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Friday, September 5, 2014

Focal (Beta) Aims To Be The One Camera App To Rule Them All [Android]

I’ll be the first one to say that there is little in this world that can beat Google’s Camera app. I have yet to find anything that comes close for either Android or iOS. Having said that, there’s always a chance something better or something different comes along. Focal is a new camera app for Android and before you read further, know that it is in Beta and it does have bugs. It’s an all encompassing app for recording video or taking photos with several flash modes, white balance, scene mode,, HDR capture, effects, exposure adjustment, and burst mode...

You can adjust the focal point by tapping anywhere on the screen. The focal area is fixed in diameter which is somewhat disappointing. To bring up many settings the app supports, swipe right. This is where you will encounter one of the app’s bugs. It takes a few swipes to get the panel out and stick around. Flash and Auto White balance are common enough in camera apps. The Scene mode is light adjustment for where you’re taking the photo. Beach mode, candle light, fireworks, landscape, and night mode are all meant to take better photographs in the light available.
The HDR function is pretty standard as well. Effects let you set a color filter for taking photos. The filter effects can be seen live when you focus on your object. The exposure mode lets you increase or decrease the amount of light in the photo. Each panel can be pinned to the view finder so that you can access it quickly. Scroll down the left controls bar and you will be able to set a timer as well as manage settings for the photo. You can manage the photo size, enable an exposure ring to show along side the focal ring and turn on a grid by tapping Rule of Thirds.
Focal Focal modes
Now, the major bug we encountered was that it says you must anywhere on the screen to capture a photo but all that does is reposition the focal point. You have to double tap your screen to go into quick shoot mode (all settings are saved) and then tap the screen to take a photo. You can switch to the front camera, video mode, or panorama mode by holding and draggin out the shutter button to the relevant mode. To view the photos you just took, swipe down and then left or right to cycle through the ones you took with the app.
Focal camera modes Focal photo
The app itself is pretty good but the bugs need ironing out and the developer is looking for beta testers.

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