With the enormous variety of free Android camera apps on the market, including the excellent Google Camera, it’s hard to imagine actually paying money to download a picture taker. But when it comes to measuring the all-important bang-for-buck ratio, you may find Camera ZOOM FX by Androidslide is worth a lot more than the nominal download fee.
As with all other camera applications, Camera ZOOM FX shines by virtue of its extensive range of features. Novice photographers can make great use things like toggling between autofocus and tap-to-focus modes, or grid overlays that actually school you on best practices for framing photographs. There’s also a stable shooting mode that, when engaged, won’t take a picture unless you’re holding the camera steady, thus eliminating all-too-common blurry or otherwise substandard snapshots.
The app’s diversity of features are also useful for intermediate to advanced-level photographers in that you’re given the ability to do things like manually adjust white balance, ISO, and exposure, as well as burst mode.
Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a bona fide pro, Camera ZOOM FX packs the kinds of features everybody loves to use to some extent, including more than 40 effects and filters, voice activation, collage mode, a horizon level indicator if you’re not into askew photography, and easy single-tap social sharing.
The interface is uncluttered and intuitive, with two unobtrusive side bars that offer standard functions like flash control, rear facing camera switch, and shooting mode control (normal, timer, burst mode, collage, time lapse, stable shot and voice activation). The app also offers a decent photo editing suite that’ll let you add effects or make edits to current snapshots as well as those stored to your phone’s gallery.
Features aside, another of the application’s perks includes the ability to customize controls and assign functions to your smartphone’s buttons. For example, you can dive into the app settings and make it so that your phone’s volume buttons now power the camera’s zoom feature, if they don’t already.
Because the state of camera apps is constantly improving to the point where there are individual apps for specific functions (like blending photos of your least favorite celebrities with snapshots of animals, or cutting and pasting historical figures into pictures of yourself and your friends hanging out) Camera ZOOM FX has taken the approach of offering a number of freebie and low-cost plugins that you can bring into the fold.
The app does have a small handful of weaknesses. For one, there’s no panorama support, which is a bit surprising considering the range of other features on offer. There is also no support for HDR shooting and if you want to shoot video you’ll have to do it through your native camera or another third-party video app.
That aside, Camera ZOOM FX packs enough cool features to continually rank it as among the most popular pay camera apps around. It’s functional for Android 1.6 and up and is currently available on Google Play for $3.99.