GCam, which is the abbreviation of Google Camera application, enables you to take your photo experience and photo quality to the next level with many extra features such as HDR +, portrait mode, night mode etc. With these features and other software enhancements, you can take much better photos than your phone’s original camera.
GCam is a very successful camera application developed by Google for its phones. The Google camera, whose first version was released on April 16, 2014, is currently only officially supported by Google Nexus and Google Pixel devices. In order to install this camera application developed by Google on other phones, some arrangements may be required by the developers.
Google Camera Features
The main features that distinguish Google camera from other camera applications can be listed as HDR +, motion, night mode, panorama, photosphere.
HDR is the abbreviation for High Dynamic Range. It can simply be called enhancing contrast and colors. Speaking as a scene, it can be thought of as the reduction of the details lost when shooting two environments with more and less light in the same frame. This can be fully understood by looking at the photo below. As understood in HDR +, it is an improved version of HDR.
When the HDR feature is active, the phone usually takes 3 photos and processes them together to adjust the dynamic range, colors and contrast as seen in the photo. In Google Camera, this is achieved by taking 5-15 photos, not 3 photos. Thus, more accurate colors and more accurate contrast are obtained. The main thing is that although the number of photos taken increases, the speed of shooting and processing of the photo does not slow down too much.
HDR + Enhanced
It is the advanced version of HDR +. It is similar to HDR + but it takes darker, brighter and more pictures than HDR + and combines them.
This feature can be compared to iPhone’s Live Photos or HTC’s Zoe modes. When Motion is on, a short video is captured with the photo and embedded in the photo.
Panorama shot option is also available on Google camera. There are 4 shooting options in Panorama mode. These are horizontal, vertical, wide angle and fisheye options.
Photosphere is actually a panorama mode taken in 360 degrees. However, it is offered to users as a separate option in Google camera.
Night Sight is a much more advanced HDR + Enhanced mode. When the user presses the button to take the photo, it takes photos up to 15 frames of 1/15 of a second or 6 frames of 1 second and saves these photos by correcting their colors with AWB (Auto White Balance), a Google technology. As a result, you get much brighter and clearer photos in low light. We can say that users generally prefer GCam for this mode.
Unlike other devices and camera applications, the portrait mode of the Google camera does not need a secondary camera hardware. Thanks to its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, the focused object and the background are separated from each other and the bokeh effect is applied to the background.
AR Stickers / Playground
Announced with Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, this feature allows you to use AR (augmented reality) elements in your photos and videos.
Introduction of camera modes by Google:
Why Is Google Camera So Popular?
The main reason Google camera is popular is definitely unofficial ports. As we mentioned above, the Google camera is officially supported only for Nexus and Pixel phones. However, some developers allow us to port the Google camera and use its features for different phone models. Other reasons for its popularity are that it is very popular with the community and it is said to be an advanced performance from stock camera performance.
How to Install Google Camera?
To install GCam, you first need to find out whether Camera2API is active or not. You can find out with this app. If it is not active, you can activate it using the guide here. If Camera2API is enabled, here are a few sources you can download from GCam:
GCam Photos Examples
Shot on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. You see the version difference shots of 2 Gcams.
OnePlus 5T – Stock camera app vs Gcam
Xiaomi Mi A1 – Stock camera app vs Gcam
LG V20 – Stock camera app vs Gcam
As you can see in the examples, GCam allows you to take much better pictures than the original camera of the phone with its software support.