Until recently, camera phones were mostly relegated to purses and jeans pockets, taken out only to shoot and share casual snapshots. But advances in light-sensor resolution, optics, and, perhaps most important, control features, have pushed some camera phones into the realm of high-quality digital cameras.
Tech and Technique
Now that the technology gap has narrowed, the choice of which camera to use comes down to how you’ll use it. Tripod-based portraiture or static artistic shots? A conventional digital camera might be the right tool for the job. On the fly, moving with a crowd, ready for anything, always connected? You might want to consider what some of the latest camera phone models can do.
A good example is the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom, an Android-powered, Wi-Fi/2G/3G/4G LTE network-connected* camera phone that offers resolution and optical zoom power (10x) that are comparable to those of many stand-alone digital cameras. But how it takes pictures—and how you can control the action—is what really matters. So now that your camera is up to the task of taking great pictures anywhere, what about your know-how? Are you ready to shoot faster, better, and with more control?
Ready, Set, Shoot
Great photos come from the right equipment, knowledge, passion, and proper preparation before the shooting starts:
- • The Basics. Know thy camera. Make sure you have everything set so you can shoot when the moment happens.
- Be patient. Take time to learn how your camera’s functions work. Dial in your resolution before heading out. Set flash to “auto.”
- Be sure that the lens is clear of debris and fingerprints.
- Shoot—and then shoot some more. Take the same shot in portrait and landscape orientation. Try different angles. Shoot more, and if necessary, keep less. Experiment.
- Have an extra memory card with at least 32GB of RAM handy to store more photos.
- • Your Best Shot. Now that you and your camera phone are one, a few facts and techniques can help you shoot with more confidence for better results:
- Lighting: Smaller subjects allow you to better control light. Landscapes or panoramic shots usually require that you wait for the best lighting conditions. Want a more natural look when shooting in bright sunlight? Try using flash to reduce the intensity of shadows.
- Contrast: The human eye processes contrast differently than the camera. A rule of thumb: If the contrast setting looks okay on the viewfinder screen, you’ve probably over-adjusted.
- Zoom: You’re not just getting “nearer”; you’re filling a frame—especially when photographing people. It’s usually better to move nearer to your subject, and then adjust the zoom for refinement. And use optical zoom (as opposed to digital zoom) whenever possible.
- Composition: How you fill the frame can be the difference-maker. Try to avoid centreing your subject. Shoot portrait (vertically) to enhance tall objects or to emphasize height; shoot landscape (horizontally) to emphasize width. Add depth to your images by using strong foreground objects in shots where the background is a key element.
Your talent and techniques will shine brightest when you have full control. Available on the Galaxy S4 zoom, Zoom Ring improves on conventional zoom control by allowing you to precisely adjust manual settings and activate key functions via Smart Mode:
- • Always be ready to shoot fast: To activate the camera app, tap the lock screen or home screen and twist the Zoom Ring.
- • With the camera app activated, twist Zoom Ring to adjust zoom. A little time spent getting get used to the feel of speed-sensitive adjustment will really pay off when you’re capturing fast action, like a ball in flight or wildlife in its natural habitat.
- • Tap the home screen and rotate Zoom Ring during a call to talk, shoot, and share simultaneously with Direct Connect.*
- • Dial in Smart Modes to take up to 20 continuous shots, create panoramic images (that incorporate up to eight separate shots), use preset long exposure times to add light trails and other effects, and more.
* 4G LTE and certain camera phone functions and features may not be available from your wireless service provider, or in your language, dialect, or region.