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Simply point, and press the blue camera icon to take a photo. If your device supports focus areas, you can touch the part of the screen you want to focus. Touching an area will also (if your device supports it) control the exposure level (e.g., so clicking on a bright area will adjust the exposure so that it becomes less bright). To zoom, use the slider next to the take photo button, or do a multi-touch "pinch" gesture. You can also control via the volume keys on your phone or tablet - by default, pressing them will take a photo, but you can change this to zoom in/out from the Settings.
You can press the gallery icon to view your photos (by default saved in the OpenCamera folder) - it will show the most recent image or video. The gallery button's icon will also show a thumbnail for the most recent image/video.
The screen display is kept on when Open Camera is running as the foreground app (if you want to switch off the display, do so on your device manually).
On-Screen User Interface
Switch to video mode - Clicking the smaller video icon will switch to video mode. The photo and video icons will then swap: click the larger video icon to start/stop video recording, and click the smaller photo icon to switch back to photo mode.
Switch camera - Switches between front and back camera (if your device has two cameras).
Exposure compensation, ISO and Manual White Balance - Clicking this will bring a panel with various controls:
To get rid of this panel, either click the Exposure button again, or click elsewhere on the screen.
Exposure lock - Click to lock or unlock the exposure. When locked, the icon will change to . Locking the exposure means the exposure doesn't change based on the brightness of the current scene (though you can still adjust the exposure compensation). Note that this isn't guaranteed to work on all devices (doesn't seem to work on Galaxy S3, Nexus 6).
Popop menu - Opens the popup menu for quick access to changing various options:
See Settings for more info on the other settings.
Settings - Click to open the Settings. (If your phone/tablet has a hardware menu button, pressing that should also open the settings.)
Gallery - Click to launch the Gallery app, to view the most recent photo/video (by default saved in the OpenCamera folder). If you get the message "No Gallery app available", then you should install a Gallery app (e.g., Gallery ICS). You can also "long press" on the Gallery icon - this will let you switch between the recent save locations, or take you straight to a file dialog to choose a save location if additional locations have yet been defined. See Save location under Settings/More camera controls for more details.
Pause video - When recording video, this icon allows you to pause and then resume video recording. (Requires Android 7.0 or higher.)
Take photo snapshot - When recording video, the switch to photo mode icon turns white - selecting it will now take a photo while recording video. Note that different photo modes are not supported when taking photos while recording video, nor is RAW supported. The photo resolution will not in general match the resolution set in preferences, rather it will be set automatically (usually to match the aspect ratio of the video resolution).
In continuous focus mode, a white circle shows to indicate that the camera is focusing. When touching to focus, or in autofocus mode, a white square is shown (depending on the focus mode), which turns green to indicate that the auto-focus was successful, or red if it was not.
The on-screen display also shows the remaining battery left (green/red status bar in the corner), and optionally the zoom level (if zoomed in), the remaining free storage space on the device, and the current angle orientation of the camera. If "Store location data" is enabled (off by default), then a small GPS icon will appear at the top left when the location is available (you can still take photos when the GPS icon doesn't show, it's just that location data won't be stored in the photo). A dot shows to the top-right of the GPS icon to indicate the accuracy (green for accurate, yellow for less accurate). If the location isn't available, a dash will be shown through the gps icon.
All Android cameras will rotate the photo depending on the orientation of the camera, but only to the nearest 90 degrees - so the photos look right whether you hold the device in "portrait" or "landscape" mode. But Open Camera has the option to rotate the photos so they are perfectly level, so your shots come out looking perfectly level every time!
(Note the above screenshot is from a rather old version of Open Camera - the user interface icons look better these days!)
The above shows a rather exaggerated example - in practice, you can probably take better photos, but this feature ensures they come out perfectly level, without you having to edit them afterwards in a photo editor. Of course you won't always want this - perhaps you're going for artistic 45-degree shots - so this is an option. By default it is disabled. To enable, open the Popup menu, and enable "Auto-level". Note that this feature is memory intensive - it will not be available on devices with low memory. Even where it is available, the performance of taking photos will be slower, and there is a risk it may cause the app to fail on devices I haven't been able to test. If you do have problems, you'll have to disable the feature again.
Also note that the feature reduces the available space in the image - because rotating an image makes it no longer fit into a rectangular image, so we have to crop it. So it's still advisable to try to hold the camera reasonably level when using this feature.
Note that auto-stabilising will not occur if the device is pointing up or down.
Dynamic Range Optimisation (DRO) is a technique that optimise the dynamic range available in the image. In particular, dark regions will have their brightness boosted to bring out the detail. This mode is useful for capturing scenes with a wide range of brightness (e.g., on a bright sunny day) as well as being useful to automatically optimise photos in low light scenes. Also see DRO vs HDR.
