As an Android power user, whenever anyone suggests I download an app to my Droid, I usually respond with skepticism since there are only a few gems buried in an oversaturated market of junk. One of the best examples of this situation are novelty camera and video apps; ranging from photo templates and skins, effects to color/enhance images, and apps featuring full blown editing capabilities (e.g. hue, saturation, levels, etc.)
For the most part I’ve never bothered with photo apps on my Android because many apps are simply clones of others meaning to get full editing capabilities many users might end up downloading over photo related apps. Fortunately there are two apps which when used together provide the flexibility of on the go novelty, while also having powerful digital darkroom capabilities on your phone. For power users who need advanced editing on the go Adobe Photoshop Express has been my app of choice due to having top notch features all in one package, backed by the leader in the digital multimedia industry.
On the other hand, and moving on to the subject of this review, I recently had the fortune to stumble on the free app, Camera360 which is a fairly well featured photo enhancement app which focuses heavily on preset filters and overlays plus a handful of silly templates to make your memories a bit more humorous. Although I originally thought I’d end up deleting the app soon after trying it out, as of the writing of this article, Camera360 is still on my phone and I have no plans to replace it any time soon as my main shooting app because I have yet to see any Android photo app, free or paid, come close to the quality and functionality of Camera360.
Serious Features in a Fun Package
Before going into the novelty features of Camera360, it is worth noting that in my testing I found the app to be more than sufficient for power users who want to be able to adjust the photo shooting process of their phones rather than just editing pictures after the fact. Burst mode and multiple shot counts are the two features I found most useful, next to an overall snappy interface which makes it easy to switch settings between shots without missing a beat. This aspect alone is vital for any photo app because since photo apps are often linked to the phones camera, if the app is unstable and crashes – it brings down your camera until a reboot is done.
Another feature to help photographers on the go is a stabilization feature which can be enabled during photo shoots. Essentially it is a secondary bulls eye like image (in addition to the standard focal point indicator) which acts as a level to indicate the steadiness of your phone. When the feature is enabled, after pressing shoot, the picture will not snap until the camera is fairly steady, or it will give up after a few seconds of turbulence. While the feature is not foolproof and can severely inhibit your ability to get rapid shots, for night and low light shooting, the stabilizer feature is a valuable tool to have.
Fun for the Whole Family
Aside from packing numerous power features into the app, Camera360 also includes a diverse set of filters and templates to allow users to have fun while taking their photos. Additionally when using novelty effects, Camera360 by default is set to automatically save a copy of the original image before the effect is applied so for the semi-serious side of everyone you can have your fun while also preserving the original memory.
Upon loading Camera360, the user is greeted with six different camera types, grouped based on effect type so navigating to the desired effect is always a breeze. Effects range from the common: fish eye, line drawing, infrared, black & white, HDR, and colorful; to unique features like tilt-shift, color-shift, plus a selection of “scenes” which are essentially skins which go around your picture.
When first using Camera360, you likely will notice that when first visiting the scenes section, there will only be one template. Adding more templates is easy – simply go to the Android market and search for Camera360, right below the Camera360 app, there should be some theme packs for download. Overall the installation is fairly simple and requires little explanation – simply click install, and the theme park will install as if it were a normal app, requiring little interaction from the user.
Unfortunately it appears Camera360 only has two packs available as of the writing of this article, so for users who must have a wide array of scenes, going with another app is likely a good idea.
Camera360 is a must have app for any Android owner. By striking a balance between the novelty aspect of photos and power features, the app manages to be a great tool for virtually any photo enthusiast, from those just snapping pictures, to photographers who devote significant time to their craft. Additionally, by strictly being a shooting app and not photo editor, the app is lightweight and was snappy throughout all my testing. When combined with Adobe Photoshop Express (a free app for the Android), end users have a powerful editing suite ready to go on their phones.