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Use Different Camera Apps to Improve Photo Quality

Intro Apps Basic Results Editing Discussion Comments  6  

Apr 5, 2014, 10:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Ever wondered if a third-party camera app could take better pictures than your stock camera app? Well, we did and decided to put the stock Google camera app in the Nexus 5 in a head-to-head competition with Camera FV-5 and Camera ZOOM FX. Here are our findings.

There are a number of components that must all come together harmoniously in order to make a good smartphone camera. Critical elements include the lens, sensor, mounting, flash, processor, and of course the software controlling all the pieces. Sometimes they combine to produce stunning results. Sometimes they do not.

Smartphone owners can't do anything about the hardware contained within their device. Though the hardware is certainly important, the software plays a critical role, too. Since smartphone owners cannot tweak the hardware to improve their results, the only aspect about a phone's camera that can be altered - or, perhaps, improved - is the software.

We were left wondering, then, if third-party camera apps can truly help in such an instance when the stock hardware and software just aren't producing good results together. Granted, different camera apps can only do so much with the hardware, but perhaps their features and tools could give users the control they need or want to get shots the stock camera app simply can't take.

In this article, we use the LG-made Nexus 5 as a testbed for several third-party apps. The Nexus 5 has an 8-megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, and a flash. The Nexus 5 camera, which we've deemed of middling quality, uses the most basic software from Google for taking pictures. We decided to compare it to Camera FV-5 and Camera ZOOM FX, both of which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Here's what we found.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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Rusty Shackleford

Apr 8, 2014, 2:31 PM

Instagram makes this irrelevant

The quality of cellphone cameras has sadly become irrelevant because people tend to ruin their photos with Instagram's photo filter before sharing them. Sadly, a phone's ability to take beautiful color-accurate photos is irrelevant because the user will turn everyone's skin yellow, and add grain and a goofy retro frame on the photo in a desperate attempt to be creative by making their photos look exactly like every other Instagram photo.

Apr 7, 2014, 8:18 PM

Camera KK

Mobilynx did a great job with this clone of the KitKat stock camera. I prefer it over the stock LG camera. Sure it's a paid app, but it's worth the 1.99.
Poison Ivy

Apr 7, 2014, 9:53 AM

Great Article!

Thanks for the info, Eric! 😁

Apr 6, 2014, 6:54 PM

Here is a great one!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.al ... » I use this one as my current fave right now on my Moto G. Where it really helps is when the flash is to bright. You can dial down the exposure so it doesn't blow out the shot, Which happens on the G. Lots of great features though too. Self timer etc etc.

Apr 5, 2014, 5:12 PM

The stock shots looked better

Thanks for the review, just after looking at the side by sides you may have saved people a lot of time fiddling with some of the 3rd party apps. To the naked eye, you really can't see a difference in some of those shots. In others, the two camera apps shots look worse. Unless you are someone who pays attention to detail (most of us aren't) majority of people won't tell the difference.

Apr 5, 2014, 1:33 PM


what about pro capture?
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