Long-awaited pro-level video app arrives on Android, with a catch

A promotional image showing the Blackmagic Camera app for Android.
A promotional image showing the Blackmagic Camera app for Android.

Blackmagic, the company known for making the digital cameras and editing software used for movies from Oppenheimer to Godzilla Minus One, has released a camera app for your Android phone. Blackmagic Camera for Android follows the Blackmagic Camera app for iPhone, which was released in September of last year. Apple was so impressed with it that it used it to shoot its October 2023 event where new Macs were introduced.

However, before you rush off to the Google Play Store ,there is a small catch. The Blackmagic Camera app is only available for Samsung and Google Pixel smartphones, so it won’t work on your OnePlus, Motorola, or any other Android maker’s phone. The better news is the app is entirely free and does not come with in-app purchases to unlock additional features, but some more advanced features do rely on the Blackmagic Cloud service, which does have associated costs.

A promotional image showing the Blackmagic Camera app for Android.
A promotional image showing the Blackmagic Camera app for Android.

This isn’t really an app for the casual videographer, as the feature list is long and extensive. The user interface is based on the same system used by the company’s digital cameras, and video can either be stored on the device or uploaded to Blackmagic Cloud Storage, where it can be edited using Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve software. It’s even possible to collaborate with a team at this stage and use the in-app chat service too.

BlackMagic Camera for Android introduces many features we associate with a “Pro” mode, but solely for video. It means you can manually adjust the frame rate, shutter speed, white balance, tint, color, and exposure, plus view a histogram while you shoot. You get a zebra view and frame and focus guides too. The app shoots in the 16:9 aspect ratio and like the iOS app, there’s a “stealth” mode where you hold your phone vertically, but still shoot in landscape orientation.

A promotional image showing the Blackmagic Camera app for Android.
A promotional image showing the Blackmagic Camera app for Android.

When shooting, the screen shows all the parameters at the top, with adjustments set down the side for easy access. A swipe up or down on the screen clears all distractions, leaving you free to compose and view your shots. The app is available through the Google Play Store now, so it’s worth giving it a try if you enjoy shooting videos and would like to add a bit of Hollywood magic to them, but do note that you need a Samsung or Google Pixel phone for it to work.