New Android camera API supports burst mode, face detection and RAW, ‘Not yet ready’

New Android camera API supports burst mode, face detection and RAW, ‘Not yet ready’Cast your minds back to February this year, and you might recall the frankly laughable promise from Google's Senior VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra; it went a little something like this: “We are committed to making Nexus phones [with] insanely great cameras. Just you wait and see.”

Well, we waited, we saw, but the Google Nexus 5 and its camera do little anyone would class as “insanely great”. Turns out KitKat Android 4.4 almost introduced a handful of new camera features; alas, the API ain’t quite ready.

That’s the word over on ArsTechnica, with further credit going to a dude on Google+, the latter having thoroughly perused the public Android source code.

Work on the new Android camera API seemingly started way back in December 2012 (which goes some way to explaining Vic Gundotra's promise), but it was marked “Not yet ready” around a month prior to the release of KitKat Android 4.4.

What are we missing out on? The headline features appear to be an Android burst mode (as recently introduced by iOS 7), Nokia Lumia 1520-esque support for RAW images, which are generally much larger than bog standard JPEGs, and face detection.

Most bizarre, however, is support for… a removable camera? The jury’s still out on that particular feature i.e. it mightn’t necessarily be user-removable. Or something.

For loads more detail, hit the blue words above.

Read more about: Android

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JanSt / MOD  Nov. 19, 2013 at 16:54

The camera is certainly something that Google and her hardware partners need to work on.
It's ironic that struggling HTC got it right on the One - not an all-round great cam, but a great camera for low light situation, with a small file footprint. Hello, nightclub selfie... Hello, quick upload to instagram and Twitter etc....

On the other end of the spectrum you have the Note 3 with 4k video, slo-mo, and a million settings permutations and nothing is great or very useful... Oh, and then there's the Nexus 4 that is only marginally better in the camera department than the Bold 9780, or something mid-range Nokia 2007...

Apple and Nokia own the camera phone fan segment.
My old N9 takes better photos than most Android phones I used since its launch.

SpeedyG  Nov. 19, 2013 at 19:14

My Nokia N9's Microsoft's close cousin uses better shots that many phones I've seen too.

Heck bring back the N95.

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 19, 2013 at 19:41

True! Heck, the 2mp k750 beats some of today's phones.

SpeedyG  Nov. 19, 2013 at 19:51

Largely because they've gone for megapixel war level like Compacts used to (and still do to some degree.)

Most smartphone cams are too noisy at low ISO's, have no OIS, poor low light performance and poor focusing issues.

Having no burst mode to compensate on Android as standard is criminal imo.


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