A few weeks ago I read a post on Kristina Werner’s blog where she reviewed a few of her favorite iPhone photo apps. I thought it was great, but I have an Android (which I love). If you have an Android too and would like to have some hip camera apps to use on it, I’ve pulled together my thoughts on a few of the better ones I’ve used (listed in the order of my preference).
I have chosen to include only the free versions of each of these apps, for comparison’s sake. I will point out if there’s a more feature-rich for-pay version, where applicable.
In order to show the differences in the types of photos you’ll get out of each app I have taken the same shot with my HTC Evo’s default camera and then with each app (and several of its filters). In all cases I have left the photos unaltered except for resizing so you can see the images exactly as they came off my phone. This is the original image, taken with the phone’s basic camera app.
I really like Retro Camera by Urbian. It takes great old-school pics and has five cameras (the Bärbl, the Little Orange Box, Xolaroid 2000, the Pinhole Camera and FudgeCan) inspired by the Lomo, Holga, Polaroid, Diana, the toy cameras and Hipstamatic. It’s interface is simple and intuitive, and most of the cameras have a black-and-white choice in addition to color. I list it as my first choice here because if you look at the effects each camera produces, there’s a nice variety of choice right here within this one app. I also think Urbian did a nice job on the frames for each. Lastly, notice that this sample Xolaroid 2000 looks much more like a traditional Polaroid photo than the output of the FXCamera later in this article.
(full version is $4.06)
Vignette by neilandtheresa is my other favorite camera app in this review. With 68 effects & 56 frames, it creates a ton of retro/vintage styles (LOMO/Diana/Holga toy/Polaroid/cross-process/tilt-shift/photobooth/double exposure and more). There are more choices to make within each effect than in Retro Camera, which makes it a little more complex to learn but richer in features. If I want to have more control I pull up this app.
ActionSnap by Oursky Ltd. is an app that captures action and then samples it into four frames. The frames can be arranged as 1×4, 2×2 or 3×3, and the time intervals can be set from 0.1s – 5s. Of course, my shot wasn’t ideal for showing off this one, but you can see how the “movement” works. I think this app is a nice addition to your regular camera because of how it handles fast-moving kids and pets. In addition to the LOMO filter, this app also features a sepia filter.
FxCamera by YMST offers some fun effects: ToyCam, Polandroid, Fisheye, SymmetriCam, Warhol as well as Normal. I don’t consider these effects to be as useful as Retro Camera’s, but I suppose that’s personal preference. The resolution of the resulting photos is also lower, which could pose a problem for traditional paper scrappers because we would have to print them at rather small sizes.
So if you still use just your Android’s default camera, perhaps it’s time to try one (or more) of these apps to bring some good filtered fun to your next scrapbook layout. If you find other photo apps for Android that you think scrappers would enjoy, please let me know in the comments.