There are many, many camera apps out there with filters and effects to make your snapshots look like they were taken with a 30 year-old Polaroid. Fewer are the camera apps with cool, well-thought-out filters that make for fun images. Paper Camera definitely fell into the latter category, and the follow-up Camera 2 looks even cooler.


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Camera 2 has some typical hipster-type camera effects like lomo, but the majority of its filters are genuinely interesting. For instance, there are retro filters that make your images look like they're straight out of the 20's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's. Camera 2 also has comic, sci-fi, and computer filters.

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The app supports filters for still images and videos, and the UI is super-smooth and flashy. Filters are selected right from the viewfinder, and shows live previews of what the resulting picture will look like. The way Camera 2 shows multiple live filter previews is super-neat. Additionally, you can cycle through the filters in each category by swiping left and right in the viewfinder (a very nice touch). At first glance, this looks like it's worth the asking price.  But be aware video filters require a device with the NEON instruction set, which most modern phones and tablets have.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Killer UI?... ugh... okay...

    • Aymen Fadhel

      The UI actually needs to be killed ... WITH FIRE !

    • sivkai

      Couldn't agree more. Horrible UI, how on earth can you describe this as a "killer UI"?!

      • Jezz_X

        Maybe using it will kill your love of good design day by day

    • RyanWhitwam

      It's not #HOLOYOLO, but it works really well. The live previews look awesome.

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        It doesn't have to be HOLO to look pretty, and hell this thing is ugly.

        Must... Not... Look... At top left... button... Rrrghhhhhh

        • http://twitter.com/shoko_droid shoko


    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See my response to Rachid.

    • jamheart

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    • PhoenixPath

      So less interested in filters and UI than I am functionality.

      I'd love a simple Camera with burst-mode (like Sense...picks the "best of") and a good auto-focus.

  • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

    Guessing you've never seen Cameringo then...


    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      Wow, don't know about effects but _this_ is a killer UI!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See, Cameringo and most other camera apps look the same to me. They just don't stand out and all do about the same thing.

      Camera 2, on the other hand, stands out with only one feature - multi-effect live preview, which works on both video and photos. That is why I flagged it for coverage.

      And as Jon above said, the screens may not look great, but once you install it, it's fantastic. You can swipe between filters live too, which is a nice touch.

  • David Margolin

    how much did they pay you to say all this?

    • RyanWhitwam

      I'm not allowed to like an app?

      • David Margolin

        few things
        1 am I the only one who looked at the screenshots and thought windows phone windows phone windows phone... get this unholoness away...
        2 there are so many hipster filter apps out there and I believe the general consensus is that no1 wants to look at photos from the 60s
        3 see the comments from duarte's holy clan above... its so unholo... it burns

        • Jon Flores

          The screens don't look that great, but I got the app and it's amazing

      • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

        It is kind of odd to see such an ugly UI and generally useless app (make your videos look like they're super old and poor quality!) get such praise. It does raise an eyebrow.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      About free fiddy, distributed evenly between everyone on the team. Except for Ron.

    • Mattia Priano

      Did you have a chance to try the app yet? I just bought it and it's amazing! The screenshots don't really give the feeling of the app, It just feels snappy and smooth.


    The major NEON-lacking ARM chip still in use is the NVIDIA Tegra 2. (i.e. most Honeycomb-era tablets, and a few phones)

  • LanceMiller

    Polaroid use to be same synonymous with photo taking / cameras, who would have thought their market share would ever fall to zero. There's a lesson there somewhere.

  • gr227

    Am I the only one who hate seeing pictures using all these crappy filters? oh wow you made your picture black and white and put a crappy looking frame around it... go you!

    • didibus

      The thing little people know, is that most digital cameras apply filters to your images. That's why there is always an image processor inside of them. Unless your camera does RAW, you always get a pre-filtered image. Even some RAW files have already had a bit of filtering done to them.

      With imaging, some form of image manipulation is always required, this was even true for film, when developing the negative, you are basically applying filters on your image. Similarly, with digital pictures, you need to apply filters to the radiometric information in order to get a viewable image, this would be reminiscence to developing your negative.

      So to me, the act of manually applying filters that you choose is akin to the person who would go to the dark room and develop his negative himself. Whereas sending your film to the store to get them to develop it is akin to simply snapping a picture and letting the integrated image processor apply filters to it. I feel like it is sign of more care, and artistic intent to apply filters on your pictures manually.

      Now, on a phone, and with most affordable digital camera, you do not get access to RAW, so your best way is to re-filter over your image.

      I understand that apps like Instagram or this is more of a semi-automatic filtering process, but it's still a lot more manual than letting the image processor do everything. So I still feel it gives a superior result that reflects a lot more of the photographer's intent, and artistic expressiveness than leaving the picture untouched from what the image processor did with it.

  • Tammy D

    Do you have the "Paper Camera" available for a desk top? I would love to have this program for my computer at home.