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Camera Zoom FX for Android review

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We review Camera Zoom FX for Android, a camera and effects app with more features than you can shake a stick at.

Although there are hundreds of Android photo apps, some allowing you to take photos in-app, others only enabling you to edit pictures from your gallery, Camera Zoom FX has the most options we’ve seen from a third party application.

Basic functionality
Open up the app and you’re taken to the camera app. More functions are offered from Camera Zoom FX than most pre-installed cameras, giving you the flexibility to manually adjust many of the settings yourself.
Along the top of the screen you’ll find the basics – flash settings, change cameras and stabilisation options.
The latter function helps you get the straightest, sharpest image possible, with a horizon tool, guiding you to line the horizon up with a horizontal line, stabilisation that senses when the camera is being jerked around and two different grid options.

Along the bottom of the screen are the more in depth levels settings, allowing you to change the size of the picture, whether to autosave when you capture a shot or not and focus options. You can choose whether to pre-focus the photo and use the shutter button to capture the photo or to focus and capture the photo when you tap on the screen.
You can also adjust the focus type. Choose between Auto, Infinity, Normal and Macro depending on the subject of your photo.

Beneath focus in the adjust levels menu is the list of filters you can add to your photo before taking the picture. Although it’s not as extensive as some post-processing apps, there are plenty of scene modes lower down the list to add to the filters.
When you activate a filter, it will show you what the picture will look like in real time – although we found after selecting the filter, the app often crashed, forcing us to restart it or use a task killer to force quit the app.

Our favourite filters were posterize that makes the photo look like a cartoon, taking out the gradients and neon that highlights the edges in your photo to give a glowing effect.
Scene modes allow you to set the camera to take pictures depending on your environment and the conditions. Each scene mode changes the settings including white balance, brightness and exposure and there’s a huge number to chose from, including fireworks, action, beach, flowers and HD, with all shown as a real time preview when you select them.

This is all well and good, but as soon as you activate one of the modes, the refresh rate of the screen slows down, giving it a lag reminiscent of mobile cameras from 2006.

Delving Deeper
Other options you can change from the settings menu include white balance, anti-banding if you’re taking a picture of a TV or computer screen for example and night shot for taking pictures in the dark. You can also manually adjust the metering – either select frame-average where is assesses the light in the full frame to change the brightness, centre-weighted which is the default and spot-metering where you can select the area to use.

The second menu along the bottom on Camera Zoom FX allows you to activate image stabilisation with Stable Shot, the timer, voice activation (so you can take a picture using voice commands rather than tapping the shutter button), Burst to take multiple pictures in quick succession, Collage and Time Lapse to take multiple pictures over time.
Oddly, you can only activate one of these at a time, meaning you can’t stabilise time lapse shots.

Tap on the FX button and you can add yet more effects to your photos from the presets including favourites such as Holga, Old Film Reel, Dated Polaroid and Dramatic Sky. Like most good photography apps, you can also download more presets from the Camera Zoom FX store. All these effects are available from the edit photo screen too, or you can produce your own effects by adjusting the colour, effect (including mirroring the image, adding distortion or tilt shift), adding a frame, lighting effects via the composite menu or adjusting the levels.

Summing Up
Although Camera Zoom FX has some great tweaks available in the edit menu, it really does make sense to set the filter and effects from the picture-taking menu. Not only can you see what your photo will look like, but post-processing can make the picture look over-edited.If he developer of Camera Zoom FX can iron out dome of the crash bugs, the app is surely one of the most extensive camera tools available on Android.

Camera Zoom FX Highlights

How to create a collage in Camera Zoom FX
You can create a collage in Camera Zoom FX using either the camera function or in post-processing. To create a collage from the camera app, choose the collage option from the settings menu (second item on the bottom of the screen if in portrait mode) and take four photos, one after the other, as directed on screen. Now, tap on the 1234 icon in the left corner.When you’re taken to the edit screen, you can choose what kind of layout you’d like by selecting FX > Collage. You can also superimpose the pictures from this menu to create a layers, multiple exposure masterpiece.

How to create a Polaroid photo in Camera Zoom FX
You can create a Polaroid-style photo with Camera Zoom FX either from within the app or by importing a picture into the gallery. To set up for a Polaroid camera, tap on the FX button and Ready Made. Now select Dated Polaroid and you’ll have the effect of a retro Polaroid picture.

How to produce an HDR shot in Camera Zoom FX
Like many of the other effects in Camera Zoom FX, you can take an HDR shot using the app either when you’re taking the picture in camera mode. Just select HDR in the Scene Modes settings menu within the Adjust Levels menu.

Getting the Basics Right

How to adjust the Contrast and Brightness with Camera Zoom FX

The contrast and brightness can be changed in the Adjust Levels menu in the camera part of the Camera Zoom FX app.

How to switch to the front camera with Camera Zoom FX to take a selfie
The switch camera icon is the middle icon in the top right corner if you’re in portrait mode or the left side if you’re in landscape mode. By default, the camera will use the back main camera, so tap the icon to switch to the front camera to take a selfie.

How to adjust the flash with Camera Zoom FX
You can turn the flash on and off or onto auto by tapping the first icon in the cluster in the top right side of the screen. If you’re in landscape mode, they will appear down the left side.

How to Adjust the picture quality with Camera Zoom FX
The picture quality can be adjusted in the Adjust levels from within the camera part of Camera Zoom FX. It’s the first option and although by default, it’s set to the highest resolution, you can make it smaller be selecting any of the options below.
27th Nov 2013, 16:35