Smartphones are by a wide edge the most surely understood sort of camera utilized today, and it’s definitely not hard to see any motivation behind why: they’re compact, a large number of individuals have one with them continually, and many can take photos that rival autonomous easy to utilize cameras.
To empower you take basic yet the best photos with your cell phones, we’ve laid out some tips and tricks we wind up using every day. With this tips and tricks, you’ll have the ability to convey some brilliant shots from a really limited however incessantly upgrading camera platform.
Override the Defaults
Smartphones are better than anyone might have expected with regards to picking settings consequently, however they don’t generally take care of business. Metering in dubious conditions, especially inside and on cloudy days, can in any case leave a great deal to be desired, even with the best cameras available.
On the off chance that you think the white balance or exposure is off, numerous phones cameras enable you to modify these parameters to whatever you want. All phones incorporate a slider in the automatic mode that can change presentation on the fly, so there’s no reason to shot photographs that are too bright or excessively dark. White balance modifications frequently require a change from auto to manual mode (where supported), yet numerous cameras now support fine adjustment to color temperature.
The best manual modes enable you to change ISO and shutter speed also, enabling you to pick how much motion blur will be available in your pictures, and how much grain will be noticeable. Longer shutter speeds, regularly under 1/30th of a moment, will require steady hands. ISOs over 800 on a smartphone have a tendency to present detectable grain, however catch essentially more light than lower ISOs. It’s good playing around with these settings to determine the best mix for the shots you need to accomplish, and the good news is more top of the line smartphones in recent times incorporate these extensive manual modes.
In the event that middle weighted metering isn’t giving the correct outcomes, you may likewise considering changing to spot-metering, which a few cameras enable you to do. Focus weighted takes a look at the whole picture and meters as indicated by what it sees, with an inclination on the focal point of the edge. When shooting subjects off meter, it can be a smart thought to change to spot metering so the zone around the ‘spot’ you select is uncovered impeccably. Few out of every odd camera enables you to change this setting, yet a modest bunch that incorporate point by point manual modes do accompany a metering mode switch.
Know Your Auto Mode
Knowing how the automatic shooting mode on your smartphone camera works can enormously enable you to take great photographs. Set aside the opportunity to realize when it uses high ISOs, when it uses long shutter speeds, and change how you take photographs appropriately. These will help determine when the auto mode struggles, as you would then be able to choose to override the default settings where suitable.
Don’t Zoom Digitally
Many smartphones, including the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, incorporate optional cameras that give 2x optical zoom. There’s no reason you shouldn’t utilize those cameras, as they give an optical zoom without the loss of picture quality.
But don’t digitally zoom. This is the thing that happens when you squeeze or swipe to zoom on most smartphone cameras: the phone basically broadens and trims the yield from the sensor before the photo is shot.
Take Multiple Shots
There is a lot of storage capacity in your smartphone, so for each amazing shot you want to take, its worth taking a few more shots in quick succession. While shooting dynamic or quick moving items , for example, individuals, pets, cars, and so forth taking multiple shots will enable you to pick the absolute best later, without stressing over getting that one ideal picture in the first shot.
Even better, most smartphones offer slick burst photography features. Most will gather an arrangement of shots into a single ‘photograph’ and enable you to set whichever photograph from the bundle is the absolute best. A few smartphone will even examine the photographs for you and choose shots it supposes are the best, regularly taking a gander at whether everybody is smiling, or whether the subject is in focus.
We’ve seen phones that can even join the best parts of each shot into a single photograph, guaranteeing everybody is looking at the camera and smiling without really requiring everybody to do as such on the go. Play around with what your camera can do, you may be astonished at exactly how smart it can be with a blasted shot succession.
Use Good Posture
A key strategy for reducing blur is knowing how to hold a phone camera steadily. Holding your arms outstretched or far from your body can influence your shots increasingly while capturing. Moving your elbows into the sides of your body can give a touch of additional stability where required, as can physically laying the phone on a stable object.
In case you require perfect stability, it is better to get a tripod attachment that you can slot your phone into. We have seen and accomplished some incredible shots using a tripod. Tripods are particularly helpful if your phone camera doesn’t include blur-reducing optical image stabilization (OIS), or if there’s a manual mode that supports long-exposure photography.
The final piece of the puzzle that often stops a photo captured with a smartphone from looking truly awesome is the post-processing stage. All the detail and necessary information has been captured, but it may not look as vibrant as you were after, or as sharp, or as beautiful.
It’s easy to fix this: chuck the photo in an editing program on your computer, like Lightroom, or even use an app on the device itself and begin playing around. After moving a few sliders and ticking a few boxes, the results might astound you and your friends.
Capture in RAW
Capturing RAW photos ties in with the previous tip on editing. For years now, DSLR users have been capturing in RAW to assist with the editing process and get the most out of their shots. Today, a small handful of smartphones support RAW capture, so if you’re serious about editing, considering switching to RAW instead of basic JPG capture.
