1.- Activate the maximum resolution
First big mistake of the manufacturers. In general, the maximum resolution of the photographs is not activated. If the mobile has a 13 megapixel camera, the photos are taken in 9 megapixels. Why? Well, so that the image occupies the entire screen and is a 16: 9 panoramic capture. To use the entire camera sensor the photo must be in 4: 3. That happens on all mobiles. In fact, professional cameras take pictures in 4: 3. So the first thing you should do is go to your camera settings, and choose the maximum resolution. It will happen to take the photos in 4: 3, yes. But even if you want panoramic ones, you’d better crop them later, because the quality will be the same, and at least the initial image will be of a higher quality, in case you want this one. Also, as a tip, you should take the photos in 4: 3.
2.- Activate the stabilizer
Many mobiles include optical image stabilization. Or at least digital stabilization, although this does not preserve the image quality as the first. However, even including it, in many cases it is not active. You have to open the Camera, go to the Settings, and then activate the image stabilization. The reality is that as much as manufacturers include this feature, it is usually not optimized, so they prefer that it not be activated from the beginning. That means that perhaps after testing this stabilization, you prefer to trust your pulse rather than your mobile. But still, it is an option that you should try, because if it works, it will be useful.
3.- Do not take photos in Automatic
You have an automatic mode on your mobile to take pictures, but don’t use it. And no, I’m not telling you to start changing values such as saturation, contrast, brightness… no. What I’m saying is that you use the white balance and scene modes that you have on your mobile. Don’t let the mobile phone select them. Many times we have scene modes such as macro photography (of flowers), moving animal photography, sunset photography, etc. Learn the different modes you have and use them. If your mobile doesn’t have these photography modes, don’t worry. At least you have white balance modes, which are useful depending on the type of lighting we have: artificial light, natural light, moonlight … choose the appropriate one in each case so that the photograph has a natural appearance.
4.- Select a measurement and focus point
In the interface of your camera you will find that it appears a selection point that may well be a rectangle, or a circle. This point is the focus point, but also the measurement point. I don’t think I need to tell you that the camera will focus on that target, right? But it is also important to know how to choose well the element to focus on and to measure, because our mobile will regulate the light level based on that point. If we focus on a very dark element, the smartphone will compensate and make the image clearer. If we focus on a very bright element, our mobile will darken the image. That is why it is imperative that we always select on the screen the element that we want to see perfectly. Our mobile will optimize the image so that this element looks good.
In some mobiles it is possible to select a focus point and a different metering point. This can be useful for focusing on one item and measuring against another as a reference, although this feature is more for advanced users.
Four basic tricks that you have to apply as soon as you receive your new mobile to achieve better results with your camera. Obviously, there is much more you have to work on, but for now these are aspects that you should not forget as soon as you receive your mobile.