Note that if Camera2 API is used, DRO will give improved performance in bright scenes.
High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDR) is a technique where the camera takes multiple shots at different exposures, and combines them into a single image. A typical problem in photography is that a scene may contain a brightness range that is wider than what can be captured in a single shot. Varying the exposure (whether by touching on the screen, or exposure compentation or manual exposure) might make darker regions brighter, but leave other areas over-exposured. Or reducing the exposure to prevent over-exposure may result in the rest of the scene being too dark. HDR uses an algorithm to combine the best parts of each image, and adjusts the colours so that the full range of brightness values are captured in the scene:
The left set of three images show the individual exposures, the right the final HDR image. Note that on the middle picture on the left, the sky is completely over-exposed (making a nice blue sky look like white clouds), as is the bark in the tree centre-left and the grass. Meanwhile the tree branches in the foreground is a bit too dark.
Some things to note about Open Camera's HDR feature:
DRO vs HDR
Both DRO and HDR share in common that they are ways to handle wide ranges of brightness. They each have their pros and cons:
Face detection - If this is enabled, then the camera will automatically try to detect faces, and use them for the focus, metering (exposure) and white balance. Faces will be drawn as yellow squares when detected. Note that if this option is enabled, then you will not be able to touch to manually select the focus area, and the white balance option will have no effect (since the face recognition will be used to determine these). Also note that if you are using an accessibility service such as Google Talkback, information about the number and location of detected faces will be reported when face detection is enabled.
Timer - Set a timer for taking photos or recording video. Press the take photo/video button again to cancel the timer.
Burst mode - Take a repeated set of photos when the take photo button is pressed. Press the take photo button again to cancel.
Burst mode interval - Specify the delay (if any) between photos in burst mode. Note that true burst mode isn't yet supported, so if no delay is selected, there will still be a short delay. The actual speed that the photos are taken at will depend on the performance of your device's camera. If a delay is selected, note that this does not include the time taken to auto-focus and take each photo.
More camera controls... - Select to access the following controls:
Touch to capture - This option allows you to take a photo either just by touching or double-tapping on the preview screen. Note that starting/stopping video recording is still performed in the normal way; this option only affects taking photos.
Pause after taking photo - If ticked, after taking a photo the display will pause, with options to share or delete the photo. To keep the photo and continue, touch the screen (or take another photo).
Shutter sound - Whether to play a sound after taking a photo. (Requires Android 4.2 or higher to disable, and even then isn't supported on all devices.) For Camera2 API, this also controls whether to play a sound for start/stop video recording.
Timer beep - Whether to beep when the timer is counting down, or for the burst mode delay (see below).
Voice timer countdown - Whether to give a voice countdown when the timer is counting down, or for the burst mode delay (see below).
Volume keys - You can set what happens when your device's volume keys are pressed:
Audio control options - If enabled, this allows taking a photo (or starting video recording, depending on the mode) by making a noise. An on-screen microphone button will appear, to start/stop listening. The "loud noise" option will listen for any noise (so you can remotely take a photo by saying "cheese", whistling, or whatever you prefer). Note that leaving the listening turned on may use additional battery. The "voice command" option listens specifically for saying "cheese" - so this has the advantage that it's less likely to be triggered unintentionally, but the downside is that in voice command mode, listening is limited to only a few seconds (this is a restriction of speech recognition in Android apps). Note that this can't be used to stop video recording - if you want to have some remote control on video recording, see the "Max duration of video" option.
Audio control sensitivity - This controls how sensitive Open Camera is to noises, if "Audio control" is set to "Loud noise". If you find it's taking photos too often unintentionally, or isn't responding to your sounds, try adjusting this option.
Lock photo/video orientation - Normally the orientation of the photo/video will be rotated by some multiple of 90 degree such that the orientation looks right - e.g. if your device is held in portrait, the resultant image/video will be in portrait. This option allows fixing the camera to either be in portrait or landscape. Note that if auto-level is also enabled, it will have the effect of aligning photos to the nearest 90 degrees.
Save location - Select the folder to store the photos in. Click on a folder (or "Parent Folder") to navigate through the filesystem. Select "New Folder" to create a new folder in the currently displayed folder. Select "Use Folder" to choose the currently displayed folder. Note that on Android, there are some folders that cannot be written to - Open Camera will display a message if you try to use one of these folders. Once you have specified a new save location, you can long press on the Gallery icon to quickly switch between recent save locations. Note that if "Use Storage Access Framework" is selected, this option will instead show up Android's standard file chooser - navigate to the desired folder, and click "SELECT". If you want to save to an SD card, see "How can I save to my external SD card?" under the FAQ.
