Loving photography and being a big Android fan, I have to share my absolute favorite photography app: Camera Zoom FX. Historically, you could always find a Canon Elph in my pocket, whenever I was at any gathering, party, event, or any situation where some quick snapshots were needed to save the memories. While I bought my last new Canon Elph in 2010, ever since I picked up the Samsung Galaxy S2 last year, my barely used Elph has been collecting dust. While the Elph is more powerful, smaller than, and almost as slim as the Galaxy S2, the 8MP camera in my smartphone is quality enough to ditch the extra luggage in my pocket.
Camera Zoom FX is one of the highest rated and best reviewed Android camera apps around and after personally trying a selection of other top camera apps, this one gets my #1 overall recommendation. It is lightweight (file size is only 1.3MB), fast (takes up to 10 shots per second), and strong (multi-shooting modes, digital/optical zoom, tons of effects). Let me run you through the highlights, along with a few sample shots from me.
As the name suggests, this app offers a digital zoom function (up to 6x). If you happen to have an Android device with an actual optical zoom, this app can control it, as well. Other real digital camera features include stable shot, grid overlays, timer, time lapse, timed shots, and voice-activated shots. Also, its burst mode can capture an impressive 10 shots a second. Most options include further customization, such as the length of the time lapse, and the sensitivity of the stable shot of the type of grid overlay.
Camera Zoom FX offers multiple autofocus modes including auto, infinity, macro, fixed, and face-detection. Options like white balance, anti-banding and night shot are also available. The customization extends to the controls, as well, letting you assign buttons and gestures to your liking. My personal favorite feature is the speed that the app loads and takes a picture. While just a bit faster than my stock camera and other apps, these precious milliseconds mean the difference between catching the perfect snapshot while it happens.
When you download this app, it's hard to believe that a tiny 1.3MB file will be able to impress anybody. One way it keeps its weight down is by offering a range of effect packs as free downloads. So, if you're not interested in having filters, frames, or cheesy "props" or "buddies", you don't have to! Effects range from lens effects like fisheye, filters like vignette and composites to Polaroid-styled shots. You can even add custom frames around your shots, such as simple borders, vintage film reels, or traditional portrait frames. "Props" and "buddies" let you superimpose items such as soccer balls or your favorite celebrity into your photos. There are over 100 of them and growing.
|My cat helping me write when the Queen came to visit (thanks to the Buddies feature)|
Some effects give live previews, letting you line up borders or adjust your shot to best suit a filter. Effects can also be combined, opening up a whole range of new possibilities. You can even open up photos taken with your stock camera or any image in your phone's gallery and play around with them. It also offers a few editing features, such as cropping or creating collages. You can set it to save all original photos and the quality of the altered photos, from the full to lower resolution versions.
|Original photo I took with Camera Zoom FX|
|With the “Child Once Again” ready-made effect applied|
Since this is also your smartphone, social networking features have been smoothly integrated. You can share to the top social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. You can also email or upload to your cloud storage apps, like Dropbox. It also lets you geo-tag or add EXIF tags to your jpegs.
Also, if you're like me and not a big fan of the effects and not too big on social sharing, just consider them bonuses on top of a great camera app. So, for any photographer who has an Android smartphone and loves being able to take some quality snapshots, Camera Zoom FX is a great choice. This app is currently on sale for only $2.99, making it a great deal. So, check it out!
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