First, you should know that this review is about the free version (there’s also a paid Ultimate version). When you launch the free version of this Android camera app, this is the first thing you’re going to see:
That’s right, a plug for the paid version. I force-closed the app to see if the screen shows up when I re-launch it, and it did. This would probably not be a serious issue for most users because the app would just run in the background, and you don’t get the nag screen when you switch to it. Still, it does make the initial launch not as snappy as it could be.
Next, the main screen:
Here you can select one of several looks (or “cameras”) to work with. Let’s try the Effect mode:
Here you get to select what effect you wish to apply to your photo before you take it. This is different than most similar apps, where you apply the effect post-factum. It’s an interesting approach. While it means you need to take an extra step before snapping your picture, you would have a better idea of what you’re going for when you take it. Let’s try the LOMO effect.
This is the capture screen. The live-preview looks rather jagged in the screenshot, but in real life it’s as smooth as you’d expect. This screen is chock-full of options; let’s take a quick look at some of them. When you tap the question-mark, a very helpful help layout pops up:
The most visible thing is probably the composition grid, which you can easily toggle off, or switch to a different grid style called “Modern core section” (a fancy name for a simple grid).
Tapping the cogwheel icon opens a menu with several options that you’d normally expect to find on a “real” camera:
You can select one of four different focus modes, choose one of three different options for recording location information along with your photo (GPS-based, cell-based, or no location information), and more. Fortunately, you can also mute the (loud) default beep the camera makes when it takes a photo.
Next, let’s look at the available Shooting Modes. The most useful one, to me, is the image stabilizer, which is off by default.
As you may have noticed, the English here isn’t perfect (Stabiliger? Brust?). This is even more visible in the options menu; the Ultimate version is selling quite well on the market – perhaps the developers can invest in some decent English localization. Brust means Burst mode, by the way. The camera just keeps on taking photos at regular intervals until you hit the shutter button to make it stop.
Last but not least on the capture screen are the Camera Settings:
You can easily adjust brightness, saturation, and several other parameters. Oh, right, I guess you can also tap the Camera button and take a picture (a minor option, but I figured I’d mention it anyway). Here’s what the image looks like:
Mind you, this is with the LOMO effect. You van also tweak the effect, but some of the options are paid-version only (those with the tiny shopping cart in the corner):
One you’re happy with your image, you can easily share and save it. Finally, when you quit the app, the developers can’t keep from plugging the paid version one more time:
Camera360 is a robust, powerful Android camera app. I haven’t even touched on the image sharing options it offers or explored its other camera modes (Tilt-shift, Color-shift and more). Its two main drawbacks are the poor English in the UI (sometimes to the point of making things needlessly confusing), and the strong push for the paid version plastered all over the app. Still, the Free version is not time-limited, and is fully functional with plenty of filters and interesting image effects. All in all, a very capable app.
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