camera

Traded my iPhone 4S for a new Samsung Galaxy S4

I switched to a Samsung Galaxy S4 yesterday, after owning 3 generations of iPhones for several years. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much more I like this smart phone than my iPhone.

Better is of course relative, but I've been impressed with the larger and brighter screen, expandable memory options, far better camera (records in HD, and both front and rear cameras can record at the same time) and numerous configuration options.

AT&T also has a $200 iphone trade-in program, which made it an even swap for the 16-GB Samsung! Saved me the time and hassle of placing an ad on craigslist, and paid for the new phone in one shot.

Loving my Samsung. Not missing my iPhone. Lots of new things to learn (and to blog about along the way), but I like what I see so far.

5 Tips for taking great photos with a camera phone

Cell phone camera technology is changing rapidly, and manufacturers are starting to bundle higher resolution cameras with their cell phones.

Sanyo’s M1 and Apple’s iPhone both include 2.0-megapixel cameras that take decent quality photos, and Blackberry phones include a built-in flash with their 2.0-megapixel cameras.

More recently the Samsung Flipshot hit the market with a high quality 3.0-megapixel camera; putting it head and shoulders above typical camera phones like the Motorola RAZR V3 with it’s low-end 1.3-megapixel camera.

In fact, most cell phones still come with low resolution 1.3 megapixel VGA cameras that take low quality pictures; just enough to capture the moment, but nothing you’d want to show off in a photography contest.

You can still pull off a little magic though with your existing camera phone, provided you follow a few simple guidelines:

1. Samsung Flipshot U900Stillshots are better than motion shots

If you can get your subject to hold still, the picture will turn out sharper and more recognizable. Action shots - especially with the slight delay inherent to digital cameras - will turn out very blurry or bitmapped on a camera phone (that choppy look you get from a low-res camera).

2. Lighting is everything

Take your photos outside with plenty of light. Most camera phones don’t come with a flash, which means they’ll use a longer shutter time indoors to capture more light - resulting in an overall blurry picture, since subjects will be moving while the shutter remains open.

Avoid too much bright sun however, since it can create unattractive deep facial shadows if your shot is taken into the sun. A good rule of thumb is to always keep the sun behind you, which will illuminate your subject and get rid of ugly shadows.

3. Close-ups are better than long shots