How often do you use the extra modes and settings of your phone's camera app?

Smartphone cameras are getting increasingly sophisticated, no doubt about that, to the extent that some phone makers started deliberately simplifying the smorgasbord of shooting modes in their camera apps, so that the user doesn't get lost in all the icons and features winking at them from the shooters' interface.

The recent trend, however, is to provide an ever-richer manual modes that allow you to adjust almost everything, down to exposure speeds, and that's in addition to the usual assortment of HDR modes, panoramas, filters, slow-mo videos, Live Photos, and the like. There are also plenty of phones now that can even shoot in RAW/DNG formats, for those demanding few that want every bit of detail to stay in their picture for post-processing later.

How often are we taking advantage of all that rich abundance of camera options, modes and effects that our phones offer, though, as opposed to just shooting in auto mode all of the time? That is what we wanted to ask you today, so take your pick in the poll below, and sound off in the comments.

How often do you use the extra modes and settings of your phone's camera app?

I shoot in auto mode most of the time
I sometimes play around with camera modes and settings
I use manual modes, effects or extra settings very often



29. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

I have a xperia so i use the manulal mode ALL the time, superior auto is like russian rulett, somimes it good and sometimes its down right horrible. Manual mode the pics look way better, like their supposed to.

26. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Always on Auto as my Find 7a has has an excellent camera. Although, for still shots that are worthy, I use the Ultra HD mode which take 50mp picture. It's software stiching and it came out real good.

25. NitishNK

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 03, 2015

manual mode.. especially if it is lumia..

22. Rhinoface

Posts: 179; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

Where's the "I have a recent Motorola so I am required to use auto" option?

21. jessyi

Posts: 327; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Manual mode on my lg 1st it may seem difficult to understant.but after a while is super easy.loving it especialy in night shots.

19. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

In this day and age of smartphones, I think it is pretty obvious that the three most important things users look for when they buy are familirity, the proper screen they want, and camera. I am a neophyte when it come to cameras, and even Ican tell the difference between good and bad and a bad camera experience will send me running to my next choice. I almost never come out of auto settings. But I do want a quick shutter speed and for the flash to not blow out the subject of the picture. If there are ways to improve those, I will happily play around with the controls to get it where I am happy.

18. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Wish I could double vote. I usually play around with the modes, but I also occasionally use manual mode when I want to get a specific effect or focus.

16. rsiders

Posts: 2068; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Nokia Lumia 920 and 1020 introduced me to manual and I can't go back. Got rid of the Sony Xperia Z3 and for the LG V10 and I use manual at some point during every photo session especially if I'm by myself. Simple is fine for taking snaps of the kids.

28. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Ive been ruined for the need of a great cell camera. I like the note 5 camera though, been playing with it, definitely fast fluid and good all around pics. But from what the 950xl is showing, looks like it will be lumia again out front (not that the note 5 was any better than my 1520/1020)

15. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

i have nokia lumia 930, so i used auto sometimes and manual sometimes. Manual mode is awesome in Lumias

14. jellmoo

Posts: 2701; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Pretty much never use em. Almost all of my shots are of my dogs, who rarely stop and pose. Anything that can take a good shot nice and quickly with no effort gets top marks in my book.

13. plasteek

Posts: 265; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

Full manual with the V10 and sometimes in easy mode .

11. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Lumia 1520 / 1020 manual mode all the way, even on my priv I'm starting to get the hang of manual mode.

10. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

I use EVERYTHING that my Lumia 930 has to offer. The experience is AWESOME on this device. Best I've used and the best part is that a new update always comes up adds new features. Enjoying SloMo that came a week ago now. :D

12. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

The higher end Lumia devices are always up there. And its been what? 3 years?

27. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Something like that...doing a side by side pic comparison right now with the note 5 we have and my 1520/1020. Note 5 definitely takes great pics but to me it 'matches' these old phones.

9. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Xperia Z1 has a very weak led light, taking pictures at night is a real PITA even in illuminated environments.

8. Shocky unregistered

I just wish there was a way to disable the night mode on Samsung's camera app, it messes up so many images. I know you can use another camera app but damn, why Samsung? it doesn't work.

5. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

I use it at night on my Note 5 when I take pictures of my sons football games. (Real football, not poverty ball). I find that I can get much better color reproduction in manual. Auto is kind of washed out.

4. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 628; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I actually take more photos than i do anything else on my phone.

3. legiloca.v2 unregistered

I play around with the camera app when I'm kind of bored, just to see what my phone is capable of, could come in handy when with friends

2. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

You gotta play around with the settings ya dig? I got a question for PA y'all use the manual mode frequently when doing the reviews?

1. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

6. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

I don't use auto...i play with manual settings mostly if i have the time.

7. Acer_Predator unregistered

You see ppl and here it is everybody when new phone release or is coming up saying aah that phone has only 8mpx and it hasn't got that camera function or this doesn't support stabilization and all that crap .. and once they buy phone they never touch it .. Ppl are so naive/pathetic .. They only talks crap when it comes to smartphone comparsion.. At the end of the day everybody just sitting with that smartphone and stare into front facing camera to make crappy image doesn't matter if it's perfect clear crisp as they always are blurred or not focused properly and everybody is alright with that, then using for fakebook or playing stupid games and some internet browsing that's all.. IF the smartphone wouldn't have internet access, everybody would don't give a fk and leave smartphone on the table all day or in pocket without touching it .. unless someone text or ring once a day...

17. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

I need a great auto mode. Usually I don't have time to play around with manual functions. I need great auto mode like Samsung flagships and less mega pixels to keep the jpeg size smaller, without the loss in quality.

20. Acer_Predator unregistered

dat is difficult to achieve..

23. rsiders

Posts: 2068; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Nice images. Is it true manual where you can set shutter speed and manual focus or kind of the same setup available on most Sony phones?

24. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

No shutter speed controls or manual focus. Exposure value, ISO value, white balance and metering only.

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