5 Android Camera Apps for Macro Photography
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
Yeah…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
Photo 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
FxCamera, 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
Cymera, 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.
A 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
This 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