We’ve written a lot about unusual photo apps from Japan here on SD. There are decorative purikura apps like Decopic or Snapeee, or off-the-wall apps like Face Stealer or the stealthy Ninja Camera. But one of the most successful photo apps from Japan is not nearly a niche as these. FX Camera is more straightforward, with a repertoire of photo filters and effects, plus simple social sharing. It doesn’t over-complicate things.
I finally took the plunge and spent some serious time with FX Camera over the past few weeks. Given the relatively normal feature set I didn’t have huge expectations. But there were a few things that pleasantly surprised me: the filters consistently produce photos of an unexpected quality, especially the ‘Oldie’ filter under the ‘toy camera’ filter collection . There’s also the fun symmetry effect collection, which can make for some great images if you use it wisely (see my attempt, lower right).
Recently the company behind FX Camera, Bit Cellar, announced that their app has surpassed 25 million downloads, which is certainly an impressive feat. Although it should be noted that the app was first released for Android all the way back in 2009, a big head start on its competitors, especially here in Japan.
If you try out the app these days, you’ll find that there is a new ‘water’ effect section. I understand that if you use these photo effects that BitCellar will donate a penny for each photo to the Japan Water Forum. Check out their promo video below for more on that.
FX Camera is not my primary photo app (that honor goes to Big Lens) but I expect I’ll continue to use it as one of my favorites. My only complaint so far is that it kills my podcast player when I open it, which is a little annoying.
With contributions from Rick Martin