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Best photographer’s kit Android apps

April 29, 2012

With the specs mobile device cameras are packing nowadays, people can travel light and leave the clunky digital camera at home. The best camera, after all, is the camera with us. There’s certainly no shortage of camera applications on the Google Play Store, but for the discerning photographer, only the best gets to take their shots.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most loved camera and photo-editing apps so you won’t have to wait to get on your computer to augment and adjust your shots.

It’s hard to capture the beauty of a sprawling cityscape or beach if you’ve got to take several pictures and stitch them together on a laptop. Panoramic shots are most often made by high-end cameras, leaving cameras on mobile devices in the dust. But, not anymore, thanks to Photaf Panorama. You’ll be able to create beautiful, seamless 360-degree panoramic photos by utilizing your phone’s orientation sensor to know the exact angle each picture was taken.

When you’re done, you can move your phone around to see the complete panoramic view by using your phone’s compass or touch screen. You won’t have to wait to get to a computer because Photaf Panorama automatically stitches your pictures together for you. For best results, of course, keep your hand steady and take your panoramic shot in a location with consistent lighting.  If you want to make your friends green with envy, upload your gorgeous panoramic shot to Facebook.

Photoaf Panorama has been optimized for Honeycomb devices, such as the Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer Prime, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. If you’d like to unlock more features, you can purchase Photaf Panorama’s pro version.

PRO Zoom Camera 5x is a great way for users to control their device’s camera. Even before you snap a picture, white balance your photo, or use one or more of the 8 filters provided. If you want to illustrate something on your photo, PRO Zoom Camera 5x allows you to draw or paint on the image. The app comes with 53 clipart images, 21 fonts, 23 hipstamatic effects, brightness and contrast control, and time delay for your camera.

There’s no limit to what you can do to your photos. If your device camera comes with a flash, PRO Zoom Camera 5x gives you flash control. Avoid ruining that perfect candid shot by turning on PRO Zoom Camera 5x’s silent no-sounds mode and if you want to let your friends know just where you were when you snapped a picture, you can geotag your image. The best part yet, you’re not limited to editing pictures you took with PRO Zoom Camera 5x but you can even load existing photos to edit them.

Instead of having to wait until you’ve snapped a photo to edit it, Camera Illusion switches things around, and in fact, lets you view the filter in real time. Switch on any of the filters and watch the world look completely different through your Android device. You can process photos in real time, knowing exactly what effect you want to achieve even before you’ve snapped the shot. Camera Illusion is easy to use for the casual shutterbug who likes snapping funny pictures but also useful for professional photographers and artists.

Up to 3 modifications can be applied to your image simultaneously for an extra customized touch, with one each from Camera Illusion’s list of filters, effects and masks. Camera Illusion’s 17 filters include the usual fare like color management, and some more-complicated ones like pencil, chalk, and emboss. You’ve also got 12 more localized image distortions, like mirroring, pixelization, twirl, and fish eye. Finish it all off with a mask. Unfortunately, Camera Illusion doesn’t allow you to apply these awesome effects on pictures already taken.

If you’d like to unlock more of Camera Illusion’s options, you can purchase the pro version.

Snap Photo Pro, hailed as the winner of the Android Network Awards, definitely made it on this list. The app comes with a variety of options such as a Timer for when you want to get into shots but have no one around to hold the camera for you, Multishot which is perfect for kids and pets, and Stability mode.

If you snapped a photo that’s way too bright or way too dark, Snap Photo Pro allows you to adjust the image brightness. Of course, like most photo editing apps, you can apply filters to images. If you hate having to rummage through folders to find the right images, you can date and name folders through the Snap Photo Pro app. When you’re on vacation and you’re snapping shot after shot, it can get a little difficult to tell what photos were taken when. Snap Photo Pro creates folders for specific days for when photos were taken. It certainly makes dating photos and finding them easier.

Camera ZOOM FX turns your phone’s camera into a powerhouse by giving you the option to zoom up to 5x and to take up to 10 shots per second. Camera ZOOM FX also utilizes your Android device’s front facing camera, if you’ve got one.

To make your shutterbug experience comfortable for you, you can customize your hardware buttons to your liking. Assign the Volume Up button to Zoom In for example. You don’t have to wait to take the picture to see the effects because Camera ZOOM FX allows you to live preview them.

Keep your social networks updated and all in one click, too. Select a photo and it’ll be uploaded to your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, all at once.

