More than slightly rivalling Instagram’s photo filters, Google has released the Google Camera app to brings lens blur, panorama and more to Android devices.
Give anyone with a bit of technological know how and an ounce of vanity a chance and the second you’re not looking you’ll probably find them on Instagram, snapping photos and double tapping away as they make good use of the photo-sharing apps crop, rotate and filter functions. In fact, with Instagram’s weekly photography challenges, the service is one of the most popular reasons to own a smartphone or tablet with a decent camera. But what if users want more than what Instagram can offer them? What if sepia-tinged selfies just won’t cut it? In all honesty, there aren’t really a lot of alternatives as plenty of people just invest in Photoshop and a decent DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) but now, the Google Camera app is looking to change that by bringing lens blur, panorama and more to Android powered devices.
While the benefits of getting the Google Camera app (which is free) are apparent, its features are more than a bargain. The headline feature of lens blur allows users to distort the depth of field by focusing on one object in the foreground and managing to blur everything else in the background behind it. Typically used to put emphasis on a subject or object, Google Camera’s lens blur feature is said to work remarkably well, not just beating Instagram’s offerings but that of expensive DSLRs too. Panorama is a much needed staple, letting you capture things far and wide in order to knit them together like a single shot when in reality the final edit is made up of a few images. It makes taking photos of a gorgeous landscape far easier and is useful if you don’t have any photo editing skills or know how. Finally, the third big feature in the Google Camera app is Photo Sphere. Photo Sphere actually works a lot like Panorama in that it knits multiple shots together but instead of only capturing things from left to right, Photo Sphere accommodates up and down too, meaning that you can capture the beautiful view in front of you as well as the sky above and the ground below your feet, providing a clear depiction of just what you did or where you went that day.
The only catch to the Google Camera app is that it’s only available on certain Android devices. Compatible with smartphones and tablets that run Android KitKat 4.0 or higher, those who have yet to upgrade their Android devices or those who are unable to will miss out on the Google branded picture fun. It’s unclear whether Google are looking to release the app for earlier versions of Android but we’ll keep you posted once we know more.