Smartphone Camera – How to Take Amazing Photos With Your Samsung Phone

Posted on Posted in My thoughts on Stuff
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone camera
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

We all love taking a great photo and the days are long gone where we all had a film camera lying around that we grabbed to take the occasional photo. Many of us used the camera sparingly since film development was expensive. Today, smartphone cameras are all the rage. Digital cameras are now standard fare and we often rate a smartphone model by the quality of camera and its specifications. Social media and instant replay has only accelerated the demand for a quality smartphone camera.

So you have that new Samsung, be it a Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S5 or S6. How can you use that phone to take amazing photos? Ones that you will be proud of and that you will want to share via social media or more conventional means?

I am going to use my phone to demonstrate many of the features that are available on your Samsung smartphone camera. I use a Galaxy Note 3, which was released in 2013. So some of the newer models will have updated features. Still, my model will amply demonstrate what is available to assist you to take some amazing shots.

 

Note 3 Specifications – Overview

So let’s focus on my phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Here are the official specifications:

Galaxy Note 3 Camera Specifications
Main Features: 13 Megapixel (Rear Camera), 4128 x 3096 pixels, auto focus, dual shot,
LED flash, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus,
geo-tagging, face and smile detection, panorama, HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Secondary Camera: 2 MP (Front camera) 1080p@30fps
Video: 2160p@30fps (frames per second), 1080@60fps

Now most of us may not get our head around all the technical mumbo jumbo. Still, those numbers there are impressive. So rather than bore you with technical stuff, I have going to show you some screenshots of various features of the camera, and what that means you can do to take amazing photos.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Smartphone Camera
Learning how to use the camera, starts with the home screen
Start Screen

The start screen looks like that when you open it. You will notice that it under the settings button is the icon you touch to switch between front and back cameras. Further commands can be found on the icons hidden behind the arrow. The side arrow as you hold the smartphone portrait style (bottom arrow if landscape) gives you the photo effect features (more later).

 

Mode Button

Selecting the mode button gives you a variety of options to use. As you notice on the accompanying screen shots, the features open up many different photo opportunities and results. I have only highlighted some of them here.

 

What are those Grid lines?

You may wonder why I have four lines vertically and horizontally on the camera. Gridlines allow you to improve your photos using the rule of thirds. What is the rule of thirds?
The photography how-to website, http://www.photographymad.com explains it this way:
“The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as shown below. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet. The idea is that an off-centre composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame. It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject.”
These grid lines can be turned on or off in the settings button at the top of the camera’s home screen.

 

Mode Button Features

The Galaxy Note 3 has a smartphone camera that takes excellent photos. But by using the Mode button, you can create photos that you will be proud to show off. After you select the Mode button, simply swipe the screen to view the various options. I have included the following screenshots to highlight some of what can be done.

 

Screenshot_2015-09-09-16-19-49

Screenshot_2015-09-09-16-20-50 Screenshot_2015-09-09-16-20-57 Screenshot_2015-09-09-16-21-07 Screenshot_2015-09-09-16-21-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

I obviously haven’t included all the features of my Galaxy Note 3 smartphone camera. Otherwise, it would be a technical manual. And Samsung has already published one of those. But I wanted to give you a concept of what you can achieve with today’s smartphone cameras. They are filled with all sorts of fabulous features. Amazing photos are no longer the domain of professional photographers. No, you too can capture great memories of that your next vacation, those lively children you have or some breathtaking landscape. Take time to learn how to use your device and then share the results with the world.

Don’t have a smartphone yet? Need some tips on how to buy one? Read my blog entitled, Buying a Smartphone – Five Tips You Need to Know.

Do you have any other advice regarding using a smartphone camera? Share your ideas in the box below….

 

33 thoughts on “Smartphone Camera – How to Take Amazing Photos With Your Samsung Phone

  1. Hi there! That’s a nice post you have created here.
    New phones have a really good cameras, I own a Samsung note 2, it’s 2 years old and the photos are also good. Nice review on the product!
    I’m sure many people will find this article as useful and interesting as I did.
    Thanks for sharing this nice information.
    Cheers and best of luck to you.

    1. Thank you for your input to this discussion. What do you enjoy about the Note 2? Any particular features that grab you?

      Chat soon.

      Duncan

  2. Hi there.Fantastic tutorial on taking photos, I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to go out exploring these features on my phone. I am a little backward with phones.I got a S4 mini, I hope it will have all the capabilities that you have mentioned.Thanks once again.The resolution is not bad though, and I have not seen those grids on my phone.Well I will check it out.Take Care

    1. Hi Roopesh,

      I am sure the grid lines are there. The settings button on the home screen – top right hand corner – should give you the option to turn it on. It is just a bit of practice, delete the bad ones and try again. What style of photos do you enjoy taking?

      Thanks for being part of the conversation.

      Duncan

  3. Hello sir I don’t have a phone yet but I am looking to purchase my first one because I want to take some photos as well as making phone calls.I heard,Samsung is a good cell phone and now that I have seen your website I will now get one,maybe the latest,Galaxy Note 5 because I like the big screen and it will take great pics.

    1. Hi Sonny,

      The Samsung S5 is a great starter phone. Check out the deals on my Samsung store. You won’t be disappointed.

      Thanks for calling by the website.

      Duncan

  4. Cool website, you sure know a lot about phones. The knowledge and visuals put forth into this website is great I think and you really add a lot of value. The sunset picture was very good and your quite skilled at knowing what kind of visuals to add I think. I really do commend you for that, good job!

    1. Hi John,

      Thank you for your feedback. It takes some time to decide which visuals will work in a post. But once I proofread it a few times, I want to feel that a visitor will enjoy the review or blog post.

      Call back soon to see what else will be there.

      Duncan

  5. Hey there, i just read your post on ‘Smartphone Camera – How to Take Amazing Photos With Your Samsung Phone’, i was really informative.

    I have a samsung, but i feel as though i haven’t really taken advantage of it. Thanks for all the info, as this will come in handy, i’ll check out what else i can find on your site.

    Cheers,

    Tyler

    1. Hey Tyler,

      What’s up? Thank you for calling by the site. Samsung are great phones, but they also take great photos. I have a travel blog there about a recent road trip to the US. It also has some of my Samsung photos. Check it out.

      Regards,

      Duncan

  6. This is great information on the Samsung camera in their devices. Unfortunately I have an older model, an S4, but it still takes great photos.

    With these really great tips on your post I can adapt your information to my S4 and perfect my picture taking and create even better photos than I do now, to show all my friends.

    1. Hi Christine,

      I am glad the article will help you to enhance your device. Even the S4 has great photo capabilities – it is just knowing the tricks to getting the best out of it. If you need a User Guide for your S4, I have some available through my Amazon store.

      Nice chatting with you,

      Duncan

  7. Hi! Very nice post! I think it is important for people to learn how to more efficiently use things that are around them, especially the phone. I don’t have a good camera on the phone, I am planning to buy a new one, Samsung for sure, as always, I will check your tips.Thank you for the informations!

    1. Hi Branka,

      Before you go and buy your new smartphone, check out this blog post Tips to Buying a Smartphone. It may assist you in deciding what you need. Also, the reviews on the popular S5, S6, Note 3 and Note 4 are there for you to perouse.

      Thanks for visiting my site.

      Duncan

  8. Thank you for the little tutorial. Recently, my dad passes me his old Galaxy Note 3. I don’t use it as my main phone and haven’t touched Android devices for a while so this does help me in understanding the functionalities of its camera.

    The best face seems to be pretty fun, I don’t think iOS have that. I mean there are always the group photos where everyone is not looking their best, ha ha.

    1. Great phone you have there. I am glad that the tutorial was informative to you. There are lots of fun to be had with a camera, once we know how to use it. Hope you have lots more good times.

      Duncan

  9. I currently have a Samsung Alpha Smartphone which is pretty good at taking pictures, but the owner isn’t! LOL.

    The Samsung Note looks like an awesome mobile, and this will have to be my next phone.

    Great information on taking snaps with this device, and the note looks like a smart investment too 🙂

    Neil

    1. Hi Neil,

      I love my Note 3 but I am trying to convince my wife to take it as an upgrade to her S3. She wants a phone with a better camera. If I can offload this one to her then I am going to chase a Galaxy Note 4 or 5.

      Actually, a friend showed me another feature of the Note 3 that I was unaware of – the slow mo and fast speed video camera. Pretty cool.

      Glad you enjoyed the article.

      Duncan

  10. It’s amazing how far photography has come. Many years ago, with film cameras, photography was very much a specialist thing. Then in the 1990s digital cameras came out, but they weren’t very good at first. In the 2000s, the digital cameras got better. Now you have some really good cameras on smartphones. Of course, they will never be quite as good as a really good digital SLR, but they are definitely a lot better than the early digital cameras.

    Also, the fact that you can instantly share your photos with other people means that smartphones are the way forward for a lot of people.

