Google Camera Mod brings Portrait/Lens Blur, 4K recording to some devices

There's no doubt about it, Google's camera software on its Pixel smartphones, specifically the Pixel 2 is topnotch. It is a huge part of the reason, with hardware only secondary, why the Pixel 2 is at the top of DxOMark's list. Unfortunately, Google isn't exactly sharing its Camera app with others, even its own Nexus phones, even if some phones are capable of supporting those features. Fortunately, Android has a very passionate community of developers and modders who have picked the app apart and put it back together to bring the Google Camera mod to more smartphones.

In some cases, an OEM's custom camera app might be more than enough to get the best mobile photography experience. In most cases, however, some just slap on a basic app or don't have enough features to take advantage of the hardware. Whatever the case, the Google Camera Mod attempts to bring the features found in the Pixel 2 to smartphones that can support them.

It's actually a rather complicated landscape, with many people working on different things, modifying the app for a particular device, etc. The latest, coming from XDA Senior Member Arnova8G2, combines such mods into one. His GCMod5 includes the following features, some of which come from older mods:

• HDR+

• Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL)

• RAW, Compressed RAW, or RAW+JPG modes

• Portrait Mode (Bokeh)

• Toggle between Portrait Mode and Lens Blur Mode

• 4K video recording

While the mod can work even on devices that run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 821, like the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, respectively, they are still limited by what the processor and the camera sensor are capable of. That is why, for example, those two cannot enable portrait mode on the front camera. In almost everything else, the Google Camera Mod brings new life to these older phones, especially after their manufacturers have already abandoned them.