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The 15 best camera apps for Android in 2022
Cameras on smartphones are a much bigger deal than they used to be. Companies are chomping at the bit to make their cameras more reliable, work better in low light, and add features that people want. Many will base their purchase decisions on the strength of the camera. The point is that cameras are important on mobile devices these days.
Usually, that makes stock camera apps better than third-party apps. OEMs simply know their camera setups better and optimize more appropriately. This is especially true for Google, Samsung, and Huawei phones that use AI and other software optimizations in conjunction with the camera hardware. Still, a third-party app may be useful in some scenarios. Here are the best camera apps for Android.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to Snapchat (Google Play). It doesn’t have any pro camera features. However, it houses one of the best AR camera experiences and a lot of people like using those filters for social media pictures and things like that.
The best camera apps for Android
Price: Free / $52.99 per month
Adobe Lightroom is technically a photo editor and not a camera app. However, it also comes with a built-in camera app. The camera is reasonably decent and includes big keyword features like HDR, RAW support, and various modes and presets. Plus it has the usual array of manual camera controls if you need that as well. The good news is Adobe Lightroom is one of the best photo editor apps for mobile right now so you can use the camera app and immediately bounce it right into editing.
Camera FV-5 was removed from the list a while back due to a lack of updates. However, it seems FGAE wasn’t done with this one yet. The current version of Camera FV-5 is actually pretty good. It has a swatch of manual controls, exposure bracketing, and even more specialized stuff like a built-in intervalometer. The list of features is simply too long for a simple list like this to encompass. The app runs for $3.95 and gets regular updates as of the time of this writing. The only downside is some phones seem to behave poorly with this one so make sure to give it a proper test inside the refund time in case your phone is one of them.
Price: Free / Up to $3.49
Cymera is another one of the older and more popular camera apps. It focuses more on mainstream features. That means you’ll get a bunch of filters, stickers, special effects, and similar features. It also has a beauty camera mode. It can add or take away features from your face and body. We’re not big fans of such dramatic alterations but to each their own. It also includes a photo editor for minor edits. It’s free to download. You can buy additional stuff as in-app purchases.
Price: $14.99 + $9.99
Filmic Pro is one of the newer camera apps on Android. It’s also the most expensive camera app on this list. It has some unique features as well. That includes some extremely specific manual controls. For instance, it has a dual slider for exposure and focus, a white balance adjustment matrix, and a gamma curve control. In addition, it comes with some added analytics, a live RGB control, and a lot more. This one had a very shaky start. However, the developers seem to be actively taking user feedback and updating the app to fix bugs. It will hopefully be good someday. Be sure to test this one thoroughly inside of the refund period if you want to try it out.
Google Camera is Google’s official camera app. It’s the one you’ll find on most Google devices. It has a small, but effective set of features. They include a lens blur mode, slow motion (on supported devices), photospheres, video stabilization, and more. The only downside is compatibility. This app isn’t available for many devices. These days, it seems to only be available for Pixel devices. Still, there are ports out there for some other devices that you can find and sideload. It’s the only way to get some Google-specific features, and the camera works pretty well once you have it.
Price: Free / Up to $10.99
HedgeCam 2 is a fork of the open-source Open Camera app. It takes the winning combination of simplicity and features and adds to them with a few extra features. This version is also open-source, by the way, and the link for the code is in the Google Play description. This one includes a bunch of manual controls, HDR and DRO (dynamic range optimization) photo modes, various customization elements (like turning off the shutter sound), and even things like face detection support. Open Camera is quite good. This one is a little better, but also a little more complex. You can choose the one you like more.
Manual Camera is a reasonably decent camera app. It includes a host of manual controls, including exposure, white balance, ISO, focus, shutter speed, and support for RAW files. You can even use it for slow motion video if your phone supports it. The app also adds a variety of shooting modes like burst shots and 4K video recording to make a well-rounded experience. The post-processing isn’t quite as good as a stock camera app, but it likely has some shooting modes your phone doesn’t have. It hasn’t seen an update since 2020, so we hope the developer hasn’t abandoned this one.
