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Best camera apps for Android: 9 to shoot better photos

Update: Two new additions

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 1 week ago

When a moment is gone, it’s gone forever, and all that remains are the photos we take as a reminder. As our phones increasingly become our go-to devices for capturing these memories, it's important that they can do that to the best of their abilities. Ensure your Android camera is as good as it can be, with our list of the best camera apps for Android. 

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These are the best camera apps on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

ProShot

While its interface might take a little while to learn to navigate, it is slim and attractive, one of the best looking available. The grid overlay is also a useful thing to have and there are two kinds of on-screen levels, as well, to help make sure you're shooting straight.

The usual manual controls can be found here – ISO, exposure, focus, white balance – and there are some fun additions, too, like the Light Painting mode that lets you see your photos develop on screen with motion blur. The in-built gallery also displays ISO and shutter speeds for each picture you've taken. 

Try out the demo version, and if the interface works for you, picking up the pro version will be $5 well spent. The developer is also very engaged and keen to handle any questions or problems you might have.

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

Camera FV-5

FV-5 also offers grid overlays, histograms and the like, 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 considering alongside that and Manual Camera (see below) if you're after high-quality manual control.

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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 and fast camera app, Open Camera is the best choice out there. It's completely free and contains almost all the adjustment options you might need, such as manual focus, ISO and exposure time (assuming you have the Android 5.0 Camera2 APIs, which come with Android Lollipop).

What's particularly great about this app is that it has a widget you can add to your home screen, which will open the app and taken a picture with a single press. This is useful if you need to quickly grab a picture of something without needing it to look great. Otherwise, the 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

Google Camera

Google's own camera app offers a clean and simple interface with few manual settings (no ISO, white balance or filters, for instance). It has Photo Sphere and Panorama modes, which work on a fun follow-the-dots mechanism, and Lens Blur, which creates a depth of field effect by taking a photo and then having you slowly raise your device – the app takes in from there, creating a blurred background for the object of focus to stand out against.

The results with the Photo Sphere setting range from interesting to very impressive. When it works perfectly, you end up with a seamless 360-degree photo you can move your screen to look around.

The app does seem to have a variety of problems on various devices, with many users reporting frequent crashes, but it's worth giving it a go, because it can produce some great results when it works right.

androidpit google camera app
Google Camera doesn't have a lot of options, but it does have perhaps the best panorama and Photo Sphere settings available. / © AndroidPIT

VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam isn't the most user-friendly camera on our list. Despite its often minimal layout, it takes a while just to learn which menu you're in. But it is one of the best Android camera apps thanks to the amount of customization it offers, and the quality of its adjustments. 

VSCO Cam combines a camera with editing and sharing functions to provide an Instagram-like experience, only more powerful. While it doesn't house a one-click 'beautify' option, it more than makes up for it with its premium temperature, tint, contrast and sharpen gauges. 

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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 ones. A Better Camera brings a number of interesting features, including Bestshot, which takes a number of photos in succession and then provides you with the least blurred, most impressive one. It's a simple idea but it works incredibly well.

A Better Camera also includes immediate post-processing, something that is absent in the camera apps from Sony, Samsung and co, 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 at times.

However, 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. 

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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 if they aren't all entirely useful.

It's easy to use, though, and presents most of the important dials on the same screen, so you can adjust multiple settings at the same time. 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. 

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The on-screen dials, which adjust in real-time (left), and one of the warmer filters (right). / © ANDROIDPIT
Camera360 - Funny Stickers 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 most 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, which offers completely new possibilities for further processing.

So, if you take photographs pretty seriously, but still want to use your smartphone, Manual Camera is an excellent solution. But beware, the app does require the many new APIs from Android 5.0 Lollipop, so it's currently only available to users who've received the update.

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

Pixr Express — Effect Express

Pixr Express — Effect Express needs to be used in conjunction with another camera app, because it’s just an image editor. But boy what an editor. You’ll be hard pressed to find more image editing options anywhere on Android; the ones here range from the strange low-poly and fire effects, to the typical gamut of photo fixers and alterations.

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, I’m not sure 'stickers' were ever a good idea for photo-editing, but there is plenty to tinker with to get your pictures looking polished. You can also add text to your photos with a number of different font-styles. 

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The original image (left) and then after a few tweaks with Pixr. / © ANDROIDPIT
Effect Express - Pip Camera Install on Google Play

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

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.

50 comments

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  • My personal choices from the listed Apps are VSCO cam and 360 ultimate had used them many a times they are nice and got cool filters and additional features and stuff and they are great for Photography.

    • I've recently started using VSCO, its not bad. I'd have to keep testing it thou. LIke for e.g if I want to take a selfie, it don't provide a Timer, whereas with the back it do. stuff liek that

  • Good list!

  • you cam perfect should be on first place.......#scott give a try to it

  • how about Camera FV-5?????

  • So far I tried Open Camera and A Better Camera. They SUCK at indoor pictures compared to the stock app of my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I'm not trying any other.

    The only problem is the amount of time it takes for the Gallery app to open from the camera app. It's terrible. And there is no way to change which app opens pictures from the camera app. That's why I'm trying to find a replacement for the camera app, but not at the expense of picture quality.

  • All camera apps capture still pictures for us. We are all dynamic individuals. But we have to unnaturally be still in front our camera apps to work. Sometimes it's really get weird when you try to keep the smile on your face while someone press click on the phone. Forget about pictures of you in the moment, jumping around being yourself.

    Kick2Click, a modern camera app, changes that as It captures you in action. Download the app for free from Google Play Store and share your cool pictures with your friends and family!!

  • I have an LG V10 which. I love but I like the Manual Camera app a lot too. It loads and when I open it after the download..... It opens and then closes. Had to uninstall. Sucks

  • Camera FV-5 is a very good manual settings app, that will handle RAW and other latest Android features but is also small, fast and works very well with older Android versions. The one disadvantage is its video app is a separate install. I don't personally like mooshing filters, etc. into the "camera" controls per se, but recently found and switched to Aviary for on-device edits after trying many others.

  • apps can only give features.......apps also depends on how good ur phone camera is...

  • Anyone else tried "Shoot - Manual Camera with RAW"?
    Paid app, but works really well on my Nexus 6.

  • OMG, Scott, you're so beautiful, you don't need any photo editing!!

  • m using DSLR camera and cymera both are nice..

  • Garett R 5 months ago Link to comment

    I am super confused. The pictures in this article show manual controls on Camera 360 Ultimate. I am using Android 5.0 and I can not find any such options on that app to bring up those controls. Any help?

    • Feemy82 1 month ago Link to comment

      I noticed this too. That app has childish menus, nothing of the sort shown in the picture.

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  • Aswin 6 months ago Link to comment

    VSCO for fast instagramming, otherwise Snapseed by far the most precise photo editing app.

  • VSCO Cam is really very good app if you want to click good pictures with editing. It's on android and iOS both platform. Now a days Android app development India services are blooming globally. So people come to build apps that are innovative as well as scalable in the market. There are so many camera apps on Google Play Store but only few apps are attracting audience because it is giving that quality & functionality and user friendliness. If you want to develop an app like VASCO Cam which is scalable in the market then visit www.hyperlinkinfosystem.com !

  • I like cyanogen camera. Lot of features and easy to used

  • Pixlr is very cool....

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