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Samsung Galaxy S4 : Camera Shooting Modes

Samsung Galaxy S4 has a number of new camera shooting modes, which I admit are pretty neat.

  • Auto. This standard mode allows you to shoot with image effects like Vignette, Sepia, Vintage, Cartoon.

  • Beauty Face. It detects face and beautifies it with processing.
  • Best Photo. The camera captures 8 shots so that you can choose the best shot. To save multiple shots, press and hold the thumbnail to tag for save.
  • Best Face. When you have to take a group shot and afraid not everyone looks their best, the camera captures 5 shots and you can select the best faces among the shots to mix into a perfect shot.
  • Sound and Shot. You capture a still image and tags a voice recording.
  • Drama. The camera captures multiple shots of action and lets you merge them together into a single shot.

  • Animated Photo. The camera captures a short motion clip and you get to choose the areas that you can freeze them. The end result is a 752×422 GIF file (6MB) that shows only a specific image area in motion.
  • Rich Tone (HDR). It creates a high dynamic range image, where the sky is not overexposed and the shades are not underexposed.
  • Eraser. The camera captures a few images and highlights the areas that you might want to remove to form the final shot.

  • Panorama. Creates a panoramic shot.
  • Sports. Increases shutter speed to help you shoot faster.
  • Night. Decreases shutter speed to help you capture more light in the dark. This mode is rather redundant since you can activate “Auto Night Detection” under Auto Shoot mode. (edit 15 May: I found that by activating Auto Night Detection, you lose the ability to activate White Balance and Anti-Shake)
  • Dual Shot. Captures images using both front and back cameras at the same time. My favourite shoot mode. You can choose a variety of frames, and change the size of the smaller image. You  can swap the front and rear camera as main. You can even do video recording with dual cameras, and during the live recording, you can swap the camera, remove the small frame, or bring it back up. This is really a new experience in using your 2 cameras. (Note: this video recording flexibility is possible only if you start the video recording with dual shot mode)

So many camera shooting features. Question is, which one should you use in any one situation?

And that is a decision you have to make before you take a shot. Say, you use Best Shot mode and took multiple shots, but there are unwanted background people that you wanted to remove. You can’t. You have to reshoot using Eraser Shot mode. Say, you use Eraser Shot mode, and you liked to make it into an Animated Photo. Not possible. Say, you use Animated Photo mode, and you liked to keep a still image in full resolution. Not possible, you can only save as GIF.

In comparison. HTC One does not impose that restriction. After you capture a Zoe, which is a 3-second footage of 20 4-megapixel images, you can choose to process the Zoe into either a (in Samsung Galaxy S4 terms) a Drama Shot, Eraser Shot, or Best Face shot.

So, what would you do in real life? I would only shoot in Auto mode most of the time. Samsung has got some awesome shoot modes, but it needs to allow the user to do post-processing into multiple effects, to make use of the software innovation that Samsung has developed.

My favourite mode is the Dual Shot mode, and I would buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 because of this revolutionary feature that is only possible with a blazing multi-core processor. HTC One’s got Zoe, the Galaxy S4’s got Dual Shot.

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