More than 1,000 pho­tographs per year, on aver­age, are tak­en by each per­son. Almost half of them are self­ies. It is hard to imag­ine the life of a mod­ern per­son with­out pho­tog­ra­phy and video film­ing. And in order to get high-qual­i­ty pic­tures, you need a good cam­era phone. How to choose it has already been dis­cussed in the blog. And today we’ll talk about the fea­tures of pop­u­lar gad­gets, we’ll fig­ure out how to pro­fes­sion­al­ly take pic­tures on the phone.

You can eas­i­ly take a beau­ti­ful pic­ture using the fea­tures of the cam­era. Pho­to: www.pxhere.com

PRO mode
Shut­ter speed (S)
White bal­ance (WB)
Man­u­al focus
Sam­sung cam­era chips (Sam­sung)
float­ing but­ton
Food Mode
Track­ing aut­o­fo­cus
Voice con­trol
What the smart iPhone cam­era can do
Shoot video imme­di­ate­ly with music
Zoom with one fin­ger
Cre­ative Mode
mir­ror pho­to
But­ton con­trol
Xiao­mi cam­era chips
Music dur­ing video
Video sta­bi­liza­tion (on MIUI 13)
Object Track­ing

Impor­tant: meth­ods may not work on some mod­els. Most of these chips work on cam­era phones that have been released over the past 2–3 years. On bud­get smart­phones or pre­vi­ous­ly released, these meth­ods may not work.

PRO mode

You can get clear­er, brighter and more pro­fes­sion­al footage in Man­u­al mode. This is the main, but not entire­ly secret fea­ture of any cam­era phone. The mode can be called Pro­fes­sion­al, PRO, Prof. It allows you to con­fig­ure set­tings that are not avail­able in Auto mode. There are a few key para­me­ters to change.


This is the sen­si­tiv­i­ty of the cam­era. The high­er the val­ue, the brighter the image. But the high­er it is, the more noise (small dots) will be on the frame. Usu­al­ly on smart­phones, ISO is from 65 to 3000, but for shoot­ing it is not rec­om­mend­ed to use above 800 to avoid “grain”.

Shutter speed (S)

The inter­val dur­ing which light hits the matrix. All this time, the diaphragm remains open. Mea­sured in sec­onds. The clar­i­ty of the fig­ure in the frame depends on it. If you need to shoot a fast-mov­ing object, you need to set the shut­ter speed low­er. But it also affects the bright­ness of the image. There­fore, long expo­sures are usu­al­ly shot at night. For exam­ple, to get blur­ry bright lanes on a motor­way.

White balance (WB)

Respon­si­ble for the hue and col­or tem­per­a­ture of the image. If set incor­rect­ly, the pic­ture will be “blue” or “yel­low”. How to set cor­rect­ly? Place a white sheet in the frame and ensure that it is white, with­out a par­a­sitic tint. Or use one of the stan­dard options that the cam­era offers (Incan­des­cent, etc.).

In Pro­fes­sion­al Mode, you can change var­i­ous set­tings. Illus­tra­tion: YouTube chan­nel Oscardroid112

Manual focus

If aut­o­fo­cus is not to your lik­ing, you can tap on the screen to man­u­al­ly focus on the desired sub­ject.

Is there a Pro­fes­sion­al mode on the iPhone?

Pro mode with var­i­ous set­tings is only on Android. On the iPhone, there is no way to set up the cam­era in this way. But access to advanced set­tings can be obtained dif­fer­ent­ly. To do this, you need to install a third-par­ty appli­ca­tion. You can imme­di­ate­ly take pho­tos from it, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly set the nec­es­sary ISO, WB, etc. para­me­ters. For exam­ple:

  • Light­room;
  • ProShot;
  • Pro­Cam 8;
  • Pro­CamX.

By the way, these cam­era apps can also be used for Android. For exam­ple, if you want to increase the num­ber of cus­tomiz­able fea­tures. And if you need a pro­gram for addi­tion­al post-pro­cess­ing of images, you can use the util­i­ties from our top.

An exam­ple of set­tings in the Light­room app on iPhone. Illus­tra­tion: Cit­rus Acad­e­my

Samsung camera chips (Samsung)

Many smart­phones of this brand already have a cool cam­era. For exam­ple, in the Sam­sung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which was includ­ed in our top self­ie phones. With the help of the set­tings we talked about ear­li­er, the qual­i­ty of the pic­tures can be made even bet­ter. And now let’s talk about the use­ful fea­tures that this brand has.

floating button

A handy fea­ture that allows you to move the shut­ter but­ton to the desired loca­tion. Espe­cial­ly use­ful for those who like to take self­ies — no need to reach with your fin­ger to the usu­al place of the but­ton. Enable the func­tion: Set­tings — Shoot­ing meth­ods — Float­ing but­ton.

The shut­ter but­ton has been moved from its usu­al place to the low­er right cor­ner. Illus­tra­tion: YouTube chan­nel Oscardroid112

Food Mode

Need to quick­ly take a beau­ti­ful pho­to with a blur effect and focus on a cer­tain area? The “Food” mode will help. It is impor­tant to click on the “droplet” at the top — turn on blur. The area of ​​focus can be reduced and enlarged, zoomed in and out.

In the first pho­to, the “Food” mode is on. On the sec­ond — a pho­to in nor­mal mode, on the third — in the “Food” mode. Illus­tra­tion: YouTube chan­nel Oscardroid112

Tracking autofocus

How to turn it on: Cam­era set­tings — Use­ful func­tions — Track­ing aut­o­fo­cus. As a result, the focus will remain on the select­ed sub­ject (when shoot­ing a video), even if it moves. It will be need­ed when shoot­ing chil­dren, pets and any fast mov­ing objects.

