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Thursday, May 29, 2014

App Review - CameraZOOM

CameraZOOM FX

So, on May 16th, Amazon Appstore put 9 camera/photo editing apps on sale for free. Each app gave 100 Amazon coins with purchase, so I bought a few to feed my Candy Crush addiction.

One that I initially fell in love with, but came to abhor is the CameraZOOM FX app. This app is a camera replacement app, with Instagram-like filters built in.


Some of the included filters. Others include light flares, different types of exposures and 'Buddy Skins,' which allow you to add celebs to your photos.


The app interface. Tap the bottom left to get to your gallery. Drag the transparent circle next to the shutter to zoom in and out. Tap the camera with the arrows to use the front-facing camera.

Tapping the upper right corner will allow you to use the video recorder. However, when I tapped it, it took me to my stock camera app. This is STRICTLY a still-camera app.

As I said, the first few days I had this app on my Motorola Photon Q phone, it was awesome. I loved the different filters and it seemed to take quicker pictures. Then reality set in.

I noticed my phone battery was draining even quicker than normal. I can USUALLY get a 12-14 hour use on one charge. Granted, MOST of that was in standby mode, but I could go all day and still have about 25%-40% of the battery left when I plugged it in to charge. I am NOT sure what could have been causing the drainage, but I was averaging 8 hours of use before the battery was completely drained... to the point of the phone shutting off.

I have to say the WORSE thing about this app was the quality of photos it took. The shots were dull and blurry, even when stabilized.


^^image scaled -- please click this link: http://i.imgur.com/jIwBRY6.jpg for full size

Both of these photos are taken with a Motorola Photon Q phone. The camera is an 8MP camera, stabilized in the same position (using a phone tripod) and unedited with the exception of adding a border and the text.

As you can see, the photo of my keyboard is crisp and clear with the default Motorola app on the left. The photo shot with the CameraZOOM app is blurred and the perception seems to be skewed. It wasn't just this particular photo either. I took a photo of my adoptive mom holding a cat we rescued, and the photo was also blurry, just not as bad. Another photo I took for another review I plan to do has a grainy and washed out look to it.

I did not try it out personally, but I'm sure you can 'import' your gallery or camera roll photos into the app to use the filters it has. You can also upload to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more through the app, along with being able to order prints directly from the app.

Disabled people will need enough motor control to steady the device to hit the shutter button without blurring the photo, although even steady photos won't be very clear. You also need a decent amount of control to apply the filters. I have a good amount of motor control and even I was hitting filters I did not want to select.

CameraZOOM FX is available on Google Play & Amazon Appstore for $2.99 & iTunes for $3.99, if you want to try it yourself.

(SIDE NOTE: If you ARE going to purchase this app for Android, please use the Google Play link. The Amazon Appstore versions of apps seem to be outdated.)

FINAL THOUGHTS
If you're looking to add filters other than what Instagram offers, then it's great. But if you're looking to replace the default/stock camera app, I would look elsewhere.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: No.

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