App Name: Snap Camera HDR
Developer: Marginz Software
Market: Google Play
Snap Camera is a high-dynamic-range (HDR) camera application that allows users take pictures and videos and also includes a photo gallery and editing suite. The key feature that sets this camera app apart from the default camera on your phone is its minimalistic, smooth user interface. The uncluttered preview screen allows users to fully view their shots before taking a picture or while filming without having to look through numerous icons.
The app’s preview screen only features a shutter release button, movie mode button, a series of icons representing the activated camera settings and a settings button located in far left corner. The free-floating settings menu can also be accessed by simply pressing down on the screen for a half of a second and more camera adjusters and sliders will be at your disposal.
Snap Camera has more to offer than the features seen on your phone’s default camera including a wider range for specific camera settings and grid lines for advanced photographers who like to abide by the “rule of thirds” for better composed shots. This app also has its own post-production, editing suite so you can make any additional changes to your picture. Snap Camera’s Photo Editor has selection of nine filters, eleven borders, and other sliders for adjusting sharpness, rotation, automatic color, RGB curves, among others. With this HDR camera application, you will be able to high-quality and high-resolution photos and videos by being able to take pictures up to 3264×2448 in size and to shoot video up in 1080p HD.
With its simplistic outlook and wide variety of advanced settings, Snap Camera is built for amateur and professional photographers. The semi-circular-designed settings menu gives the app a more realistic feel like an actual camera. One aspect that really amazed me how in-depth the settings menu is for advanced users. Some of the examples include setting the A/V bit rate, the A/V codec, an alternate microphone, the metering for photos, the anti-banding, frame rate for video and several HDR components.
When it comes to taking pictures with this app, there are a few things you will need to do before taking your snapshots. First, manually set the white balance, based on the lighting of your environment to avoid poorly tinted photos. Surprisingly, the auto white balance is not as effective as manually setting them yourself in this app. Second, turn on the “stable shot” feature, which is located in Settings under “More Settings” and is appropriately represented by a shaking hand icon.
When the stable shot feature is activated, a crosshair will appear within your focus ring. When you tap the screen to take a picture, it will not capture until the crosshairs change from red to green, letting you know that the camera is steady enough to take the best picture possible. This helpful feature will take the frustration out of retaking photos over and over again due to blurriness. Third, set the ISO to auto and the focus mode to autofocus to get pictures with clarity and minimal noise.
Overall, Snap Camera is a good alternative option for a smartphone camera that will make you want to say “Cheese!” The only major downsides are that this app will have a tendency to shut down unexpectedly from time to time and the autofocus and white balance settings are not available in the trial version. It’s not a huge issue unless it happens to you while you are taking pictures or shooting videos for a rare event and you missed your opportunity due to a glitch or unavailability.
The free trial is available to download, but you will have to deal with a wait time of 15 seconds every time you open the trial version. This can be fixed by setting your phone to airplane mode to get rid of the pop-up dialogue box. If you prefer not to deal that, you can purchase the full version for $1.99 in the Google Play store.