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Screenshot from Google Play Store
Google today announced its improvement over its standard camera app for Android phones and tabs running KitKat 4.4. Through ‘Google Camera’, Google wants to share advanced camera features it has been adding to the Nexus lineup with all its latest phones, at the same time keeping step with the post-editing trend that Lumia phones and Instagram have made popular.
This app has simplified the shooting experience by replacing the shutter button with a bigger shutter bar (thank God!) so you no longer have to look for the precise touchpoint for shutter release that made camera handling inconvenient. Google Camera also embeds phones and tabs with the Photosphere feature that lets users create panoramic jpegs or 360-degree images by stitching together individual frames. And you can shoot them all the way up to 50 megapixels!
The winning feature, however is the ‘Lens Blur’ that using certain algorithms, increases the camera aperture beyond what typical phone cameras are physically capable of achieving. This means that users with standard phone cameras can now take near-DSLR photos characterised by shallow depth-of-field or blurred backgrounds after the photo is taken. You can also adjust the level of blur to what you want. An Engadget article explains how that’s made possible:
“Taking the photo requires an upward sweep to capture multiple images, used to estimate the depth of objects for a 3D map that lets the software re-render the photo later and blur specific items based on where it thinks they are.” Find the detailed explanation on Google’s Research Blog.
The app is freely downloadable at Google Play Store. For those without Android KitKat 4.4, the team promises this app will soon be available for devices running earlier Android versions as well.

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