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Camera360 Android app a big step for photographers

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Camera360 might be the closest you will ever come to owning that expensive professional-grade camera you've always wanted. Once you figure out how it all works, you'll see that it's essentially the same thing without the additional strobe lights and detachable lenses.

In fact, if you don't have much camera experience, you might be best-suited to do a little bit of reading on the craft or take a photography class to really learn how to get the most out of this app. On that note, this app might not be the best for amateur photographers who aren't really interested in learning how to use an SLR.

Your phone's camera, when tapped into by most camera apps, will just let you use auto focus. Camera 360 gives you the ability to auto focus, pre-focus, manual focus and even have no focus at all. All that fancy camera talk about adjusting standard light compensation and checking your white balance – this camera allows you to do that, too. Really, that's just the surface of how deep this app allows you to go when it comes to programming, customizing and getting a photo exactly how you want it.

Camera 360 has a few different composition grids, which are used to help you set up the most aesthetically pleasing photos. (Use the rule of thirds!) This is a concept that photography instructors tell students to "imagine" when peering through the lens. Now it's a reality.

There are many different artsy filters to choose from, not unlike those that appear on some of the "Hipstermatic" style apps. It looks like there are more here than you would get on such basic apps.

It takes some of the effects that are found on these more simple, popular apps a step further. While some allow you to goof around with colorful stamps, stretch people's faces into having nine chins or import tropical backgrounds, Camera360 has an actual, technical blue screen that does the same thing, only in such a way that it looks much more realistic.

Perhaps the most handy feature of the entire app is the program's anti-shake software. People who are addicted to caffeine or have a chronic case of shaky photo syndrome (me and me) will definitely benefit from this. From the way your photos come out, no one will guess that you have shaky hands.

Because this app has such an extensive selection of features and customizations, I found navigating the thing to be a bit daunting. I'm sure this will change with practice, but for the time being, I still am pretty clueless about where everything goes. To be honest, I'm still figuring out how it all works. This app is huge.

Camera360 comes in both a paid and free version.