Phone Photography

Camera apps for your Android phone

Do you have an Android phone that you love but are a bit jelly of your friends wonderful Instagram photos?

Do not fear! There are some rather fabulous camera apps out there that you can use in a very similar way. I have tried dozens and dozens of them (there are over 1000 available); from the free to the pricey, from rubbishy ones that crashed each time I used them to ones that are amazingly beautiful to look at and produce fabulous images.

This hasn’t been an exhaustive or very scientific bit of research, but I thought I would share the best ones I have found…

Lightbox (free)

This is my number one camera app. It is SO, so easy to set up the sharing and apply the filters, and the website like the interface of the app itself is beautifully and simply designed. I thought about giving instructions for each of these but I believe that defeats the point – apps shouldn’t need instructions, if they’re any good they should be totally intuitive. This one is.

(Plus, you can shoot with other cameras, such as Vignette (see below) using this interface – so you get the best of both worlds).



Retrocamera (free)

This one has such a funky interface – you can choose from a selection of old retro cameras and peer through actual old viewfinders. The photos it takes look amazing and are very easy to share – the only downside is that once you’ve decided on a particular camera and taken your photo you can’t change your mind and switch to a different look.

Retrocamera - station


Vignette (demo free, full version £2.49)

If you have the time and patience to delve into the myriad of different options and sub-options of film types, light leaks, lenses and borders etc you can get some amazing results with this camera app – definitely the most customisable of all the apps but in a way this is also it’s weakness.

Vignette - relish

There are lots of other great camera apps, including LittleCamera, PicPlz, MagicHour and Pudding Camera to name just a few. And of course one of the best ones is the native camera that is bundled in with every Android operating system – if you delve down into it there are all sorts of filters and effects you can apply, so maybe you don’t need to download anything at all!

Whichever app you have, whichever phone you have, it’s just another means to an end – it’s a camera to take photos with, and each and every camera is wonderful because you are there ‘behind the lens’.

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  • Reply
    5 December 2011 at 20:16

    I love pudding camera. Streamzoo and Pixlr-o-matic are great apps too and both free. Streamzoo is a lot like instagram and has some fab filters.

  • Reply
    5 December 2011 at 23:38

    You rock! I love that you are not blindly promoting anything Apple, like so many photographers out there. Plus, I love your blog and articles! :)

  • Reply
    Abigail S
    7 December 2011 at 14:20

    Yeah I use Pixlr-o-matic as well. Think I’ll have to try some of these other ones out as well :) Flickr has a lot of filter options as well on their app.

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