Google Camera

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Google Camera
Google Camera Icon.png
Google Camera 5.2.019 running on Android Oreo 8.1 on a Google Pixel 2
Google Camera 5.2.019 running on Android Oreo 8.1 on a Google Pixel 2
Initial releaseApril 16, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-04-16)
Stable release
6.2.024 / March 29, 2019; 43 days ago (2019-03-29)
Operating systemAndroid

Google Camera is a camera application developed by Google for Android. It was initially supported on all devices running Android 4.4 KitKat and higher, but is now only officially supported on Google's Nexus and Pixel devices. It was publicly released for Android 4.4+ on the Google Play Store on April 16, 2014[1] and removed from public view on Feb 17, 2016.[2]

Whilst Google Camera is now made solely for specific device hardware, in mid-2017, a developer created a modified version of Google Camera for any smartphone equipped with either a Snapdragon 820, 821 or 835 processor.[3]


Google Camera contains a number of features that can be activated either in the Settings page or on the row of icons at the top of the app.


HDR+ increases the dynamic range of the photo, however unlike traditional High-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging, this is achieved by combining several underexposed photos which has the added benefit of improving colors at the expense of being less effective.

An 'HDR+ enhanced' mode is offered which does use the traditional HDR method of combining an underexposed and an overexposed photo to increase the dynamic range of the photo, thus being more effective, however comes with the drawbacks of this method.[4]


Google Camera's Motion photo mode is similar to iOS' Live Photo. When enabled, a short, silent, video clip of relatively low resolution is paired with the original photo.[5]

Video Stabilization[edit]

Fused Video Stabilization, a technique that combines Optical Image Stabilization and Electronic/Digital image stabilization, can be enabled for significantly smoother video. This technique also corrects Rolling shutter distortion and Focus breathing, amongst various other problems.[6]


Smartburst is activated by holding the shutter button down. Whilst the button is held down, up to 10 shots per second are captured. Once released, the best pictures captured are automatically highlighted.

Different 'creations' can be produced from the captured pictures:

  • Moving GIF - an animated GIF to capture action or images containing a high amount of movement.
  • 'All-smile' - a single photo in which everyone is smiling and not blinking; produced by taking different parts of every photo in the burst.
  • Collage - when taking 'selfies', a collage similar to that of a Photo booth is generated.

Image Location[edit]

Location information obtained via GPS and/or Google's location service can be added to pictures and videos when enabled.


Like most other camera applications, Google Camera offers different 'functions' or 'modes', allowing the user to take different types of photo or video.[7]

Slow Motion[edit]

Slow motion video can be captured in Google Camera at either 120 or, on supported devices, 240 frames per second.[8]


Panoramic photography is also possible with Google Camera. Four types of panoramic photo are supported; Horizontal, Vertical, Wide-angle and Fisheye. Once the Panorama function is selected, one of these four modes can be selected at a time from a row of icons at the top of the screen.[9]

Photo Sphere[edit]

Google Camera allows the user to create a 'Photo Sphere', a 360-degree panorama photo, originally added in Android 4.2 in 2012.[10] These photos can then be embedded in a web page with custom HTML code or uploaded to various Google services.[11]


Portrait mode offers an easy way for users to take 'selfies' or portraits with a Bokeh effect, in which the subject of the photo is in focus and the background is slightly blurred. This effect is achieved via the information from dual-pixel sensors when available (such as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3), and the application of machine learning to identify what should be kept in focus and what should be blurred out.[12]

Additionally, a "face retouching" feature can be activated which cleans up blemishes and other imperfections from the subject's skin.[5]

AR Stickers[edit]

AR Stickers is a feature that was announced in late 2017, alongside the debut of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices. Using Google's new ARCore platform, augmented reality objects, referred to as 'stickers', can be 'dropped' into an image or video.[13]

Google Lens[edit]

The camera offers a functionality powered by Google Lens, which allows the camera to copy text it sees, identify products, books and movies and search similar ones, identify animals and plants, and scan barcodes and QR codes, among other things.


  1. ^ Kellex (16 April 2014). "Google Camera Quick Look and Tour". Droid Life.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Andrew Liptak (August 12, 2017). "Google's Pixel camera software has been made to work on other recent Android phones".
  4. ^ "HDR+ on vs HDR+ Enhanced? - Post #5". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  5. ^ a b "Download Google Camera App with Motion Photo + Face Retouching on the Google Pixel". xda-developers. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  6. ^ "Fused Video Stabilization on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL". Research Blog. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  7. ^ ZenTalk. "Google Camera HDR+ Manual setting of all parameters version". ZenTalk. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  8. ^ "Google Camera - Apps on Google Play". Google Play. 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  9. ^ Biersdorfer, J. D. (2016-05-23). "Going Wide With Google Camera". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  10. ^ "Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Has Arrived: Photo Sphere Panoramic Camera, Gesture Typing, Wireless HDTV Streaming – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  11. ^ "Photo Sphere". Android Central. 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  12. ^ Ltd, Guiding Media Pvt (2017-12-26). "How to Use Portrait Mode in Google Pixel 2: Cool Tips". Guiding Tech. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  13. ^ "How to use AR stickers on the Google Pixel or Pixel 2". Android Authority. 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2018-04-05.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]