Instagram’s “Advanced Camera” is Required to Capture Video on Android


     Friday, Facebook announced that it was releasing video support for Instagram on iOS devices as well as Android devices running Jelly Bean, putting the internet giant in direct competition to Twitter’s Vine service. Instagram’s new video service has several advantages over Vine, the most notable of which is having the ability to capture more than twice the length of video than Vine. After the announcement, Instagramers took to the app posting R.I.P. Vine pictures.

     But since the update rolled out to Android devices, there have been complaints that users running the latest version of Android have not been able to capture videos. I was one of the people who faced this issue, and was incredibly perplexed. Did you have to upload video rather than capture it in the app? No. You can’t upload videos at all. Was there something I was just completely looking over? Something that was right under my nose? I opened up the settings for the camera to just find the regular controls that were on the standard Android camera. Was there no front facing camera support yet, and therefore I could’t post videos from my rear-camera-lacking Nexus 7?  I decided to do some research. My results? Instagram advocates were bragging that Instagram sported front facing camera support on Android. At this point I was just about to give up, assuming that only a select crop of Jelly Bean devices were supported. I was going to do one last thing before I gave up, though, and that was dig through the settings. It would be pretty stupid if you had to go in to enable it, so I assumed that that wasn’t the place to look. I was part wrong and part right.

    I was right that the majority of Android users who wouldn’t have to enable it, because most people were using Instagram’s “Advanced Camera” feature.  I, on the other hand, had disabled it a little while ago.  At the time, my pictures generally ended up being way too dark. Any picture I captured or uploaded would look normal at first, but once they were posted to Instagram, they would look dark, and any faces in the picture were barely visible. I dug into the settings for a solution when I was in this situation as well, and came upon this screen:



    I put two and two together, and realized that one or both of these two features were to blame. I had disabled both. So, I was wrong about not having to enable anything to be able to capture video on my part. I came to the same screen again, and realized that it was probably only the advanced image processing that was responsible for the darkened images. I enabled Instagram’s “Advanced Camera” feature, navigated back to the home screen and then tapped the camera button. To my pleasant surprise, there was a big red video button next to the normal shutter button. I was able to take video, and everything worked perfectly fine, and neither pictures nor videos were mysteriously darkened. It’s not all bunnies and rainbows, though. There is still one major advantage that Jelly Bean’s built in camera interface has over Instagrams Advanced Camera. That’s the fact that it has more options. Instagram’s camera has literally no options, you can’t make any changes until you get to the editing page. With Jelly Bean’s camera however, it’s a different story. You only have the features you’d normally get on a smartphone camera app, but that’s absolutely more than nothing. The average consumer isn’t going to miss these settings, but for those of you who do use them, I have some bad news for you: Instagram’s “Advanced Camera” is required to capture video on Android.

Justin Howell

Justin Howell has been a journalist and a YouTuber since April of 2012. His fascination with politics, science and tech started in September of 2011, when he joined Google+, which had virtually no content unrelated to technology at the time. While doing research on what would become his first Android device, the Nook Wi-Fi, he was inspired by the video reviews he saw on YouTube to do a review on it. On April 27th, 2012, he posted his first YouTube video... which was also his first piece of journalism. He posted several videos after that, which have since been lost, before taking a break to finish the sixth grade. He came back during the summer of 2012 (and hasn't taken any long-term breaks since), this time doing a variety of different videos rather than focusing on one topic. By the winter of 2012-2013, he had switched back to mainly doing tech however, with the occasional gaming video. He filtered out all content unrelated to technology by the summer of 2013. On May 27th, 2013, he published his first full-length article to blogger, a comparison between the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Since then he's written six articles. His YouTube channel is climbing in popularity at a very slow yet relatively steady rate. At the moment he has 313 subscribers and 115,874 views, and is aiming for 15,000 subscribers by summer 2016. You can help him by going to watching some of his videos, and subscribing.