Voice control

How to enable: Set­tings — Shoot­ing meth­ods — Voice con­trol. Now, even if your hands are full or you can’t reach the but­ton, you can say the select­ed com­mand (for exam­ple, Take), and the cam­era will take a pho­to.

What the smart iPhone camera can do

iPhones (X and lat­er) have an AI indoor cam­era. Even in auto shoot­ing mode, you can take beau­ti­ful shots with excel­lent white bal­ance, deep darks and good sharp­ness. Now let’s talk about some addi­tion­al chips that the iPhone has.

Shoot video immediately with music

For this you need:

  • go to the playlist (you can even use the Yandex.Music appli­ca­tion, etc.), turn on any song;
  • min­i­mize the appli­ca­tion (music will con­tin­ue to play);
  • go to the cam­era;
  • hold down the shut­ter but­ton. The video record­ing will start and there will be music in the back­ground imme­di­ate­ly.

Zoom with one finger

Shoot­ing video and zoom­ing in with two fin­gers at the same time is tricky. For fast zoom, there is a spe­cial fea­ture of the iPhone cam­era (iPhone). To do this, hold the screen over the shut­ter but­ton (dur­ing video shoot­ing). A wheel will appear on the dis­play, it can be turned left and right to zoom in and out of objects.

Zoom with one fin­ger? Eas­i­ly! Illus­tra­tion: YouTube chan­nel Tim Lion

Creative mode

Have a favorite fil­ter, depth of field, or light­ing set­ting? The iPhone can remem­ber it. Now you don’t have to re-enable it every time. To do this, in the Cam­era Set­tings you need to enable the Cre­ative mode.

After that, apply your favorite set­tings, take a pho­to, and exit Cam­era. When you enter the appli­ca­tion again, the set­tings will be applied imme­di­ate­ly those that were saved ear­li­er.

mirror photo

The smart­phone cam­era is designed in such a way that it saves a mir­ror image of the pre­view that we see dur­ing the shoot­ing. If you want the final shot to look exact­ly like the pre­view, you need to:

  • go to “Set­tings”;
  • select “Com­po­si­tion”;
  • click “Front cam­era mir­ror”.
The first pho­to is a pre­view. The sec­ond is how the snap­shot is saved in nor­mal mode. The third is how the pho­to is saved after turn­ing on the mir­ror mode. Illus­tra­tion: YouTube chan­nel HONEST BLOG

Button control

You can go to the Cam­era and click on the but­ton:

  • vol­ume up — take one pho­to. If you hold it down, you get a series of shots. The phone will shoot con­tin­u­ous­ly until you release the but­ton;
  • vol­ume down — video record­ing will start. It will stop when you release the key.

Xiaomi camera chips

Xiao­mi cam­eras have many built-in fea­tures. For exam­ple: Pro mode, Por­trait mode (back­ground blur), beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, fil­ters. But not all the chips are known to users. Let’s talk about the coolest.

Music during video

Like the iPhone, MIUI 13 allows you to turn on music while record­ing a video. To do this, go to:

  • Set­tings;
  • Sound and vibra­tions;
  • Sound assis­tant;
  • Mul­ti­ple sound sources.

Now you can turn on any melody on your smart­phone, open the cam­era and start shoot­ing. The audio will be record­ed along with the video.

Video stabilization (on MIUI 13)

In Cam­era mode, there is an icon in the upper right cor­ner — a phone with waves on the sides. Click­ing this but­ton will turn on video sta­bi­liza­tion. The pic­ture will be smooth, with­out jerks.

Where is the sta­bi­liza­tion but­ton. Illus­tra­tion: Real Tech YouTube chan­nel

Object Tracking

In the Video record­ing mode (MIUI 13), you need to open the set­tings (three bars in the upper right cor­ner). And select Object Track­ing. The focus will now be per­ma­nent­ly on the object you select.

And what chips are avail­able on MIUI 12 and ear­li­er? The man­u­fac­tur­er insert­ed all the most impres­sive into the lat­est firmware ver­sion, but there is one secret for ear­li­er ver­sions. This trick will def­i­nite­ly help you learn to take bet­ter pho­tos with your phone than usu­al. Need:

  • go to Explor­er;
  • select a sec­tion with fold­ers, find a fold­er called DCIM;
  • select the Cam­era fold­er;
  • click on 3 dots in the upper right cor­ner;
  • click “Cre­ate a new fold­er”;
  • name it Lab_options_visible;
  • close all back­ground appli­ca­tions;
  • go to the Cam­era app;
  • open the menu (3 bars in the upper right cor­ner);
  • go to Set­tings, scroll down the page.

The Exper­i­men­tal Fea­tures tab will have new but­tons:

  • built-in improve­ments — blur­ring the frame;
  • face recog­ni­tion;
  • improve­ments in Por­trait mode (beau­ti­fi­ca­tion — even tone, big­ger eyes, etc.);
  • dual cam­era (adds depth and sharp­ness to pho­tos);
  • noise sup­pres­sion;
  • shoot­ing at max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion;
  • quick shoot­ing ani­ma­tion;
  • quick pho­to by fin­ger­print.

These fea­tures are imme­di­ate­ly avail­able on MIUI 13.

The first pho­to is how to enter the Set­tings. The sec­ond is the basic set­tings that are there before the func­tion is enabled. The third pho­to is addi­tion­al set­tings that will appear after the func­tion is enabled. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Which phone takes bet­ter pic­tures? It is dif­fi­cult to answer this ques­tion. Top cam­era phones shoot about the same. Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence improves the clar­i­ty and sharp­ness of the result­ing images. But if you are not com­plete­ly sat­is­fied with the qual­i­ty of the pho­to, try our rec­om­men­da­tions. They will show what else the cam­era “can do” and improve the qual­i­ty of shoot­ing.