Smartphone photo of a woman's face and eyes

How to improve the quality of the smartphone camera

If you’re like most people, you use your smartphone as your primary camera, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many smartphones these days take better photos than entry-level digital cameras just a few years ago.


There is still a lot of room for improvement regarding the quality of the image coming from your phone, especially if you plan to share the images with family and friends or post them on your social media accounts.

Here are 11 ways to make sure the photos you take with your smartphone camera look crisp, clear, and sharp.


1. Clean your lens

One of the most common causes of blurry or distorted photos is taking photos with a smartphone with dirty lenses. When dust and other debris collects on the lens, it blocks some of the light entering the lens, reducing the quality of your shots.

If you don’t clean your phone’s lens regularly, your shots will be affected in terms of clarity and color accuracy. An easy way to clean a camera lens is to use a dry microfiber cloth to remove any visible dust or dirt from the lens surface.

2. Adjust focus and exposure

The smartphone camera has many features that allow you to adjust focus and exposure on the go. If these features aren’t built into your camera, try using a photo editing app like Snapseed, Lightroom for mobile, or Photoshop Express to make these edits.

The typical way to adjust focus and exposure is by using a bar or slider at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, you can zoom in or out and click where you want to focus on that point. Once you are focused on something, take the picture.

3. Get better lighting

It is much easier for a smartphone camera to take good photos in a well-lit area than in a dark place. For indoor shots, try setting up artificial lighting with a ring lamp or incandescent lamps or bulbs.

If you are outside during the day, try to avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause light to reflect off the camera lens in your photo (lens flare), resulting in glare or flashes in the photo.

4. Fixed your shot

A surefire way to start taking better photos is to keep your hands steady and avoid camera shake while taking photos. If you are trying to take a group photo, someone should be responsible for holding the shutter button while another person holds the phone as still as possible.

You can also use a tripod to help keep things stable. If you don’t have a tripod, try using something else, such as a wall, book, or table, to hold your phone.

5. Get rid of the digital zoom

Smartphones usually feature lower resolutions than some of the more professional cameras available in the market. Trying to enlarge an image using digital zoom can make your photos look grainy, blurry, or pixelated. If you want to take a close-up shot with your iPhone or Android phone, get closer to what you’re shooting instead of using digital zoom.

6. Use the correct viewfinder

Most modern smartphones have multiple camera lenses, including the front camera for selfies and video calls, an ultra-wide-angle lens for capturing landscapes, and a secondary rear camera to help blur the background in photos. Knowing how and when to use these photos can help you take great photos in different indoor and outdoor environments.

7. Try shooting in RAW

JPEG is the most widely used digital image format. While it’s convenient because it reduces file size and has relatively good image quality when shooting in less than ideal lighting conditions, shooting in RAW format means you keep more of the original image data.

This is useful for any type of editing done in post-processing, such as color correction in an overexposed shot.

8. Install a third-party camera app

A third-party camera app can improve the quality of photos taken by a smartphone camera. For example, apps like Camera + and Google Camera can provide features that the default camera app doesn’t have. Installing Google Camera on your Android phone gives you access to features like Night Sight and Portrait Mode.

9. Apply the rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a simple concept that helps you compose your photos. It is based on the idea that dividing an image into nine equal parts that form a grid of three by three creates visual interest.

You should aim to place the main subject of your photo at these intersections or along lines, ideally, in the left or right third of the photo.

10. Get to know your camera features

Knowing how a camera works is one of the first steps to improving any camera. Aim not only to see where the camera features are but also what each feature does.

One of the best ways to learn how to use your smartphone camera is to try different settings. Understanding how shutter speed, ISO, and aperture can help you take stunning photos that truly reflect your personal style is a good place to start.

11. Edit Your Snaps

You can improve the quality of your photos by editing them in a free or paid editing app. Editing apps let you adjust exposure, color saturation, sharpness, and more to get the best shots.

If you are looking for a free editing app, give Snapseed a try. This app can help you make drastic changes and adjustments in just a few minutes.

You can use Snapseed to create a double exposure effect, remove red-eye, and add artistic effects to your photos. You can also fix wide angle distortion with the app’s perspective tool and sharpen your image with the detail tool.

Take your smartphone photography to the next level

Smartphones have become a part of our lives; Besides communicating, you can use it to take pictures. However, their camera quality is not perfect; Many people are not satisfied with the results they get from their smartphone cameras.

This post explains the ways you can improve the quality of your smartphone camera. From shooting in RAW to using a tripod, these tips should help you get better results from your smartphone camera. If all else fails, consider getting a digital camera.

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