Just over a month ago, we saw a Ukrainian developer known as B-S-G bring the Google Camera app with working HDR+ to many non-Google devices. A while after the initial release, the port was updated with support for Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) as well as greater compatibility for the OnePlus 3/3T and other Snapdragon 820 devices. Now there is a new, massive release of Google Camera HDR+ with RAW support, full HDR+ customisation and stability fixes!
The latest updates have added so much that it feels like a new application! If you face issues or want to try tweaking the application to get better quality photos, you can, and there are many combinations for you to play around with. I will be providing some photos and the options I used to take them, so if you find my photos satisfactory then you can copy them!
All of the photos below were taken on the OnePlus 3 using automatic HDR+, not the forced option. Forcing HDR+ uses a stronger algorithm which cannot make use of Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) and can sometimes even lead to unnatural results. Note that I am not a professional photographer, and some of these photos could have come out a lot better. Overall I am extremely happy with the results, especially over the stock camera processing. I have been testing this for a while, and overall stability and speed have massively improved.
RAW Support with Google Camera HDR+
The application now has an option under experimental settings to enable RAW capture while also saving the processed JPEG file! This allows users to enjoy the benefits of HDR+ and also salvage a picture if the processing screws up.
Configuring HDR+ Settings
Another brand new feature in the recent ports is the ability to actually select your processing modes. Rather than having separate APKs with different algorithms, you can now select them within the application. Many combinations will crash, but we have a perfectly working one for you to get going!
Install the application and navigate to settings. Simply installing the application doesn’t work anymore, as you need to choose your own HDR+ algorithm. Once there, you will be faced with a plethora of options. These options allow you to customize the HDR+ algorithm to your liking.
You can play around with those as much as you want! They’re just an initial guideline for you to get going with HDR+. There are so many options to choose from that if you had issues with previous builds, you can try a few combinations to see what works and what doesn’t.
Installing Google Camera HDR+ Port
If you are upgrading from a previous version of the application, you will need to clear your data. This is likely because the application settings for processing have changed how they’re saved in newer versions.
Device Compatibility with Google Camera HDR+
Some devices confirmed to work so far:
- LG G6
- OnePlus 3
- OnePlus 3T
- OnePlus 5
- Samsung Galaxy S8 (Snapdragon)
- Xiaomi Mi5S
- LG V20
- Essential Phone (with massive improvements to camera quality)
What’s more, other devices (with Camera2 API enabled, such as the Nokia 6 and Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note 4) may work too! As far as we can tell, this camera port relies on the Hexagon 680 DSP on a Snapdragon SoC for image processing, which is why this port does not work on other SoCs such as Kirin, Exynos, and MediaTek.
Sadly the port does not work on the ZTE Axon 7 and is unlikely to ever work with it so long as there’s no Camera2 API support available for the device. Other Snapdragon 820+ devices should work fine though.
The port still works on Xiaomi devices, especially the Xiaomi Mi5s which the port was originally targeted towards. Regardless of the SoC in your Xiaomi phone, give it a try and let us know how it goes!
And many other devices are rumored to work too, so honestly, give it a try at the following link!
Google Camera HDR+ Port Optimised for Snapdragon 820/821 Devices
XDA-Member Ivanich has continued work on his modification of the above Google Camera port to further optimise it for Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 devices such as the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. The changes listed below are the same as before but just updated for the new B-S-G releases. The steps for configuring it are the same as above.
- Added 60fps capture, thanks to Amir Z https://github.com/amirzaidi/gcam/commits/full
- Fixed dark video issue in video mode
- And disabled burst which caused camera force close’s on these devices
Again, the changes above are taken from the previous article, as they are the same.
For now it seems the port is largely finished. With a plethora of options and almost complete stability, it’s hard to think of anything else that’s truly needed. Stay tuned to XDA, as there may still be more changes in store for the Google Camera HDR+ Port! If you find something that’s not covered in this article (such as compatibility with a specific device we haven’t mentioned) then leave us a comment below!
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