Pine64’s PinePhone has a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera. But when early versions of the phone began shipping, there wasn’t any software that would actually let you snap photos.

So developer Martijn Braam created Megapixels, which wasn’t the first camera app for the PinePhone, but which has certainly become the most fully-functional. It’s also been ported to work with Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone.

Now the camera app is even better. Megapixels 1.0 is now available and, among other things, it adds support for hardware-accelerated graphics, allowing the phone’s viewfinder to provide a nearly real-time preview as you line up your shot.

Megapixels 1.0 (@braam_martijn)

Braam says other changes in the most recent builds include bug fixes contributed by Purism and nwlyoc, as well as support for copying QR codes to your device’s primary clipboard.

But the most noticeable user-facing change in the latest version of Megapixels is that the app has been upgraded to the GTK4 toolkit (earlier versions were built on GTK3), which brings GPU acceleration to the camera viewfinder.

Previous updates added features including support for using the spacebar as a keyboard shortcut for taking a picture, using imagemagick and graphicsmagick for postprocessing, and performance and memory usage improvements.

It’s unlikely that the camera on a $150 smartphone like the PinePhone will ever be able to capture images that match the quality of what you’d expect from the latest iPhone, Pixel, or Samsung Galaxy S. But now it’s easier than ever to snap halfway decent photos, particularly outdoors or in brightly lit settings.

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2 replies on “Megapixels 1.0 released, bringing hardware accelerated graphics to the camera app for Linux phones”

  1. How do I get this on Mobian? Do I need to compile from source? I’m not seeing this on Flathub, and it isn’t yet updated in the Debian packages.

    1. Mobian currently can not ship it due to the lack of GTK4 in bullseye, the debian version soon to be released. After that, Debian sid will be tracked and GTK4 will land in it. So Mobian can ship this new Megapixels version

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