Smartphone cameras: 7 little-known tricks
Sometimes, just a wide-angle photograph isn’t enough. To fully capture a stunning landscape, you need to go extra wide – that’s where panorama apps come in. If you have an Android or iOS device, one of the best apps is 360 Panorama ($0.99).
It creates a panorama in real-time with very little effort and lets you share it instantly. It can also handle complete spherical panoramas. Some other great options are Photosynth by Microsoft (free, for iOS and Windows Phone 7) and Ztitch (free, for Windows Phone 7.5 or higher).
A ‘burst’ mode allows you to take multiple consecutive photographs in quick succession. Since many cameraphones have shutter lag — a delay between you pressing the shutter release button and the photo being recorded — a burst mode gives you many options of the same scene. You simply select the best one and delete the rest.
If your Android phone does not have this feature, install the free app CameraX. This ad-supported app adds burst mode with the option to choose the number of images you want to take (and you don’t need to keep the shutter button pressed.)
For iOS, the free Camera Awesome offers burst mode with direct sharing of images. Windows Phone users can check out the free version of Turbo Camera. It offers burst mode and allows you to choose the delay between each shot too.
You may have seen professionally-created time lapse videos – a technique that creates a video out of a sequence of photographs . A time lapse depicts an accelerated view of slowly changing events and they are created by joining together a collection of images – the camera needs to remain perfectly still during the entire process for a high-quality time lapse.
Thanks to an app called Lapse It (free for iOS and Android), you can use your phone to create a time lapse of an event (keep it mounted on a tripod with the charger connected for best results). A paid ‘Pro’ version of the app adds more features (like HD resolution time lapse videos).