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ProCapture’s Reduced Noise Feature Works Well With the Instant Shutter of the Galaxy Nexus

The camera on the Galaxy Nexus is clearly not the best in the business. Sure, it can take instant photos that will wow your friends, but if they look like hell, what’s the point? Since many of us have been on the hunt for the best camera replacement, we wanted to suggest ProCapture that a reader recommended. ProCapture has this nifty “reduced noise” option that will snap two pictures and then mold them together to create a single shot. With normal cameras, this can be difficult due to shutter lag, but since the Nexus has zero shutter lag, it’s able to snap the two shots within a second or two. The results so far from our tests have been satisfactory.  

There are two issues though that need to be pointed out. The processing time for ProCapture to merge the two photos is not the swiftest. Also, the app itself does not have a video option, so you will have to revert back to the stock camera to shoot video.

Stock Camera vs. ProCapture

(click images to enlarge)

To give you some other options though, I also took simple tree shots with both Vignette and CameraZOOM FX without altering any of their manual settings. The pictures, as you can see, are a lot less washed out than the stock camera. CameraZOOM is on sale, but it doesn’t seem to have quite as many manual options as the other two, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them

Vignette vs. CameraZOOM FX

And I’ll now ask that our photog readers step in and offer their opinions. :)

Market Links:  ProCapture ($3.99) | Vignette ($3.99) | CameraZOOM FX ($2.99)

Cheers Timoh!

  • slavnost

    I really like using Camera360. Tons of options and effects.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DCasper Dustin Casper

    A bus had time to drive off after the first photo????? 

    • Anonymous

      yeah it was about 5 minutes apart.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see 4 bucks of wow. My Gnex is adequate as a camera phone. Emphasis on adequate. I’m sure cameras on phones will get better. Until they do, there’s the iPhone 4s and Lightroom 4.

    • Anonymous

      I felt the same way but sometimes you have to put things in perspective. I’d like to have some cleaner pictures. Like I said in another reply, in larger pictures you can see a big difference. I spend a lot more than $4 on stupid things I don’t need outside of Android, I’m sure you do too.

      This is coming from a guy that doesn’t like paying .99 for useful apps.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t get me wrong, I’ll pop off 4 bucks or whatever bucks on something that wows me. I too think the Gnex is lacking in photo quality and I was disappointed because the camera is AWESOME with that 0 lag, which in business, has save me serious time…every single day. I just don’t “SEE” the app making such a difference as opposed to the edit functions built in, and of course my editing with an external app. That fact that you said in larger pictures you can really see a difference interested me more so than the initial offering too. I also agree, that if I could get better shots without external editing, I would, I mean, I do have Camera FX, 360, and a couple of others. For me, personally, this app may be one to watch, but it just didn’t push me to impulse buy like others did. 

  • FortitudineVincimus

    I remember all the f***** Nexus fanboys hating on me as I pointed out (1) that camera was friggen old tech leftover junk at a laughable 5mp and (2) other cameras can already do the high speed shutter multi picture trick….

    So I love too see that this camera sucks. Love it. Some of you can eat your words beotches. “Oh, it’s not about MP” “oh, its an amazing camera” bwaa haa haaa … Bullsh1t!!

    • Baked14

      Calm down broskie. Its a phone

    • Anonymous

      It’s not about MP, look at the iPhone 4’s camera compared to the nexus. Both 5MP, but the iPhone’s cam is miles ahead. It’s about the optics and sensor, not how many MP.

    • Anonymous

      I never said it was amazing, I only said it was OK. It still is just OK with the stock camera app.

    • WhenYourReady

      Someone’s disappointed they didn’t get a Nexus…

      You can bash the Nexus for having a decent camera, but no matter what you say about it, the Nexus is one of the best, if not the best phone out there.

  • Andy-roid

    I’m sure that back in the days before digital cameras nobody thought that compact point and shoot cameras could ever take the great pictures they do today.  I’m sure that in the near future someone will figure out to put a really amazing camera inside a 7mm smart phone.  That’s just what technology does.

  • Anonymous

    Chances of this capturing a good image of my 1 year old: low.

  • Darthseph23

    Vignette… all the way imho.  CameraZoom FX is less for photography and more for melding the effects of instagram without having instagram.

  • Jim McClain

    got my LG DARE out and even its camera makes my nexus camera  look like it came from the dollar store

    • TheRealBeesley

      Its true… The dare takes great photos.  Especially for it only being 3.2 MP.  I keep it in the car to use as a point and shoot. 

  • Anonymous

    Procapture really helped reduce the “bus in background” noise in the second photo.

    • Anonymous

      Oh s*** what about all the people riding it?! I guess if there’s no bodies, there’s no evidence.

    • U Mad Bro? No But Your Mom Is

      Hahaha!!! Tru dat! I never even noticed.

