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New Camera API for Android to add RAW support, face-detection and more

A new report indicates that Google is working on a new camera API, which will enhance the camera experience on an Android smartphone.

Ars Technica in a report has published some changes expected in the new API, including support for RAW image output. As per the report, the RAW images are modestly compressed and processed when compared to a JPEG format, which is a default format for clicked images on Android smartphones. The RAW images would increase the amount of correction possible, and programs like Photoshop can do much more with a RAW file than a JPEG. It’s worth pointing out that Nokia has already introduced the RAW image output support in the flagship Windows Phone 8 phablet, Lumia 1520.

Further, the report reveals a month old batch of code that showed the new camera API was in the works. The code was first spotted by app developer Josh Brown. The code said, “DO NOT MERGE: Hide new camera API. Not yet ready.”

In addition, the alleged new camera API is rumoured to bring face-detection feature which would include bounding boxes around faces and centre coordinates, while Android’s OEM partners like Samsung, Sony and HTC have already introduced the face-detection feature in their top-end smartphones. Another expected addition is a revamped burst mode and a major overhaul to the image quality. The report includes documentation with phrases like substantially improved capabilities and fine-grain control, suggesting that Google is working closely on image details.

The leaked APIs also suggested that Google might bring removable camera support, much like Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 lens cameras, to Android smartphones. The report notes the API for removable camera, saying: “The camera device is removable and has been disconnected from the Android device, or the camera service has shut down the connection due to a higher-priority access request for the camera device.” The report does not reveal any details about the release of the new API for Android.

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