Use Storage Access Framework - If selected, Open Camera will instead use Android's Storage Access Framework. This has some advantages, such as using the standard Android file picker, and being the only way to save to SD cards on Android 5 - though it may be slightly slower to take photos. (Requires Android 5.0 or higher.)
Save photo prefix - This option allows you to customise save filenames for photos.
Save video prefix - This option allows you to customise save filenames for videos.
Time format for filename - By default, Open Camera uses the local timezone for the save filenames, but you can also select UTC (Coordinated Universal Time / Zulu Time). For the latter option, a "Z" will be appended to the filename (e.g., "IMG_20160524_155116Z.jpg"). The Z (Zulu) suffix is a standard convention for identifying UTC timestamps.
Show camera when locked - If you have a lock screen on your device (e.g., PIN to unlock), Open Camera by default will show above the lock screen - i.e., if locked, you won't have to enter the PIN to use Open Camera. The device still needs to be unlocked in order to go to the Settings or Gallery. If you would prefer Open Camera to always be unavailable when your device is locked, you can disable this option.
Perform auto-focus on startup - Whether Open Camera should auto-focus when starting the camera. Some devices have a bug where the flash turns on when this happens, so a workaround is to disable this option.
Calibrate level angle - The options Auto-level, "Show angle" and "Show angle line" rely on your device's ability to detect which orientation it's being held (the accelerometer). On some device's this might not be calibated correctly. If so, you can use this option to calibrate the acceleromer (or reset the calibration back to the default behaviour).
On screen GUI... - Select to access the following controls:
Preview size - By default, Open Camera matches the aspect ratio of the preview (the image that is displayed on the phone/tablet's display) with that of the photo resolution ("Match photo size (WYSIWYG)" mode). The advantage is that what you see in the preview will match what will be in the resultant photo ("What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get") - though this may mean you will have "black bars" on the display in order to do this. If instead you select "Maximise preview size", then the camera preview will be as large as possible, trying to fill the available space. However if the resolution of the photo is a different aspect ratio to that of your device, this will result in the preview being cropped. In video mode, the preview is always in WYSIWYG mode.
UI placement - Whether to optimise the user interface for left-handed or right-handed use.
Immersive mode - Allows you to choose between various modes which affect the behaviour of the user-interface, in order to make it more immersive (requires Android 4.4 or higher):
Show zoom - Whether to display the current zoom level of the camera (when zoomed in).
Show zoom -/+ controls - Whether to display -/+ buttons to control zoom.
Show zoom slider controls - Whether to display to a slider to control zoom.
Show "Take Photo" icon - Whether to display the icon for taking a photo (or recording video). Uncheck if you'd rather take photos by other methods (e.g., if your device has a hardware shutter button, or using the volume keys).
Show angle - Whether to display the orientation angle of the device's camera.
Show angle line - Whether to display a horizontal "level" line that visually indicates the orientation of the device.
Show pitch lines - Whether to display horizontal pitch lines that visually indicate the pitch of the device.
Angle highlight color - This controls the color to be used for the angle display and "level" line when the camera is nearly level; and also for the 0 degree pitch line when the camera is held at nearly zero pitch.
Show compass direction - Whether to display the compass direction of the device's camera.
Show compass direction lines - Whether to display vertical lines that visually indicate the compass direction of the device.
Show battery - Whether to display the current battery level.
Show time - Whether to display the current time.
Show free memory - Whether to display the remaining storage space of the device.
Show ISO - If selected, the current ISO, exposure time and frame rate (FPS) will be displayed (only available if Camera2 API is used). The text will be shown in red when the auto-exposure routine is scanning. In flash auto mode, a flash symbol will also indicate when flash will fire. Note that this is not an absolute guarantee - when you take a photo, the camera will make an updated decision on whether to fire the flash, which in some cases may disagree with whether the flash symbol was displayed.
Show a grid - Whether to display one of a choice of grids on the camera preview. Grids are useful in photography to help compose your image. Options are:
Show a crop guide - A crop guide is a rectangle displayed on-screen, which has the specified aspect ratio (if different to the photo/video aspect ratio). This is useful if you plan to crop the resultant photos or videos to a particular aspect ratio. For photos, the crop-guide requires "Preview size" to be set to WYSIWYG mode.
Show "toast" messages - Whether to display "toasts" (these are the popup messages that appear with information).
Show thumbnail animation - Whether to display the moving thumbnail animation when taking a photo.
Show border when taking photo - Whether to display a border effect when taking a photo.
