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5 Android Camera Apps for Macro Photography

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My husband often asks, “Why do you need a 32GB card in your phone?”. It’s not for music. It’s not for video. It’s not even for games. It’s for photos. As a blogger I’m constantly looking at the world as if every moment is my next photo op. So, I have more camera apps on my phone than any other type of program (and 3 different gallery apps, but that’s another post for another time). Some people swear by just one app. Not me. I like to collect them and use each for its own strengths be it filters, frames, speed of loading or its range of focus.

One area of photography that a vast majority of people enjoy, no matter if they are a blogger or just like to share online with friends, is macro (aka close ups). After tumbling through more apps than I’m willing to admit (cough-I’m addicted- cough) I’ve come up with my list of Top 5 Android Camera Apps for Macro Photography. Yes, I’m a Droid girl. Sorry, iPhone readers – this list is green-guy-centric. But, if you’d like to add your favorite camera apps for iPhone in the comments that would be perfectly fine.


I’m going to start out with the app that, according to many Android users, is suppose to be the end all be all of phone shutterbug needs. Some even say it’s their first choice for macro shots. I am not quite convinced. In fact, it’s the worst app I’ve used when it comes to close up shots. I’m including it so you can get a point of reference when you check out the top 5.

 

Camera Zoom FX – how not to take a closeup

camera zoom fxYeah…I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it’s definitely not macro photography. While I’ve kept this app for quite a while – it’s not for the focus. I keep it for its speed of loading for shots where grabbing the moment is more important than the actual result. The exposure is also severely lacking – as you’ll see compared to the top 5. Yet, you’ll find raving reviews online for just this purpose. I’m confused. Maybe I got the lazy app? No idea, but this one definitely doesn’t have a spot on my phone’s home screen. Even more confusing is that this is a PAID app ($2.99) while the top 5 are all free.

 

5 Android Camera Apps for Macro Photography

All of these shots were taken in the same lighting, at the same distance and using the least specialized setting available with the app. None of the photos have been retouched. The paper you see in the photos is a stack of small sticky notes.

My #1 Top Pick:  Photo Wonder

android apps macro photography photo wonderPhoto Wonder is a nearly perfect camera app from Baidu Inc. The color is crisp and true to your actual light without grabbing an orange or ‘dirty’ cast like other camera apps. It has a great zoom feature that allows you to get even closer than the example photo. It’s fast to load, quick to capture and has one click saving and sharing to social networks all in one screen. Photo Wonder also comes with 7 filters, editing screen with classic edits and special effects (including funny stickers, props etc), a review screen and a collage feature. Photo Wonder is like several apps in one. Down side: I’d like to see more filters, but the 7 they do offer are varied and useful such as a soft Elegant, Vintage, HDR, etc. Price: Free

2. FxCamera

android camera apps macro photography fxcameraFxCamera, from ymst, offers what first appears to be a very simple interface with just 5 filters. However, it gains the number two spot in my list not only for it’s sharp focus and accurate exposure, but also because those 5 filters are just the categories for over 25 other sub-filters. The range is fantastic: from fish eye to reflection to comic book. Down side: Needs more stability during a shot to get the perfect focus. Price: Free

3. Cymera

android apps macro photography CYMERACymera, from SK Communications, comes in third with sharp focus and fast response time. It’s also another feature packed app worthy of any camera crazy shutterbug. Features include: 15 specialty filters, cropping,  tilt-shift, liquify and more. It also comes equipped with anti-shake and timer settings. Down Side: Slower to start up, several second delay when saving a photo, color not as true. Price: Free

The last two on my top 5 are apps that do not offer a ‘no filter’ setting. So these would be good for social sharing, creative posting, etc.

4. Retro Camera

android apps macro photography retro camA cute app for specialized photos from developer Urbian. Retro Camera comes with 6 camera modes, each with their own set of filters: Barbl (dark washed black and whites), Orange Box (dark, scratchy vignettes),  Xolaroid (Polaroid styles), Pinhole (film effects) and Hipsteroku (vintage styles, one seen above).   Downsides: Slower to start up, more complicated menu, no non-filter option. Price: Free

5. One Man With A Camera

android camera apps macro photography one man with a cameraThis app comes from Wise Shark Software, makers of the popular Pudding Camera. One Man With a Camera is a multifaceted experience which also delivers with the ‘pick a camera’ style menu. Cameras (with 12 filters each) include: Lomo (seen above), Old, Underwater, Square, Polaroid, Tilt-shift, fish eye, 4-In-One and SuperSampler. OMWAC also offer something most phone photographers love: a silent shutter for inconspicuous snapshots in public or quiet settings. Another reason I like this app is that you can touch anywhere on the screen to take a photo and it automatically saves after each shot. Downsides: Most filters are very extreme. Takes time to switch from one camera style to another. Price: Free


19 Comments

  1. I have been looking for great android camera app, i think im going to try out the retro camera…i really like the colors of the picture.

  2. I was checking to see if anyone had posted some good apps for iPhones yet. Guess not. I don’t have an iPhone yet, but my husband and I are cashing in our Blackberrys for iPhones next month.

    The photos look great by the way!

    1. Get Android phones, you won’t be sorry. You can’t beat a larger selection of apps, most of which are free, and a strong, supporting community that you get with Android!

  3. FxCamera seems to have a better resolution. The darker green stack of sticky notes seems to be more in focus with FxCamera than Photo Wonder, or is that just a side-effect from image compression?

    Regardless, I didn’t know there were so many good macro photography apps!

  4. Fantastic writeup. Simple, to the point, and informational. Thank you very much for doing our dirty work!

  5. Very cool, there are so many free apps I’m obviously not taking advantage of. Thanks for the suggestions and detailed information, I think I’m going to try FxCamera.

  6. THANK YOU! I have spent so much time in the app store (or play store, I guess it it called now) trying to figure out which camera and photo editing apps to get. I have seen all of these but wasn’t sure about getting them …. thanks so much for sharing the “real life” examples!

  7. none of these are good enough to get so close as to get a clear shot of words in a book its always blurry, still on the hunt for one that can do just that.

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