Learn in depth of all about the Galaxy S3 camera through my guide below.

The articles are based on my personal opinion and may subject to errors and mistakes. Do correct me if you found any misleading information.

I have stop updating this blog as this phone may retire from now on with new phones like Note 2 and S4 out in the market. The basics should work just fine and do enjoy the extra features that your new phone brought you.

Disclaimer: This is not a professional review and all the findings and opinions are based on my own experience only.

Part 1: Hardware and Features

Part 2: User Interface

Part 3: Limitations

Part 4: Shooting Mode

Part 5: Scene Mode

Part 6: Summary and Conclusion



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sharing: Samsung Photo Editor ver 2.2.14

Samsung Apps has updated their photo editor software recently to a newer version, namely Photo Editor ver 2.2.14, available for the Galaxy S3.

Previously, the Photo Editor app that comes along with our phones has pretty much limited functions that many other third party apps doing a better job than this. However, for this recent update, I found out that it became a very useful app for photo editing and I no longer need to transfer my pictures to my PC for editing or maybe using some fake filters to mask my flaws.

The updated app solves many of my limitations and problems for the camera and often I can directly edit my pictures on the go after taking it.

So, what are the functions I used the most for this app? Often with the stock camera, I suffered the difficulty to obtain a proper white balance or exposure, especially when times where I need to snap and go and have no times to fiddle around with the settings. The Photo Editor app provides me the function to edit and correct the exposures and white balance afterwards. 

Screen shots and samples will be provided later. Enjoy shooting and editing!

Update: Burst Mode compression

If you are a frequent user of the burst mode and uses Superfine for the image quality, then this might concern you a bit.

Thanks to a xda forum member (NoOneCanHelpMe) who pointed out in my xda forum thread that the compression value is higher when taking pictures using the Burst Mode, which means that the image quality is not as good as what you get when using Normal Mode with Superfine quality settings.

The image file size taken using the Burst Mode is significantly lower than Normal Mode that it is understandable for the reasoning behind it due to the amount of data required for processing for continuous shooting of 20 pictures.

Even thou this usually will not affect the average users who are not keen in pixel peeping or so, it is still worthy of a note to know.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Water Lily Flowers

Been to a garden recently and took out my phone for a shot.

Aperture: 2.6
ISO: 80
Shutter Speed: 1/500
Shooting Mode: Single
Scene Mode: None

Friday, July 13, 2012

Camera Changelog for LFB/LG1 firmwares

Recently Samsung releases another firmware update for the international version of the Galaxy S3 i9300. There are a few major and minor updates available as you can refer to my previous post here.

In this post, I will talk about the camera updates only. As some may have realised, the latest firmware brings a significant update which is the introduction of a feature called "Wand". The "Wand" tool offers 11 different types of built in filters that can be applied prior to taking a picture. This saves up time for further post processing via third part applications.

If you are a fan of Instagram, then applying filters will not be a stranger to you. What makes Instagram so famous is its ability to apply various types of filters on photos to make them some how more appealing and interesting. This "Wand" feature is also a respond to HTC One X Image Sense where it also has built in filters that can be applied prior to taking pictures.

Applying filters on photos is a thing that either you love it, or you hate it. Social network active users may welcome this feature to fulfill their needs in uploading pictures across social medias. While photography enthusiast may find it as a gimmicky as it is a tool to beautify bad photographs. 

What filters actually do? Filters to photos are like make ups to woman. Phone cameras cannot achieve superior image quality produced by better cameras, often made their photos turned out to be less interesting, especially with bad lighting and bad cameras. So what filters can do is to reduce the flaws of the photos like bad colour reproduction and noise, apply some heavy toning or heavy editing to make the photos more dynamic and interesting. In order words, it makes bad photos look great.

Having said so, filters also adds mood to the photos itself. A normal picture taken under normal condition may end up in a boring photos. For example like when you taking pictures of urban decays or old objects that you are trying to put in age into the picture, a normal auto settings will just make everything looks, normal. Applying filters like warm vintage, will give you a kind of feel of aging photos or cold vintage will give you a feel of using a polaroid camera. All these filters adds interests into the daily pictures we took, making every photo LOOKS great. That is why filter applying software is very popular among users especially females.

LFB/LG1 Firmware Camera Update

What's New?
  • New "Wand" feature with 11 filter effects
  • Replaced the icon of voice command of a speaking human head to a microphone icon
  • Updated the camera firmware version to GDFF02

Icon changed

What's Gone?
  • The Face Detection focus mode is removed, only available via Shooting Mode

Wand Feature (Effects)

11 filters were included into this current update:
  1. Negative
  2. Black and White
  3. Sepia
  4. Washed Out
  5. Cold Vintage
  6. Warm Vintage
  7. Posterise
  8. Solarise
  9. Blue Point
  10. Green Point
  11. Red-Yellow Point
Most of these filters are pretty self explanatory and I will let the sample pictures to do the talking instead.