Keep display on - Whether to force keeping the screen display on, while the main Open Camera UI is active.
Force maximum brightness - Whether to force the screen display to maximum brightness.
Rotate preview - this option rotates the on-screen preview by 180 degrees (i.e., upside down). Most users won't ever need this, but this option can be useful if you are using Open Camera with equipment such as zoom lenses which invert the image. Note that this doesn't rotate the resultant photos/videos - you'll still have to rotate those yourself afterwards - but this will correct the preview so that you can still see what you are shooting properly.
Photo and Video Settings:
Photo settings - Select to access the following controls:
Camera resolution - Select the resolution of photo images taken by the camera. Note that if auto-level is enabled, images will in general come out as a slightly lower resolution (due to the rotation and cropping that's required).
Image quality - The image quality of saved JPEG images. Higher means better quality, but the image files will take up more storage space. Note that 100% does not necessarily mean there is no lossy compression, rather that there is minimum compression.
RAW - Only available if Camera2 API is used. If set to "JPEG and DNG (RAW)", then photos will also be saved in RAW (DNG) files. DNG stands for "digital negative", and contains the full uncompressed and unprocessed information from your camera. Please note the following points:
Save all images for HDR mode - When using HDR mode, if this option is enabled, then the three base exposure images will be saved as well as the final HDR photo. This is useful if you want to use external HDR applications (such as my own Vibrance HDR for Android, or Luminance HDR for PC) to create the final HDR image (although if you don't want Open Camera's HDR mode at all, you can instead use the Exposure Bracketing Photo Mode). Note this will make saving slower, especially if options like "Stamp photos" or Auto-level are also used.
Exposure Bracketing - Specifies the total number of images to save in Exposure Bracketing Photo Mode (Camera2 API only).
Exposure Bracketing Stops - Specifies the number of stops to subtract/add from the "base" exposure level to the darkest/brightest image, in Exposure Bracketing Photo Mode. An increase of 1 stop means a doubling of the amount of light. So a setting of "2", with 3 images, will produce images with exposure set to [-2, 0, +2]. For 5 images, this will produce [-2, -1, 0, +1, +2].
Front camera mirror - Normally for front cameras, the preview will behave like a mirror, but resultant photos will still be as the camera (or other people) view the scene. This option can be used to mirror the resultant photo, so the resultant photo matches the mirrored image you see on the screen.
Artist - If text is entered in this setting, then the text will be stored in the image's Exif metadata as the "Artist" tag. Not supported for RAW photos (DNG format).
Copyright - If text is entered in this setting, then the text will be stored in the image's Exif metadata as the "Copyright" tag. Not supported for RAW photos (DNG format).
Stamp photos - Option to add a date and timestamp to the resultant photos. If "Store location data" is enabled (see "Location settings" below), then the current location latitude and longitude coordinates, and altitude, will also be stamped on the resultant photos (if the location is known). Similarly for "Store compass direction". Note that if this option is enabled, then it will take longer to save the photo. Also see "Video subtitles".
Datestamp format, Timestamp format - If "Stamp photos" is enabled, these options allow extra control over the date and time formatting.
GPS stamp format - If "Stamp photos" is enabled, this allows extra control over the GPS formatting.
Custom text - Here you can enter some text to be stamped onto resultant photos (e.g., this could be used for a copyright image). Note that if this option is enabled, then it will take longer to save the photo. Also note that this option is only supported for photos, not video.
Font size - Sets the font size used for text for options "Stamp photos" or "Custom text".
Font color - Sets the font color used for text for options "Stamp photos" or "Custom text".
Text style - Whether to render the text on the image with a shadow background effect, for options "Stamp photos" or "Custom text".
Use alternative flash method - (Camera2 API only.) Unfortunately many devices have poor support for the Camera2 API. A common issue is poor flash behaviour (either flash doesn't fire, or photos are over or under exposed). If so, enabling this option may help - this uses an alternative algorithm for flash (using the torch to simulate flash as a workaround). Note that this is enabled by default for Samsung devices.
Enable fast HDR/expo burst - (Camera2 API only.) Disable this option if your device has problems taking photos in HDR or Exposure Bracketing photo modes (disabling this option will result in a longer delay between the photos being taken, but may give more stable behaviour if your device is having problems with this).
Use background thread - Whether to process and save photo in the background. Normally this should be left set to true for faster operation, but it's an option just in case.
Video settings - Select to access the following controls:
Video resolution - Select the resolution of videos taken by the camera.
Enable video stabilization - Video stabilization reduces the shaking due to the motion of the camera in both the preview and in recorded videos.
