Samsung’s latest flagship handset features a powerful 16 megapixel sensor that can be used to create some outstanding photographs. So how do you get the most out of the device’s imaging capabilities and the plethora of options and functions that it boasts? We put together some tips on making the most of your Galaxy smartphone, so you can go right up against anyone with a high-end Nokia or Sony device.
Personalise app interface
One of the Galaxy S5’s most useful features lets you customise the controls which sit on the main camera screen. If you open the settings menu you can move functions in and out of the column of controls on the left of the display, simply by holding your finger on them and sliding them into place. A maximum of three can be added to the main screen – if you already have that many in place, you’ll have to move one out before adding another.
This allows you to tailor the app to your style of photos. For instance, if you take lots of action images you can add the Burst shots option. Video lovers can add the Recording mode, or even the Audio zoom option – more on that one later.
Download extra features
Along with the multitude of extra shooting options which are housed in the camera app’s Mode menu there is an ambiguously labelled Download icon. What this takes you to is a mini app store for extra camera functions.
These include panorama app Surround shot and action-photo feature Sport shot. The apps give you even more options when taking pictures with your Galaxy S5, and we found Surround shot to be very good in particular.
An unusual feature, and one which works well as an addition to the Galaxy S5’s 4K video capabilities. Audio zoom focuses the handset’s microphone on the selected area of the screen, as well as its camera.
For example, if you were trying to film someone talking in a crowded place, you may ordinarily pick up lots of background noise. With this function you can simply zoom in on them and the mic will adjust itself to pick up sound emanating from that specific area, reducing noise from elsewhere.
An unusual function that could find a niche use amongst some. The S5 can be paired with another Galaxy device, with the second handset then working as a controller for the flagship.
As an example you could set up the S5 on a tripod pointing at one specific spot, then move away to take the actual picture. We can imagine this being useful for capturing group shots in which the person who would usually be behind the camera can also appear in the shot.
As always with smartphone cameras, the best place to shoot is wherever there is a good amount of strong, natural light. The Galaxy S5’s camera typically produces images with quite saturated colours, so its great for photographing anything that is bright and garish, like a funfair or a trip to a theme park.
While we have mentioned the zoom capabilities of the Galaxy S5, it’s better to keep this to a minimum and avoid zooming in too far, as this will reduce the quality of your images. Instead, move closer to whatever it is you’re photographing.
Lastly, the best way to get good quality photos from a smartphone camera is to learn exactly what it can do. Try out all the functions, even if you’re not photographing anything in particular, so you have a better knowledge of what works when. Whenever there’s an opportunity to take a shot when you’re out and about then do it, and remember that seemingly mundane things can still make for a great photo if you capture them in the right way.
For even more ideas of what to do with your Galaxy S5’s camera, take a look at our tips on mobile photography. If you decide to upload your final image to Instagram, then we’ve also got some advice on how to go about using some of the app’s most popular filters.