Free Android apps for getting the most out of your phone's camera

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Who says you need a DSLR in order to take great looking pictures? Unless you're a professional photographer, your Android phone is capable of getting the job done. So instead of spending a few hundred dollars on a new camera, check out these free Android apps that can help in taking your mobile photography to another level.

For the social shutterbug

FxCamera will let you share your photos directly to Facebook or Twitter.

If you like sharing your photos, you have quite a few options: Android's built-in sharing feature lets you share your photos using almost any app you have installed on your phone, but that requires you to jump between multiple apps if you want to share the photo in multiple locations. Apps like Instagram, Hipster, and FxCamera will allow you to share your photos on all your social networks at the same time, while also allowing you to tweak and tune them to look just the way you want them to. All three of these apps have multiple filters and borders you can apply to your photos to give them a touch of personalization.

If you're just looking for a way to get photos off your phone without having to plug your device into a computer or emailing them to yourself, both the Dropbox and Google+ apps allow you to instantly upload any photos you take into the cloud.

Dropbox will upload photos into whichever folder you designate in your Dropbox account, which you can then share with as many people as you please. If you're worried about all those photo uploads eating up your data plan, you can set Dropbox to only upload photos when you are connected to Wi-Fi. As an added bonus of using Dropbox's instant upload feature, you'll receive extra 500MB of storage that you can use to store more photos or other content.

Google+ will also let you choose whether you want to upload photos over a cellular connection or Wi-Fi, but it handles uploads differently than Dropbox. When you upload a photo over Google+, it gets put in a private photo album on your Google+ account. You'll have access to that photo on any device that's capable of connecting to Google+, and you'll be able to download copies of the original file in case you want to keep a file locally.

For the "serious" picture taker

AfterFocus will let you adjust the depth-of-field in your photos allowing you to create photos like this one.

If you aren't interested in sharing your photos, or if you don't just want to put a sepia filter over every picture you take, there are apps that can touch up your photos in ways that won't make them look like they belong in a preteen's Facebook feed. AfterFocus is the perfect example of such an app that can actually improve your photographs without having to slap a filter on them.

AfterFocus lets you simulate enhanced depth of field in your photos by using your finger to draw a border around the objects you want to remain in focus and highlighting the areas of the photo you would like to blur out. The app is very simple to use, and gives your photos a bit of that taken-with-a-DSLR look without actually having to own a DSLR.

Pudding Cam has 9 different cameras to choose from.

If you're looking for an app that does more than simply adjust the depth-of-field of your images, then you might want to check out Pudding Cam. Pudding Cam offers a ton of different shooting modes (represented in the app as different cameras), each with its own set of filters. There's a standard shooting mode (of course), but the app also gives you modes to let you create collages by taking multiple photos in a row. The only downside to Pudding Cam is that it doesn't have many settings you can tweak once you've selected a shooting mode. Sure, you can change your ISO settings and zoom in and out, but other than that you'll be out of luck.

This story, "Free Android apps for getting the most out of your phone's camera " was originally published by TechHive.

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