Magix today released a new version of its already very good Camera MX Android app. This free image-capture, -editing and -organising app now extends to video recording and trimming, and includes new effects, borders and picture structures, plus Magic Cube, which adds effects to your photos at random. Read our Magix Camera MX review to find out how it stacks up. Also see: Best Android apps.
Magix Camera MX is a replacement for Android's native Camera app, and accessible through two app shortcuts. Tap the 'One shot cam' icon to quickly launch the app and immediately take a snap (automatic capture can be disabled in the settings); you can then apply effects or enter the editing booth to adjust the image. The other app shortcut takes you to the main application: Camera MX; tap this to launch the camera and either compose a shot in image mode or toggle on the new video-recording mode, open the Media Manager or access your Online Album, through which you can showcase your photos and videos online with 500MB of free storage. Also see: Android Advisor.
Also available from the home screen is a vast settings menu. Options here let you adjust the effect preview quality, enable smooth zoom, play a shutter sound, define the save location, disable automatic photo capture in One shot cam, specify a save location, adjust the Jpeg quality, store both the original and edited image, and activate a self-timer beep and flash.
Magix Camera MX: Image enhancements
You can already crop and rotate images in Android's native Camera app, and there are plenty of free third-party apps that let you apply effects and edits to enhance your digital photos, most notably Instagam. The neat thing about Magix Camera MX is its ability to apply effects at the composition stage, allowing you to preview how your image will look before you press the shutter. You can apply an Auto optimization filter, or select from Lomo, Orton, Red Glow, Pencil (now Drawing), Reflect, I'm Blue, Thermal, Poster, Kaleidoscope, Image order, Pop Art, Negative, Threshold (now 8-bit), Sepia, Black and White and Red blue.
New effects introduced by today's update include Tilt-shift, HDR, Colour Splash, and Little Planet, plus the ability to customise their impact using a slider. You can add a border and overlay to your image, then tap the FX+ button to save the combined effect as a preset for use with future images. A Magic Cube button adds a random effect to your image, which may encourage you to try effects you wouldn't otherwise have thought of. Also new is the ability to add subtitles to your image.
From the composition screen you can toggle on or off GPS tagging, a self-timer and flash, control the zoom and reveal/hide the effects menu to maximise the screen space. New additions here include a button to enter video-recording mode and another to apply a Magic Cube random effect. With more than one effect applied the FX+ button also appears onscreen, allowing you to save the preset. Camera MX works in both portrait and landscape mode, but you can force it to use a landscape orientation in the settings.
Effects can also be applied after the event where, unlike Instagram, Magix offers a wide range of image adjustments. White balance, brightness, saturation, colour temperature, contrast and mask blurring tweaks are available, and you can not only crop and rotate images but create mirrored versions and adjust the horizontal alignment. Most are easily controlled using sliders, and there's a multiple-undo feature if you later regret your changes. An option in the app's settings menu lets you save both the original and tweaked photos, although this will increase lag - our only complaint with Magix Camera MX.
Magix Camera MX: Media Manager
The Media Manager is fairly basic, but it does the job. It lists all albums - and now video - stored on your Android device, with a separate Camera MX album created for any images captured or edited using the app. Images within each album can be ordered by name or date. You simply tap on an album to access the individual photos, then tap on an image to open it in the editing booth. From here you can apply the aforementioned effects and adjustments, upload the picture to your Magix online album, or share it via Bluetooth, email, Facebook, Gmail, Picasa and so on - options here will vary depending on the apps installed on your device.
Given the high-resolution images produced by Camera MX (up to 3264x1836 pixels), Magix can scale your photo to 608x1080-, 405x720- or 270x480 pixels prior to sharing, which is particularly useful if you'll be sending it via email or are concerned about data usage. If storage space is a problem, the images created using the app can be scaled right down to 480x320 pixels, with various 4:3 and 16:9 settings available.
A slideshow feature is available from within the Media Manager. You can tweak the display duration and transition time for individual slides, plus add background music. Various transitions are available, including Random, Alpha with Ken Burns effect, Cloud, 3D cube, Right to left, 180-degree rotation and Alpha blending.
Magix Camera MX: Specs
- Varies with device
- Varies with device
Magix Camera MX is a fully featured Android app that just got even better. Whether you want to capture, organise, edit or share your pictures and video, this is an incredibly useful and completely free app, which includes 500MB of online storage space for your creations. Our only gripe concerns the lag time, although newer smartphones more powerful than our put-upon Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc will no doubt fare much better in this regard.