The Samsung Galaxy S3 is an excellent phone by many standards. This is one of the reasons many people own one nowadays and it has received many updates along the way and a large number of custom ROMs were made for its various models. One of the very interesting parts of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is its own camera app. The Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has an 8 MP backward-facing camera and a 1.9 MP front-facing camera. We’re going to talk mostly about the 8MP backward-facing camera mostly in this article and how to take great photos with it. And we don’t mean photos taken with apps download from the Play Store and we’re not going to talk about technique. We are going to talk about photos taken only with the camera app itself and using only the options that are available in it.
About the camera
Contrary to what some of you might have been inclined to think, the camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S3 has received a lot of attention and it is hooked up with a lot of options. In fact there are so many options that even some camera models, as in cameras meant only for this, have fewer options than this phone. Because of this you can say you have quite a few possibilities when choosing to take photos. But let’s talk first about how to access the camera, as there are quite a few ways. You can access it the classical way by unlocking your phone, going to apps and tapping on camera. If you have a camera shortcut on you screen, you swipe the camera shortcut up when the phone is locked. But if you have the advanced motion gestures enabled you can hold your finger on the screen and then just turn your phone landscape in order to launch the camera. Either way is just as good.
When you have entered the camera app you have a few buttons on the screen. Firstly, there are the gallery button, the launcher button and the button to switch to video recording situated on the lower part. On the upper part of the screen you will have another five options. The first one from the right is the one that lets you switch between the frontward camera and the backward camera. The latter one is much weaker than the former one and it is not recommended to use it for anything other than video conferences due to the poor quality if the images. The second button is the flash button which offers three possibilities: on, off and auto-flash. Now auto-flash, as it happens with most cameras, tends to be a little aggressive and that’s why you should mostly avoid using it unless it is really necessary.
The third button is the one that lets you scroll throughout all of the shooting modes made available to you. This is where you will have a field day if you seek to take better and better pics with the Samsung Galaxy S3. Let us talk about a few of the shooting modes in the phone.
- Single Shot is the basic photo. You point your camera towards your target and your press the launching button and you have your photo.
- Burst Shot is more interesting on the other hand. Burst shot enables you to take up to twenty photos, six per second by just holding the button to take photos. It has an option within it called best shot that allows you to take 8 photos while the software will decide which one is the best. Of course it does not always get it right but it is a fun feature.
- HDR is another great shooting mode. HDR (high dynamic range) lets a camera take multiple shots with different exposure settings and then just uniting all of them together into one. With HDR you can take better photos in certain situations because it allows for livelier colors. But it is not all that easy with it as you have to hold the phone extremely steady in order to avoid blur.
- Smile Shot is quite funny to play with since you will tap on the button to take the photo but the camera will only take the photo when the subject is smiling. And surprisingly it works pretty well, detecting the smile of the person in most cases.
- Panorma mode will make great panoramic pictures that will probably most of the Samsung Galaxy S3 users out there right now.
These were a few of the most important but there are a few others available to you. Beauty mode is said to eliminate facial imperfections but it sometimes gives a weird-looking aspect to the face and cartoon mode adds an interesting touch.
With these out of the way, we should focus now on the settings in the 8 MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the focus mode. Both of these are not very often given much attention. They are the two other options in the upper part of the screen when you are in the camera app.
Focus Mode. Usually the camera is set to Auto Focus but it also lets you choose the focus manually. If you want to focus on something in the photo, whether it is in the foreground or the background you can just tap on the part of the screen you want the camera to focus on and it will just focus on that section. On the other hand you can just let it take an auto focus picture.
The Macro setting of the camera can be selected if you are going to take pictures of anything from very close to it but it does not do magic for your pics.
Face detection detects faces automatically in the photos and lets you zoom on them by just double tapping on the faces in the photo. However, there is ever any reason to use the zoom (which can be done either from the volume buttons or by sliding your fingers to the edges of the screen) as it is digital zoom. Thus there are no lens moving and your picture does not actually get better if you use the zoom function.
Taking a look at the Settings we can see quite a few options that pop out. First of all you can edit the shortcuts that appear on your screen when you are in the camera, the five options that we said earlier appear in the upper part. So, for example, you can switch “flash” with “resolution” or “metering” or any other options.
There is also an option called “scene mode” which is not very clearly described but which, if modified, changes both the white balance and the shutter speed. Scene mode can be switched with a couple of other modes such as night mode or sports mode which have different characteristics.
The sheer number of options that you find when looking into settings is just impressive. You can choose to change the metering, the ISO, the white balance or the resolution, you have anti-shake, auto-contrast, guidelines, image quality and many more. This is why at the beginning you should use your camera with the settings with which it comes and as you progress and face different situations, you should adjust them.
These were a few instructions on how to use the excellent camera of the Samsung Galaxy S3. If you want you can always leave a comment below and tell us what you think.
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