This is the first post in a short series of Android camera app reviews. The final verdict based on all reviews can be found here.
From the title of JP Brothers’ camera app Candy Camera – Selfie Selfies, you’d think that it focuses exclusively on selfies. While it’s true that it provides a few filters that is supposed to make you look (even more) stunning while taking selfies, Candy Cam actually looks like the ultimate camera app, at least at first sight - it has more or less everything you need: Geo-tagging, mute mode, automatic saving of the original photo, tons of filters, filter stacking, live preview, a nice set of adjustments, lots of collage settings, built in album viewer from where you can import pictures taken with other app and edit them and a nice UI.
JP Brothers is a Korean company, so it should come as no surprise that Candy Camera is also loaded with lens flares, decorations, stickers, frames and all the bells and whistles that Asians seem to love so much. You can only get access to the stickers if you invite friends, but inviting is a matter of sharing to any share-enabled app on your phone. In my case, I used the barcode scanner app and got instant access to tons and tons of stickers I will never use. But you might like stuff like that.
But a deeper dive into Candy Cam reveals its shortcomings.
I was not able to get geo-tagging and automatic saving of the original photo to work. A workaround for the latter is to simply save an image before you start to edit it. But it would be nice if this had worked as it should automatically. An option to change the quality of the saved photos is missing as far as I can tell. On my Nexus 5, everything was saved in 1.6 MP, even thought the camera is capable of taking 8 MP photos. What a waste. Also, there’s no undo functionality, so if you have stacked a few changes and want to remove one, you have to start over again from scratch. Even though there are a lot of filter available, there is no way to adjust the filter strength. It’s either on or off, which can be annoying.
Candy Camera gives you the option to perform many operations by swiping. This can be a bit confusing at first, but there’s a very short tutorial when you open the app for the first time that shows you the basics. And once you get the hang of the swiping motions, making that perfect shot is a lot quicker than tapping around. But beware, a couple of swiped too many can result in that masterpiece you’ve been editing for the last five minutes being gone forever.