Poll results: How often do you use the extra settings of your phone's camera app?

How often are we taking advantage of all that rich abundance of camera options, modes and effects that our phones offer, as opposed to just shooting in auto mode all of the time? That is what we asked you last week, and it seems that a good 40% of our respondents never waste the extra time to shoot in anything but auto. There are 38% who sometimes fire up the occasional mode or effect, and only 22% are constantly playing around in the camera interface to squeeze the best possible shot or take full advantage of the manual regime that so many makers are now offering. 

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 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



13. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

no im meaning comparing RAW vs RAW phone pictures not RAW vs JPEG mate, perhaps i wrote it wrong my bad.

15. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

already answered this post, delayed post lol

9. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

taking straight sensor data? and no i would not want to be modifying the image just straight raw shots using the same settings across all devices at the time of capture, unfortunately im not an expert of photography so perhaps i am missing something? i was just under the impression that raw data is uncompressed the way jpeg is thus preserving all the original detail. i guess that's what you mean by taking sensor data, so would it still not be possible to do a straight comparison?

11. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Not possible. RAW is unprocessed but JPEG is. A RAW file is larger (data-wise) and comparing it to JPEG is unlogical.

12. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Raw files are straight data from the sensor. There is no algorithm to adjust the image that's where you come in and adjust it to your liking. Jpeg images are not straight raw data, they are modified, color popped, sharpened etc, whatever algorithm they use to make it, and why you can change the quality of a picture on a phone with simple software updates. But raw does none of that, and allows complete control. Hence why comparing two raw shots will be hard, because you HAVE to modify the raw file. But once you modify the raw file, it will be impossible other than clarity of the lens, or focus of the shot, to compare the composition of say, color etc. So really shooting two raws side by side, only real comparo would be ease of manipulation of said raw file, low light, and clarity of image (which can be suspect too). And since raws allow so much control we would probably have to give it to more than one person to see what they can accomplish with the raw. Does one prefer noise reduction, over this over that, shadow recovery vs deep shadows, the list is just to long.

14. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

right I understand now, I think in my head I have another idea of how it should be done and work but your explanation makes perfect sense.

16. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

However. Despite the challenge. I think it would be an excellent write up comparing the two. And also pointing out, point of focus for the lens so we know what the camera was trying to see when shot. Writing up the shot, then comparing the RAW files, ease of use with them, clarity, would be excellent. Hard, yes. But it has the potential to quite some naysayers on here. I know pulling the big raw file from the 1020, simply has details that stuff like the 1520 and Note 5, S6, G4 etc simply doesn't have. Raw files truly allow the HP of a sensor size and MP count to show forth.

1. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I never remember to fiddle with camera settings.

2. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

To fiddle you need something interesting :) I doubt there is really anything more interesting in camera department except for LG G4/V10.. I had all 2015 flagship phones and it was only LG G4 whose manual control I enjoyed and used a lot

3. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

what would you consider as interesting then? I have almost full manual control on my galaxy note 5, including shutter speed, exposure, Iso, metering modes, white balance, timer, and raw format photos which are fantastic for post processing, while this is still a long way off from a proper camera it is by far one of the best camera setups on a mobile device to date, more flagships are coming to raw which is great, i have not used the lg g4 so i am unaware of its features and usability

4. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Surely a good device, don't know about best to date in terms of camera setup, but functional and works very very very well. I love playing with the note 5 here.

5. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

to be fair I only said one of the best though, I haven't used enough other mobile cameras with the same amount of functions to compare, the only downside i have with the note 5 camera setup is the fact you cant set the pro mode as default camera mode instead of Auto, other then that its brill...for me at least anyhow

6. WPX00

Posts: 513; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Yep, that's definitely one of the few issues I have with the Note 5's camera, otherwise it's brilliant !

7. geordie8t1

Posts: 344; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

pro mode is fantastic with the addition of RAW, im still fine tuning the camera settings but the shots that can be accomplished with full manual control is totally amazing, would be great to see some comparison shots vs other phone cameras in raw format, would also love some pro tutorials to maximise these features of the note 5 camera

8. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

The only problem with raw is that its taking straight sensor data, meaning any way you start to modify the raw, you will never get the same results, it will be all custom. Good yes, but you couldn't really do a straight comparison. Perhaps a ease of adjustment comparison but that is about it.

10. phonearenarocks

Posts: 607; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

I have often created many masterpieces on my Galaxy S6 Edge inspite of it having lesser control than the Note 5(Lack of Shutter speed control and RAW Format pictures). Most of them have got to do with the way it does Rear/Front defocus, exposure and ISO Control. I would surely have to say job greatly done by Samsung.

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