Become a master photographer with an Android device and Google Camera app

One OS, many imaging tricks, and they're all free when you download the Google Camera app
Become a master photographer with an Android device and Google Camera app

Unlike the iPhone-totting crowd, there are plenty of choices available to Android users. Which translates to a first-world problem - if there are so many customised imaging features in different devices, how can anyone truly be a master of every Android smartphone out there?

Fortunately, there's one camera app that plays nice with every Android device. Made by, you guessed it, Google. The Google Camera app is readily available to download from the Google Play Store and doesn't cost you a single cent too.

Designed for photography triumph maximus, the camera software contains hidden features that'll let you capture the best photos in whatever setting you can dream of on Android devices.

Read on to see how to best make use of them.

READ MORE: Stuff's Ultimate Guide to Android

The art of focus

Become a master photographer with an Android device and Google Camera app

The Google Camera app has the perfect solution for highlighting the subject and that’s a feature called Lens Blur. It gives your photos the bokeh effect that's typically achieved with extensive fiddling of manual controls on normal cameras. On an Android device, all you need to do is a simple tap. It's that easy.

Best for: Close ups of people and objects.

How to use it: Activate Lens Blur, tap the capture button and then move your device slowly upwards, or tilt it back to move the slider. And if that still doesn’t quite work out for you, you get to post-process your photo, changing the position of your focus and even the intensity of your bokeh on the slider scale.

Tip: Frame your subject so that it’s in the centre of the picture to get the best results.

READ MORE: Stuff's Guide to Photography: What is bokeh – and how do I get it?

The LG G3 has a similar feature called Magic Focus, HTC calls it the Ufocus on the One (M8) and Sony decides to be straightforward about it, naming the bokeh feature Background Defocus.

All three roughly work in the same way - taking multiple shots with different focus lengths and creating a composite image that lets you adjust the focus.

But amongst all three, the One M8 stands out with its dual lens. It uses the secondary lens to get the depth of field information every time so you get good bokeh no matter the photo mode.

READ MORE: HTC One (M8) review