Your Smartphone Can Be Your Go-To Camera

Tips for taking great photos and video.

By on April 30, 2012

Everyone knows the latest smartphone can take good pictures, but did you know its potential to be “the best camera or video camera?” As even the most seasoned photographer will tell you – the best camera is the one you have with you when you need it. Since most of us don’t carry a dedicated camera every day, our smartphones have become our “go-to” devices.

Here’s an expert rundown of the best photo and video tips and tools to help you channel your inner Steven Spielberg or Annie Leibovitz.

Take time to learn the features of your smartphone’s camera.  The DROID RAZR MAXX, for example, lets you choose “panorama mode” to capture scenic vistas.  Taking a self-portrait?  Try the “timer mode” while you scramble to get into the shot. Better yet, switch to the front-facing camera to get the perfect shot. Or try “multi-shot mode” at the basketball game so you don’t miss a single jump-shot. 

Adjust the image brightness for the environment.  You can set the “exposure” slider by clicking the menu button and selecting the half moon icon. Natural light is always best, but for low-light settings, make sure the flash is set to “on” or “auto.”  A slider on the left of the screen lets you set the digital zoom. Some photographers and videographers even use inexpensive clip-on lenses to capture wider angles.

For video, good sound quality helps tell the story.  Stay close to your subjects, or consider an add-on microphone to help enhance the sound captured.  Shoot in high-definition (HD) mode and in a horizontal or landscape format. Don’t hold the phone vertically for a portrait format unless you like watching TV at a 90-degree angle. 

Once you’ve captured your images and video, use apps like AndroMedia and VidTrim to make edits and enhancements.  The final step is to share your creative work using apps such as Instagram or Photobucket Mobile.

With a smartphone in-hand or in-pocket, you’ll never be without the best camera!