Archive for Google Android
Howdy folks! This week we will take a look at another Droid photo app, Camera Advance Lite. Once you download and install the app on your phone the first thing you will notice is the main screen is pretty busy. However all the major functions of the app are located along the left margin of your screen. The functions include: shooting mode, scene mode, color effect, focus mode, white balance mode, flash mode, OSD, photo size, picture quality, and preferences. So far so good right? The app gives you much more flexibility for your shots than the standard plain Jane Droid camera. Additionally, you press the menu key from the main screen and you get three additional options: activate, camera roll, and preferences (which also can be accessed from the left margin menu). Activate of course will allow you to get the full version of the app, camera roll allows you to visit the photo gallery, and preferences allows you to tweak all your individual settings from: burst to key volume and everything in between. I left everything default, but if you download and use this app feel free to experiment of course.
The self time works well and can be set for 2, 5, 10, or 15 second delays. The burst mode works pretty well too and the number of photos taken can be set anywhere from 3 to 10 in a row. The app seems to process those quite quickly. Unfortunately I could not get the reduced noise setting to work…so strike 1. The panorama setting has a guide that allows you to more easily line up the photos to lace together and make your larger pic. It requires a bit of practice but works alright. The transparency of the guide can be adjusted in the preferences area of the app. I set it on low and still had problems matching up the photos exactly because its very bright and sunshiny right now.
With practice I’m sure panoramas would turn out pretty well, at least as well as I’ve seen with the Droid apps I’ve reviewed so far. Read More→
Welcome back to another installment of Droidography. I think there will never be a shortage of apps for me to review and its getting harder to narrow it down. This week I will be reviewing a photo app called
PRO Paint and seeing if its is worth its Salt.
Once you launch PRO Paint, you are given 4 options. They are: Take a Pic, Use Existing Pic, Blank Canvas, or Upgrade to PRO Zoom Camera 5x. Also from the opening screen you can access preferences by using the phones menu button. Lets visit the preferences area first and see what we have there.
In the preferences menu, you have three areas of settings: Picture Settings, App Settings, and Contact the Developer. Picture settings obviously adjusts the picture settings such as image resolution, jpeg quality, and lets you toggle the autofocus on or off by default. The app settings area is slightly more lengthly, but not overly so. In a nutshell your app setting menu lets you turn on or off to your liking different buttons to take pics, whether you show a preview of the image or not, where the image saves, etc. Lastly in the preferences menu you can choose to contact the Developer via his website, email, Twitter, or Facebook.
Once you have chosen your preferred settings, you can use the back button to return to the main menu where we are once again faced with the four choices mentioned above. Lets take a pic and see how that works first. Once we touch that menu option we are brought to a camera screen which gives us several options including filters (sepia, mono, negative, green-tint, etc), exposure settings, flash settings, AF, and finally a video setting. So lots of options here. After you choose whatever options you would like then you can save the photo, delete, picwiz (more about that shortly), edit, or share it. If you save the photo it saves the photo in your gallery and you still are in the camera screen and if you delete obviously it gets rid of your photo. Read More→
Welcome back to my column. How many times have you wanted to print a photo directly from your Droid to your printer? I had wanted to do that an stumbled upon the iPrint Photo from HP a couple months ago. Its pretty cool! However, you need some specific hardware for it to work.
First you will need a HP Wireless Printer…ours is an HP OfficeJet 4500 Wireless running on our Wireless DSL home network. Then you will need to download the app and be within range of your wireless network when you want to print.
Once you install and launch the app, you will be asked to select a photo. Once you have done that, you can click on the photo to edit it. If you choose to edit it you can crop it to print just the image you want. If you choose to leave it as is, from the main screen you can click on one of the two other buttons available on the main screen at this point. Print is the lowest one on the screen and its obvious what it does. The other button allows you to go into settings and select your printer. You MUST have your phone’s Wi-Fi on in order to print or search for printers on the network, just FYI.
