Taking pictures with your smartphone, but making them look like their vintage is the latest trend in coolness. Retro effects and fish eye lenses are all the rage judging by the looks of my Facebook news feed.
Meet FxCamera – Android’s answer to iPhone’s Hipstamatic.
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Features & Use
FxCamera has been around forever, at least in Android terms. In fact, it’s become one of the retro photo apps.
Obviously, it’s important to understand that a smartphone camera will never be as good an expensive SLR camera. Nevertheless, there are a few phones like the Nexus S, Xperia Arc and the Galaxy S II that lend themselves nicely to photography.
Having a good light source is, however a must to take wonderful pictures. FxCamera is an app designed to turn amateur photographers into wannabe artists with surprisingly good results.
The app comes with a set of different effects. As soon as you start the app, the following buttons appear:
- Show album: Opens up the picture gallery.
- Settings: Adjust the save location, flash and filters.
- Support: Takes you to the help page.
Right in the main menu you can select between six different types of cameras. Each camera comes with the following integrated buttons:
- Shot: Focuses the camera and snaps a photo.
- Auto Focus: On/Off
- Configurations: Adjust effects and filters.
- Back to Menu
The ToyCam produces pictures with brightly colored, high contrast photos with vignetting along the edges. 960x640 is the maximum resolution for these pictures. The effects look great, but are pretty obviously artificial. For best results, adjust which color effect to use according to the colors in your picture (i.e. use Vivid Green for nature shots).
Allows you to take Polaroid-style photos in either 3:2 or 1:1 format. You can also take pictures in color or in B/W. Personally, it’s my favorite camera.
Simulates a fish eye lens. The picture looks like it’s been pressed over a glass ball. In my opinion, this is probably the worst of all the cameras because the effect looks nothing like a real fish-eye photo.
This camera reproduces a mirror image either two-ways or three-ways. In addition to being able to use black/white, sepia and negative effects, you can see on the screen which half will be mirrored.
Typical pop-art effect just like on Photobook for Mac users.
Shoots regular pictures in b/w, sepia or negative.
FxCamera offers a lot very useful effects to make artsy photos. You can instantly save or share the pictures with others. Biggest drawback: the maximum resolution 1024x768 is good enough for Facebook, but too small for other uses.
Screen & Controls
FxCamera is really easy to use, but the user interface is a bit out of a fashion and hasn’t changed since the app’s initial launch a couple of years back. A preview effects would also be a nice extra feature to add in a future update.
Speed & Stability
FxCamera is quick to the draw and fast in action. Pictures are saved instantly to your SD card.
FxCamera is available for free from the Android Market. Ads are only displayed in the main menu.