Camera ZOOM FX uses your device’s camera flash to light up those dark shots. You can choose to snap your shot now and edit when you get bored, but you can also import your existing photos from your phone’s gallery. Some camera apps end up degrading your image quality the more effects you add to your image but with Camera ZOOM FX, you can combine effects using non-destructive editing. You can even process at full camera resolution and apply any of the ten ready-made presets. Camera ZOOM FX is also packed with a wide array of color FX, frames, vignette surrounds, distortion FX, mirror FX and much more.

Vignette may have a simple name but it is packed with features to keep you entertained. We’re talking about 76 customizable photo effects and 57 frames that you can put together in any combination to create retro or vintage styles. If that isn’t enough for you, Vignette comes with LOMO, Diana, and Holga toy camera styles, as well as Polaroid or instant camera styles. That’s practically all the effects photo editors could ever dream of.

With the number of effects that are being offered to you, it can get a little confusing which effect to choose from. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Vignette, however, the variety of pictures you can snap are endless.

But, what of the score of filters and effects that Vignette packs, we were most impressed with one little feature. For shutterbugs who are concerned with privacy, Vignette doesn’t require an Internet connection to process pictures, and unlike other apps, Vignette does not upload your pictures to a central server. Your photos only leave your device when you choose to share them.

If you’ve been editing your photos, you’ve no doubt heard of Photoshop. For every artist, photographer and graphic designer, Adobe Photoshop on the computer is a must-have and for good reason. It’s brimming with tools to help you greatly improve your craft.

If you’ve been snapping shots with your mobile device, you’re in luck because Adobe Photoshop Express promises that you won’t have to wait to get home or to open your laptop to improve your pictures. Simply tweak your image’s look right from the palm of your hand. Though not as powerful as its computer counterpart, Adobe Photoshop Express allows you to crop, rotate, adjust color, and add artistic effects with a tap of your finger.

Add borders to your image to personalize it or if an image is too bright, adjust the saturation by swiping your finger across the screen. Once you’ve got the look that you want, quickly share your photo with friends and family through e-mail, Facebook, Flickr, or even the Photoshop Express website. Adobe Photoshop Express requires an SD card.

If the regular shot bores you, try FxCamera. Aptly named, this app enables shutterbugs to take pictures with various effects. Launch FxCamera when you’re hanging out with your friends and utilize any of its filters.

Though it’s a lot simpler than other camera apps, FxCamera is nonetheless handy to have on your device. Choose from ToyCam, Polandroid, Fisheye, SymmetriCam, Warhol and, of course, Normal modes to produce a variety of fun pictures.

FxCamera also comes with AutoFocus and Config, which allows users to customize each effect. The Polaroid filter, for example, gives you the options for faded or mono colors as well as a film type option. Symmetricam lets users alter a symmetrical pattern from landscape to portrait, multireflection, or inverted, as well as switch the color to either sepia, negative, posterize, or solarize.

FxCamera is free but ad-supported. If you want to try out this app’s filters, and you’re on a tight budget, we highly recommend downloading FxCamera for your Android device today.

Take photo editing a step further by adding a little extra touch. Not only can you color correct your images but you can also add touches like word balloons, titles, and graphics. PicSay Pro also allows you to add effects like distortion with a fun and easy-to-use interface. If you’ve got an image with an unfortunate case of red-eye, PicSay Pro gives you the power to remove that before you share the picture with your friends. Blurry photos can be sharpened and black and white photos can receive a splash of color. For a more customized look, you can insert cutouts from other pictures and apply effects like Cross Process, Lomo, Vignette, faux HDR, Tilt-shift, and Pencil Sketch.

If you’re worried about your Android tablet getting left out, have no fear because PicSay Pro has been optimized for devices such as the Xoom, Asus Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Acer Iconia and other Android Honeycomb tablets.

Lightbox Photos makes photo viewing easy and convenient. You won’t have to log on several devices to view photos your friends have uploaded across several social networks when you can do it from your mobile device.

Lightbox Photos runs in the background and constantly searches for any new pictures your friends uploaded. It then downloads the most recent 200 pictures for you to view offline. Gone are the days when you’d have to wait until you get home to view your friend’s latest adventure on Facebook. You won’t need to feel hassled to upload your pictures to your other Android devices because Lightbox will wirelessly sync your photos across all your Android devices.

But, that’s not all Lightbox Photos can do. Even without an Internet connection, you can retweet a friend’s photo or even Like a friend’s photo and Lightbox Photos will queue up these actions for you. When you’re connected to the Internet again, Lightbox will perform these actions on your behalf. You can share not just to Facebook but to Tumblr and Foursquare, as well.

This is by no means a definitive list of the best photographer kit Android apps. If your favorite camera app didn’t make it on the list, feel free to share it with us in the comments below.