How To Take Better Pictures With The Samsung Galaxy S3 (Part 1)

Petronas Twin Towers photographed  with Samsung Galaxy S3

Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Samsung Galaxy S III, ISO 100, f 2.6, 1/15 sec

The new Galaxy SIII (GT-19300) boasts a 8mp camera. While the cam is fairly competent, a dedicated compact camera will still run circles around it. But then again, can a compact or dSLR surf the web, tweet, play videos, navigate with its GPS and much more? And still fit inside your shirt pocket comfortably?

This answers another question I am asked ever so often: “Which is the best camera out there?”  The best camera is the one that is always by your side, ready for any unexpected photo moment. Not the expensive dSLR you leave at home because it is too heavy or is unsafe to carry.

As good as present technology is, some users still feel the pictures from their smartphones are not as smart. The reason to that could be surprisingly dumb.

Due to its position and the lack of a cover, the tiny lens is often smeared with greasy fingerprints, without the user even realising it. To obtain the best sharpness from your phone, inspect your lens and wipe it with a clean tissue. You’ll be amaze at the difference it makes!

Also, make it a habit to place the phone camera-end down into your pocket. That way you won’t grab the camera lens when taking it out. Now that we got the most important tip out of the way, let’s look at some settings for night shots for the Samsung Galaxy phone.

Manually adjust the ISO from Auto to ISO 100, unless light is really low and you have no other choice. As with any camera or camphone, the lowest ISO setting minimises picture noise. Another challenge will arise, as a result though. Shutter speed might get  too low, and given its shape, the phone will be difficult to hold steady. It is no fun to carry a tripod, however small, when you have such a slim and light phone. So how?

I use the attached Samsung accessory flip cover as a L-shaped ‘tripod’. Just rest it on any surface and angle it to your liking. This was how I photographed both the shots featured here. Not bad considering the phone was clicking below 1/20th of a second.

KLCC's Musical Fountain photograped with the Galaxy S3

Musical Fountain, KLCC Park
Samsung Galaxy S III, ISO 100, f 2.6, 1/17 sec with -1 stop compensation

Under Settings option, play with S3′s “Exposure Value” slider. It is basically exposure compensation where you can lower or increase the light to compensate for different  lighting situations. In the above picture of the fountains, I slide the value to “-1 stop” to expose for the water jets. Learn how to access this setting and understanding how it works for better pics. I will explore more of this function in upcoming picture samples  under various scenarios.

Look out for PART 2. See PART 2

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Or read and look at more pics starting from the main page of this blog.

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8 thoughts on “How To Take Better Pictures With The Samsung Galaxy S3 (Part 1)

  1. Awesome, thank you for the tips. I was taking some photos today with my S3 while on a walk, and I quickly realized I need a little guide on how-to increase the quality of the photos :)

  2. Some of the pictures I take look squished or stretched when I post them on Facebook or Google+. But they look normal in my Gallery. Any help would be appreciated.

  3. Thanks this is really useful, I still have to find how to set shutter aperture. I was really sad looking at indoor picture noise, do you think your suggestions work for indoor art expositions, too? It happens that lights are not always well placed in galleries and I find it difficult to take decent photos with my smartphone.
    Thanks for STEP2 suggestions, too, I’m looking at the portable italian LED :)

  4. Thks for yr sharing & guide for using the S3 camera. It’s really informative, nw I can play with my s3 camera with muchmuch more quality photo. Looking forward for more excellent photo & good guide from u! P.S. I like the one u play with exp.value with water jet shoot. Nice!! :)

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