Open Camera / Blog: Recent posts

Version 1.42.1

Version 1.42.1 is released!

  • Fix for a LineageOS boot loop due to Android Studio 3. See https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/64434571 for more details. This wasn't an Open Camera bug, but a problem exposed by any applications using Android Studio 3 (which Open Camera switched to in version 1.42). Google released a fix in build tools 27, which is used in this new release.
  • Now targetting Android 8, and new adaptive icon for Android 8 (thanks to Adam Lapinski).
  • Hopefully improved quality for Samsund S7 and S7 Edge when using Camera2 API (the default EDGE_MODE and NOISE_REDUCTION modes seem to give poor results, improved by setting EDGE_MODE_OFF and NOISE_REDUCTION_MODE_OFF).
  • Various other bug fixes.
Posted by mark 2017-12-17

Version 1.42

Version 1.42 is released!

  • Application shortcuts (requires Android 7.1).
  • Face detection now supports accessibility services (e.g., if using Google Talkback, information on the number and position of detected faces will be spoken).
  • Expo images (either in "Expo {}" photo mode, or HDR when "Save all images for HDR mode" is selected) are now saved with suffix "_0" etc, instead of "_EXP0" etc. This means Google Photos knows to group the images together.
  • Fixed bug since 1.41 where if the camera failed to open, it wasn't possible to switch to other cameras.
  • Various other bug fixes and performance improvements.
Posted by mark 2017-11-24

Version 1.41.1

Version 1.41.1 is released!

UI improvements:

  • Switching between photo/video modes is now done with an icon to the left of the take photo/video button. This brings it more in line with other cameras applications, makes one-handed use easier, and also seems more natural with the new ability to take photo while recording video.
  • The switch camera button has moved to the right of the take photo/video button. Again, this makes one-handed use easier (and reduces clutter, as the space is shared with the pause video icon when recording video).
  • Changing ISO is now under the exposure panel (the "-/+" icon). As well as bringing together related options, this makes manual control easier (as you can switch to manual mode and then change ISO and exposure manually from the same panel).... read more
Posted by mark 2017-11-05

Version 1.40

Version 1.40 is released!

The improvements are:

  • Improvements to HDR (fixed problems with HDR photos coming out too dark).
  • Polish translation (thanks to Jacek Buczyński).
  • Changing color effect or white balance is now faster, and no longer closes the popup (unless switching to manual white balance); for Camera2 mode, changing scene mode is also similarly faster.
  • Pause icon now changes when pausing video (thanks to Johan Ejdemark).
  • Various other performance improvements.
  • Various bug fixes.... read more
Posted by mark 2017-08-22

Vibrance HDR

A side project I've been working on recently is Vibrance HDR, which allows you to create High Dynamic Range images from three auto-exposure bracketed (AEB) images.

It uses the same algorithms as Open Camera's HDR mode, but with more configuration (e.g., choice of HDR strength, or using different tonemapping options, as well as other post-processing options to tweak brightness, contrast and so on). You can take AEB photos using Open Camera's exposure bracketing ("Expo {}") photo mode, or any other camera app that supports it: Vibrance's Help has a guide on how to take AEB photos with Open Camera, Camera FV-5, A Better Camera, Snap Camera HDR.... read more

Posted by mark 2017-06-11

Version 1.38

Version 1.38 is released!

If you're using Camera2 API, there's now support for manual white balance temperature.

If you're not using Camera2 API, I've now made HDR and Exposure Bracketing available for those devices (Android 5 is still required for HDR). Note that using Camera2 API for these modes is still faster, as it can use the fast burst functionality to take the multiple photos. But nonetheless, this hopefully brings HDR and exposure bracketing to many more devices.... read more

Posted by mark 2017-05-20

Version 1.37

Version 1.37 is released!

Most improvements are geared towards improving the behaviour of the Camera2 API - especially for the OnePlus 3T, but hopefully this improves some things for other devices too. Flash auto mode also now shows a flash symbol to indicate when flash will fire (Camera2 mode only).

Also fixes a couple of crashes. And continuous focus is now the default focus mode for new installs.

Posted by mark 2017-02-17

Version 1.36

Version 1.36.2 is released!