  • Jim McClain

    and they speaker on this thing is as bad as it can get

  • Jim McClain

    it is really sad that they billed this phone as the best ever and the camera is the worst ever, really no excuse for this, we paid good money thinking we were getting a top of the line phone

    • http://www.whatsyourissue.tv/ HeathCliff Rothman

      Very disappointed in the camera. I love having a camera with me always, with cellphones, and it was a tree with thunderbolt and droid x having such good cameras. I find the galaxy nexus a marked step down. Mostly the pictures are just not sharp, especially if there is even a slight bit of movement.

  • Jim McClain

    this is just a software problem, original droid has 5 mega camera and its pics are better then my nexus, blow up a nexus pic and its a muddy mess

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      Hey look.another tool

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    The improvement is negligible.  The Nexus has a horrible camera, I have accepted that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

       Ditto.  Having updates first and the ability to unlock the bootloader outweighs the horrible camera FOR ME. 

  • Skyskioc

    The only problem I see is when using the reduced noise filter it takes up to 60 Seconds combined the photographs. It is great if you are Shooting a picture of a Object that is not moving Then it seems to work pretty good. If you are shooting action shots Or moving objects And one picture after picture then this will not work. Otherwise this is a good Application to add to the mix. It works fine on my rooted galaxy Nexus Running Gunther.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, good point. The reduced noise feature definitely isn’t for shooting a moving object or for doing a burst image.

      However, even the normal photo mode does increase the quality a little bit.

      • Skyskioc

        Sorry auto spell check was on on that last word should have read GUMMYJAR ! Trying to drive my truck and post at the same time doesn’t work too well.

  • Anonymous

    It seems like the important take-away here is that MAYBE the poor quality of the Nexus camera is actually a software issue, and can be corrected in a future update.

    • Anonymous

      yeah the camera in the gs2 was largely amazing due to an amazing camera app by samsung 

      • Anonymous

        And the high quality camera…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      I don’t expect the camera to become amazing with a software update, but even making the pictures a little better with an update would make me very happy.

  • http://twitter.com/batfandotcom Ben Rollier

    Hmm, doesn’t seem quite as good as Camera360

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that I can’t get any menu buttons and have to reboot? I am running 4.0.3 though….

  • Deltaechoe

    This is why i have a dedicated point and shoot, much better than any phone camera

  • http://www.facebook.com/billyNOTnice Billy Gladfelter

    I see 4 horrible pictures..

    • Anonymous

      You seem far too angry about this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Bell/750747288 Nick Bell

    I have never used a phone camera, although the few times I tried my Droid X’s camera it was terrible…. I always have my DSLR close and then use an EYE-Fi card to move it to my phone or tablet..

    • Anonymous

      Cool story bro.

      • Anonymous

        x2

    • Tim242

      You never used a phone camera, except the few times you used a phone camera haha

  • Anonymous

    I have been in love with CameraZOOM for some time now. HDR Camera is also cool…

  • Anonymous

    Interesting app. Curious to know how the code works by extrapolating data from two successive images that may not be framed identically due to camera shake.

    The shots you’ve shown here aren’t quite representative of the app’s abilities as they’re shot in daylight. Try shooting something indoors with dim artificial light. This is where the GNex’s High-ISO would create more noticeable noise in the darker areas. Then compare with the app’s results. Curious to see the difference.

    • Jacoblmueller

      You are right, a bigger difference will be seen in dim light.  As to how it works, I assume it aligns the images first (not too tough if you assume the framing is close).  Then at each pixel you can take the difference between the two.  Since the image data is the same, between the two, the difference is noise.  Subtract out the noise and you are done.

      • Anonymous

        Good call. Sounds about right.

    • Anonymous

      Well the larger, original images show a bigger difference. I can do some low light shots here in a few minutes when I’m on my lunch break.

    • Anonymous

      I saw a whitepaper on this a while ago.  Basically, noise is random, so if the software can use reference points in the image to overlay them, the random noise is pretty easy for the software to see.

  • Anonymous

    I personally don’t think the galaxy nexus takes bad pictures.  I’ve taken a lot with it and I think they are better than what I got with my droid x.  You can only get so much out of the tiny sensor in a phone.  If you want amazing pictures, use a dSLR.

    • Interstellarmind

      HTC Rezound and TBolt have superior cameras.

      • Anonymous

        My friend has a TBolt and I wouldn’t say his takes any better pictures.  Maybe if you zoom in and compare them they are a little better than the nexus, but my point is you can only expect so much out of a phone camera.

        • Anonymous

          I agree. I think people are looking for (D)SLR quality from a phone and it just isn’t going to happen. 

          • Anonymous

            Looking for flagship phone quality cameras on flagship phones is a reasonable expectation however.

      • Sdny8

        i had a loaner rezound while waiting for the nexus  I wouldnt say it took any better pics than the nexus

        • http://twitter.com/BucUte Neil Rasmuson

          I disagree.  I had a Rezound for a month before the Nexus. Thought the camera took WAY better pics.

          • TheRealBeesley

            Agreed, I also had the rezound before the nexus.  The HTC took way better pictures. My gf has the Rezound now, and when we take side by side pics, hers always turn out better.  

