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Did you know that Android L brings a ground-breaking new Camera API?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Did you know that Android L brings a ground-breaking new Camera API?
The Android L release is one of the biggest system updates for Google’s mobile OS with the new ‘Material Design’, but it is the changes under the hood that make it even more important.

One in particular is set to give a ground-breaking and reinvigorating shake to mobile photography - after years using the restricted Camera v1 API, Google finally adopts a brand new API that speeds up the camera radically and allows for much more advanced third-party apps. The changes in it put Android a leap ahead the other platforms in terms of settings and capabilities for camera app developers.

The new camera API will not only be able to capture DNG format (with raw data) images like advanced cameras, but it will also open up to settings like the exposure time (something that was not previously available on Android). Moreover, it will open access for third-party app developers to the color correction matrix (something that only phone makers have access to currently).

The issue with the current Android camera API is that manual controls in it are treated in a separate, general layer outside each of the picture. With the new, pipelined API, each image will carry all the settings with it. This kind of optimizations is what allows each shot to quickly come through the pipeline with its unique settings, and ultimately, this is what has enabled Google to achieve the mind-boggling 30fps burst image still shooting speeds for 8-megapixel capture on the Nexus 5.

We’re looking forward to seeing this new camera API and all the imaginative ideas of developers for new camera apps. In the time until the public release in the fall, though, only the Nexus 5 will take advantage of it.

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posted on 29 Jun 2014, 07:12

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1217; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Seems decent enough.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 08:32 18

4. sipha (Posts: 261; Member since: 12 May 2012)


Ground-breaking!!

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 13:45 13

17. Ashoaib (Posts: 1486; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


google is innovative instead of being a copy like apple

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 09:10 1

34. Castro90 (Posts: 38; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


c'mon, let's just not start this.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 07:41 1

2. itsjustJOH (Posts: 76; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


DNG, not RAW. Still a very good format like RAW.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 19:22 1

29. vincelongman (Posts: 1050; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I thought DNG is a RAW format from Adobe
(not a photographer, so sorry if I'm wrong)

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 21:28

32. sckortyman (Posts: 23; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


If you want to get technical, no photo is technically raw. All photos go through a level of compression and processing. DNG is a little worse than traditional RAW formats but still wayyyy better than JPEG

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 07:43

3. Dude2014 (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


BTW my HTC one m7's camera takes really bad photos after I flashed custom ROM, Android revolution HD sense 6.0. Do anyone has the same experience like that?

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 16:36 3

24. hellt1M (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)


Wrong place lol ask this on the the corresponding xda thread

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 01:24

33. Shatter (Posts: 1997; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Don't use a bad phone that has to cover up its horrible camera with software?

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 08:39 9

5. raunak (Posts: 502; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


"The new camera API will not only be able to capture RAW format images like advanced cameras, but it will also open up to settings like the exposure time (something that was not previously available on Android, nor is it available on any other mobile platform)."

So I'm confused here. Are you deliberately ignoring Nokia Lumia smartphones or what?

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 09:05 2

6. Reality_Check (Posts: 262; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Can all Nokia Lumia models shoot RAW? Same with exposure time? I'm just asking because I really don't know.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 09:14 7

8. raunak (Posts: 502; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


Only Pureviews can output RAW, but all of them have manual exposure time, even 520.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 09:45 3

10. YasserNaggar (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)


Correction, only higher end Lumia Pureviews can shoot in RAW (1020, 1520, 930) but in ALL Lumia phone, you can manipulate exposure using shutter speed, exposure compensation and you can even alter manual focus using Nokia Camera.

I have a Lumia 925 WP8.1 DP, so I know what I'm talking about btw.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 10:38 1

12. elitewolverine (Posts: 1417; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


This is more about API's than single cameras in phones. Technically yes, they could have the ability. Since it is windows api's that currently allow this to happen in the first place.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 09:07

7. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)


They are talking about third party app, no the native ones, I think.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 09:16 4

9. raunak (Posts: 502; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


Nokia Camera is a 3rd party app since it has to be downloaded from the store.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 15:52

21. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)


They corrected it, so I think that they really didnt know that, which is a shame for a mobile website...

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 10:36

11. elitewolverine (Posts: 1417; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Third party apps have them as well.

Proshot, camera360, and others have the ability to manipulate iso, shutter, exposure etc.

Other than nokia, proshot is one awesome tool.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 15:48

20. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)


So I have no idea why they said that...lol

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 11:24 1

14. Penny (Posts: 1129; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


I don't think they're avoiding it; I just think they don't know. And that seems pretty worrisome to me for a site that aims to be an objective purveyor of the mobile phone industry.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 16:37

25. sbw44 (Posts: 384; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


More like ignoring it, like they ignore the Lumia's in their Camera Comparisons

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 16:15 1

23. juandante (Posts: 291; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


they talk about platform, not special phone models. To my knowledge Micro$oft's platform, nor Apple's iOS, don't permit RAW shooting out of the box.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 10:39 1

13. rangoj (Posts: 18; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)


THis is why Nexus 5 can make better pictures then many current flagship smartphones like G2, Z2, S4... When HDR+ is ON!

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 12:01 7

15. Retro-touch (Posts: 252; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Keep lying to yourself

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 12:24 3

16. livyatan (Posts: 680; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


This is indeed huge news.

And it wasn't even mentioned in the Android L presentation!
Apple would make an eight wonder of the world out of that story!

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 14:28

18. androiphone20 (Posts: 1400; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Oh, yes welcome to the circlejerk. There really is a world outside of Phonearena you know.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 15:57 2

22. livyatan (Posts: 680; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


What on earth are you talking about?

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 19:56

30. steedsofwar (Posts: 258; Member since: 07 Oct 2013)


He's just being a douche

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 15:13 1

19. FYoung (Posts: 33; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


Personally, I think the HDR+ capture in image 1 is inferior to the N5 standard crop, because you can hardly see the man's facial expression on the NDR+ capture.

Nevertheless, both captures are quite poor because they have too much colour saturation.

I certainly would not use that slide if I was trying to promote the new API.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 16:38 1

26. sbw44 (Posts: 384; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


Wow if this is groundbreaking, I wonder what my 1020 is?

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 17:07 1

28. gigaraga (Posts: 718; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Slow.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 17:06

27. gigaraga (Posts: 718; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Long exposure and ultra fast burst speed? THIS IS WHAT SMARTPHONE CAMERAS NEED.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 20:57

31. Af1rPA (Posts: 16; Member since: 12 Jun 2014)


I dont really understand much of it but will it make the Moto X & HTC One take better pictures?

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