There's been much talk about how Android 5.0 will finally do some good for mediocre Android cameras. The new camera APIs allow apps to get RAW images off the sensor and process them into JPEGs, but where are all the apps to take advantage of it? There's L Camera, which is still in testing on GitHub, but Camera FV-5 has become the first app in the Play Store to support the new Lollipop camera features.

2014-12-10 01.39.44

Camera FV-5 has been around for a while, its claim to fame being a DSLR-like interface. It does have more settings than most camera apps, but you can only do so much pre-Lollipop. As of the new update, Android 5.0 devices will enjoy the following features.

  • RAW capture in DNG format (DNG+JPEG).
  • Manual shutter speed with a shutter speed scale in fractions of second to long exposure (replaces the old shutter speed priority toolbar).
  • Manual focus mode (in focus mode toolbar).
  • Realtime display of exposure parameters (shutter speed and ISO).

The interface takes a little getting used to, but all these features appear to be present and accounted for. The manual focus mode is particularly cool. However, it seems like autoISO is not working correctly on the Nexus 6. It might be a bug or maybe I'm holding it wrong—I don't know. Either way, this is a big step for Android photography.

Update: The new API also requires OEMs to update drivers, which some have not done, annoyingly. You'll only see the new features on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 right now.

[Thanks, James]