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Google to open Android camera to developers, RAW support and burst image mode APIs are coming

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Google to open Android camera to developers, RAW support and burst image mode APIs are coming
Google has confirmed it’s planning to open access to RAW image files from the Android camera as well as to a burst shot mode. A rumor with evidence for RAW and burst shot support surfaced this month, and now Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano confirmed Google’s plans to expose the features to developers.

"Android's latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography," Scigliano said. "We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality."

Basically, this means that developers will be able to build much deeper and better camera apps for the platform. Right now, the Nexus 5 does come with a new HDR+ shooting mode that uses the new burst shot mode along with sharpening algorithms. While the camera sensor and accompanying silicon still ultimately has the biggest influence on image quality, better software is also hugely important.

What Google is doing with the camera is basically open it up from the black box it originally was with only high-level controls to a more open entity in its current version 2.0 and 2.1, and further open it up in the lower levels to developers with the upcoming version 3.0.

"The core concept of the new HAL and future API is centered around burst-mode photography," Scigliano further explained Google’s plans. "The basic idea is instead of taking a single shot with a given set of parameters, you instead have the power to queue up a request to take multiple shots each with different parameter settings such as exposure gain. The camera subsystem captures a the burst of shots, which can be subsequently post-processed by the application layer."

Opening up additional controls will allow users finer control over “focus and exposure and more post-processing, such as noise reduction, contrast, and sharpening." We ought to mention that Nokia was the first company to offer RAW image files from its Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 cameraphones.

What’s not yet clear is a timeframe for the new camera application. Google has confirmed it’s coming up “shortly,” but we’re yet to learn what this really means.

source: CNET

18 Comments
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posted on 26 Nov 2013, 04:16 1

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2103; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


But where is it? Camera update on 4.3 & 4.4 is long overdue.

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 04:41 4

2. phenomium (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Nov 2013)


NOKIA COPY

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 07:19

4. Shatter (Posts: 1957; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Nokia has nothing to do with the windows phone camera api.

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 08:57 2

7. x_maly_x (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


hahah...lol...Nokia has EVERYTHING to do with WP camera api. Please tell me , which model HTC, Samsung , etc..has raw image or apps like Nokia Camera hm?

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 09:05 2

9. adecvat (Posts: 112; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Xiaomi Mi3

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 09:14 2

10. x_maly_x (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


you realize that we are talking about WP ?

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 00:23

16. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3208; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Wow❕.. You're so wrong everytime.. It's time you stop replying to WP related comments.. It's really making you look like you have know knowledge of the platform at all..

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 07:52

5. sum182 (Posts: 229; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


yeah? did nokia invent raw image files?

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 08:53 2

6. x_maly_x (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


Nokia put raw image to the smartphones... Now Google COPY this idea...now is clear to you?

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 09:02 1

8. adecvat (Posts: 112; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Nokia copy RAW from Xiaomi Mi3, bad copycat.

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 09:21 2

11. x_maly_x (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


Yea...in one week difference between the release of...

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 13:07

12. Dastrix (Posts: 570; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


So what? Chinese phones are crap. Not like Xiaomi can do anything about it...

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 14:44

14. sum182 (Posts: 229; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


I don't care if they were the first to include it in a smartphone, RAW image files existed before nokia decided to include them in smartphones, can you say "Logical Progression"? Its "logical" that the next thing for smartphone cameras is to include is raw files, Nokia did it first? sure, whatever, if it helps you sleep at night. But they can lay no claim to them and its logical that this is the next step. I'm tired of people calling "copy" over everthing. They didn't invent anything here, just a simple included feature. And please, refer to them as Microsoft now.

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 00:28

17. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3208; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


So, why do Android fans put WP down because Android got dual core processors, or a certain app first❔ Oh, I get it.. Android does something first then its a good thing, but when WP does something first then it's so what.. That's a stupid double standard.. You have to admit that❕

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 05:48

3. marbovo (Posts: 572; Member since: 16 May 2013)


"Google has confirmed it’s coming up “shortly,” but we’re yet to learn what this really means." so true...

posted on 27 Nov 2013, 12:44

18. fay99 (Posts: 47; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


New hdr+ with new burst mode? Should Google at least have included non hdr with old burst mode in the nexus 5 stock camera app?

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