a long way since it was a standalone image editor, and while it doesn't quite offer the same granular level of control as Manual Camera, it's an excellent choice if you need a good balance of tools alongside a set of really useful and impressive visual effects. There's even a perfectly functional gallery built in too that lets you show file size alongside the thumbnails.

It has the option of automatic image correction, and adjustments such as heal, focus and splash, it feels like a near-Photoshop level experience. Some of the effects and features are more useful than others. You can also add text to your photos with a number of different font styles or choose to pixelate or blur other parts. 

Pixlr is an excellent all-rounder to pick, and is also free to download. Some filters and features require an in-app purchase but even without, it's worth a look.

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Pixlr's filter effects can be seen live before you take a snap. / © AndroidPIT
Pixlr – Free Photo Editor Install on Google Play

What's your favorite Android camera app? Let us know in the comments below.

71 comments

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  • RETRICA is also a good mobile app to use to customise your pics.
    it have a lot of filters which can improve contrast, brightness of your pic.

  • I'll add to my comment over a year ago that I'm now using the fine open source Open Camera as the default app, mainly because it handles video settings, but still use my licensed photo-only Camera FV-5 for serious set ups. There are several good "manual" apps and time spent getting under the hood and comfortable with a good one is better than time spent flitting between installs like a bumblebee. It's surprising how different the GUIs can be for the sophisticated apps, and mainly a matter of user preference which to use.

    To the comment below, the practical fact is that many OEM "stock" camera apps fail miserably to get the best out of their camera hardware, because they're designed for simplicity not photography. Most users familiar with DSLR or advanced compact cameras install the better third party apps.

  • Don't see any point in these apps because they definitely do not make your in phone camera any better so not really much point in them.

    • Brittany McGhee
      • Admin
      • Staff
      2 weeks ago Link to comment

      Hi Peter,
      While it's true that an app can't make your camera better, using a different app or different settings can produce better quality photos.

  • wow this is an old article reposted 😎

    • Brittany McGhee
      • Admin
      • Staff
      2 weeks ago Link to comment

      Hi Jerry,
      It is an older article, but we've added a new app to the list and wanted to share it with the community.

  • Fotor camera app is exceptionally best.

  • Above mentioned camera apps are good but 2 camera apps in playstore are exceptionally best.360 panorama and fotor.one can use fotor to make their photos professional.

  • Great & useful, thanks.

  • Rakesh C. 4 months ago Link to comment

    I'll recommend trying Photo Editor App download for PhotoMediaApps in play store .

  • I am not able solve my screen overlay problem. I have tried all the method bt nothing is worked with my xperia xa. Please help me this regard.

  • Gohar Ali 4 months ago Link to comment

    Good Apps Thanks

  • Im bonkers for Snapseed ...just takes amazing pictures and for selfies it has to be YouCam makeup...hours of fun xxx

  • Footej Camera is a new entry... released in June 2016... It's simple and bloat-free! Worth a try!

  • Sweet Selfie is an easy selfie camera. It can take beauty selfies with filters in seconds! It is easy to use and become a natural beauty just one click. I like it best~

  • Jacky 11 months ago Link to comment

    which is best.. vsco or manual camera!?!

    • My opinion is manual camera app.coz I use it extensively in my Samsung 8.and manual settings gives professional grade photos.but the efficiency of any camera app depends on the smartphone one is using,and the settings.just experiment yourself by using different camera apps and choose the one you are satisfied with.

  • Olga 11 months ago Link to comment

    Facey Camera is one of the best Android camera applications I’ve ever tried. Very cool features for the capturing and amazing photo editor.

    This app has unique feature of taking pictures when face(s) are detected. So, You don’t have to worry that someone will be left out of focus even if You capture with back camera.

    Also it has an awesome photo editor that has lot of different filters and tools for tuning of the photo.

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