Once your wireless printer is found, you can select paper size, image size, paper type, # of copies, and paper source. Additionally, you can view these settings from the main screen. All in all its a pretty neat way to get a hard copy of that cool pic you snapped with your Droid. Read More→
Both the fortunate and unfortunate thing about smart phones (esp. Droids) is there are tons and tons of apps out there. So far as photography goes, I have not found an app that does everything (yet!)
This week I am going to tell you about and review the features of an app called Photoaf. It strictly does one thing…makes panoramas. I have been looking for a good panorama app since I moved from my Envy3 over a year ago to the Droid. As the Envy3 has a built in panorama feature.
Once you install and launch the app, the menu is pretty simple and the app is very easy to use. The menu and controls are rather straight forward which is always a good plan. Making the panorama takes a bit of practice but it turns out pretty good, more on that later.
When launching the app you are presented with a menu with 6 main buttons and two smaller buttons for “help” and “about”. Lets go through the function of these buttons.
The first button starting from the top left says “Create Panorama”. If you click this button a new window pops up and asks you to give a file name to your panorama. A default one is generated and you can use it or erase that and create your own. Once you have come up with a name for your file, the camera window will launch which is very similar to your default camera on the Droid, with some helpful additions. Read More→
If you have read my previous two columns on this subject “Droidography – Shooting Tips with Droid Phones” and “Droidography – Shooting Tips with Droid Phones, Part Deux“, hopefully you thought the information was useful enough to read this third and final one on Shooting Tips with Droid Phones (or any cell phone camera!). Cell Phone cameras have come a long way and they are only going to get better!
9. Im Ready for my Closeup, Mr. Director – Most of the new Droids have a Macro Setting which is very useful for closeup shots. You will have to manually select it in order to be sure it turns on for those closeups photos you seek. Also as mentioned in an earlier column, don’t forget to turn it back off or set your lens to auto. Otherwise your longer distance shots are going to be noisy, blurry, and just all around look crappy. Usually if you leave you camera setting on “auto” it will automatically adjust for the shot but not always. Sometimes you may have to manually select it for the shot you want.
If you read last week’s post you saw some tips (hopefully helpful ones!) I plan on continuing that this week and at least next week also. I have a Droid and I use to it take a lot of my photos, but these tips can help you with improving your photos with any cell phone based camera. We got to be Zombie extras in a feature film shooting locally in Pittsburg TX called Humans vs. Zombies and will be using some shots from today as our examples.
5. Keep it Clean – If you are like me and have a cell phone with an abnormally large case, it gets stuffed in a pants pocket, backpack, or purse on a regular basis. In doing so you can gather a lot of FUNK, for lack of a better word, on your camera lens. Therefore it is very important to clean it with a regular camera lens cleaner, cleaning cloth, or some other approved method. Be careful as many cell phone lenses are plastic and can scratch easily. Blow lightly first to remove any surface FUNK. Just removing the buildup of dirt, hairballs, and other assorted FUNK can go a long way toward improving your photos. Also if you have any cases on your phone that will remove easily, do so often to remove any FUNK buildup between the case and the phone. WARNING: Do not use water or any harsh cleaners to remove the FUNK from your phone. This can kill it! Trust me on that.
So far if you have been reading my columns, I have reviewed several apps that are out there. Trust me there are tons more and most of them are free or cheap unlike the iphone. This week I thought I would take a break from that and give a few pointers on getting good cell phone pictures, particularly focusing (no pun intended) on Droid phones. I think the best way to approach this subject is to offer a few suggestions in each of my next few columns. Hopefully these tips can improve you photos and help realize what the limitations (currently) they have.
1. Don’t Zoom! – If you have been spending anytime at all looking at the settings on your Droid’s phone, you have probably noticed it has a Zoom feature. I am asking something very difficult of you, don’t use it. Here is why…its a digital zoom. Most cameras these days even the point and shoot variety have digital zoom of course, but they also have optical zoom as well. Let me explain the difference and show you example images of a zoomed in shot and an unzoomed shot. Optical zoom uses actual lenses to magnify an image whereas digital zoom gives the appearance of zooming by cropping a photo, adding pixels, and so forth to compensate for lack of a motor-driven lens. Lets look at a couple of examples.
