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How to Use the Android Camera

In Android there are many variations of the camera apps that manufacturers provide. In addition you have some great apps in the Play Store, for example, Camera360 and Camera ZOOM FX are "regular" camera apps, then you have apps that emphasize the filter function, such as Paper Camera and Instagram.

Android 4 ("Stock")

In this chapter we'll look at two examples of supplied cameras. The first is the "stock" camera for the plain Google version of Android 4. In most Android 4 devices you can go straight to the camera app from the lock-screen. Otherwise you can start it like any other app by tapping its icon either on one of your home-screens or in the App Drawer:

Here are the controls:

  1. Shutter button, that is, the button to take the picture
  2. Thumbnails of the previous pictures
  3. Camera mode: Still camera, video, panorama picture
  4. Swap between back and front cameras
  5. Zoom control. Drag it up to zoom into the picture
  6. Camera settings

Before you take a picture it is recommended you tap the part of the picture where you want the focus to be and then give phone a second or so to focus correctly. Then you just tap the shutter button. Let us examine Option 6 above, you tap the usual Settings button:

Settings 1 Flash 2 White Bal 3 Exposure 4 Scene 5 Camera Set

As you can see, you have many settings that can help to improve your pictures!

Android 2.3 (Samsung TouchWiz)

Most manufacturers have made extensive modifications to the camera app, so what we'll show you here is the example of the Samsung Galaxy S2 running Android 2.3, as you'll see you have quite a lot of extra settings available. In these examples we use the camera app in portrait mode. Here are the controls of the main screen to the left:

  1. Thumbnails of the previous pictures.
  2. Shutter button, that is, the button to take the picture.
  3. Camera mode: video or still camera.
  4. Flash mode (off, on or automatic), as shown in the middle screen below.
  5. ISO control in the rightmost screen. Boost the ISO to increase the sensor's sensitivity to light, but this comes at the expense of more digital noise in your photo.
  6. Camera settings, which we'll explore in the next set of screens.

As you can see there is no slider or button for zooming, you merely use two fingers to zoom in our out, as explained in How to Provide Input chapter.

Camera App 4 Flash 5 ISO

The following three screens show you the extensive range of settings available. You tap the Settings symbol (number 6 above), then you can scroll down the long list. The terminology and meanings are the same as for any regular compact or SLR camera.

6 Settings 1 6 Settings 2 6 Settings 3