For those wondering, RAW is an image format that captures unprocessed (raw) data from the camera. When you capture using JPG, aspects such as white balance are baked in to the final shot, and detail is lost in the compression process. The RAW format captures everything, before white balance and other parameters are set, and without lossy compression. Editing using RAW images provides the most detail, and allows you to modify things like white balance and exposure with far less quality loss relative to JPG.
While RAW is best for editing, photos captured used in this format are typically 3 to 5 times larger than their JPG counterpart. If storage space is a concern, RAW is not for you.
Light it Right
If you want to get serious about smartphone photography, it’s crucial that your photos are lit well. Small sensors typically found in phones are not always capable when lighting gets poor, so it’s always best to ensure your subject is well lit when taking a shot. If you can get your camera shooting at ISO 200 or lower, you’ll see less grain in the final image, and photos will look clearer and more impressive.
One way to achieve better lighting for your smartphone photos is to get strong artificial lights, but this probably isn’t practical for most people. The flash also tends not to be so great, so you can rule that out as well. This leaves natural light as the best source, and there are a few tips to getting the best shots in the lighting you have.
Like when photographing with any camera, ideally the sun should be behind the camera’s lens, shining light onto the subject without entering the lens directly. Pointing a camera towards the sun will cause shadowing and a loss of contrast, so try not to do so unless you want an artistic effect. In cloudy conditions the bright sun can be diffused throughout the sky, presenting a challenge for phone cameras with limited dynamic range, so avoid shooting up to the sky if it’s not a sunny day.
These tips hold for indoor photography as well. If you’re capturing a group photo, don’t make everyone stand in front of a window with bright sunlight streaming through. Instead, you’ll get a much better shot if you use the window as a source of light: get everyone to face the window, and take the photo with your back to the window.
As we mentioned earlier, it might also be worth exploring spot metering to get the exposure just right, especially when there’s strong backlighting. Ideally you wouldn’t be shooting when there’s strong backlighting as smartphone cameras typically have weak dynamic range, but sometimes it’s necessary. And sometimes you can experiment with reflective surfaces to get light in just the right positions: often a simple white piece of paper will suffice at directing light from the sun (or an artificial light) onto your subject.
Sideload the Google Camera App
This tip is exclusive to Android smartphone owners, and those who want to do a bit of tinkering. The idea here is that Google’s Pixel smartphones have very good cameras, and part of this comes down to Google’s excellent processing and HDR implementation. In other words, what makes the Pixel cameras so good is software, not hardware, and if you put the same software on other smartphones, you might see an improvement to image quality.
On some phones, users have seen image quality improvements by using the Google Camera app instead of the included camera app, particularly to dynamic range, HDR, and low light performance. The app isn’t going to magically take a poor camera and make it as good as the Pixel; not every part of the Pixel’s excellent processing is transferrable to other phones through the app. The Pixel itself will always deliver the best results using Google Camera. But in some cases, the Google Camera app is far better than the stock app on other handsets, and is worth installing for a boost to quality.
Downloading and installing Google Camera is easy. Grab the latest version that works on your handset from APKMirror, and install it on your phone. Note that the newest version may not work if you are stuck on an older version of Android. It may also be worth experimenting with the Google Camera HDR+ port, which is a tweaked version of the app designed to unlock even more processing power. As with installing any app outside the Google Play Store, you will need to allow installation of apps from unknown sources in your handset’s security settings. But don’t worry, the links we’ve provided in this article are safe, verified versions of the Google Camera app.
Know When to Use Portrait Mode
The final tip relates to portrait modes, which have become increasingly more common in the last year. Portrait modes attempt to simulate the increased background blur, or ‘bokeh’, available from DSLR cameras with wide-aperture lenses. In many cases this is achieved through an additional sensor that provides depth information, though phones like the Google Pixel 2 can simulate bokeh through smart edge detection and without additional hardware.
As portrait modes are a shallow depth-of-field simulation, rather than the real deal, they have problems associated with them. Edge detection isn’t always perfect, so there are times when you capture a photo and areas are blurred that shouldn’t be. At other times, the blur doesn’t look natural, or looks closer to a Gaussian blur than a realistic lens blur. The key to capturing good photos using portrait modes is knowing when the portrait mode is likely to succeed, and when it will struggle.
Throughout our experience with a wide range of phones, most portrait modes struggle in highly detailed scenes, when there is no clear distinction between the foreground subject and the background you wish to blur. In these cases, you’ll often be left with a worse photo than if you didn’t use the portrait mode. Some cameras struggle if the subject is too close, or if the lighting isn’t very good. Stick to ideal conditions for the best results.
But when everything is working well, some cameras produce fantastic simulated depth of field results that can take the shot to the next level. Don’t simply ignore the feature because it’s not 100% reliable; play around, see what works, because some results can be stunning.