Get the best possible camera experience from your Android phone or tablet
Snap works best on newer phones but will still run on older models.
The extra settings on the controller menu are only available on phones that support them. Most phones based on Qualcomm hardware do support these options but most others do not.
HDR is a feature that lets you take
pictures of scenes
dark and/or very light areas. Swipe up on the controller to enable HDR
mode. The app takes two photos at different exposures and combines them
to make one HDR photo.
Hold the phone as still as you can between the two shots so that the image registration algorithm can match them correctly. The settings menu allows you to adjust the HDR parameters for contrast and exposure. HDR works best if the first shot is underexposed so try tapping on a bright area before taking the picture. Some devices try to change focus and/or white-balance between shots, if this happens try using a different focus mode or white-balance setting.
HDR will also work in fast picture mode.
HDR is supported on Android 2.3 but may not be able to capture photos at the full resolution due to memory limitations.
HDR mode is still experimental, let us know if it doesn't work well on your device.
If the preview is broken on your device running Android 4.0 and higher try using "safe mode". Start the gallery and press menu (or select the menu icon - top right) and select "safe mode". The app will close and when restarted it will use the Android 2.3 preview mechanism. This will also disable panorama.
All possible picture sizes for your phone will be in this list. The list also includes "Fast" which takes pictures at the the preview size (see preview size) very quickly.
This gives a list of the available video resolutions reported by the OS. Newer devices will display values such as "HD 1080p" for 1928x1080 mode, older devices will display values such as "HIGH" for 640x480 mode.
These modes optimise the camera
scenes such as Action
(fast shutter speed), Night (slow shutter speed), Backlight (overexpose
background). "Auto" means no scene, "ASD" means Automatic Scene
Detection. The scene mode will also apply to video recordings, this is
useful for low light video recording because you can set the scene mode
to "Action" and the frame rate will not drop. Some phones don't support
scene mode for video.
Change the delay until a photo is taken. When this is enabled, an icon appears top-left on the preview display.
Take multiple photos as quickly as possible. This setting changes the number of photos taken when you press the shutter. The speed that the photos are taken depends on the speed of your phone. If the picture size is set to "Fast" this will do the same as apps such as "Fast Burst Camera". When this is enabled, an icon appears top-left on the preview display.
How the camera focuses.
"Auto" means that when you take a picture, if it is not focussed, the camera will focus before the picture is taken. This is the default for most cameras but means there will usually be a delay before the photo is taken. Pressing the shutter button focuses and releasing it takes the photo.
"Continuous" (Android 4.0 and above) means that the camera will be continuously changing focus to keep your shot in focus. In this mode, the shutter button takes a photo immediately.
"Macro" is for focusing on near objects but on most devices this is almost identical to "Auto"
"Infinity" will not perform autofocus, fine for objects more than about 3 metres (9 feet) away.
Uses the GPS to get an accurate location to store in each JPEG.
Pictures are stored as JPEGs, this format performs 'lossey' compression to reduce the size of a photo on disk. The compression quality ranges from 0 to 100. The settings here are "Normal","Fine",Superfine" and "Best" and they correspond to jpeg compression qualities of 75,85,95 and 100 respectively.
Most phone camera provide some preset effects such as "sepia", "mono" and "emboss". All the effects that your phone supports will appear in this menu.
The ISO value determines how the exposure algorithm decides on shutter speed and gain. High ISO values use a high gain and fast shutter speed so fast motion will be captured but the result may be grainy. Low ISO values use a low gain and slow shutter speed, this reduces image noise but increases motion blur from camera of object motion. Some camera provide an IOS option caller HJR, this chooses the best ISO for Hand Jitter Reduction (i.e. reduces motion blur).
Light sources such as flurescent tubes and TVs often flicker at either 50Hz or 60Hz depending on where in the world you are. Anti-banding tries to reduce the effect of this on the preview and on videos. Auto should chose the correct value for your location, point your phone at a TV to test it and try another setting if Auto doesn't work correctly.
Some devices have an internal and an external SD Card, this setting lets you choose where photos are stored. Selecting this will open a directory chooser, navigate to the correct location and click on the tick icon.
The default is to add DCIM/Camera to the path chosen by "Storage Location", changing this to "OFF" allows you to specify the exact path.
