New APIs were recently opened up in the Android Lollipop 5.0 update. As software hindrances have prevented camera performance from meeting hardware advancements, 5.0 Lollipop includes a low-level camera API that enables users to alter specific camera functions.
New Android camera options can be tested using "L Camera," a new app that manipulates the Lollipop camera API. This open source camera app can be downloaded by any Lollipop device, and enables manual control over the camera's focus, exposure, ISO, and resolution (for photo and video), and offers new digital negative output settings.
Phandroid, the popular Android news source, used L Camera to put the API to the test against the default Google Camera app. The team released slideshows comparing the quality of holiday-themed images taken on the Nexus 5 and 6 using both apps.
What was found using the Nexus 6 was that L Camera's API options allowed for increased camera performance in situations where lighting was an issue for the default camera settings. The API allowed the user to adjust ISO levels and increase brightness/exposure settings in order to achieve a more natural and well lit condition.
Similarly, using the Nexus 5, Phandroid noticed slight improvements in low-lighting situations. With both apps on default settings, though, not much of a difference in photo quality was achieved across both devices.