Android Tips Hat To Photographers - Adds Tons Of Camera Features To Android 5.0

Android Tips Hat To Photographers - Adds Tons Of Camera Features To Android 5.0

It's no secret that the majority of the photography and art community tends to lean towards Apple for many of their services. Google is hoping to convert a few of us with the announcement of Android 5.0 L this past weekend. Adding RAW support, full manual controls, and any other features to the camera system might make Android the best option for photographers everywhere.

Over this past weekend, Google held their media announcements to show off the future of their incredibly popular and successful Android OS for smart phones and tablets. New layouts, new features and faster speeds were all the highlights of the new firmware upgrade coming, but perhaps the most impressive announcement was when they showed the power of the upcoming camera controls and features.

DNG Support

Perhaps the largest announcement was the support for DNG files out of the box. This means that Android camera apps will be able to create RAW images, along with PNG, JPEG and other formats for each shot taken. Having DNG files means you can fully take advantage of full RAW support from apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw and more. By being able to bypass the presets of noise reduction and white balance algorithms, Android systems might be the next king of Instagram, with full control over each image.

Burst Mode

Certainly burst mode isn't entirely new for mobile photographers, but Google is working to make their phones the best at it. This means you will no longer be limited to software, and could potentially reach burst speeds over 30 FPS. That's a huge upgrade from the standard slow and clunky system currently in place.

Full Manual Controls

Another exciting announcement is their eagerness to embrace full manual controls for your camera system. The new API set to be in place will let you take control over -

  • Exposure (duration)
  • Exposure Compensation
  • ISO
  • Manual/AutoFocus
  • ​Flash Trigger
  • Auto Modes (Auto-Exposure / Auto White Balance / Auto Focus)
  • Auto Exposure Lock / White Balance Lock
  • Video Stabilization
  • Metering
  • ToneMapping
  • ​& More


With how the Android system is made, there is no real timeline on when these tools will be taken advantage of. But with Android releasing this API systems over this weekend, you can expect that developers are already working diligently to create the next favorite camera app for your Android devices.

Zach Sutton's picture

Zach Sutton is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and headshot photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His work highlights environmental portraiture, blending landscapes and scenes with portrait photography. Zach writes for various publications on the topic of photography and retouching.

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This is so overdue on both iOS and Android.

One step closer to me being able to say "I don't hate the camera in my phone."

Even Samsung's ad for the Galaxy 5 says "The Galaxy S5 is a camera that..." This is an inevitable step, with some exciting potential.

Good job Android...not enough to make me switch, but competition is great for everyone.

I actually have a Galaxy S5 and I absolutely love the camera on it. 16MP, with a lot of sharpness....much better than anything I've seen on a iPhone. Adding RAW capabilities to it is only going to make it a monster.

Sorry Zach, I should have mentioned that I am using the Iphone purely out of laziness to change and loose a digital plan that I probably don't even need. I don’t doubt that there are much better phones out there and it seems Android is really stepping up its photography game. This will hopefully force Apple to improve its cameras too.

Apple will follow in these foot steps, and then one up it somehow. That's how these things go. As cool as this is, I will most likely stick to my iPhone, because it just keeps everything fluid for me when everything else in my workflow/life is Apple already.

Finally, RAW support; now I might actually use the damn camera on my phone!