Hello again readers! This week we are going to talk about an app called Retro Camera Plus. I downloaded it as a free app from Amazon, but now it will cost you $2.99. Lets see if the features are worth the price.
First off, once you install and open the app, you will notice an intro screen. You may click anywhere on the screen to start taking pics. In the lower left hand corner you can click on a photo icon which will take you to your Retro Camera Plus Gallery. In the lower right hand corner you will see an icon that will allow you to switch to different types of cameras (more on that later). Lastly, you have a shutter button which allows you to set a self timer of 5, 10, or 20 seconds. Its located just right of camera lens in the app itself.
Once you touch anywhere on the screen to begin taking photos, you may also notice a bubble level which is handy to get those nice and level shots. If you click on the camera type it will bring up a gallery of cameras to choose from. Cameras include: The Barbel, Little Orange Box, Xolaroid 2000, Pinhole Camera, etc. You can learn more about each camera by pressing about this camera below and to the left of it or to use it to take a photo by click use this camera. Once you have selected your camera to use, you also may notice just to the left of the lens a status window saying “ready to shoot” or “busy.” Right below that you will have the option to shoot in colour (color for us Americans) or Black + White.
One thing you will notice is that some cameras will take longer to process the photo than others. For example, The Barbel, took several seconds to process. However, the result is a really cool effect as shown below of a dandelion in my yard, which are currently in great abundance. I’ve included a few more that I took with some other “cameras” in the app.
I am really showing my age here, but I can remember as a kid visiting the local mall and seeing the photobooth. Malls these days are only good for one thing, refuge from Zombie Attacks, but I digress. That being said, I have no idea if photobooth’s are still in such abundance. Fortunately, their is a really neat app available called Pocketbooth. Lets talk about it and it’s features.
Once you install and launch the application, you will see a photo window in the center of your screen. In the upper right hand corner you will see an icon of a hammer and a wrench. Clicking on this icon will bring you to the application settings (more on that later). Located below the photo window there is a start button which activates the photo process. Lastly, in the bottom right hand corner of the screen is a button labeled “photo strips” which is where all your pocketbooth filmstrips reside. Also from this section you can share your photos in the standard ways through facebook, email, twitter, etc.
Now, lets take a look at the settings section of the application. Once you open the settings you will notice six different areas to manipulate. The first one is strip size which is either 3 or 4 shots per strip. Secondly, you can click on photo effect which gives you a choice of Color, Black and White (B&W), Sepia, or Antique. Third, you can choose your paper stock of matte or glossy. Fourth, you can choose a border color of black or white. Fifth, chose your time between shots on the strip. Choices range from 1 to 5 seconds. Lastly, the flash setting lets you turn your flash on, off, or you can choose auto. All of these give you a little flexibility in your photo strips. My wife was happy to help me take a few example shots and I will share those next.
Last time, I talked about Camera Illusion. Now we will talk about its companion app called Photo Illusion. As the name implies it works with the photos already on your Droid in your gallery. Its not very large so should fit on your phone just fine…
If you read my post on Camera Illusion, once you install Photo Illusion and open it, you will see the setup is quite similar. There are three buttons on the screen the two on the lower left margin are of a die and a star just like on Camera Illusion. Both also have the same function. The die randomizes the app’s effects. The star allows you to manually select the filters to apply to your photo. You select the photo you want to make into an illusion by clicking on the select photo button. If you press the menu key at the bottom of your Droid touchscreen it will take you to the application menu which allows you to work on some basic settings such as: image resolution, remember previous illusion, hide/show status bar, and choices of storage type for ASCII art(jpg or html).
Well we have talked about the settings lets now talk about what the photos look like and I can show you a few examples. Its probably best that I show you before and after pics so you can see how radical the change can be after using the app.
The original photo used for example