A Better Camera is an app for your Android phone that is designed to be better than then built in app. If you find the controls fiddly on the phone’s camera app, this one could be the answer.
The camera app that is bundled with your phone may well be packed with great features, but if they are awkward to access then they are rarely used. It is a waste having fantastic functions on the camera and lots of settings if the app does not make them easy to access.
When camera apps are too complicated or are poorly designed, we tend to leave it in automatic mode and just point and shoot everything from portraits to landscapes in automatic mode.
A Better Camera is designed to enable you to take better photographs on your Android phone not by improving the output of the camera, but by making the settings easier to access. If you can easily access exposure, focus, flash, resolution and other settings, then you are more likely to use them and the result is likely to be better photos.
A Better Camera has a strip of four icons across the top of the screen and three down at the bottom. The four at the top are the most recently accessed functions, making them easier to access again.
Pull down from the top and 14 icons are displayed. They are used to access functions like a self-timer, white balanced, focus more, exposure compensation, ISO settings and several more.
Tap the gear in the bottom right corner and the settings are displayed. These consist of 10 tiles that enable you to select single shot, burst shot, night mode panorama and other modes. The focus control for example, enables you to set auto-focus, infinity, macro, AF lock and other settings.
A Better Camera is not better because it has more features. In fact, it has fewer features than the native camera app on my Samsung Galaxy S6. However, A Better Camera makes it easier to access the basic features of the camera.
It does this by displaying large buttons and easy-to-use controls. To change the white balance with the built in camera you have to tap Mode, tap Pro, tap WB Auto and then tap the setting you want. The settings are unlabelled icons.
With A Better Camera you pull down from the top, tap AWB and tap the setting – a labelled button. If you recently used AWB then the icon is at the top of the screen, so it is only two taps.
A Better Camera is better because it is fewer taps to get at the functions you need and the buttons are bigger, bolder and have labels that are easier to read. This makes the camera easier to configure outdoors when the sun is on the screen and you can hardly see the display, and you need to quickly take a shot before the moment passes.
The camera in the Samsung Galaxy S6 is brilliant, but some of the functions are impossible to access on a sunny day because the small text is too hard to read. A Better Camera is not a perfect solution, but it makes basic camera functions easier to access.
One flaw is that the buttons are a semi transparent grey overlaid onto the live camera image. For the sake of clarity I would like a solid black background for the buttons. I don’t even care about seeing the live camera image when I am accessing the settings. White on black would give maximum contrast when trying to use the screen on a sunny day.
By simplifying basic functions and making them easier to see outdoors, A Better Camera app will encourage you to be more creative with your shots and to use some of the pro features of the camera instead of leaving it in automatic mode.
- Written by Janine Jones
- Created: 02 January 2016