Snap Camera

Snap Camera HDR

Get the best possible camera experience from your Android phone or tablet

  1. Take pictures and record video with a single click, no cluttered preview screen, just the two buttons you really need.
  2. Snap has a simple, powerful user interface. Touch to focus, pinch to zoom, swipe to review and long press for photo settings. The photo controller includes settings for colour and contrast (if supported by the hardware). The additional settings menu gives you access to: Picture and Video Size, Scene mode, Self Timer, Burst Mode, Time Lapse, Still and Video Focus Modes, JPEG Quality, Effects, ISO and Anti-banding.
  3. The photo editor lets you add colour effects, borders, crop, rotate, mirror and straighten. You can also choose image effects, histogram modification and vignette. Undo an effect at any time from the history menu.
  4. Share an image with any other app such as Facebook or Google+ by clicking on the share icon.
  5. Fast picture mode instantly captures photos at the preview resolution.
  6. Capture still snapshots during video recording (if supported).
  7. Provides the look and feel of the Android 4.3 Camera and Gallery to devices running Android 2.3 and later.
  8. 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.

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High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR is a feature that lets you take pictures of scenes with very 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.

Safe Mode

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.

What to try if video recording doesn't work


hdrEnable or disable HDR mode
torchFlash is always on (torch mode)
flash onFlash will always be used when taking a photo
auto flashFlash will be used in low light
flash offFlash will never be used
contrastChange contrast
White Balance for cloud
White Balance for sunshine
Auto White Balance
White Balance for fluorescent light
White balance for incandecsent lighting
Settings menu (or extra settings available from the touch controller)
Change exposure compensation
Change saturation
Grid on/off
Self Timer
Panorama mode
Stable Shot
Shutter sound is silent
Shutter sound is not silent
Burst mode
Fast mode is off
Fast mode is on


Picture Size

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.

Video Quality

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.

Scene Mode

These modes optimise the camera settings for 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.

Self Timer

Change the delay until a photo is taken. When this is enabled, an icon appears top-left on the preview display.

Burst mode

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.

Focus Mode

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.

Store Location

Uses the GPS to get an accurate location to store in each JPEG.

JPEG Quality

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.

Storage Location

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.

Append DCIM/Camera

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.

Silent Shutter

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.

Volume Keys

If this is enabled, the volume up key will take a photo and the volume down key will focus.

Video Size

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.

Preview Size

The preview size is the size of frames grabbed 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.

Full Display Brightness

This sets the screen to full brightness when the camera is running.

Disable Long Press

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.

Stable Shot Sensitivity

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.

HDR Contrast

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.

HDR Exposure

The HDR algorithm takes 2 photos at different exposures and combines them, this setting changes the difference in exposure between the two photos.

HDR Saturation

This setting changes how the HDR algorithm scales the colour information when tonemapping.

Video Focus Mode

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".

Video Snapshot

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.

Full Size Snapshots

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.

Time Lapse (Android 4.0 and above)

Allows you to take time lapse video with a delay between frames from .5 seconds up.

Video Frame Rate

Tries to set the number of frames/second for a video recording, most devices ignore this setting

Alternate Mic

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

Audio Channels

Either mono or stereo, some devices only support mono

Audio Codec

How audio is recorded on the video, AAC should give the best quality

Audio Bit Rate

Bitrates for the different audio codecs are shown here, these may not all work

Video Codec

Choose a video codec here, only change this if you know what you are doing

Video File Format

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

Video Size

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

Video Preview Size

This is the preview size while recording a 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 which needs an unusual video preview size please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I get error code -24 when trying to install the app, what does that mean?
  2. You have had a previous version of the app installed and it hasn't been uninstalled correctly. This should only be possible if you are rooted. The solution is to delete /data/data/com.marginz.snap using a root file manager.

  3. Can you add an icon to the main screen to switch to/from the front camera? Can you disable the gallery?
  4. These are both available after version 4.0.23, you can join the beta test community to get recent versions of the app or install them from the xda thread.

  5. Video recording crashes sometimes on the Nexus 5
  6. On the Nexus 5 you need to enable "Video Snapshot" in the video settings tab.

  7. Why do I see two "Camera" albums even though I only have one folder with photos in it? Why don't I see photos taken with other apps sometimes?
  8. Media in Android is indexed by the MediaStore content provider, this stores the path to each photo/video along with some other information and is available to all apps. The problem is that the path to a photo album is not necessarily unique. For example on most Samsung devices /mnt/extSdCard and /storage/extSdcard are both the same physical location. You need to make sure you are using the same path as other apps. You can see which path a photo uses by selecting "Details" from the gallery menu. For Samsung, you need to use /storage/extSdcard.

Discussion Thread

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.

About Us

Marginz is a small software company based in Auckland, New Zealand. We have expertise in mobile application development with an emphasis on image processing.