A zoomed-in comparison to really see some of the artifacts of the stock camera app that Nikita’s GCam gets rid of.
Note: In this example I used Simple Camera from F-Droid but the artifacts are the same on the stock app as well as OpenCamera.
On the left side you can clearly notice:
bright contour lines around the leaves
more noise in the sky
an almost posterized coloration all accross, especially what seems like a single dark “stencil” layer (for lack of a better word, in french I’d say “aplat”) that seems multiplied to the rest of the image (I’m no expert in how the raw data is processed but that’s how it looks to me)
I’m using the latest Nikita’s 8.2 v1.8: NGCam_8.2.300-v1.8 (Nikita, 2022-06-05) and it’s working flawlessly for the main (rear) camera, but only uses a fraction (around 4 MP) of the selfie (front) camera’s 16 MP resolution (i.e. the FP3 camera+ module, not sure if you have the 1st generation FP3 cameras) while /e/OS’s default camera app (OpenCamera) at keast uses 12 MP. There’s a plugin that allows you to connect GCam with a gallery of your choice and I am using that plugin, but as a result I keep getting Google Photos updates offered in the /e/ App Lounge (so far I have been able to ignore these updates).
I have /e/OS default settings including MicroG and I am not aware that this would have any negative consequences.
GCam’s settings don’t seem to have that option (I looked for it myself).
For your questions 2 and 5 (EDIT on #5: I never installed Google Photos, yet saw the tiny round thumbnail preview instantly without further ado), I have no knowledge. i just downloaded the Nikita .apk and installed it on my device by double tapping.
Without thoroughly testing image quality, I noticed problems in most of them:
a) Not being able to use another gallery app. Even if some have the option in settings to use a third party app gallery, it does not always work. As @urs_lesse pointed out his can be solved really easy with Introducing GCam Photos Preview
b) the crashing of the app when you choose 4k resolution of video. The fp3 support 4k at 30fps max, and the newer gcam versions support 4k60fps and even 8k. Some ports crash once you choose 4k and there is no option to make it works again, except if you ditch all your data/reinstall the app. The versions that do handle this correctly:
BSG’s 8.6:MGC_8.6.263_A11_V14 (stable)
Has no slow-motion video. Setting for 3rd party gallery works, provides sharpness settings when hdr+ is on. Focus tracking optional.
Wichaya’s 8.1:GCam_8.1.101_Wichaya_V1.6 Works without GCam photos preview. Offers playground option which requires AR (which then means: crash), but fp3 is not supporting this anyway, so I don´t care. Has annoying haptic feedback though (can´t be turned off) and lacks selfie lightning option.
Nikita’s 8.2:NGCam_8.2.300-v1.8 Option to set 4k video to 30fps in settings to preent crashing , and needs to open photos and videos in 3rd party gallery with GCam photos preview . Does not see Signal as sharing app. Focus tracking available. And again also annoying haptic feedback that cannot be turned off.
I have now chosen the BSG GCam port even if it does not have the slow motion option. I found the haptic so annoying that I will go for BSG now.
Not working for me (mainly because of crashing when you select 4K video), tried 8.1 or higher versions:
Hasli LMC (too bad, looks well thought)
Greatness (taking pictures in different resolutions all the time, very weird)
Arnova (video is fine, but too little settings to alter unless you wish to enter developer options. Also annoying haptic feedback when changing photo mode and cannot be turned off)
If you read this topic later on and have /e/ os like me, please note that at the time of this writing I run /e/ os 1.8 (android 11) and the newest stable gcam port is 8.6 by BSG. So there may be newer ones when you read this.
The version I use (NGCam_8.1.101-v1.0) works more or less the same as before the update to Android 13 on my FP3 (stock camera) .
The problems I have (slowness in processing photos, sporadic “blocking” of the flash when taking a photo with it activated, difficulty to focus in low light situations, sporadic crashes…) were already present before updating to Android 13… but I’ve learned to live with them because I really like the quality of the photos
Since the Android 13 update (at least that’s when I noticed it) making video’s with 60fps does not work anymore. As soon as I choose the option in Nikita 8.2 the screen looks like it’s starting the recording every second or so. After that the app won’t start anymore and I have to remove all data of the app to get it working again.
Strangely, even the stock camera app won’t record at 120fps anymore. It has the same restart symptom and need to delete all data of the app to get it working again.
I experience the same issues after my upgrade to DivestOS 20.0 (so android 13 as well) on my FP3+.
Occasional crashes, freezes, not capturing a photo, and complete crash needing reinstallation after enabling 60 fps happen to me as well.
Using Nikita 8.2 as well (exact version: 8.2.300.368894857.16). I’ll try other versions when I have time.