The “camera in a phone” concept began in June of 2000 when Samsung produced the SCH-V200 phone containing a separate camera housed in the same case with the phone. You couldn’t send the pictures to anyone, but it was a beginning. Soon after, in November of 2000, Sharp released the J-SH04, and this phone allowed the owner to electronically send photos to other owners of the J-SH04. From that day until now, every cell phone manufacturer has added cameras that improve with each new model so, whether you own a Tecno Phantom X, or an iPhone, or a Samsung, whatever you have, the chances are that your phone has a camera on it. NOt only that, but image quality, resolution, and special effects technologies are continuing to advance. People, who previously thought cameras were too complicated and left the “picture-taking” to others, are now snapping away with their smart phone cameras.
• The zoom on many cameras leaves something to be desired and may even reduce the image quality. Your best bet is to get as close as you can to your subject before pressing the shutter.
• Most smartphones offer an edit feature allowing you to increase or decrease brightness, contrast, saturation, and brightness, and when image isn’t all you hoped it would be, edit it using these features.
• Your phone camera will offer various focus options. While some phones offer several, you can usually expect to have auto, infinity, and macro. With infinity focus, even distant objects in your image appear sharp. Macro is for close-ups, and the camera sets itself when on the auto setting.
• Using the flash on a smartphone is seldom a good idea. It is actually an LED light and often stays on far too long. It’s the reason you wind up with red eyes and foggy looking images. Find another source of light to illuminate your subject and you will be happier with the results.
• Your camera lens on your phone has no lens cap. It gets very dirty as it gets tossed around in pockets and purses, set on dirty counter tops, or dropped. Wipe it with a soft cloth before going anywhere where you expect to be taking pictures. One thing is for certain your camera produces clearer images when your lens is clean.
There are a number of excellent phone apps you can download, and they will help to improve your results when using your phone’s camera. For the Android phone running 4.4, Google has released a new phone app that can be downloaded from the Play store. It includes Video, Panorama, Photo Sphere, and Lens Blur. It offers some pretty cool features and promises of more to come soon. Another popular Android camera app is Camera ZOOM FX. This app has tons of features designed to make your phone camera pictures look so much better. A few of the features include tap-to-snap, tap-to-focus, stable shot mode, and overlay grids. There are also great camera apps for the iPhone. Have you ever wished you could set the focus and the exposure separately on your iPhone? Well you can do that with the Camera+ app, which also includes a digital zoom, a stabilizer, and burst mode. It’s a “must have” app for everyone who loves shooting images with their iPhone.
All images taken by Phoneography expert and Exposure Show 2014 keynote speaker Stephanie Calabrese