Use Different Camera Apps to Improve Photo Quality
Is either FV-5 or VSCO better than the stock camera app? As with most things, it depends on what your priorities really are. The stock camera's strengths are its speed and simplicity. Once you master the stark user interface, there's not much to it. If you're quick, you can even change some of the settings before snapping a shot. It is the essence of the point-and-shoot ideal.
FV-5 offers far more features, but at the cost of usability. It has a steep learning curve and mandates a thorough knowledge of photography and all that goes into making a good picture good. Those who have a working understanding of photography can really put some of the functions of FV-5 to effective and creative use.
Camera ZOOM FX is sort of in between. It includes tons of options that can be applied either before or after the shot. What kills me is how hard some of the essentials are to reach, such as the different scene modes. The worst aspect of this app is its speed. It's slow.
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Is there a real difference in the resulting images from these three camera apps? Yes, but they are minor. When used in the "auto" mode, all three produced good results, though FV-5 and ZOOM FX showed better focus and exposure. The extra tools of the latter two apps, however, mean knowledgeable users can get a lot more out of them. Want to take some long exposures of the night sky? FV-5 can do it. Want to compile multiple effects into a single shot? Camera ZOOM FX can do it. Want to take an extreme close-up of a flower? FV-5 can do it. Want to combine several images into a collage? Camera ZOOM FX can do it.
The bottom line here is that you'll get out of these apps what you put into them. There's no doubt in my mind that FV-5 and ZOOM FX let people do more with their smartphone than the Nexus 5's stock camera app can do.