Video bitrate (approx) - If set to a value other than "default", the default video bitrate is overridden. Higher values mean better quality video, but the files take up more disk space. Note that some values may be unsupported by your device, and may cause the recording to fail - in some cases, this can cause problems with the camera that require a reboot to fix. So please test before using. Also note that the bitrate setting is approximate - the resultant video file will typically be slightly different to that requested.
Video frame rate (approx) - If set to a value other than "default", the camera will try to match this frame rate. Note that this is very approximate, as frame rate depends on many factors such as your device and lighting conditions, so there is no guarantee that the resultant video's frame rate will match with the requested value. Also note that some frame rate values may be unsupported by your device, and cause the recording to fail, so please test before using.
Max duration of video - This option can be used to set a maximum duration of the video. If set, video recording will stop after the specified time (unless already stopped earlier).
Restart video after max duration - If a max duration has been set (see above), this option can be used to make the video automatically stop and restart the specified number of times. So this can be used to take a video for a long period, broken up into multiple video files. If a max duration has not been set, then this option has no effect.
Maximum file size of video - This allows to set a maximum file size for videos. Note that almost all Android devices set a maximum file size (typically around 2GB or 4GB), and there is no way Open Camera can work around such a limitation (and using exFAT doesn't get round it). But this option allows you to set a smaller value. Note that the value is approximate - typically the resultant videos may be slightly smaller. Note that if you using this option together with "Max duration of video", then - if "Restart on maximum file size" is enabled - hitting the maximum file size will cause a restart that doesn't reset the max duration timer, nor does it count as one of the number of restarts. E.g., if you requested a maximum duration of 30m, with 1 restart, but the video hits the maximum file size after 20m, rather than getting two times 30m videos, you'd get four videos, of lengths 20m, 10m, 20m, 10m (i.e., the 30m videos are split at the maximum file sizes). If "Restart on maximum file size" is disabled, then hitting the maximum file size will always cause the video to end without restarting, even if you've set "Restart video after max duration".
Restart on maximum file size - Whether to automatically restart if the maximum file size is met. As noted above, almost all Android devices have a maximum file size for videos, even if you don't explicitly set one. So it's advisable to keep this option to true, so that Open Camera will restart as soon as possible if you're recording video, and hit this limit. Note that there will still be a loss of a few seconds while the video stops and restarts - but this at least is better than stopping altogether (and is especially useful if you want to leave Open Camera recording without you keeping watch).
Record audio - Whether to record audio when recording a video.
Audio source - Select the audio source for recording video. The effect of this depends on your device - if it supports an external microphone, you may be able to use this by selecting "External mic". The other options may provide different settings affecting the resultant audio (e.g., automatic gain control), though this behaviour is device specific.
Audio channels - If recording audio with video, this option allows you to specify mono or stereo recording. Note that most devices do not support stereo recording. Even for devices that do support this, you may need to modify the "Audio source" option to another value for this to work.
Lock screen when recording video - If enabled, the GUI will be locked when recording video (i.e., the GUI won't respond to touch presses). You can use this to prevent accidental presses that might change settings or stop recording. To unlock the GUI, swipe the screen (in any direction). Note that this won't prevent the video being stopped if you press your device's Home, Recent Apps or Power button (it is not possible for apps to override the behaviour of these buttons).
Video subtitles - This option is analogous to the "Stamp photos" option, but rather than embedding text into the video itself, it stores the text in a separate subtitles (".SRT") file. Most decent video players should support SRT files, and use them to display the information as subtitles (for Android, MX Player will do this; note that Google Photos does not seem to support subtitles). The subtitles will record the date and time. If "Store location data" is enabled (see "Location settings" below), then the current location latitude and longitude coordinates will also be recorded (if the location is known). Similarly for "Store compass direction". Note that you can control the formatting style for date, time and location using the options under the "Photo settings" menu (Datestamp format, Timestamp format, GPS stamp format).
Force 4K UHD video (may not work on all devices) - Enable recording in 4K UHD (3840x2160) on the back camera (if ticked, this overrides the setting in "Video resolution"). This is provided for some phones that don't properly expose their 4K video resolution to 3rd party camera apps (and so 4K resolution doesn't show in the Video resolution option above). It turns out that some such devices can be made to record in 4K resolution if it's requested, but on other devices this won't work. If you enable this on a device that doesn't support it, you may either get an error message when you try to record, or it may succeed but create a video where the resolution isn't 4K, or may even result in a crash! So please test this out first. I've tested this successfully on a Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 3, but even there it only works on some variants of those devices. If this doesn't work, it isn't a bug in Open Camera, it's because your device doesn't support 4K recording for third party camera apps. (If this option doesn't show up at all, it's either because your device already lists 4K in the Video resolutions options above, or because Open Camera thinks this is a device that probably doesn't support 4K video.)
