HOW TO: Get the most out of your camera phone

So you've got that swanky new eight-meg monster, but your pictures are still coming out noisy and/or overlit. Check out these tips from photographer Stefan Klenke ( on tweaking your cam phone settings to get the best possible pix.



Optical zoom delivers much better image quality than a digital zoom. The latter doesn't bring the image closer, it just increases the pixel size - hence the image becomes less clear, and is often blurred and pixelated.


Optimal distance

This varies from phone to phone, depending on the built-in lens. Even expensive SLR lenses will take blurred images if you get too close. Play around with your camera to work out the minimum distance, or take the photo from further away and crop it later using photo software.



Camera phones often take low quality pictures in dark conditions, due to small lenses and weak sensors. These allow less light to be recorded, and built-in flashes are often not powerful enough, so the more natural light (sunlight or electric), the better.


White balance setting

Cameras without a white balance function record different colour temperatures, which is why faces sometimes appear with very unnatural skin tones. Improve this by using the built-in white balance feature that many camera phones have. Some are automatic, but others allow you to set the right colour tone manually.


Exposure / ISO setting

There is no correct way of exposing a photo; some people like it darker, and others like it brighter. Many phones have an ISO setting, which is either set to automatic or can be adjusted in steps of 100-800 or more, and this helps to reduce the motion blur caused by shaky hands, for example. The higher the ISO number, the less time the camera needs to take a photo - and the less the photo will be blurred.



To snag a sweet cam-phone of your very own, play our Mobile Phone Deathmatch: the Camera Phone Wars.


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