It’s been over two years now since the previous Android Camera App Review and a lot of things have happened: Over 1.500.000 Android handsets are being activated each and every day, Google Market has been re-branded to Google Play and there are now over 1.300.000 apps and games to choose from in the Google Play store – many of them featuring birds.

The number of high quality camera apps have also increased, and I thought it was about time to have a look at the newcomers and see how well they fare compared to the 2012 review winner, Vignette. I selected four more or less random apps from Google Play’s top free in the Photography category to review.

Originally, I reviewed all the apps in one post, but it turned too long for its own good. Instead, I decided to split everything into five posts; a separate one for each review and this post, which aims to sum up everything.

All reviews are written focusing on photography features, editing capabilities and ease of use. The mobile phone used for all the reviews is a LG Nexus 5 with an 8 MP camera. Maximum resolution is 3264 x 2448 pixels and it comes with optical image stabilization. Because all the apps use the same camera hardware, I didn’t really take into account the quality of the pictures – there doesn’t seem to be any difference in quality at all – but will still attach a few test photos that I’ve played around with a little for each app I review. Some of the apps doesn’t let you save your creations using the camera’s full resolution, for some foolish reason, and where this is the case it’s stated in the review.

Here are the four reviews, with the score, in the order they were published:

The Verdict

How did everything turn out in the end? Will I replace Vignette as my favorite camera app? Based on the score, Autodesk’s Pixlr Express was the app that came closest to bump Vignette off the throne. But that saving edited photos discard EXIF data from the original photo is a deal-breaker and until that is fixed, Vignette is still the winner.

Or is it? While testing Pixlr Express, I realized that what I’m looking for isn’t necessarily a camera app, it can be a photo editor and post-processing app. I can use a simple camera app that just takes high quality pictures, like Google Camera and then edit it later using an app crafted specifically for post-processing.

That realization started a new adventure; finding the ultimate Android photo editing app. There are not as many photo editing apps as there are camera apps, but there is still a lot to choose from. I’ve narrowed it down to three viable options, the only requirement they needed to meet was that they didn’t mess up the EXIF data.

Reviews of these three photo editing apps will be posted eventually. Stay tuned.