Critical battery check - If a device runs out of power while recording video, in theory the video should safely stop in time. However in some cases this doesn't happen in time (if the video file is large, post-processing may still be occurring when the device switches off), causing the entire video file to be corrupted! To reduce this risk, Open Camera will stop video recording when the battery level is low (3%), but before the device is about to shut off. If for some reason you don't want this behaviour, you can switch this option off.
Flash while recording video - If enabled, the camera flash will flash every second while recording video. This isn't something most people will need, but it can be useful if the phone is being operated remotely, as a signal that the video is still recording.
Location settings - Select to access the following controls:
Store location data (Geotagging) - If selected, then photos will be tagged with the current location. Location data will also be stored in videos (though only for devices that record in MPEG4 or 3GPP formats).
Store compass direction - If selected, then photos will be tagged with the compass direction. Not supported for RAW photos (DNG format) or videos.
Require location data - If "Store location data" is enabled, then also enabling this option means that photos and videos can only be taken if location data is present (this can be useful if you need pictures/videos to have location data in them).
Online help - Load this web page.
Donate to support development - Loads the page for my donation app.
Use Camera2 API - If selected, this enables support for the Camera2 API that was introduced in Android 5. Turning this option on or off will cause Open Camera to restart. This enables some new features (including manual ISO/exposure, manual focus, HDR, exposure bracketing). Note that not all Android 5 devices have full support for the Camera2 API (Open Camera will only show this option if all cameras report either "LIMITED" or "FULL" support for the API; "LEGACY" devices are not supported). Supported devices include the Nexuses 5/6 onwards. Also note that even if devices support Camera2 API, many devices have extremely poor support, leading to bugs such as poor flash behaviour, or video recording not working. These are not necessarily bugs in Open Camera, but problems with manufacturer support for Camera2 API. If you have problems with flash behaviour, try the "Use alternative flash method" setting under "Photo Settings".
About - Provides various debug information about the app and your device's camera. You can also copy this information to the clipboard.
Reset settings - Resets all Open Camera settings to their default. Selecting this option will cause Open Camera to restart.
Widgets and tiles
Open Camera comes with a "Take Photo" widget. You can place this on your homescreen. When clicked on, it lauches Open Camera and takes a photo immediately.
Open Camera also comes with two widgets that can be displayed on the lock screen (requires Android 4.2 or later - but lock screen widgets are no longer available in Android 5 or later). The "Open Camera" widget launches the app; the "Take Photo" widget will also automatically take a photo. Note that if you have a PIN lock etc, you'll have to unlock even if "Show camera when locked" is enabled.
On Android 7, Open Camera supports Quick Settings Tiles, to launch Open Camera in photo mode ("Camera"), video mode ("Record video") or front camera mode ("selfie").
On Android 7.1, Open Camera supports application shortcuts. Press and hold the Open Camera icon to show additional shortcut options.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I save to my external SD card? - This depends on your Android version:
My pictures are being rotated/cropped! - This likely means the auto-level option is on. (If they're being rotated even when the phone is held level, it may mean the accelerometer sensor on your device isn't calibrated.) It's off by default, but you may have accidentally switched it on. To turn off, go to the "popup" menu and untick Auto-level.
Why doesn't Open Camera support dual / multiple cameras? - Open Camera supports switching between all cameras that are made available to third party applications. Usually this means front and back cameras, but some devices have dual back-facing cameras - in some cases the extra camera isn't made available to third party applications, so it isn't possible for Open Camera to support them. Even where they are, since there is no current standard on what the extra cameras are used for, it can't do anything with them other than allowing you to switch between them.
My device can do 4K/UHD, so why doesn't it work on Open Camera? - Unfortunately many devices with 4K support have for some reason not exposed this through the Android API to 3rd party camera apps. (In some cases the "Force 4K" option can make this work anyway, but it's unreliable - ultimately the fault is with the device manufacturer for not supporting third party camera applications.)
Why doesn't the FPS/bitrate setting for video work? - These settings only give "recommendations" to the camera, and there is no guarantee that they will be met. Some devices might not even allow recording at some settings, and there's no way to determine this in advance.
But my camera can do 60/120FPS, so why can't Open Camera? - High frame rates often are achieved only by the "stock" camera app (or "mods" of it) because these are written for a specific device and don't have to go through the standard Android camera API.
Why doesn't Open Camera show 23MP resolution on my Sony Xperia, only 8MP? - This is because Sony have restricted the maximum resolution to 8MP for third party apps.
