Smartphone cameras have gotten powerful, and sometimes even more powerful than point-and-shoot digital cameras. Camera phones, like that on the Nokia Lumia 1020 that packs 41MP camera, have greatly accelerated the digital photography field, and we are starting to see very high quality photography coming out of these devices.
With a great camera on hand, the only thing that prevents you from taking a great shot is the shooter itself. How can you make the best use of your camera phone and take great photos?
1. Get Close and Avoid Using the Zoom Feature
Unlike the normal camera that comes with optical zoom, most camera phones use digital zoom to zoom in your image. The effect of digital zoom has a tendency to reduce your image size and make your images look grainy and pixelated, particularly for a low-end camera phone. Filling up your view finder by getting close to your subject is usually recommended. Try not to use the zoom feature as much as you can.
Your camera phone zoom feature simply crops the image when you zoom in. Remember, you can always crop down, but you can’t crop up, so avoid the zoom at all costs.
2. Shoot More Than Once
Digital photography affords you the ability to take multiple shots with no overhead costs. Taking more than one shot allows you to get different dimensions, and varying degrees of light that are essential to a great photograph. Images on your phone’s screen may look nice or overexposed but can look quite different on a large computer display once you get back home.
3. Always Light Your Subject
It is not likely that you will be carrying a light source when shooting from your camera phone, but there are a few things that you can do. You can, for example, ensure your subject is as brightly lit as possible. The lower the light, the more grainy your images will look.
If you are shooting indoors, always turn on the lights. If your phone has a built-in flash, try to use it as much as possible. There is a good reason why cameras come with flashes, as these greatly enhance your image quality.
4. Use the Google Camera App
Unless you are using one of Google’s high-end Nexus phones, you will want to download the standalone Google camera app, designed by Google. The app enables you to capture images with the maximum resolution your phone camera supports.
You can also add cinematic effects to your shots at the time of capture using such features like the lens blur, photo sphere, and panorama. The blur feature enables you to simulate what you usually get on high-end DSLR cameras of either blurring the foreground or background. You simply tilt the your phone slowly to capture depth and use the Lens Blur icon to edit the blur effect.
Panorama capture enables you to get the full width and detail of the scene you are shooting. This is great when capturing large and wide scenes. Photo Sphere, on the other hand, lets you shoot a 360-degree photo that gives you an all round experience.
5. Use the Stable Shot Setting
It is difficult to keep a phone stable and hard to detect a blur until after you’ve pressed the shutter button. The stability setting on your camera phone app will help a great deal in reducing your phone’s shakiness. This setting uses the phone’s accelerometer to measure the shakiness and holds off taking the picture until you are stable enough.
Your camera phone can come in handy when you need to take at-the-moment images or you just don’t want to drag the heavy, more expensive DSLR along. These tips should help you get some fairly decent images without the extra hassle.
Image credit: Samsung Galaxy K Zoom
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