Google Camera HDR+ Port Updated with Zero Shutter Lag, More Xiaomi Device Support, and Major Bug Fixes

Google Camera HDR+ Port Updated with Zero Shutter Lag, More Xiaomi Device Support, and Major Bug Fixes

As we reported earlier this month, Google Camera was ported with working HDR+ to any devices that used a Snapdragon 820/821 or 835 chip (with the exception of the ZTE Axon 7, according to reports from other users). It has also been reported to work on certain Snapdragon 4XX or 6XX devices such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, though this requires the devices to have the Camera2 API enabled. Since the initial, rather buggy release, the Google Camera port has received updates to fix major bugs, bring more Xiaomi devices on board, and has also introduced Zero Shutter Lag for automatic HDR+ mode.

The Google Camera port seems to make use of the Hexagon 680 DSP in these Snapdragon SoCs, so no equivalent Exynos or Kirin SoC will be capable of using this port (sorry, international Samsung or Huawei/Honor users!) This addition not only has significantly improved pictures in certain conditions on a vast selection of devices, but it has made certain phones major contenders to sit with the best mobile shooters around. The OnePlus 3 with this camera can punch far above its own weight in camera ability when using this port, in my opinion.

Since the initial release earlier in the month, there have been a number of major updates to the Google Camera port. The Ukrainian developer B-S-G from the 4pda forum has been working tirelessly to provide the best camera application around. With a new base of version 4.4.020.163412804 and some major changes to how he has implemented HDR+, improvements are seen across the board.

The original Google Camera port that we covered had a broken front camera on the OnePlus 3T, broken burst fire mode, broken 60FPS video recording, broken slow motion video recording and a buggy HDR+ mode which crashed occasionally. Now B-S-G has fixed all of these problems and has also added some improvements. If slow motion or 60FPS does not work for you, take a look at this thread. It’s a Magisk module method for enabling it to work, however it worked out of the box for me. What’s more, another developer has come to improve upon the original port.

There has been one regression on the latest update, which is when using “no HDR” mode, pictures will sometimes take a very long time to save. We recommend using auto-HDR+ at all times. You may also face rare crashes on the current build, but a lot less than previous builds.


Improvements to Google Camera HDR+ Port, now with Zero Shutter Lag

All images above are shot on a OnePlus 3 with aHDR+ on the newest Google Camera HDR+ port

The Google Camera port has been subject to many changes in the last two weeks, changing how HDR+ works and adding ZSL.

ZSL, HDR+ and aHDR+

B-S-G has added ZSL, but only for automatic HDR+. Automatic HDR+ uses a lighter algorithm than forcing it, and the lighter algorithm uses fewer photos to stitch together. This is why it can use ZSL, as otherwise there would not be enough time to take enough photos. If you use forced HDR+, then you cannot benefit from ZSL.

This is a good thing, however, as automatic HDR+ is all that you will really need. Using forced HDR+ can lead to images looking unnatural, with no shadows. This is what the Google Pixel does too, so again the port is achieving its aim in bringing Pixel-like camera functionality to other devices. This is a massive improvement over the original port, which required forcing HDR+ in all scenarios. This way the camera application itself calculates what it needs to do, rather than a “one size fits all” approach. Many users of the more recent ports agree that there is a huge improvement.

Compatibility with the Xiaomi Mi5s

This camera port was originally for the Mi5s due to the poor camera processing, although it works across a vast amount of devices. If using a Xiaomi Mi5s, this port is completed and other than the non-HDR+ issue mentioned above the application should work perfectly with zero crashes. If you are using any other Snapdragon 820/821 device, then look below.

Snapdragon 4xx/6xx Devices – Xiaomi

After the initial post, it seems that this port actually is working on a multitude of Xiaomi devices, including the Redmi Note 4x, Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 3. You will need to add this to your build prop if you want to use it however.

persist.camera.HAL3.enabled=1

Alternatively, you can flash this Magisk module. Check it out and see! This may only be working on Xiaomi devices as the port was originally meant for the Mi5s and it may be using Xiaomi specific hardware/proprietary blobs.

Download and Install

Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) has been a popular mod of Google Camera with Nexus 5X and 6P users, as it added the Google Pixel’s ability to take good and quick photos on those devices. B-S-G has worked tirelessly to improve the camera, solving many crashing issues and what’s more, introducing a better HDR+ solution. You can download his version 1.4 of his port below from our AndroidFileHost page, or you can also register on the Russian forum 4pda to download his new camera updates as they come.

Download B-S-G’s Google Camera v4.4 Mod with HDR+ and ZSL


Optimization for Snapdragon 820/821 Devices

XDA-Member Ivanich has taken it upon himself to fix up some of B-S-G’s problems he’s had with his camera port. I contacted him to confirm the changes he has made, which are below. He effectively optimized the camera port for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, and thus other non-Pixel, non-Xiaomi Mi5s Snapdragon 820/821 devices too. I highly recommend Axon 7 users also give this a try and see if it fixes their issues.

I only made small changes in order to fix some things which were broken on the op3. I also added 60fps recording, so basically  here is what I did:
– Added 60fps, thanks to Amir https://github.com/amirzaidi/gcam/commits/full
– Fixed dark video issue in video mode
– And disabled burst which caused camera FC’s on our device

Ivanich has also given us permission to re-host his modifications on our AndroidFileHost! Check it out down below!

Download Google Camera v4.4 Mod with HDR+ optimized for Snapdragon 820/821 devices


Keep up to Date

If you are not on the newest version, I highly suggest you upgrade to one of the options linked above. With a much better approach to HDR+, ZSL working slow motion and working 60FPS video there is absolutely no reason not to upgrade!

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