Google Camera vs Open camera | A Comparison with Best Features of Both the Camera Apps

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Asif Ahmed
Asif Ahmed
Founder and Cheif Editor of Techtippr, Get in touch with me on Twitter or Enjoy my Stories on Instagram. I think they are interesting. :-)

Most Smartphones available in the market come with similar camera hardware, the thing which makes every phone different is, how the camera processes the images.

Which largely depends on the algorithm created by the smartphone manufacturer.

If you want to experiment more with mobile photography, you might want to consider installing a third party app on your smartphone which will be extra features to it.

In this article, we will be comparing two of the camera apps that have been getting a lot of praise in the field of mobile photography.

Google camera, which is the stock camera in Google Pixel Phones, but in this post, we are comparing the modded APK of the Google camera available for different phones, and have been floating over the web, We have actually used it on Samsung Galaxy S6, Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 4.

You can head over to XDA Developers Forum and search if the Moded app is available for your smartphone.

Open camera, on the other hand, has been available in the Play Store for a long time, it a camera app that offers manual control to anyone which nice for mobile photography experiment.

Talking about the best feature of Google camera,

Selfie is taken on Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge using Gcam app

The modded APK bring the popular for Portrait Mode of Google Pixel smartphone to other phones.

Portrait mode gives photos with background Blur, creating a Shallow depth of field. The photos look like as if they are clicked using a DSLR camera.

Selfie is taken using Gcam on Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Related: How to Install Gcam on Redmi Note 4 for Pixel like  Portrait Mode Shots 

What Apple iPhone (and some Android phones) does with a dual camera setup, Google Pixel does it with just a single camera and does it better than iPhone (and other Smartphones).

It is possible because Google uses their proprietary algorithm to create a layer between the subject and the background and then blurs the background.

We tried the Portrait mode feature on Samsung Galaxy S6, Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 4, the modded apk for Google Camera worked on all these phones. Except for the Redmi 4 front camera, which didn’t work with Moded APKs, portrait mode photos from both front and back cameras in Samsung Galaxy S6, and Redmi Note 4 look quite amazing.

Though the Portrait Mode works great, it is not stable enough to replace the stock camera. The app crashed on me 2 out of 10 times, and the phone gets heated unusually.

Even the video mode might not work in the Moded app of the Google Camera app.

There isn’t much to do with Google camera since all the photos are enhanced automatically with the best possible settings. There is no manual control in the app.

Talking about the Open Camera

Since it is available in the Play Store, it’s all the functions are supported and work properly on almost every Android phone.

The app has too many features to offer and can be operated manually. It gives the option to set ISO manually, white balance, exposure lock and much more.

If the Camera2api is enabled for your phone, it can even enable Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which helps in shooting smooth videos.

Here is a full list of features available in Open Camera

* Option to auto-stabilize so your pictures are perfectly level no matter what (see example image).
* Expose your camera’s functionality: support for focus modes, scene modes, color effects, white balance, ISO, exposure compensation/lock, face detection, torch.
* Video recording (including HD, and taking photos while recording video).
* Handy remote controls: timer (with optional voice countdown), auto-repeat mode (with configurable delay).
* Option to take photos remotely by making a noise (e.g., voice, whistle), or by voice command “cheese”.
* Configurable volume keys.
* Optimise GUI for left or right-handed users.
* Zoom via multi-touch gesture and single-touch control.
* Option to lock the orientation to portrait or landscape for photo or video. Upside-down preview option for use with attachable lenses.
* Choice of save folder (including support for Storage Access Framework).
* Disable shutter sound.
* Overlay a choice of grids and crop guides.
* Optional GPS location tagging (geotagging) of photos and videos; for photos this includes compass direction (GPSImgDirection, GPSImgDirectionRef).
* Apply date and timestamp, location coordinates, and custom text to photos; store date/time and location as video subtitles (.SRT).
* Yes you can take a selfie, includes support for “screen flash”.
* Support for (some) external microphones.
* Widget to automatically take a photo after launching.
* Support for HDR (with auto-alignment and ghost removal) and Exposure Bracketing.
* Support for Camera2 API: manual focus distance; manual ISO; manual exposure time; manual white balance temperature; RAW (DNG) files.
* Dynamic range optimization mode.
* Small file size.
* Completely free, and no ads in the app (I only run ads on the website). Open Source.

(Some features may not be available on all devices, as they may depend on hardware or camera features, the Android version, etc.)

Which one is better?

It actually won’t be fair to compare both the Camera apps, because, they both serve different purposes. Gcam is strictly about the Portrait Mode and nothing more, even if you want to do, the app won’t let you do it since it is a modded app.

The open camera does offer manual controls, which gives the opportunity to explore different types of shots but most of the features are meant for video mode.

If you have got some extra space on your smartphone, and you can accommodate 2 apps, then you can keep both of them to get the best of both Worlds.

Or maybe you won’t have to keep both of them for a very long time, Since Google has open sourced a similar technology that they are using in Google Pixel to create the blur effect in the Portrait Mode.

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