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.
There are still plenty of excellent apps to help you make the most of it, though. Here are the best camera apps for Android!
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.
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.
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.
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, recent updates improved the functionality quite a bit. Even so, we highly recommend thoroughly testing this inside of the refund period in case you need your money back. This is a serious camera app.
Price: Free / $2.99
Footej Camera is one of the newer camera apps. It has a good mix of mainstream and serious photography features. It uses Android’s Camera2 API. That means it has a full assortment of manual controls. It can also shoot video, make GIFs, a photo histogram, and burst mode. It also supports RAW format as long as your device does. You can try it out for free or pay $2.99 for the pro version. It’s quite excellent without too many serious bugs.
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. You can also find modded versions of this app with Night Sight on some devices.
Price: Free / $2.99
Manual Camera is exactly what the name implies. It’s a camera with a bunch of manual settings. It attempts to take full advantage of the Camera2 API. That means you get access to shutter speed, focus distance, ISO, white balance, and exposure compensation. It also has a timer and support for RAW. Your device needs support for RAW as well in order to use that feature. It’s incredibly simple to use. Just make sure you try the free version before buying it. This one is also rather old, but it still worked on our tester devices. It’s something to be aware of.
Moment Pro Camera
Moment Pro Camera is another newer camera app on Android. It saw success on iOS and hopes to do the same on Android. It’s a full manual camera with exposure compensation, ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance, and more. It also supports RAW photos, HDR+ and HDR+ Enhanced (Pixel 2 devices only), a live histogram, and more. Like Filmic Pro, this camera app had some serious issues when it was first released. There are still some issues with some devices here and there, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. We hope the developer fixes some of the bugs, but until then, be sure to check it out within the refund time so you can get your money back if you’re not satisfied.
Motion Stills is one of the newer camera apps. It’s also an extremely niche app. Its main function is recording short bits of video. It can turn that video into a GIF or it can stay a video for later viewing. It also has a fast forward option for super quick videos. It’s not useful for taking photos. However, it’s about the only app that does what this one does. It can’t hurt to have it in your repertoire. It’s completely free to download and use. It is a tad buggy, though.
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.
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.
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.