Why does the resolution of my photos not match the specified camera resolution? - This happens if auto-level is enabled. The image is rotated to be level, which means the resolution (and aspect-ratio) will change.
Why can't I change the ISO? - Even if your device supports ISO, this may not be made available through the standard Android API for 3rd party camera apps to use. For example, this is true of Sony devices.
Why doesn't touch to focus work? - Touching the screen should allow you to choose a particular region to focus on. If this doesn't work:
Why has Open Camera stopped working properly? - If something stops working in Open Camera first try a reboot of your device. If that doesn't resolve the problem, try resetting the settings to the defaults (under Settings/"Reset settings"), or try reinstalling the app (or go to your device's App Settings and select "Clear data" for Open Camera) to reset it to its initial conditions. Obviously ideally this shouldn't happen, but can be a way of working around any unresolved bugs that appear. If something stops working in an upgrade to a new version of Open Camera, and the problem isn't resolved by a reinstall/Clear data, please let me know, but in the meantime you can install the older versions from https://sourceforge.net/projects/opencamera/files/ .
How do I load RAW (DNG) files into Photoshop Express? - Unfortunately the Android version of Photoshop Express is limited in the options for importing images, and doesn't let you select DNG files directly. See this thread for some suggestions.
Why doesn't the preview display match the resultant photo/video? One of them is cropped. - Firstly, make sure that Settings/On screen GUI/Preview size is set to "Match photo size (WYSIWYG)". However if that doesn't fix the problem, this is a limitation on some devices and photo/video resolutions (it happens if the device doesn't offer a "preview" with the same aspect ratio as the chosen photo/video resolution). A workaround may be to try a different resolution for photos and/or videos.
Why isn't Open Camera available in my language? - I can only speak English I'm afraid. Please contact me if you're willing to do a translation (this doesn't require any knowledge of Android programming, it's just a case of translating a set of strings in a text file).
Why is the non-English translation of my language incomplete? - Scene modes and color effects aren't currently translated, as these are just strings returned by the camera. Also note that even if I get someone to translate Open Camera, when I later add new features/options, this may require additional strings which aren't translated. I don't have a team of paid translators, so it's not always possible to keep translations up to date :)
The non-English translation is wrong! - I can only speak English, and am dependent on other people to offer translations. If you think a particular translation is inaccurate, please let me know.
Why is the screen forced to maximum brightness? - If you don't like this feature, you can switch it off by going to Settings/On screen GUI/Force maximum brightness.
Why is auto-level slow? - This feature requires doing a decompress of the JPEG data, followed by a rotation of a multi-megapixel image, then recompressing, which typically results in a short pause on most devices. And as devices get faster CPUs, they typically come with cameras with even bigger megapixels! This is why I've made it optional (and you can set the volume control to quickly switch it on and off if you like).
Why is auto-level for photos only? - Doing auto-level for video is a massively harder problem. This wouldn't be possible in real-time - rotating images causes a noticeable pause as it is, imagine having to do that for every frame. Also the rotation angle wouldn't be constant, so it's a much harder problem figuring out what the correct result should actually be.
Can I launch a different gallery app when I press the gallery icon? Why doesn't Open Camera have its own gallery app? - If you have more than one Gallery app on your device, you should be given the choice which to use when you press the gallery icon. If one app is already set up as the default and you want to change it, then go to the App Settings for that app, and under "Launch by default" (or something like that) it will list if it is set as the defaults for any actions, with an option to clear them. There are plenty of gallery apps for Android, and it seems better for users to have this choice, rather than Open Camera having its own custom gallery.
Can you implement disabling shutter sound for my phone? - If the option "Shutter sound" under "More camera controls..." isn't shown, it's not available. There are possible workarounds for some of these devices (which is why some third party camera applications may be able to silence the shutter), though the issue is these don't work on all devices, and tend to use methods that Google now discourage. The fault is with the device for not supporting Android's standard method for disabling the shutter sound. In particular, if under Settings/About you see that "Can disable shutter sound?" says No, it means the device's camera API is telling 3rd party camera apps that shutter sound can't be disabled (so either it can't do it, or the API is lying - either way, this should be reported to your manufacturer).
Why does Open Camera have ads? - Open Camera does not have ads (there may be ads on the online webpage you're reading now, but not in the app). There are however some clones on Google Play with ads inserted. Please ensure that you've downloaded from one of the places listed above on this page.
My device has Android 5, why can't I select the Camera2 API? - Only some Android 5 devices support the new Camera2 API, such as the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6.
