How to take awesome photos with the Samsung Galaxy S6 – 9 camera tips and tricks

To say that the Galaxy S6 has a great camera would be an understatement. Samsung's flagship boasts a 16MP, optically-stabilized shooter that's one of the best to ever grace a handset, as our numerous camera tests have shown. But to tap into the full potential of the Galaxy S6's camera, one has to be familiar with its modes and settings. And now that we've explored the camera's arsenal of features, we can give you a list of tips on making the most of the Galaxy S6's snapper.

Tip #1: Burst mode is awesome

Sometimes, a fraction of a second can make the difference between an award-winning photo and one you wouldn't really wish to share with anyone. Capturing a very specific moment in time, however, can be a serious challenge. This is where Burst Mode comes into play. It shoots a rapid succession of images – at least 8 full-resolution frames in the Galaxy S6's case – and you may later pick the best image from the bunch. You don't need to activate Burst Mode or choose it from a list of modes in order to use it. You just hold down the shutter button, and the camera instantly starts shooting a series of photos.

The image you see below has been captured in Pro mode, using manual settings. We set the ISO to 800 and reduced the exposure by half a step to get an extremely fast shutter speed. This is important as a fast shutter is required to "freeze" a moving object. A lower ISO setting will also do, as long as you have enough light in the scene, and will produce less noise at that. From a total of 17 images, we picked the one we liked best and cropped the area with the subject to highlight it. 

Tip #2: Use manual focus for beautiful macro and bokeh photos

In Pro Mode, your Samsung Galaxy S6 lets you set the focus manually. This can be useful in a number of scenarios, especially when you're trying to snap a beautiful close-up photo. Taking decent bokeh shots is also possible with a little tweaking of the focus settings. 

To take a stunning close-up, set the focus to its closest possible setting, indicated by a flower on the focusing slider. Then place the camera at about 4 inches of distance from the subject and find the perfect focus point by moving the camera closer or farther. You may use the digital zoom to get a close look at the image and make sure you have excellent focus. Snap a shot when you're happy with your composition. By applying the same technique, you may also get a good-looking bokeh image, with plenty of blur in the background. For a smartphone camera, that is.

Tip #3: Correct those (rare) white balance inaccuracies

The camera on the Galaxy S6 may be one of the best around, but it isn't perfect. There are times when it just can't nail the correct white balance, although it is much better at this than most other smartphone cameras. As a result, the image might end up looking colder or warmer than it is in reality. This happened to us on several occasions – a few times while shooting outside, about an hour or so before sunset, and once indoors, where light was scarce and of unusual color tone.

The solution? Well, there's a few of them. To improve the color fidelity in those rare images with inaccurate white balance, you may open the Galaxy S6's built-in Photo Editor tool, choose "Tone", and adjust the "Temperature" slider until what you see on the screen matches what your eyes could see in the scene. Or you may adjust the white balance in Pro Mode prior to taking the image. Doing so is a bit trickier than editing a photo that's been already taken, but it should yield a better-looking photo. 

Tip #4: HDR

Samsung's approach to HDR is probably the best you'll find on any smartphone camera. On top of being highly effective in scenes of high contrast, the HDR mode gives you a live preview of the image about to be taken. You may enable HDR when you're shooting against a strong light source, or if you simply want to add more detail and light to the shadowy areas in your frame. Just don't overuse it. Here's a few examples of the difference HDR mode can make.

Extra Tips

Related phones

Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128GB
  • Battery 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)



1. maherk

Posts: 7065; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Press and hold on the screen in low light situations should've also been mentioned.

6. AnTuTu

Posts: 1625; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Best smartphone of the year until Note 5 comes out :)

8. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

which one is better Note 4 or galaxy s6? i had note 3 but some review says note 4 can be quite laggy sometimes but s6 screen was kinda small for me.

14. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

i was confusing too between note 4 and S6 EDGE .. i now i just bought the S6 edge yesterday .. man u will not regret it .. never :)

16. maherk

Posts: 7065; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Mokhtar!! Is that you? Lol You used to hate everything that was Samsung branded, i guess you finally realized that worshipping or hating a specific company is just wrong. Anyways congrats on your purchase buddy, hope you enjoy it.

9. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Note 5 edge please :)

10. waddup121 unregistered

Good one PA. I like this!

2. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1382; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Just obtain the S6 after a 2 year run with the M7 and a six month short stint with the M8. The S6 ( 16 meg pixels) is superior in the camera department hands down compared to the M7 and M8 (both 4 mega pixels). However, I must say that it is, with the exception of the Lumia 1020, the best smartphone shooter that I have ever employed. Samsung not only stepped up and created a good phone but they " hit it out of the park" in terms of Design,Performance,Camera,Charging speed, and Software. All around solid device.

5. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I have to agree.. Great phone and if I had room for a third phone I would get an edge. I really only have a few issues and some are just personal preference. The size for me is a little smaller than I want, i also prefer micro SD support and a bigger battery. Honestly that is all personal taste and I still want one

3. realhumanbeing

Posts: 53; Member since: Oct 18, 2014

This is like the best camera on a smartphone I've ever used, I was taking shots today with it and I was truly amazed, what a great job Sammy has done this year.

4. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1382; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I agree. I know many will say that the Nokia 1020 is a better performer I do not disagree. However, we are talking about current and relevant smartphones devices of 20015 ( Microsoft really dropped the ball with the 1020, IMO, by not offering a follow up). As of right now, in my opinion, Samsung rules the landscape when it comes to smartphone cameras ( Yes, Sony's sensors are top but it seems that Samsung has found a way to take full advantage of the sensor via it's software < so has LG> that Sony has not been able to do themselves).

7. AppleJuice

Posts: 145; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

The S6 is better than the 1020 in auto mode by a huge margin. Also, the 1020 is slow as hell.

13. DBounce

Posts: 172; Member since: Apr 26, 2014

They still use smartphones in 20,015?

15. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

i used the 1020 , Z1 Z2 , L930 and now with S6 EDGE .. to be honest .. the 1020 is an awsome camera , but not perfect , i prefered the Z2 than 1020 .. even the 930 over the 1020 .. cuz the camera is so slow , u have to wait a year to adjust the perfect settings for u shoots and etc .. same thing with 930 in low light .. ( i still have it btw ) now the s6 edge wish i didnt test it yet , but from a few shoots i can say its much more better than all 4 phones that i used , so clear and clean pictures , even with moving subject or while u r walking the pictures are so stable , the low light auto is just stuning without any adjust of settings ( hello windows :) ) i did a small test yesterday between 930 and S6 .. and the s6 blow away 930 in low light with auto .. the video recording is also so smooth and sharp .. so this is what i call a perfect camera in all situations ..i'm now 10/10 satisfied with it

11. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015


12. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

I'm all for Nokia and Microsoft in that the 1020 is a better phone in manual than the s6 however in auto mode the s6 is just as good if not marginally better a d to be honest unless you're into photography the s6 would be most peoples choice as they would nearly always use its camera in auto mode.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless