Manual camera settings

April 18, 2016

We all want that smartphone camera with the best features to make our pictures amazing, yet most of us hardly use the features. With the Samsung Galaxy devices, the camera is set to automatically select the best settings based on the environment, but that doesn’t always produce the best shots.

If you’re willing to spend a few more seconds tinkering with the camera settings to capture the ultimate shot, these tips are for you. First, select ‘Pro Mode’ from your camera settings, then modify the following values:

Exposure value

On an actual camera, like a DSLR, exposure alters shutter speed and aperture, allowing either more or less light in to the lens. On Android devices, you can’t really change the aperture or shutter speed, so the camera utilizes software to mimic an exposure adjustment.

Anyway, the exposure adjustment will probably be illustrated as a bar starting out at zero and ranging to the positive or negative side. Increasing the exposure will make your pictures brighter, so it may be useful in low light conditions, and reducing exposure will do the opposite, which could be useful in direct sunlight.

ISO value

ISO represents your camera’s sensitivity to light, so the higher it is, the sharper your image will become and vice versa. You can adjust this value to be higher or lower than the default value, but pushing it too far in either direction will increase ‘noise’ in the picture. ‘Noise’ is the grainy effect you see on objects when zoomed in.

White balance

This setting basically adjusts how cool or warm your picture appears. In this case, ‘cool’ refers to the slight bluish tint images taken in low light have, and warm refers to the yellow tint. You probably don’t notice this directly, but it’s the reason it’s so easy to recognize a picture taken indoors and outdoors.

We don’t notice this because our eyes can easily differentiate between the two that it is almost second nature, but digital devices don’t. So, if you don’t want your pictures to be so obviously recognized, adjusting the white balance can help.

Aspect ratio

You should adjust this option with the purpose of the picture in mind. Common aspect ratios include 16:9 and 4:3, where the first number represents width and the second height. A picture which is wider will probably be best for screens, but less wide pictures would be better for posters and profile pictures.


Your phone will, by default, embed your location data into the picture, so that you will be able to tell where you took the picture. It can also be used to track you down when, say, you post the picture to your website, and therefore you should be careful about sharing such information.

Luckily, social media sites know this and remove location data from all uploaded pictures, but if you’re posting the picture to your website or blog, you might want to turn this feature off.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.