Earlier this year I wrote a post covering two amazing apps for Android filmmaking, namely LGCamera and Cinema FV-5. Today, I am pleased to inform you that we have a new competitor – Camera API.
Camera API is a very lightweight app (just about 200 KB) that takes advantage of all your camera driver capabilities. It literally shows every function it can find within the driver and allows you to adjust it to your liking.
The interface is very minimalist and not as customizable as the functions themselves, but at least you can add up to 4 shortcuts to the bar on the left.
The function menu looks like this:
Functions inherit their names from the camera driver code, so figuring out what some of them do may take a bit of trial and error.
You can switch between photo and video modes by swiping the shutter button up/down.
The app settings, as well as experimental parameters check-box (which extends the list of functions even further on), are contained within ‘Other parameters’:
Now let’s take a look at some useful functions that this great app offers:
- antibanding – used to fix flickering caused by indoor lights
- brightness – allows you to make shadows look brighter
- cap-mode – choose between different shooting modes (face beauty, continuous shot, smile shot, etc.)
- contrast – allows you to recover highlights under challenging lighting
- edge – used to control digital sharpening (I recommend setting this to ‘low’ to avoid oversharpened images/videos)
- jpeg/video quality – allows to you to adjust jpeg compression, video bitrate, fps, etc.
- preview-size/fps-range – allows you to adjust viewfinder preview properties
- saturation – allows you to get flat or vivid images
- video-stabilization – allows you to turn on stabilization, even if it isn’t supported by your stock camera
- whitebalance – allows you to use all kinds of WB presets
- zoom & zoom-ratios – allows you to adjust zooming range
- zsd(zsl)-mode – stands for zero shutter delay(lag); allows you to take pictures faster
These are the ones that I find most useful for myself, but there are a lot more for you to discover.
Finally, there is one more nifty thing about this app. If you go to your Android Settings -> Apps -> Camera API -> Manage space, you will find another menu that allows you to import/export your app settings or even generate a configuration file for your camera with an exhaustive list of supported options, listed as ‘key=value‘ (for example, ‘smooth_zoom_supported=true‘).
If you find some of these options interesting, but they won’t show up in the Camera API app, you can enter the aforementioned menu, go to Back-facing camera preferences (or Front-facing, in case you want to fiddle with your front camera), tap the menu button and select ‘Add‘. Then in the key field enter an option name (like smooth_zoom_supported) and in the value field enter a setting (true, false, 0, 1, etc.). Press OK and you’re ready to go. Although such custom options won’t show up within the app, they can be edited from the Manage space menu.
P.S. The app was developed by Belorussian developer and due to his country-specific restrictions the app cannot be posted on Google Play. You can either download it by clicking here or by visiting the original forum page here.
All credits go to the author of the app.
Read next: Filmmaking apps for Android