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"Take better photos with camera phones"
July 02, 2012

Dear Stay Focussed reader,

Welcome to the July newsletter.

Got a smartphone? Got a basic phone with a camera? Ever felt the photos it takes aren't up to much?

Last month I talked about apps for smartphones that can create interesting images. This month the focus is on getting a decent picture in the first place.

camera phones

To start with, it helps to understand why camera phones so often don't take amazing photos.
  • First, they have very small image sensors (don't be fooled by the pixel count either!)
  • Second, the lenses are generally of poor quality
  • Finally, the electronics inside them are trying to run your phone, play music, download updates ... AND take photos - it's a big ask!
A digital camera will be better than a camera phone in all respects, except one...

...the chances are you take your phone everywhere, but not necessarily your camera. Which means, no camera, no photo.

So, assuming that you have your phone with you, what can you do to tip the odds of taking a decent photo in your favour?

    Here's five top tips that should lead to better camera phone photos

  • tip one - make sure you have your camera set to take photos at the highest resolution and at the best quality setting. Often, by default, these are not set to the best quality - mainly because it takes up more memory. But if you make sure you download photos before the camera's memory gets full you should be ok.

  • tip two - get as much light as possible into your photo. Outside in the daytime is the best time for taking photos on a camera phone. If you're inside turn on as many lights as possible. Camera phones are particularly poor in low light.

  • tip three - make sure the lens is clean. Because camera phones go into pockets and get handled a lot, there is massive potential to get smudges on the lens. I usually twist the corner of my shirt into a point and wiggle this around the lens. Not very professional, but it works!

  • tip four - use the pre-focus function. Get ready with your subject, and wait until the camera phone has focussed before taking the photo. Camera phones are much slower in terms of operation that actual cameras, so you need to be just a bit more patient!

  • tip five - think about your subject choice. as I mentioned in tip 4, camera phones are slow in operation. They aren't going to cope with taking fast moving images. But stationary objects are no problem at all.
I hope these tips help. Give them a try and you might be amazed at just how good photos from camera phones can be.

See you next month, and if you haven't yet done so, check out my facebook page!

Darrell. on Facebook

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