New Camera App From Google Brings SLR-like Capabilities to Android Devices

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | April 18, 2014 8:35 AM EST

Google Play Store has a new camera app for Android device users called "Google Camera," which is an app that can be installed on devices running Android v4.4 KitKat or above.

REUTERS
A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto in this file photo taken September 5, 2013. Google Inc said October 17, 2013 that consolidated revenue rose to $14.89 billion in the third quarter from $13.3 billion in the year-ago period. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/Files

According to Google, it plans to make the app support more versions of Android in the near future. The app takes the photo capturing experience to the next level and it is very quick.

As Google puts it in its Google Plus account, "Being behind the lens got more fun with new creative picture modes in 'Google Camera'."

Highlights

The overall user interface looks sleek and simplistic. The app ensures that there are no dropped pixels when capturing the maximum resolution of the screen. The "capture button" looks like an elongated block while the user need not to try to find the button, in turn losing focus from the object/subject that is being captured.

The app also offers several new modes for capturing pictures, including Lens Blur, Panorama and Photo Sphere. Lens Blur provides the ability to focus on the subject while blurring the background to get the SLR-like effect (a.k.a. bokeh effect). But this mode is nowadays part of all the new and upcoming cameras housed in flagship smartphones.

Also, Lens Blur lets the user change the point or level of focus after the photo is taken. Users can choose the object of focus by tapping on that particular part in the image. Upon altering the depth-of-field slider, users can simulate different aperture sizes. This helps in getting the bokeh effect that ranges from subtle to surreal. The customized new image will be rendered immediately, Google's Research Blog said.

According to TechCrunch, "The Lens Blur is a tricky one, it requires the user to shift the phone upwards while remaining centered on the focal point. Under right circumstance, Lens Blur works remarkably well at simulating the kind of depth of field you can capture from DSLRs."

Photo Sphere mode provides the ability to capture 360-degree immersive images. This can be considered as the extension of the panoramic snapshots, only that, it is not restricted to the horizontal plane. This mode lets the user to look up, down and all around. Also, this is the first time Google has made this available to non-Nexus devices.

The existing panoramic capture mode is enhanced further by introducing "higher resolution" that scouts the full width and detail of the scene to be captured. This app is a helpful alternative to anybody who is not a fan of the in-built device offering irrespective of the device manufacturers.

After downloading the app to the phone, the app does not recognize the phone's camera hardware and a device restart should make it work. Google Camera app is now available on the Google Play Store and touted to work on all phones and tablets running Android v4.4 or higher. Click here to download the app.

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(Photo: REUTERS / )
A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto in this file photo taken September 5, 2013. Google Inc said October 17, 2013 that consolidated revenue rose to $14.89 billion in the third quarter from $13.3 billion in the year-ago period. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/Files
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