Sometimes it’s just not possible to carry all your photography gear with you, and many times you’ll stumble on a particular scene that warrants photographing, but you’re bereft of the trusty DSLR. But that shouldn’t stop you indulging your creative talents. Most Smartphones nowadays have pretty competent built in cameras, and to make the most of your Android phones camera, you really need a set of software tools to enhance and compliment your ‘mobile’ photography.
Here are some top picks (in no particular order) for you to try out…
This app appeared firstly on iOS before being ported to Android in 2015 and aims to be an all encompassing app for both photography and image editing on an Android phone. It competently captures images, and has effective editing features to improve and enhance those images. It can sync images across multiple devices and allow you to share them with other users and external social media. Using a ‘Grid’ feature enables you to share and view your images with other VSCO users. The app features multiple native filters, with the option to purchase more filters with in-app purchases. VSCO offers contrast, saturation, brightness controls as well as othersand a useful copy/paste editing by batch feature, which is a real bonus.
View / Download VSCOCAM on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
One of the best dedicated camera apps on Google Play is Camera 2 which varies from many standard in-phone apps, whereby it that offers ‘live previews’ of effects & filters applied to your images, prior to you shooting them. Many are artistic but all of them offer varied levels of image manipulation and skewing. The app also allows adjustment for brightness, saturation & contrast levels which are all available in live preview as well. The app will also apply effects to existing images which have been shot either with the in-phone app or external 3rd party photo apps.
View / Download Camera 2 on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
CAMERA ZOOM FX
Camera Zoom (CZ) FX offers a very fine detail control over images. There’s a wide array of settings and options including image stabilisation, voice-activated shooting mode, High Dynamic Range & Multi-image ‘Collage’ style, which will collate a selection of photos together. The app also a horizon indicator as well as resolution and aspect ratio adjustments and indicators. CZ FX has a dedicated custom white balance mode, as well as several standard white balance modes.
View / Download Camera Zoom FX on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Google’s Snapseed app is one of the easiest to use of the photo editing offerings for Android, and has a wide range of features for both experienced users & newcomers alike. Snapseed let’s you scroll vertically through image enhancement options, then drag horizontally to control the intensity of the effect. The range of features is pretty varied with basic automatic colour and contrast enhancement, as well as cropping and image sharpening. The app allows adjustment of individual colour properties.
View / Download Snapseed on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Pixlr, has a solid array of image fine-tuning and adjustment options including ‘colour splash’, a history brush and multiple exposure, as well as a range of more artistic effects, with borders, text and even some stickers to enhance your images. Pixlr will allow you to create and enhance your images but it’s also offers the ability to exercise some creative influence within its more advanced features.
View / Download PIXLR on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Bonfire Photo Editor Pro
Bonfire Photo Editor is a very popular piece of photo software that allows application of varied simple filters, as well as image editing, but it’s primary interest to users is the wide range of filters that it offers, such as Impressionist, High Dynamic Range, B&W, Sketch and many more besides. One of our favourites was a watercolour effect called Fancy. For the sake of vanity amongst your friends and subjects, there are also skin smoothing & blemish removal tools which ensure high levels of appreciation when presenting shots for perusal/display afterwards.
View or Download Bonfire Photo Editor Pro on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Express
Both of these offerings from Adobe are more serious applications and offer considerably more than many other apps, and will sync to desktop versions if you utilise Adobe Creative Cloud.
Lightroom can adjust photos simply with single-touch adjustments, and is powerful enough to generate serious imagery once its range of effects and adjustments have been learned.
Photoshop Express provides filters, crop-functionality, and pretty good auto-corrective functionality which can quickly rectify any anomolies caused in-camera by the CCD in strange lighting, or by the photographer, shooting in haste!
View or Download Lightroom on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for these links to work)
Although mainly intended for improving selfies, this app is great for correcting imperfections when shooting portraits as it offers quick corrections to errant skin tones, blemish removing, the ability to whiten teeth and brightening of eyes, as well as some filters.
View or Download Airbrush on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Fotor Photo Editor
Fotor is a long-established favourite amongst the Android community, but its features and functions are equal to many other apps, and it is recognised as being a must have by many bloggers and forums. The wide range of editing tools and the ability to enhance photos with a single finger-tap ensure its popularity and make it simple to operate. Its features include crop, rotate, brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure, vignetting, shadow, highlights, temperature, tint, RGB, and in addition it offers over 100 filters for you to choose, making it a wonderful app to use.
View or Download Fotor Photo Editor on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
PhotoDirector is a more recent addition to the photo editing scene on Android, but is fairly comprehensive. This software has more manual enhancements rather than the simpler application of overall filters to an image, and utilises HSL sliders, RGB colour channels, white balance, and other filters to adjust and fine-tune your photos. There are sliders provided for tone, brightness, exposure, darkness & contrast for more detailed editing. It’s more feature-rich than many others and provides more choice than just straightforward filter effects.
View or Download PhotoDirector on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Photo Editor by Aviary
Photo Editor by Aviary is another long time popular photo editor with a good set of features and reliability. Like most, it features a one-touch enhance mode in case you’re feeling lazy today but it also comes with a variety of manual adjustments to let you do things like adjust the colour, brightness, temperature, contrast, saturation, and more. This one also comes with stickers, filters, and cosmetic tools such as red eye fixing, blemish remover, and teeth whitener.
View or Download PhotoEditor by Aviary on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Photo Editor Pro
Photo Editor Pro is a very popular option that has garnered more than 50 million downloads and well over one million reviews to date. It’s a good mix between a modern “filter editor” and a regular editor and has plenty of features that support both types of editing. You’ll find features like sharpen and blur modes, colour temperature control, as well as the de rigeur of saturation, hue, contrast, and brightness controls. You’ll also find stickers, frames, filters, and you can even add text to images.
View or Download Photo Editor Pro on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
Color Splash Effect
Color Splash Effect lets you selectively colour your photos that are turned into Black and White Photos, Old Photos and Sepia Photos by using touch. Color Filter your photos with gorgeous looking Photo Filters and use advanced photo colour features like Zoom Photos, Photo Brush Size and Photo Editor like undo and redo.
View or Download Color Splash Effect on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
High-Speed Camera (GIF,Burst)
This app can be useful for sports photography or action shots of the kids in the garden as it uses your smart phone as a silent high-speed camera, with some limited image effects, including creating animated gifs from your burst-shots.
View or Download High Speed Camera (GIF, Burst) on Google Play (you may need to be logged into Google Play for this link to work)
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