            On a second note.. If you know anyone who wants to trade their Rezound for my new Galaxy Nexus, hit me up!  I’m ready to ditch this thing…  

      • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

        No… no… I had a Thunderbolt and It didnt take noticeably better pictures.

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      I agree. My pictures come out pretty darn good. Plus, I put all of them through Lightroom anyway (if I actually want a good picture, which is rarely expected from a cell phone anyway). I don’t have photo quality complaints from the Nexus.

      • Anonymous

        My year old Incredible’s camera takes much better pictures in pretty much any situation.

        • Anonymous

          I would say that is completely false since I came from an incredible. That camera is pretty awful.

          • Anonymous

            Better than this one. It’s the only thing I don’t like about the GNexus.

            Of course, neither is as good a camera as my DSLR, but…duh.

          • Anonymous

            What a surprise. The only people I see complaining about the GNex’s camera are those who own a DSLR.

            It’s a cell phone, man. The pictures are fine. Most people’s definition of “good” isn’t what your camera can take. That’s considered “extremely great” or “amazing.”

          • Anonymous

            Seriously? If you had actually read my comments, you’d see that my complaint was that the pictures aren’t as good as my Incredible produced. A phone that came out over a year after the Incredible should have at least the same photo quality. I didn’t indicate anywhere that I expected similar image quality to a $1000 camera. That’s what the “duh” was for.

          • Anonymous

            Bowen up there seemed to disagree. I actually compared the Nexus’ shots to my friend’s Incredible 1 today and found that I, too, disagree. I suggested your warped standards b/c I noticed that you, along with most others who have been particularly bashing the phone’s camera, have real cameras.

          • Anonymous

            I’m confused as to how owning a real camera would make me prefer the Incredible camera over the Nexus’. I’m glad you two agree on this. The funny thing is, nearly every review of the Incredible praised the image quality of the camera, while the consensus on the Nexus camera seems to be fairly negative on image quality.

          • Anonymous

            When the Incredible came out, standards for phone cameras were lower. That’s like comparing praise for the camera on the iPhone 1 to criticisms for the Nexus’ camera. The Nexus has a fine camera in and of itself, it’s just much worse than that of the iPhone 4S or the GSII.

          • Anonymous

            You’re right, comparing the Nexus to a phone that came out in 2010 is just like comparing it to a phone that came out in 2007…

          • Anonymous

            In that they all came out at different times to wildly different fields of competition, yes. I now feel that I’ve made my point and will no longer respond.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

            The Droid Incredible took pictures that looked exactly the same as those taken with an iPhone 4, but higher resolution. It had the best image sensor available. Its still one of the best. Sensors in both phones are made by Omnivision.

        • Jacky Kimes

          Yep.  My ‘old’ Incredible took better pictures than any other phone that I’ve seen.

      • Amanda

        How hard is lightroom to learn?

        • GF1 Fanatic

          Lightroom is a must have for anyone interested in digital photography. Much easier to learn than Photoshop. Fantastic program!

          • Anonymous

            Extremely easy to use alongside Photoshop as well.  If you can get lightroom to do the majority of the stuff non-destructively, and let Photoshop do the heavy work…it’s awesome.  It’s one thing I use at my job.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch Judah Richardson

    Not worth it IMO. My favorite 3rd party camera app is Camera360, because it allows silent shooting. Oh yeah, and it’s free too.

    • http://twitter.com/OptimusIM Olatunji

      LOL creeper booty shot guy ^

    • Josh Groff

      Will give it a whirl, also, cm7 cam allows for silent shot. Shot sounds are so annoying sometimes.

    • Anonymous

      Procapture has a sound-off option as well as panorama and wide shot. You can try the free version out, the only difference is the free version only takes 3.2mp shots

  • EC8CH

    How’s everyone like the snow in Portland?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Melted over night. Snowpocalypse 2012 was weak.

      • http://twitter.com/OptimusIM Olatunji

        dont jinx it.

    • Anonymous

      The car picture is Redmond WA. Apparently the Gov. called a state of emergency. IMO that’s way out of line. It’s obviously not bad if my fwd hatch can make it around just fine.

    • Antonius

      What snow?  More like 5-8 inches of rain instead…I feel like my kids were cheated out of some good snow so were taking them up to Mt. Hood next weekend and we are gonna check out the new inner tube park at Skibowl.

      • Anonymous

        I do water damage restoration and 5-8 inches of rain would keep me busy with flooded basements! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ApplCobbler Ricky Wainwright

    You can also edit the photos in the gallery easily to clean them up significantly.

    • Anonymous

      It also greatly reduces the resolution.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

        Not the resolution, but it does some HEAVY compressing (seriously? 1.5MB picture -> less than 300KB?!)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have any menu buttons on Camerazoom FX so I had to restart my device and get a refund on it.

    lol

  • Josh Groff

    I purchased CameraZOOM FX when it was 10 cents, takes pretty good pictures, but I wouldn’t have spent 2.99 on it. either way, that being said, anything is a step up from my old gravity 2, so even stock camera on the sensation looks really good.