    1. Hi Marcus,

      I agree with all of your thoughts. Great quality these days in our smartphones. And while digital SLRs are the premium way to take photos, many do love the ease of smartphone cameras and the instant upload to social media.

      Thanks for calling by,

      Duncsn

  11. Hello,

    I have a Samsung Galaxy Note as well and haven’t used it to its full potential for photography at all. I have basically only pulled it out and taken quick snaps here and there. I am in need of great photos for my recently started blog however and using this guide to help me take the best photos possible with my phone will save me from buying more equipment.

    Thank you,
    -Anthony

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Photos with the Note range of smartphones are now just amazing. Call back in in a few days and read my Note 5 review. I am including some photos taken by my wife with her new Note 5 smartphone. It includes some great shots from around Phuket Island, here in Thailand.

      These days, smartphones do so much more than just take or make calls – it is a technology carry-case with the capabilities to do so much more. Glad you loved the blog.

      Duncan

  12. Great article.

    I have the Samsung Galaxy S5 currently and and take tons of pictures with it. I was going to get the Galaxy S6 Edge because I heard it takes amazing pictures as well, but figure I will wait just a few months and get the Galaxy S7 when it comes out.

    Your article provides a great outlay to how to work the camera and its features, I enjoyed reading it.

    1. Hi Justin,
      I am looking forward to the release of the S7. If the recent smartphones are any indication, it will be amazing. I believe it could be on the shelves any time soon.

      Regards,

      Duncan

  13. Hi Duncan:

    I am currently using a Huawei SmartPhone but I am not very satisfied with it as I once was. I like my phone but I am no longer able to get new apps or update previously downloaded apps. Is there a way I can get my current phone to update or is that the updates are not going to be able to “read” my phone?

    I see you recommend the Samsung Phone and I think I will be taking a look at them to see which one would work for me. It is definitely important that I have a good camera built into my phone since I am a web developer and affiliate marketer. I use StraightTalk as my cell phone service. What would you recommend when using StraightTalk?

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      I have the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which was released two years ago. Samsung have just updated the operating system, so it is now even better. The camera isn’t as amazing as the new Note 5, but fairly close.

      I used it with a prepaid T Mobile sim when visiting the US last August so it was just a matter of taking out my Thailand SIM and putting in the US sim card. I am doing the same tomorrow when I land in Australia. So it will work well with Straight Talk, I am sure.

      Anyway, if you do decide to buy a new Samsung smartphone, keep my Amazon store in mind.

      Chat soon,

      Duncan

  14. Hello,

    First off, your website looks incredibly professional and I think the main page with the huge picture is a great catch to the readers attention, especially since the website is about taking pictures!

    You writing in this article flows really well, and I like how you keep it concise. You also have a great use of visuals to explain your tips. I love how you put in the rule of thirds (always important!)

    I have not looked elsewhere on the site yet, but do you have a troubleshooting or problems page? I have a Galaxy S5 and I don’t use my camera much because I have trouble getting it to focus properly.

    Great job all around,
    Erin

    1. Hi Erin,

      Thank you for the feedback about the website. Samsung technology is a passion of mine, so it is a pleasure to write about it.

      I don’t yet have a trouble shooting page, but that is a great idea. I am trying to develop some ideas for how-to videos to be made, but that project is a little way off yet.

      With the S5 camera – I have had similar issues with my Note 3 camera. These are both at a similar level of technology since they were released within a few months of each other. I am now having more success with it after I spent some time experimenting with some of the settings in the camera. Using the Mode button, which is next to the shutter button, gives you some extra options to try. The results are quite interesting. But you do need to spend some time with it.

      Hope to catch up soon to hear how you are going with the S5.

      Duncan

  15. I like so many others have given up carrying my camera and just use my phone for picture taking. Although I never was a great photographer I can certainly use your recommendations for improving my pictures. I am in the process of choosing my next phone and will take your information into consideration. Thank you!

    1. Hi Bethany,

      My Instagram site @ilovesamsungphones is where I put photos taken by my wife on her Galaxy Note 5 or ones I take on my Note 3. It shows what you will be able to do once you update to one of the latest Samsung smartphones. If you are an IG user, please follow it.

      Regards,

      Duncan

  16. This page gives great incite on how to properly take pictures with a smart phone specifically a Samsung phone. I really like that the camera has guidelines for the rule of thirds built in. This phone also has many different features including auto, sports, panorama, drama, and best face which all come in handy while taking good pictures.

    1. Hi Destin,

      The cameras in smartphones these days are amazing. It takes time to learn all the features but once you do, the results can be outstanding. Thanks for your input to this subject.

      Duncan

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