Unimpressed With Your Smartphone Camera? These Apps Could Help

January 17, 2019 by

It's one of those days. You want glamorous photos for social media, but your older phone camera just won't cut it. Dark shots, blurry facial features and a lack of detail, to name a few bothersome worries. It seems like everyone else has candid photos filled with vibrant colors and lush elements but you!

Luckily, there are tons of apps on both the App Store and the Google Play Store that can help you take better photos. These apps offer more features and use algorithms to enhance your photos, like taking multiple and compositing them into one detailed image to name one popular feature. There are tons of apps to choose from, so let's take a look at a few on the market.

Open Camera

Open Camera is free app for Android that includes different levels of focus, scenes, auto-stability and different controls for ease of usage when taking your favorite photos. It also has a compression algorithm that makes your photos smaller and take much less space on your phone, not to mention, its array of controls that make your Instagram photoshoots glorious and easy. You can toggle the UI to display on the left in case you're a southpaw and would prefer the buttons on the left of your screen. Coupled with this is the fact that it's free, so go ahead and give it a try.

Camera MX

Camera MX has been around for a few years now and is frequently updated with improvements. Its main strength is the inclusion of multiple shooting modes for both photos and for video. You can then convert these into different formats like GIFs, so you can upload your favorite meme directly to your social media accounts or Reddit. There's also an impressive photo editor that lets you make tweaks on the go without the need to open Photoshop or fiddle around with Instagram's confusing filters and contrast settings.

Filmic Pro

Filmic Pro is an in-depth app for iOS and Android that retails at a whopping $18.99! Yet this expensive app isn't without an exciting list of features. For instance, it has different sliders that can tweak exposure, lighting, color balance and even gamma exposure. There's also a waveform monitor that brightens portions of your capture that are darker, and it has a focus peak that removes unwanted lighting and rubble from the focal point of your camera. This app is for the advanced photographer who desires maximum quality and control over their photos and is perhaps a bit out of touch for the average user; still, it's a powerful app nonetheless that merits a try if you have the budget.


VSCO is a half camera and half social media platform that allows users to capture photos and edit them with an array of interesting filters, effects and preferences before sharing them with their peers and the rest of the planet. The app itself is free and will allow you to post photos, yet you can also upgrade to VSCO X for $25 a year, which comes loaded with more filters, editing features and early access to new updates before they are released for the free version. Best for those serial photo-takers who constantly document their lives through albums and want a place to record it online.


This unique app does something that most other apps doesn't; it takes multiple shots at once and combines the exposures to create one extremely detailed HDR photo. You can toggle the different camera modes, ranging from 20 MP to 32 MP and even 60 MP, but be wary that it composites the different takes, meaning that it's ideal to hold your smartphone as steady as possible, or you'll risk getting blurred images. The result is a high quality image from any camera, comparable to photos taken by the newest generation of smartphone cameras. There's also different lighting modes that you can choose from, in addition to other parameters that you can tweak and edit to get your perfect shot.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Everyone's familiar with Adobe Photoshop—this app is now conveniently available at the palm of your hand. It caters to photo editing instead of a built-in camera function, chalk-full with familiar features, a variety of fun filters, and tools from the desktop version. The app itself is free, but most of the tools and features are locked behind a paywall, so expect to spend a hefty bit of money to unlock them.

Adobe Lightroom CC

On the contrary, there's also Adobe Lightroom CC for mobile, an app tailored towards photographers that includes a built-in camera and quick, on-the-go style tweaking options for your photos. This means tons of filters, editing tools, enhancing and adjustments. It also syncs with the desktop version, so you can quickly transfer photos between the two. The app is better for practical adjustments and edits as opposed to Photoshop Express, which emphasizes serious editing of photos.

When it comes to taking photos, there are tons of other apps available for you to explore. Don't be limited by your hardware!