App Review: Camera 360

Know what makes me jealous? Phones with software that enable “Tap to Focus” in the camera like the iPhone and HTC Sense devices. Though that maybe where my jealously ends it’s still to the extent that I kept a dated, laggy Touch Pro2 around for a long time JUST because of its camera’s “tap to focus” abilities. Sure I could root my Nexus One and add a Rom that supports the feature but for me the beauty in the Nexus One is that I didn’t have to Root it like I did the MT3G and the T-Mobile G1 to make it perform the way it should by default. Thankfully Android App Developers mAPPn, Inc have come to save the day with its new app Camera 360 Pro and they’ve been kind enough to bake in “Tap to Focus” as well many other great additions.

So as you can probably gather, Camera 360 Pro is an all in one camera replacement for Android that, as far as I know, supports most if not all devices on the market. 360 has an amazing array of Camera options to choose from including a mode that allows for selection of a certain area in a photo and after taking the photo, depending on which option you select, 360 will either pop that color in the photo and grey scale everything else or vice versa. I happen to use the app Color Pop for this but 360 does it in  a very clever way that doesn’t require post shot editing and looks good all the while. There are features like background scenery and fun options like fish eye, photo symmetry and Andy Warhol style 4 color tiles. Heck if you wanna throw a random ghost in your photo’s to creep out your friend”s you can do that as well. With all the Fun Silly stuff aside, 360 is a lot more feature filled than the default Camera and still stays competitive with other camera apps.

Zooming is supported and is done via the volume rocker, you either hate this or Love it. I Personally never actually use the digital zoom on phones as it does nothing more than crop the photo and lose the photo’s resolution but in any case, its a good addition if you don’t mind losing the ability to control your devices volume. If your device is capable, 360 will take advantage of your GPS chip for Geo-tagging and the phones Flash for low light situations. As Stated “Tap to focus” is enabled and works as you would expect, as well as giving you the traditional Auto-Focus options and then an option for totally disabling the focus mechanism all together for quicker shots. A feature I really fell in love with was “Tilt-Shift Mode” which basically brings up a window through the view finder and images in side of the window will be in focus whereas the background and images not in the windows will be out of focus,  so much potential for amazing shots with that feature alone. 360 has a pretty decent effects mode outside of the normal things like Black & white and sephia, including options to auto enhance image contrast, HDR Simulations (Light and Heavy), Night Modes and many others. I really like that after the shot and the post processing, the app presents the image with options to delete, Save or Send, however the best addition is that if you touch the image it shows the original image and when you release your finger it switches back to edited image. Nice!

Overall, I really love this app and find it bring the potential out of your Android devices hardware (in my case the Nexus One) BUT and its a big but, the app is very buggy. From random crashes to slight delays and hang ups, this app has beta written all over it at a version 1.0 price point. I’d say about 80% of the time it works as normal without any hiccups however when it does its a little annoying because not every shot I’m going to take is gonna wait until my camera reboots. Do I regret giving away my hard earned $3.99? Not at all, the app already  updated once that addressed a lot of the bugs and I’m optimistically thinking that the bugs relate to Android’s massive hardware selection of various resolutions and features so all it will take is time and patience. I give the app bugs and all a 7/10 and if they get those worked out, I don’t see why this couldn’t be the best Camera app on the Android Market.

Check out the free and Pro versions of Camera 360 live in the Android Market, Give it a shot! A few screenshots and images can be found HERE.

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