  • Auto-alignment for HDR images.
  • Now supporting Android 7's Quick settings tiles: tiles for photo, video and selfie mode.
  • Pause/resume video recording now supported for Android 7 (yes, I know that some camera apps have pause video for older versions - basically Android 7 makes pausing video much easier to do).
  • New option to mirror photos for front camera.
  • New option to calibrate the level angle (accelerometer).
  • New option to display on-screen pitch lines and compass direction lines.
  • New option "Video subtitles". This creates a subtitle file (in .SRT format) displaying date and time; and also GPS location and direction if those options are enabled. Most video players should support SRT files, and use them to display the information as subtitles (for Android, MX Player will do this; note that Google Photos does not seem to support subtitles).
  • When using Camera2 API, the popup menu now has "ISO M" option to switch straight to manual exposure mode, defaulting to the current ISO value.
  • Focus mode is now remembered for video mode.
  • Fixed "Loud noise" audio control which wasn't working.
  • New option to disable showing the "take photo" button (if you'd rather use other methods - e.g., volume keys, or a hardware shutter button on your device).
  • And various other fixes and improvements.... read more
Posted by mark 2017-01-02

Version 1.35

Version 1.35 is released!

  • Support for Android 7 (now targetting SDK 24; fix for seekbars not showing properly on Android 7).

  • Improvements to HDR - the older version was a bit hit and miss with how colours came out, the new version does better.

  • New "Enable fast HDR/expo burst" option under "Photo settings" - this is enabled by default, but if your device has problems taking photos in HDR or Exposure Bracketing photo modes, try disabling this. When my Nexus 6 was upgraded to Android 7, I experienced problems, such as exposures coming out in wrong order (and with wrong Exif shutter speed info), and sometimes the camera device dying. Disabling this option disables the use of Camera2's burst (captureBurst).... read more

Posted by mark 2016-11-05

Open Camera now uses Android Studio

Just in case anyone is using the Open Camera source for other projects - I've now made the switch to using Android Studio (Eclipse no longer works properly with Android 7 devices - logging and tests don't work - but it's a good thing to make the transition anyway, now that Eclipse is no longer supported by Google for Android development).

The Git tags pre_Android_Studio and post_Android_Studio mark the transition. I've also integrated the test project into the same repository now, rather than being separate.

Posted by mark 2016-10-22

Version 1.34

Version 1.34 is released!

New features:

  • Exposure bracketing (Camera2 only).
  • Screen flash to simulate flash for front cameras without flash.
  • HDR now supports flash.

For Camera2 API, I've added an "alternative flash method" (under Settings/Photo settings). Unfortunately it still seems to be the case that many manufacturers have poor support for Camera2, with flash being one of the most problematic. This option enables a workaround (instead of the usual precapture/flash routines, we use torch mode).... read more

Posted by mark 2016-10-11

Version 1.33 - HDR

Version 1.33 is released!

The main new feature is a HDR mode - this requires you to be in Camera2 mode (Settings/Use Camera2 API). You can switch between "Standard" and "HDR" photo modes from the popup (three dots) menu.


Screenshots demonstrating HDR
... read more

Posted by mark 2016-09-03

Version 1.32

Version 1.32.1 is released!

This adds support for RAW (DNG) files. This is only available in Camera2 mode, and if your device supports it - I've tested it on my Nexus 6. Note that most Gallery apps don't recognise DNG files - you won't even see them listed. Instead, use specialised RAW viewer or editing applications such as Google Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. (Note that Snapseed will only show the JPEGs when you try to open a photo - but it will automatically instead load the corresponding DNG file if it exists; Lightroom shows both the JPEG and DNG files separately.) Or transfer to a PC to use DNG editing applications there.... read more

Posted by mark 2016-07-25

Version 1.31

Version 1.31 is released!

The main new improvement is that photos are now processed in the background, meaning the preview restarts sooner (especially if options such as auto-stabilise of photo stamp is on).

Continuous focus mode now supports touching to autofocus (this also helps if flash is on, now touching to focus in continuous mode will turn the flash on if necessary, as with auto focus mode).

There's a new option for filenames to be based on UTC (Zulu) time (thanks to David Pletcher). The Russian translation is updated (thanks to Grigorii Chirkov). And various other fixes.

Posted by mark 2016-06-24

Version 1.30

Version 1.30.1 is released!

This fixes a crash since 1.29 on some devices on startup (it seemed to be very rare, but apologies if it affected you).

Focus/metering regions and face detection now works properly with the Camera2 API when zoomed.

Otherwise, a few minor UI fixes/tweaks. Most notably, the "popup" button now uses the "three vertical dots" icon. This is a standard way on Android of indicating "more options", so hopefully it's better for new users.

Posted by mark 2016-06-08

Version 1.29

Version 1.29 is now released. Improvements are:

  • Proper support for continuous picture focus mode. Previously continuous focus mode was always using the video mode, which isn't optimised for taking photos. Also taking a photo now waits for any in-progress focusing to complete, and there's a graphical effect to indicate when focusing occurs.

