November 6, 2008
Camera phones are increasingly becoming the picture-taking device of choice. According to a recently published study, about 1 in 5 consumers already use a camera phone as their primary camera. This trend is likely to grow along with improvements in camera phone picture quality.
Some may find this hard to believe since pictures taken with a camera phone are often dark, grainy, oddly colored, or otherwise poor quality.
Part of the reason for this is the lower resolution on many phones, but the other part - the technique -can be controlled.
Just in time for the fast-approaching holiday season, Mark Asnes, vice president and COO of Wireless Zone, shares some wireless wisdom that can help you take camera phone pictures like a pro.
1. Good lighting is key. The ideal place to take pictures is outside in natural light, but you can still get good results inside by turning on a few lights.
2. Adjust the white balance. Select your setting based on the type of lighting. If the lighting is mixed, such as incandescent lighting combined with some natural light from a window, stick with the auto setting.
3. Just say no to digital zoom. The picture quality will be reduced drastically. Optical zoom is ok if your phone has it. If not, just follow #4 or crop the picture on your computer later.
4. Get ready for your close up. In place of digital zoom, you’ll want to get the camera phone closer to whatever you’re taking a picture of than you would with a regular camera.
5. Stay very, very still. Easier said than done, but it helps to hold the camera phone with both hands and brace your arms against your sides or lean your elbows on a stable object like a table for support. This will help to prevent blurring.
6. Get accustomed to the shutter lag. This is the wait time between the moment you press the button to take a picture and the moment the picture is actually captured. Once you get a feel for how long yours is, you’ll be able to better time your shots.
7. Don’t get too trigger-happy with the delete button. The display on your phone has a low resolution, so an image that looks grainy on your phone could look just fine on your computer screen.
8. A clean lens takes clean pictures. Phones spend a lot of time in pockets, bags and the worst culprit-¦hands. A fingerprint on your lens is sure to distort your pictures. Use a glasses cleaning cloth to avoid scratching the lens.
9. Turn up the resolution, especially if you want to make prints. However, if the sole purpose is for picture messaging, you may want to leave it as is or even turn it down to avoid sending a large file.
10. If at first you don’t succeed-¦Just keep experimenting with different angles, lighting and settings. Every phone will be a little different, so it might take some time to get the hang of it. Check your phone’s manual to see which settings are available to you.
“Camera phones have improved significantly in quality over the years. Increased megapixels, better lenses and higher capacity storage are now available to consumers,” said Asnes. “Finding the best camera phone for your needs can be a daunting task, so it’s best to seek expert advice.”