The Best of the Tech Helpline: Use your new smartphone camera like a pro


 March 09, 2020
Tech Helpline

New smartphone cameras are taking astonishing pictures. Add built-in editing software that uses artificial intelligence (AI), and many photo gurus are ditching their bulky equipment to shoot with their phones.

Welcome to the future of photography! Smartphones are well on their way to replacing more than tablets and PCs; they also are well on their way to replacing SLR cameras.

If you have the newest Pixel, Samsung or Apple iPhone 11, you can take photos that, until now, were only possible with professional equipment.

Here are real estate-related ways you can use your new phone’s camera like a pro.

Shoot a small bathroom: Finally, you can capture a photo of a small bathroom that shows most of the shower, toilet and sink without your image ending up in the mirror! A built-in, wide-angle lens in the newest camera does the trick. No lenses to attach. 

Maximize natural lighting for exterior home pics: Your new phone allows you to adjust the lighting on the image you are about to shoot. Some built-in cameras will over-light the photo. Most Android smartphones have manual modes. The Samsung S10 models have a built-in “Pro” mode accessed by swiping along the bottom of the screen to access. For iPhone 11 models, you can adjust the lighting by holding a finger on the darkest point of the image to freeze focus and then adjust the lighting using the small indicator that appears to the left of the small box outline that pops up inside the image.

Use HDR for better landscaping shots: The HDR mode available on most new phone cameras utilizes AI to achieve a better “dynamic range,” which is the ratio of light to dark in a photo, which will make your landscaping shots pop.

Nighttime photos without a flash: This may be the most revolutionary improvement to date for smartphone cameras. Flashes have wrecked more photos than have worked to capture great ones. The new iPhone 11 Pro, for example, features Night Mode photography. For outdoor shots or indoor ones with low lighting, the iPhone 11’s Night Mode results are stunning. The mode automatically kicks on when needed and takes multiple images and uses optical image stabilization to stabilize the lens. The AI software does the rest to produce the final image. The resulting photos were once the purview of shots that only an experienced professional could capture with an SLR camera.

Sharper property shots: The new iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t feature just three different primary lenses on the back; it features three cameras. Each one is a hefty 12 megapixel camera — think billboard-size photo capabilities. There’s one camera with a wide-angle lens (26mm), the other with an ultrawide lens (13mm) and one with a telephoto lens (52mm). The cameras’ capabilities are dramatically enhanced by technology, both the optical image stabilization and advanced focus capabilities. Add in easy-to-use software to instantly enhance any image, and you will be able to take full property shots that are sharper than ever.

This contributing article is from the Tech Helpline, a service of the WRA.

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