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!
Finally, keep in mind that newer versions of Android may force use of the stock camera app anyway. It’s just something to keep in mind. We also recommend Motion Cam (Google Play link) and A Better Camera (Google Play link) as honorable mentions. Motion Cam just has some neat ideas. A Better Camera is actually pretty good but it doesn’t get updates anymore.
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Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Camera
Price: Free / $52.99 per month
Adobe Lightroom is technically a photo editor and not a camera app. However, it also comes with a camera app built-in. 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. Adobe also launched Adobe Photoshop Camera (Google Play link) in 2020 with a variety of features, including various filters, real-time Photoshop effects, auto-tone, portrait mode controls, and more. It’s mostly a camera for social media types, but it’s still a decent option overall.
Price: Free / $1.99
We’ll be honest. We thought Bacon Camera was a joke app when we first saw the name. However, this is a legitimately decent camera app. It boasts manual controls such as focus, white balance, exposure compensation, ISO, and more. You also get support for RAW and DNG along with the traditional JPEG. It boasts support for manual controls on devices that don’t support Google’s Camera2 API. We didn’t have any test devices that didn’t support that, so we’ll take their word on it for now. Some other features include GIF support, a panorama mode, and timed shots. This is surprisingly good and the pro version is surprisingly cheap. The only issue is update support. This one hasn’t seen an update since 2019 (as of the time of this writing), so it may not be supported anymore.
Camera FV-5 was removed from the list a while back due to 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 $1.99
Camera MX is one of the oldest and most popular camera apps. Developers update the app regularly and that keeps it current. It works best for simple stuff. The app has a variety of shooting modes. You can also use it to shoot photos or videos. There is even a GIF mode to make your own GIFs. The built-in photo editor can do the basics as well. It’s a decent all-in-one solution. Serious photographers may want to look elsewhere. You can also use the pro version of this as part of the Google Play Pass if you have it.
Price: Free / Up to $3.49
Cymera is another one of the older and 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.
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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), photo spheres, video stabilization, and more. The only downside is compatibility. You can only use this on devices running Android 7.1.1 and up (at the time of this writing). Even later on, only devices running the most current Android will likely be able to use this. Otherwise, it’s free and it’s really good. However, if you want the best Google Camera features, you may need to sideload a modified version for your device.
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 onto 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.
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.
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 check boxes 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 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.
Simple Camera is, well, a simple camera app. It features a no-frills UI and it isn’t bogged down with a ton of extra features. You can take photos with the front and rear cameras, change where photos are saved, and limit the resolution if needed. That’s about it, really. We don’t recommend this for people looking to make their photographs better. However, we would recommend it to someone who is consistently confused and irritated with how complex newer camera apps are and don’t mind a dip in photo quality for something simple that just works. We would recommend Google Camera before this, but this is another decent, super minimal option without a lot of frills.
Snap Camera HDR
Price: Free / $1.99
Snap Camera HDR is a good between 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. For instance, the manual focus in the LG V50 makes whatever is in focus glow green. Thus, you visually see where the camera is focused. We really only recommend changing your camera app to expand your feature set rather than replace it. Every app on this list does best when it’s used alongside the stock camera app. You’re usually leaving features at the door if you don’t use these.
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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.