Ever new high end cell phone that hits the shelves promises, among other stuff, a better camera. And while these have come along very well since the early days of mobile phone based cameras, the truth is that they will never be able to compete with a real SLR of DSLR.
However, the limitations do not mean that you can’t take some really cool, high quality shots. Here are some notes to help you get the most out of your cell pics.
For macro photography, get as close as you can to the subject and use as little zoom as possible.
Keep the flash set to off at all times except when absolutely needed.
Get a good editing app, I recommend Photo Editor by dev.macgyver
Buy a cheap lens kit to clip on to your device. I found one on Amazon for $5.99 and it works good enough to do the job.
Know your cell camera’s limitations. Some are good in low light, some are better for distance…
No matter what you try, keep being creative.
As even the most casual readers of this blog know by now, I do a lot of work as a photographer and thus take my art very seriously. So as a general rule, while I would never really advocate a cell phone camera over a fully functional DSLR, bridge camera or even a quality compact unit, the fact remains that sometimes these are simply more convenient.
With that being the case, I decided to give a quick review of the camera from my new phone the Samsung Galaxy S 3 Mini.
The official manufacturer’s specifications –
5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, panorama
Real world usage (my opinion) –
The camera offers a fair amount of adjustable features for a phone. This includes modes for shooting at night, facial feature enhancement and the ability to add a bit of sound to the beginning of your photo. While the jury is still out on these modes, the sports mode leaves a lot to be desired. But then again, that is typically the case on most cameras or devices. The flash is pretty good and very similar to any standard camera flash. You can easily adjust the flash setting as well. In addition to the auto focus mode, you can also opt to use macro focus which might come in handy with close-ups. The ISO can be set between 100 and 400 and it also provides the ability to adjust white balance on a basic level.
The official manufacturer’s specifications – 720p@30fps with secondary VGA
Real world usage (my opinion) –
The standard video quality isn’t bad and the camera’s microphone captures the audio well. However, it is possible that it might be a bit too well as that does pick up a bit of background noise. They video files come out in MP4 format. As of this time, I haven’t been able to determine whether or not the video can be adjusted to be full-screen or not. Video can be shot in both a front and rear facing manner.
Even with all the strides in technology we’ve made over the years, probably any true student of the art of photography will tell you that cell phone cameras can never complete with the real thing.
That being said, even those of us who consider ourselves serious shutterbugs enjoy taking a quick and easy snap shot on our phone or other mobile device once in a while.
And all in all, there is one thing that these cameras can do to produce art on some level. They are an excellent tool to works with abstracts.
Below are two recent examples I took with my Android powered Samsung Replenish. I’ve always been a fan of playing with the balance between light and shadow and noticed this scene one day while leaving my home. I had the phone so I figured, what the heck.
Hope you enjoy them.