Price: Free / $1.99
Open Camera is one of the most popular camera apps for serious photographers. It has most of the serious features we’ve discussed before. That includes manual camera controls. It also includes a timer, support for some external microphones, HDR, exposure bracketing, and more. It’s also a great option for both photographers and videographers. The app is completely free with no in-app purchases or advertising. It’s also completely open source. That’s always a plus. There is an optional (and separate) donation app if you want to support the developer.
Photoshop Camera is technically a photo editor with a built-in camera app. It lets you take pictures of stuff and then use the app to dress them up. This isn’t nearly as powerful as desktop Photoshop nor is it as professional-focused as Adobe Lightroom. This app gives you a bunch of filters to play with along with auto-tone, portrait mode controls, and more. It’s definitely more for social media than it is for your photography portfolio. Plus, the filters can be quite unique. It’s a decent overall option if you’re looking to pretty up your Instagram.
Price: Free / $3.99 per year
Pixtica is one of the newer camera apps on the list. It features a bunch of neat little tricks and some decent post-processing. Some of the features include live filters, manual controls, exposure control, a GIF recorder, a slow motion mode, RAW file support, QR code scanner, and more. It even comes with a very basic gallery and photo editor. We like its wide range of features and its all-in-one style. However, it does require a subscription for some of the features and your stock camera app can probably still do post-processing better.
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Price: Free / $4.99
ProCam X is one of the newer camera apps on the list and it does a fairly reasonable job. It focuses more on professional-oriented features rather than filters and social media-style stuff. The app includes a burst mode, facial recognition, support for 4k video recording, and support for RAW. Additionally, there are manual controls (if your device supports it), the option to turn off the shutter sound, and a few camera modes like a scene mode or a focus mode. It hits a lot of the checkboxes for a good third-party app and the post-processing isn’t half bad. Plus, the premium version isn’t all that expensive.
Price: Free / Up to $13.99
SayCheese is a different kind of camera app. It’s a remote camera app with some neat functionality. It lets you connect to a friend’s phone and take pictures with their camera on your device. This is an excellent solution for those situations where you want to take a group photo but you don’t have someone to do it for you. The app is in early access beta at the time of this writing so there are some bugs. However, it worked pretty well in our testing and we assume more updates will add more stability.
Snap Camera HDR
Price: Free / $1.99
Snap Camera HDR is a good mix for serious and amateur photographer types. There is support for manual camera controls, 4K video recording, RAW support, HDR, and file size options. It also includes fun shooting modes, effects, borders, color effects, and vignettes. There are camera apps that do manual controls a little better and apps that do fun filters and such a little better. It’s rare to find an app that does both as well as this one. Make sure to try the free version before buying the pro version.
Price: Free with in-app purchases / $19.99 per year
VSCO is a popular and somewhat powerful camera app and photo editor combo. The camera side is a little simple and not as powerful as your native phone camera app or some others here. However, the photo editor side is among the best in all of mobile. It has a variety of filters, effects, and settings. Additionally, it has most of these same videos for video content as well. Perhaps its most unique feature is its ability to emulate a host of other cameras. This app does get fairly expensive, though, and many of its most desirable features are behind a $19.99 per year paywall.
Your stock camera app
Every phone comes with its own camera app. You should definitely give that app a fair shake. Manufacturers develop these apps specifically for the camera on your device. There are often features these apps have that others do not. Plus, the post-processing is tuned specifically for your camera whereas most other apps just try their best. It seems silly to put your stock camera app on this list, but we assure you, it’s because you won’t get the image quality or device-specific features from any other app.
Some other benefits include add-ons. For instance, Samsung phones tend to have some extra camera modes you can download as extras that you wouldn’t get from a third-party app. Fact is, developers have a very difficult time developing camera apps for every phone camera out there whereas the OEM has all the time in the world to custom build the app specifically for your phone. Your best option is the stock camera app and the rest of this list should be used to augment that experience.
If we missed any of the best camera apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments. See all our best apps and games lists here.
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