  • Fixes for Camera2 API - the flash now works much better (at least on my Nexus 6), sluggish zooming was also fixed. There are still known issues (sometimes flash auto results in pictures where the photo isn't lit even though flash fired for focus - I reproduced this sometimes happening in Google Camera too; and I realised that touch to focus regions and face detection doesn't work properly when zoomed in, that'll be fixed for the next version!), but it's good enough now on my Nexus 6 for me to be using as standard. Other devices may differ though - on Samsung devices for example, flash doesn't seem to work properly still (precapture never starts), and I've had reports that video recording doesn't work.... read more

Posted by mark 2016-05-11

Version 1.28

Version 1.28 is now released[1]. Improvements include:

  • Fixed a bug when using Storage Access Framework and SD cards, where images only showed up in the gallery etc after a reboot.

  • Fixed a bug in 1.27 where pre-Android 6 devices had trouble getting a location fix[2].

  • If Open Camera is running when the screen is locked, thumbnails of existing photos won't be shown. So if you're wondering why this changed, this isn't a bug, it's a security feature.... read more

Posted by mark 2016-04-02

Version 1.27

Version 1.27 is now released. Mainly this fixes a crash with Android 6 when accessing the popup menu.

I fixed a problem with focusing on Camera2 API.

This adds German translation (thanks to Ronny Steiner and Sebastian Ahlborn) and improved selfie stick button support (thanks to Lau Keat Hwa), along with an improved app icon (thanks to Adam Lapinski).

Posted by mark 2015-11-06

Cai Lan Gong - World's First Feature Film Shot with a Smartphone at 4K Resolution

Cai Lan Gong is the World's First Feature Film Shot with a Smartphone at 4K Resolution.

The team used Open Camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note 5, and I'm pleased to have been able to play a small part in this. Check out some behind the scenes photos. Cai Lan Gong was released on 22 October. See the official world record award below:... read more

Posted by mark 2015-10-25

Version 1.26

Version 1.26 is now released! The main new features are:

Android 5 users should now be able to save to SD cards, as this version adds support for the Storage Access Framework. To enable, go to Settings/More camera controls, and tick "Use Storage Access Framework".

There's support for "touch to capture" - under Settings/More camera controls, you can choose to take a photo by single or double tapping.... read more

Posted by mark 2015-07-12

Cai Lan Gong

One of the rewarding experiences for me is hearing about the various ways people are using Open Camera. Upcoming horror movie Cai Lan Gong by Rexinema is shot in 4K on Samsung Galaxy Note 4s, and they're using Open Camera. You can see the first trailer at:

http://youtu.be/6cBJZHm7Yss (ETA: That video seems to be private now, try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRjMGhEJK7U )

And behind the scenes: http://youtu.be/IUujDlIyA_0

Posted by mark 2015-05-10

Version 1.25 - experimental Camera2 support

Highlights in recent versions since I last posted include:

1.21: New option to stamp photos with date/time and GPS location. New widget to automatically launch Open Camera and take a photo straight away. New Material Design application icon.

1.22: Optional support for Android's immersive mode (requires Android 4.4).

1.23: Fixes for Nexus 5/6 in low light. Uses Material Design theme style on Android 5. Options to customise filenames, and more options for stamping.... read more

Posted by mark 2015-04-27

Version 1.20

Version 1.20 is now released!

Main new feature is a new popup menu (the "dot" icon) that allows quick access to flash, focus, ISO, white balance, scene mode, color effect, camera resolution, timer.

So this means you can switch to any flash or focus mode in two clicks rather than having to cycle through. Also there's the benefit of not having to inadvertently turn on the torch when cycling flash, or having to go past "continuous video" focus, which is slow to change to. (A theoretical downside is that cycling to the next flash or focus now requires two clicks instead of one, but overall I think it's a lot better.)... read more

Posted by mark 2014-09-21

Version 1.19

Version 1.19 is now released. Improvements since I last posted (version 1.17) include:

  • Improvement to the icons - they now have a more consistent look, so I hope they look better now!
  • New option for "crop guides" (guides that show an overlayed rectangle with a different aspect ratio - useful if you plan on cropping the photo/video to a different aspect ratio).
  • New option to rotate the preview by 180 degrees (someone requested this - useful if using adapters that invert the image).
  • Spanish translation (thanks to Mario Sanoguera).
  • Fixed some crashes and other bugs.
Posted by mark 2014-09-09

Version 1.17

Version 1.17 is now released, which fixes a bug in the Save location chooser (gave error if the folder didn't exist), and a bug on some devices where the photo was being taken out of focus.

New options are added for volume keys: focus, and switch auto-stabilise on/off. Changing flash mode is now supported while recording video (so torch can be switched on/off).

Some minor improvements to the UI look: removed the square from the photo/video icon, and using some more natural red/green/blue colours.

Posted by mark 2014-08-26