3 Must-have Camera Apps for Android

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Not all camera apps were created equal. Using the right app can make a big difference your photography, but with so many apps out there, it is easy to miss the gems lurking in the Play Store. We trawled through the Android app store and tested over twenty different photography apps to bring you our three top picks.

1. Open Camera - No frills, no nonsense, no ads

Who it's for: The photography enthusiast (i.e. you).

If every Android app was like Open Camera, the world would be a better place.

Open Camera is 100% free, open source, and without ads. It's also one of the most powerful Android camera apps, which is why it is our number one recommendation for every Android owner wanting to take better pictures.

Open Camera exposes pretty much every photography option that your phone allows (these will vary based on model of phone and Android version). All the basic features are included, such as flash, resolution, zoom and exposure compensation, alongside more advanced tools such as image stabilization. If you have a newer Android phone, you'll also be able to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. If your phone supports it, you will be able to save your photos as RAW images.

All these functions make Open Camera a great app if you just want to take pictures, and then edit them later in a different app.

Open Camera is the pure photographer's app. You won't find "beauty" modes or fancy filters in this app. Just a simple but powerful picture making tool.

Install Open Camera from the Google Play store.

2. Camera360 - Special effects galore

Who it's for: The Snapchatter

Camera360 is one of the most popular photography apps, thanks to its vast array of features and filters.

Not only does Camera360 allow you to control all the basic features of your camera (such as resolution and flash), but it also has modes to take funny, creative photos to wow your friends and social media fans.

Want a picture of yourself wearing rabbit ears? There's a sticker for that (and over 100 others to choose from). Not happy with Instagram's filters? This app comes with its own, as well as a built-in photo editor.

And then there's the beauty mode, which will apply some mild filters to make your face look even more appealing.

Of course, you'll pay for a few of these features (mainly the stickers and filters), but most of purchases are pretty cheap, and the app works fine without them.

Install Camera360 from the Google Play store.

3. VSCO Cam - Sleek, elegant, advanced

Who it's for: The mobile photography enthusiast (i.e. anyone who wants full control over their camera.

You want to post a stunning photo to social media, but the social media app's filters don't cut it. Where do you turn? VSCO Cam.

You don't want bunny ear stickers or rainbow vomit, but you do want filters for stunning landscape photography? VSCO is the app for the artisticly minded phone photographer.

VCSO has a range of attractive filters, which can be customized. Plus there's the option to create your own, and a built-in editor. The app is beautifully designed and offers a number of paid upgrades.

The downside of complex, powerful app is that, well, it's complex. There's a small but steep learning curve when you first start using the app. In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably confess that I nearly wrote VCSO off. Luckily, this website's founder Jonny Walker persuaded me to give it a second shot and it's become one of my favourite apps. Almost every photo I share on Instragram now goes through this app first.

Install VSCO from the Google Play store.

So there you have it. Three apps for three different types of photographer. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author

Karen Jones

Karen joined SmartPhoneSnap shortly after it was founded, and is now responsible for the lion's share of the editing. If you write for us, you'll go through her. Phone of choice: iPhone 6S