Few words on the new Google Camera app

Just a few things I noticed about the new Google Camera app:

Available on the Play Store, which means it will get updated more often and available for devices other than those running stock Android.

100% viewfinder coverage. No longer will you see a 16:9 crop of a 4:3 sensor that hides a significant portion of the image being captured.

New set of icons and UI that looks nice but still doesn’t rotate to landscape mode if you keep Auto-rotate screen disabled in Settings. Thankfully, the photo is still saved in whichever orientation you hold the phone even if the UI does not rotate.

New UI includes a new reticle for focus and two bars for pinch to zoom.

Grid overlay. Very handy.

Camera modes hidden on the left, accessed by swiping from left edge. Last captured image from right edge.

Camera settings hidden by default. Appears when you bring up the camera modes from the left. Settings include resolution options, saving geotag and an odd option to show or hide manual exposure option.

Camera modes include a lens blur mode, which lets you take a photo and blur the background similar to a DSLR photo. The execution isn’t great; you have to take a photo and then move the camera slowly up for it to separate the subject from the background. After that it lets you adjust the level of blurring for the background. The capture and adjustment take a while to process on the Nexus 5. Quality of captured images is bit underwhelming.

Improved UI for panoramas.

Video recording mode explicitly warns you to turn the phone to landscape if you hold it in portrait. If you have Auto-rotate screen disabled in Settings, the phone won’t know you turned to landscape and keep telling you to rotate, even if the video itself will be recorded in landscape mode. Note, despite the warning, the app will allow recording videos in portrait mode.

HDR photos still take far too long to process on the Nexus 5.

Still no burst mode.

White balance, countdown timer, time-lapse mode and Scene settings have been removed.

Overall, a decent update but feels like a lost opportunity to add so much more.

Update: Going through the user reviews for the app on the Play Store and every single moron is complaining about the shutter button taking too much space. What these idiots don’t realize is that even if the viewfinder is now smaller in size on the screen it is actually showing them a greater area than what the previous app did, which was just a crop. Also, since it’s a 4:3 preview being shown inside a 16:9 display, it cannot possibly take up the full screen without getting cropped. Google is showing the full preview and whatever space is left is taken by the shutter button, which is why it’s so big. Hardly anyone is complaining about the missing white balance, time-lapse and countdown timer settings but one button becomes big and suddenly everyone loses their minds. Retards like these is why we can’t have nice things.