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00 Cellphone Camera.jpgI always thought that cellphone cameras were a joke. Even though the quality of the cameras in general have increased over the past few years, it’s nothing compared to the standalone digital camera. I believe that real photos can only be taken with “real cameras”, not some tiny hole behind the phone.

That’s why I almost couldn’t forgive myself when I forgot to bring my digital camera What is Digital Photography? [Technology Explained] What is Digital Photography? [Technology Explained] Read More when my office sent me to take a peek at Bali. The extraordinary scenes were everywhere, but I had nothing to capture the breathtaking images.

Nothing but my cellphone camera.


So I had no choice but to use my cellphone camera to its fullest. I wanted to get the best (read: least crappy) pictures that I could within the camera’s limitations. And after testing the boundaries a little bit, here are some tips (in no particular order) that I would like to share on how to take better digital pictures using a cellphone’s camera.

    Part A: The Technical Tips

  1. Know Your Camera’s Pluses & Minuses: It’s a good idea to know more about what your camera can and can’t do before taking pictures. A quick browse to the camera settings and a few experimental shots will do.

    take better digital pictures

    For example, it is worth knowing that your camera has several seconds time lag between the shutter press and the real picture being taken so you can adjust your timing accordingly.

  2. Prepare The Battery/Storage Card: There’s nothing more annoying when taking photos than a drained battery and a full storage card. So make sure that your phone’s battery is fully charged and there’s enough room in your storage.
  3. Adjust The Settings: Also make sure that you use the correct settings according to the environment. For example, using macro How To Get Started With Macro Photography How To Get Started With Macro Photography Read More settings to take ordinary pictures will likely put your image out of focus.

    take better digital pictures

  4. Pay Attention To Lighting (Day/Night): Actually, this point belongs to the previous one but I think it’s worth mentioning by itself. Some cameras have “night mode” that will absorb more light in order to capture images in a dark environment. Using this mode in bright daylight will make your images too white.

    take better digital pictures

    The opposite also applies the other way around.

  5. Part B: The Non-Technical Tips

  6. Find Interesting Objects: While this seems to be obvious, there are still many of us who shot any object and expected to get great pictures. Your photos are as good as the original objects.

    take better pictures

  7. Look Through Your Camera’s Lens: To take better digital pictures, always try to look using your camera’s point of view. We often focus on our object(s) too much and ignore the rest, but the camera will capture everything, including the things that you – the photographer – do not focus on.

    take better pictures

  8. Find A Unique Angle & Learn More About Composition: Sometimes even an ordinary object can produce an extraordinary result when you capture it from a unique angle and compose it in such a way.

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  9. Find The Perfect Moments: Among ordinary moments, there are a few extraordinary moments. Your job as the photographer is to capture them. Most of the time, those non-repeatable moments lasted only for a few seconds. So sharpen your hunting instincts.

    taking better pictures

  10. Part C: Other Obvious Things

  11. Take As Many Pictures As You Can: Digital storage might be a photographers’ dream come true. With the technology, you can take virtually as many pictures as you want to. Fill your storage card to its maximum limit. Surely there will be a few diamonds worth keeping.
  12. Luck Plays Its Part: And the last thing to remember is that luck plays its part, and sometimes it plays a bigger role for some people. So if you didn’t get too many great pictures, it’s OK. You did your best, and your tool’s ability is limited. Better luck next time.

I’m sure the more experienced photographers among our readers have more tips that could be shared here. Feel free to use the comments below.

And if you are in to photography, don’t forget to check out some of 6 Digital Photography Websites With Free Tutorials 6 Digital Photography Websites With Free Tutorials Read More our related 6 Photography & Photoshop Tips For The Perfect Family Portrait 6 Photography & Photoshop Tips For The Perfect Family Portrait Read More articles 5 Useful Websites For Photographers 5 Useful Websites For Photographers Read More , including how to quick share your photos from cell phones and how to utilize your cellphone’s camera as a copy machine Turn Your Cellphone Into A Copy Machine Turn Your Cellphone Into A Copy Machine Read More .

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  1. Digital Key Cabinet
    July 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I wanna find more info about this, anybody could?

  2. Rham
    May 6, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I'm not sure if I saw anything specific to a phone's camera? Basically it was, Part A: device settings, Part B: General photography tips, Part C: some other tips. Seems like it just applies to any camera.

  3. Anonymous
    May 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Which cam...cellphone did you use in the examples ?

    • Anonymous
      May 6, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      I use the discontinued O2 Atom Life. The camera is 2 MP with the ability to do 2x digital zoom.

  4. FritzPinguin
    May 6, 2010 at 4:55 am

    The camera of my N82 is good enough for some quick snapshots and I even use it to archive documents or serial numbers of devices as soon as I buy them. But anyway, it is no replacement for my Pentax K-x :-)

  5. Nat Jay
    May 6, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I've never used cell phone cameras for anything other than random photos and soon-to-be-forgotten videos. Guess I'll have a second look at what the little thing can do.

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