Why doesn't Open Camera's HDR images look like other HDR camera apps? - There are a great many different ways of applying a HDR algorithm, some may do better or worse in different circumstances; some may look more or less pleasing depending on what you are after. Also note that some Android camera apps use "HDR" to mean "apply a whacky-looking filter". Whilst HDR filters can be used to apply a rather unreal or vivid image, for now Open Camera's HDR is more geared towards capturing the range of exposures.
Why doesn't Open Camera's HDR photos look as good as other HDR photos I see? - Firstly, see the previous question. Beyond that, many HDR photos you see on the Internet may have been manually processed in HDR software that allows the user to tweak settings for optimal results for a given image. Such photos may have had additional processing done. Open Camera's HDR algorithm tries to get the best results for most purposes automatically, but isn't going to beat manual editing.
I ran out of space while recording video, and the video is corrupted, how can I get it back? - Firstly, this sadly isn't an Open Camera bug - it's an Android issue that the video recording API doesn't stop or report an error when storage runs out. As a workaround, Open Camera does try to stop videos when storage space is low, but due to Android limitations this isn't possible when using SD cards or Storage Access Framework. In order to recover a file, you can try MP4Fix Video Repair Tool.
My device ran out of power while recording video, and the video is corrupt! How can I get it back? - This can happen if the device is very slow at processing the video file after stopping, and this doesn't finishing when the device powers off. Open Camera will stop the video in advance of the device shutting down to help reduce this risk (see "Critical battery check" option), but if this still happens, the best hope is to try MP4Fix, see the previous question. Note that if this happens, it isn't an Open Camera bug - it's a problem that will happen on any device where the device shuts off before the video can be processed.
My save folder is on the SD card, so why does the free storage still show for internal memory? - Open Camera tries to obtain the space of the drive being used, but there are no reliable ways to do this (especially Android 4.4 onwards), so this is an Android limitation.
Does Open Camera support external USB cameras? - Unfortunately Open Camera does not support USB cameras. These don't seem to use the standard Android camera APIs, and it would be a lot of work to add support for these.
I don't like the UI! - The UI for Open Camera has improved significantly over the versions (both in terms of having a consistent look, and the operation), so this criticism seems to have gone down, but there's always room for improvement! However, in order for me to improve, please be specific: comments like this could mean all sorts of things, such as the style of the icons, the arrangement of the icons, wanting more things on the main screen, wanting less things on the main screen, preferring swipes to icons, wanting it easier to change certain options, or even that some devices may have a bug that I'm not aware of. Also bear in mind that some preferences may be a matter of opinion and it's not possible to get an app that satisfies everyone (e.g., some camera apps hide everything behind popup menus that you swipe to enable; others have as much on screen as possible - I try to achieve a balance in Open Camera).
Why is the UI cluttered? - Under Settings/On screen GUI, there are options to disable various controls and so on from the main view.
Can I use the Open Camera source code in my app? - Open Camera is available under the GPL (see Licence), and can be used for free, including commercially, if you follow the terms of that licence (this means making the source of your app available under a GPL-compatible licence). If you would like to use the Open Camera in a closed source app, please contact me for a closed source commercial licence, with details on your company and app.
Why am I unable to install Open Camera on my Lenovo Vibe S1 (error 504)? - At least some Lenovo Vibe S1 devices come with a pre-installed app "Stereo Verify" that uses Open Camera's package name (net.sourceforge.opencamera), which prevents installation of Open Camera. This is not a bug with Open Camera, but with the pre-installed app. Please contact Lenovo to ask them why they are using Open Camera's package name, and if there is a way to install Open Camera (and please let me know if you get a response!) Also see here for further discussion.
Contacting me (bugs etc)
If you experience a crash, and Google offers to "Report", please do so (if you've installed via F-Droid, please see here).
If you have a question or what seems to be a bug, please first read FAQ. Also if something no longer seems to work properly, try a reboot of your device, or if that fails to fix, try resetting Open Camera settings to the defaults (under Settings/"Reset settings"). If you find a bug, please report it here (please check for existing tickets first). It is helpful to supply the "About" information - please go to Settings/About, then click "Copy to clipboard", then you can paste the information into your web browser, Google Keep, email or whatever.
For more general questions or things like feature suggestions, please use the forums. For some enquiries (e.g., requests for specific projects you are working on), you may prefer to use email. Please contact me at email@example.com. Please note that I get a lot of emails for Open Camera these days - I try to reply as many as I can, but this is not always feasible. I do however read every email and forum post.
Note that whilst I welcome reviews/ratings, they are not a good way for reporting bugs (I may miss it, there's only limited number of characters for me to reply, and I don't get notified of further replies).
Open Camera on Sourceforge.
More of my Free software.