The deluge of accessible and affordable digital capture devices (especially digital cameras and smartphones) has empowered millions of people all over the world to self-produce digital content. Armed with handheld digicams or cam-enabled smartphones, scores of people worldwide swarm the social networking sites hourly with petabytes (or maybe exabytes, or zettabytes, or even yottabytes) of digital images reflecting life around the planet.
These days, you no longer need to hire a professional photographer to capture significant moments in your life because digital cameras (both the point-and-shoot type and the professional SLRs) have become easy to acquire. Many decent cameras are within any pauper’s budget. And, almost all phones these days come armed with at least a VGA-resolution camera.
If you are an Android user and you are into professional photography at the same time, your eyes and hands will itch for a professional SLR camera. But, if you’re just an ordinary Android user who just wants to use your Android camera to save images of your life’s moments (with family, friends, and loved ones) as it unfolds, here are the top 5 most-rated and most-installed Android camera apps.
All these apps are free, are available from the Android Market, instantly turn your Android phone into a handheld digicam, and have varying capabilities for photo effects and post-shoot processing. Pick one or two–or, what the heck, install all of them and try each one. Make sure you have big room on your SD card for your photos. Go, save images of those precious moments of your life.
FxCamera (by ymst)
All you need are your Android phone and FxCamera to make-believe you’re a professional photographer with top-of-the-line camera filters. FxCamera is a very simple camera app that can produce stunning shots. Although the effects are limited, FxCamera’s simplicity brings point-and-shoot camera functionality to your Android phone. Aside from taking normal, vivid shots with your camera, you can also automatically apply lens filters for Polandroid (awesome portmanteau, huh?), ToyCam, Fisheye, Warhol, and SymmetriCam effects. Bring digital FX to your Android device’s camera with FxCamera.
Camera360 Free (by PinGuo Inc.)
If FxCamera provides basic digicam functionality, Camera360 Free takes digicam-on-Android to the next level. You’re probably familiar already with the standard digital camera modes, which depend on make and model, really. But, Camera360 Free lumps six of them into your Android device: Normal Mode, Effect Mode, Color-shift Mode, Tilt-shift Mode, Scenery Mode, and–my favorite–Funny Mode. Each camera mode provides several fascinating effects, such as the Retro Effect, Back to 1839, LOMO, and the Art of Black and White. Experience how Camera360 Free turns your Android camera 360 degrees around.
Camera Fun Free (by SpiceLoop)
True point-and-shoot is exemplified by Camera Fun Free. With this app, you don’t need to review your exposure after taking the shot because it lets you preview the photo effect right on the camera viewfinder even before you snap the photo. With the usual point-and-shoot, you actually point, shoot, and review. With Camera Fun Free, you just point and shoot. This free version comes only with six filters or effects: Sepia, Sketch, Canvas, Mirror, Color X-Ray, and Mirror. The pro (paid) version gives you 23 more effects. Point, shoot, and have fun–for free–with Camera Fun Free.
Little Photo (by Moment)
The Camera Fun Free app gives you the convenience of previewing your photo subject along with the photo effect. In the case of Little Photo, you need to shoot the subject first before you can apply the effects. The great thing about Little Photo, though, is that you can layer several effects on top of one another on the same photo. You’ll be amazed at the various combinations of effects that you can produce for your photo using this app. Don’t be misled by the app name. It’s called Little Photo with big photo effects. Your creativity’s the limit.
Retro Camera (by Urbian)
Put Retro Camera on your Android device if you want your photos to look like they’re from days of yore. Old-school, retro photograph effects–these are the specialty of Retro Camera. With 5 cameras (Bärbl, Little Orange Box, Xolaroid 2000, Pinhole Camera, and FudgeCan) and 5 sets of film effects (e.g., vintage vignettes, black and white, film scratch, cross processing), Retro Camera takes photos that can easily fool an untrained eye; the effects are so accurate and realistic that you’d think they were shot using an analog camera. Get this free app now if you’re up for instant gratification for your nostalgic cravings.