6 Tips for Taking Better Photos (and Video) With the Samsung Galaxy S5

How to set your Galaxy S5’s camera to work for you.

By on July 3, 2014

When Dusty Warren returned home from his summer vacation, one of the first things he did was check out the photos he’d taken with his smartphone. But there was just one problem: The pictures were terrible.

“Everything was either out of focus or in a shadow,” said Warren. “And everyone I’d taken a picture of had a yellow glow.”

Warren wasn’t familiar with how bright and sunny Los Angeles would affect his shots. But that was only part of his problem.  

“I never read the instruction manual [that came with my phone],” he said. “So I really had no idea how to use any of the settings on my camera.”

So that you don’t have to settle for less-than-ideal photos, here are six tips for taking better photos and video using your Samsung Galaxy S5 camera.

Tip #1: Set the white balance to auto

Have you ever taken a photo that comes out a completely different color than the scene you actually captured? Setting the white balance on your S5 camera to “auto” may help. The auto feature allows the camera to read your scene’s color temperature and adjust automatically so your picture accurately captures the colors of the moment.

Tip #2: Turn on HDR (High Dynamic Range)

If shadows are dominating your shot or the colors just don’t seem to be as vibrant as they should be, hit the HDR button. This trick works with photos and video (if you hold the camera steady). It’s a quick and easy way to capture spectacular shots.

Tip #3: Don’t zoom, crop

At 16 megapixels, the Galaxy S5 camera is capable of taking amazing photos. If your subject is far away, try snapping a couple of pictures without zooming. You’ll be able to crop when you edit the photo later and the quality will be exponentially better.

Tip #4: Shoot in 4K

Wait, there’s something better than HD? 4K, which is also known as Ultra HD, is the new standard in video clarity, and – all the technical details aside – shooting in 4K results in breathtaking video. The downside? The files are very large, so you won’t be able to store more than one or two 4K videos on your phone. Solution? Upload your 4K videos to Verizon Cloud; 25 GB of Verizon Cloud space are included with the MORE Everything data plans from Verizon Wireless.

Tip #5: Enable Burst Mode

Make sure you’re getting the shot you want by enabling Burst Mode, which lets you take a bunch of photos in rapid succession by holding down the capture button. The feature will only save photos to the phone (not the SD card, which isn’t fast enough), so make sure you’ve got the room.

Tip #6: Take pictures with your voice

Admittedly, this tip might be more about impressing your friends than grabbing a great shot. From the camera screen, simply say, “Smile,” “Capture,” “Flash on” or “Record video.” The phone takes care of the rest. 

As Warren could attest, the only thing worse than blurry, out-of-focus images is missing the moment altogether. Fortunately, the S5 lets users bypass the phone’s lock screen in order to get instant access to the camera. Simply swipe up on the camera icon and you’re good to go.

Tags: phonetography, Samsung Galaxy S5, MORE Everything, Verizon Cloud, data storage