This option tries to mute the shutter sound. In some countries it is illegal to take silent photos and so sometimes it's not possible for this to work.
If this is enabled, the volume up key will take a photo and the volume down key will focus.
Sometimes (especially on Android 2.3) the list of available Video Qualities returned by the system is not complete or accurate. If this is the case you can use this setting to override the video size. Most people won't need to change this.
The preview size is the size of
from the camera to
display while you are not taking a photo or video. The default value
for this setting tries to choose a size that best fits your photos
size. On android 4.0 an up this may be displayed with the top and
bottom of the frame cropped so that it fits full screen. On android
2.3, the preview may be squashed to fit the screen. If you don't like
the look of the preview, try changing this setting. It shouldn't have
any effect on your photos or videos.
This sets the screen to full brightness when the camera is running.
With this set to "OFF" a long press in the screen will open the controller. You can also open the controller by tapping the indicator icon (top left in landscape, top right in portrait). If you never use the long press, this will stop the controller appearing when you try to swipe left but take too long.
When in stable shot mode, a photo will only be taken if the phone is held completely still. This mode uses the gyroscope (or accelerometer if you don't have a gyroscope). Some gyroscopes/accelerometers are more sensitive than others, change this setting so that stable shot works well.
The HDR algorithm performs tonemapping using local histogram specification. This parameter defines the contrast of the specified histogram, a higher value will give a more artifical looking photo.
The HDR algorithm takes 2 photos at different exposures and combines them, this setting changes the difference in exposure between the two photos.
This setting changes how the HDR algorithm scales the colour information when tonemapping.
Some phones allow the focussing during video recording, For videos "Auto" is usually the same as "Continuous" but with slightly different parameters so that noise of the lens moving isn't recorded on your video. Some phones don't have very good continuous autofocus algorithms and may defocus when the camera is moved. In this case, it's probably better to use "Infinity" here. Setting this to "Macro" will let you focus on an object and record the video with this focus throughout, this is best if the subject stays the same distance from the camera. Some phones don't allow changing the focus mode for video recording, in this case, just leave it on "Auto".
Allows you take a photo while recording a video, simply press the photo shutter button while recording. This option will only appear if snapshots are supported, some phones do not support this option even if it is shown. If Snap crashes when taking a picture during video recording, keep this option diabled.
Some devices can capture a video snapshot at the full picture size, others can only capture at the video size. This setting tries to capture at full size. Some phones ignore this setting and capture at video size even if this is set.
Allows you to take time lapse video
with a delay
between frames from
.5 seconds up.
Tries to set the number of frames/second for a video recording, most devices ignore this setting
By default, a video recording will use a microphone facing the same direction as the camera (if available), this setting uses the phone microphone instead. This can be useful if the camcorder microphone doesn't work well or if you are narrating the video
Either mono or stereo, some devices only support mono
How audio is recorded on the video, AAC should give the best quality
Bitrates for the different audio codecs are shown here, these may not all work
Choose a video codec here, only change this if you know what you are doing
Some media profiles specify the video will be stored in a 3gpp container rather than mp4, these are usually the same thing but to avoid having to rename your video files you can set this to mpeg4 here
A device has a set of media profiles giving default values for all the above video settings, when you select 1080p or 720p in the "Video Quality" setting, you are selecting one of these profiles. Often, there are other video sizes available. This setting lets you choose a video size that is not available in the profile. You may need to change the video bitrate if you change this. This setting is useful for devices such are the Nexus 7 which doesn't have a profile for 720p but does support it
This is the preview size while
video. For Android 2.3
the default is the same as the video size but for Android 4.0 and up,
there is a "preferred" preview size for video recordings. Unfortunately
some devices don't work when using the preferred size. When this
setting is set to default, Snap uses a preview size no bigger than the "preferred" size, when
it is set to "Video" it uses the video size. Some devices (e.g. SGS2)
need this to be set to a fixed value such as 1280x720. Using the wrong
video preview size will cause video recording to fail and you will
probably need to reboot your phone. If you have a device
needs an unusual video preview size please let us know.
There is a discussion thread for this app on the xda-developers forum here:
Please use this thread to report problems with the app and ask
questions since we can't reply to comments made on Google Play.
Marginz is a small software company based in Auckland, New Zealand. We have expertise in mobile application development with an emphasis on image processing.