Why The Google Camera App Is The Coolest Thing For Photo-Buffs

A run-down of the new features included in the latest Google Camera app.

Here’s what’s cool about Google camera. 

First, it includes an SLR-like feature called ‘Lens Blur’, which offers a shallow depth of field. Second, it’s also available on non-Nexus devices running KitKat in the Play Store. Add to that the interface, which is sleek and simple, and the combination is pretty impressive.

For all of you wondering, Lens Blur is a simulation of the DSLR feature in which you can focus on the foreground while blurring the background and vice-versa.

But how exactly do you achieve this effect on a phone with a relatively small lens and aperture as opposed to a camera with a huge lens?

As explained by Google in their blog post, the Lens Blur feature stimulates a larger lens and aperture with the help of algorithms. In order to capture a larger area as the camera usually does, you need to move the camera in an upward sweep to capture a series of frames. A 3D model is then created, again with the help of algorithms, in order to estimate depth and create the selective blur effect.

Other new additions include an improved Panorama feature which lets you take several individual pictures and stitch them together. However, this time around, it uses dots as guides to keep you centered, instead of the old ‘sweeping’ method.

On the downside, if you rotate your phone over 180 degrees, the shutter button does not change positions. Moreover, white balance controls are also gone. Hopefully, they’ll be returned in future updates.

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