Google Camera rivals! Five brilliant photography apps for your Android device


So Google has gone ahead and revamped its Camera app and now we can expect more features to be added in at a faster pace than earlier. Since its launch on the Play Store, we have seen quite a few people download the new app and one of the key new features is Lens Blur, which lets you selectively choose where to apply the focus area. But Google was hoping to flatten the competition with this, they need not have bothered because photography apps on Android have come a long way, even from last year. Here are five that we think all shutterbugs must try out.

 

Pixlr Express

 Google Camera rivals! Five brilliant photography apps for your Android device

Tons of control

This photo-editing app by Autodesk offers a lot of editing options. The user interface is pretty straight forward - you can either select an image from a gallery to edit or click a new picture or make a collage of existing photos. You can adjust contrast, brightness, sharpness and also perform operations such as healing, focus blurring and so on. Effects mode brings up a huge number of filters which are categorised into seven sections. Overlay and Border are superimposing tools. There's also a Text option which allows you to write on your photographs. Overall a good app which provides most of the post processing tools to be used on the go, in an easy to navigate user interface.

 

PicsArt

Great for novices too

Great for novices too

PicsArt is a photo-editing app as well as a social network to share your photos, just like Instagram or VSCO app. The main editing related interface comprises Effect, Collage, Draw, Camera, Photo and Shop options. It allows you to take images not only from your camera gallery, but also from social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Flickr, Picasa, Drive and so on. Under the Effects menu, you can apply filters to your images, add add various kinds of blurring effects, make corrections such as red-eye correction, fixing blemishes and so on on portraits. Draw feature allows you to doodle on the photograph itself or add text to a photograph. It offers a lot of scope for creatively editing your photographs.

 

VSCO

Perhaps the most polished photography app on Android

Perhaps the most polished photography app on Android

If you like shooting filters but want to take a more restrained approach then VSCO is the best bet for you. With options to sell your photographs on the Grid, VSCO takes the image sharing category to a different place. The app looks great and it has come a long way since its early days on Android and boots up a bit faster than it used to.

 

VSCO lets you shoot images and then apply various edits to it. You can choose from the stock options and filters as well as purchase or download new filters from the store. The store has new filters on a regular basis and many are released for free. In addition, you can also create your own filter preset and sell them on the store, so it gives photographers a better tool to actually make a living, rather than just sharing.

 

The design of the app takes a little getting used to and isn't as fluid as one might expect, given the high-res detailing. Neverthless VSCO is a great choice if you want to stock up on all kinds of photography apps.

 

Camera FV-5

Replete with settings

Replete with settings

This one is packed with features that have been seen on many other rivals such as filters, color effects, frames, and borders, but it also adds more granular control to the equation, something no photogrpaher can complain about. You get control over specific photo elements and camera controls such as exposure time, aperture, stops, light metering, white balance, and more. The app even supports long exposures and time-lapses, with users being able to set quick controls to their hardware keys.

 

Interestingly, the viewfinder in FV-5 packs a live RGB histogram, so it's very close to a professional viewfinder. The only downside is that the app costs around $4 though there's a lite version also with limited picture resolution support. If that's not a problem, then the free app is your best bet since it has all the features of the premium version.

 

Flickr

Flickr's new look is just stunning (Image: Lifehacker)

Flickr's new look is just stunning (Image: Lifehacker)

Yes, we know Flickr is tried and tested, but the Android app left a lot to be desired. But then just this week the app received a major update on iOS and Android that makes it a solid contender in this space. First of all, Yahoo has gone for a major look overhaul and now Flickr is smoother to use and images look much more emphasised and there's less clutter. The main feed has a nice subtle scrolling animation, while the other tabs are one or two swipes away. The shooting mode has changed dramatically too, now effects and filters take up the left and right side and arrange themselves in an arc on each side. You can tap or scroll around the arc to select the right function. Even though the update was just released this week, the animations and scrolling were all quite smooth. Flickr also automatically backs up any photos you might take, if you allow it to. If you have a huge Flickr collection, then the new Android app is more than enough to manage it all. It's feature-filled and adds elements of Instagram, Vine and Twitter to the mix to give Flickr a polished look that we had never expected from the app.


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