However, this effects don't work with the front facing camera. Only the default effects like Negative, B&W and Sepia is working. All the effects are available for video recording thou.

Monday, July 9, 2012

LFB Firmware is Here

I have just flashed to the latest LFB firmware. The wand effects are all there, camera does load up faster, probably due to fresh reboot maybe? Initial browse thru, noticed that the images are less noisy now because I took a sample shot before I flashed the ROM. Probably just me. 

Detail run down coming soon. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Galaxy S3 New Firmware Update I9300XXBLFB - Includes Camera Updates

Recently Samsung has released a new firmware that addresses a few issues as well as updating a few features and improved performance. Currently the update is only available for UK models and I guess it will come to other countries soon.

Among these updates, a few key feature updates include brightness slider, camera firmware and software updates, kernels etc.

There a website (Totallydubbed) compiling most of the updates found by users from xda:-

  • Camera voice recognition – icon changed
  • Camera voice recognition – feedback
  • Camera – wand – 11 new modes
  • Swype – now works in google search box
  • Swype – now works in address bar for searching
  • Swype – improved accuracy
  • Text messages – attachment icon on the left
  • Text messages – message box width reduced
  • Text messages – delete specific messages in a conversation
  • New widgets – splanner month, splanner task, splanner mini today, digital clock, all share cast
  • Lock screen – camera launches quicker
  • Audio application checkbox
  • Email – update time
  • Email – message body
  • Redraw issue – fixed
  • Adjusted the screen tone
  • Long press power for silent/vibrate
  • Clock – desk clock
  • S planner – week view changed
  • Camera Firmware has updated from GDFE01 to GDFF02
  • Noticed there is a lot of updates for the camera and the firmware update has rumoured to improve some low light shootings. I will cover about this update as soon as I get to install it. Stay tuned.

    At the mean time, one of the forum member (Andrewtst) from lowyat forum has managed to flashed this new firmware and shared the interface of the new camera software UI.

    Apparently this new "Wand" feature acts like a colour filter that is found in many digital camera as well. Can't wait to get my hands on this new firmware.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Blue Blue Sky

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 80
    Shutter Speed: 1/1000
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Food Photography with S3?

    Food photography by using the Galaxy S3? Yes, it is definitely possible! Taking pictures of your food is probably one of the most use function for a phone, but often we will get undesirable images where the food isn't really appealing due to a few factors such as noise, focus, colours and composition.

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 100
    Shutter Speed: 1/33
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None 
    So, when do you know you have taken a nice picture of your food? It is when people felt hungry and drooling over your pictures!

    In this post, I will share some of my thoughts and experience about taking a mouth watering photo of your food. But firstly, I won't like to clarify that I'm not a professional photographer or a food expert. I'm just sharing some experience I gained when taking pictures of my food by using my camera, as well as phone.

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 125
    Shutter Speed: 1/25
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None 

    First of all, lighting is very important when shooting food. While natural light is the most desirable source of light, man made lights are sometimes useful as well to create a warm feeling for your pictures. Food are better shot in warmer colour tone than cooler colour tone, having a food picture with a blueish tint doesn't really seem appealing at all, at least for me. So, it is important for you to get a good source of light like sun light or yellow lamp. Fluorescent lights are least desirable when taking pictures of food, just go and try and you will know why. With good lighting and colour temperature, you will have good exposures for your picture and thus reduces noise and increases quality.

    Next will be composition. Most food are best taken in portrait orientation, which is the default orientation when holding a phone, because it is able to represent your food and with a little background. Horizontal orientation also works for some cases like taking pictures of pizza, or a bowl of noddles. Sometimes shooting directly from the top is also a good perspective to show a bird's eye view of your dishes. My recommendation will definitely be portrait orientation for most cases, and then change to horizontal if portrait orientation doesn't work for you.

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 125
    Shutter Speed: 1/20
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None 

    To compose a good food picture, always fill up two-thirds of your frame with your dishes/food and then manually focus on the most attractive item within the dishes, for example, the chili in the pasta attracts the attention of the eyes first, and hence the focus is on the chili. This is very important when shooting with a camera with wide aperture lens for the narrow D.O.F. but not so important for a phone camera because most likely everything will be in focus. Nevertheless, there is no harm to manually select the focus point to achieve best results. The other one-third of the picture will be reserve for any background objects or the background itself. This is to show the environment and the surroundings to create a better feel and connection to the food.

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 100
    Shutter Speed: 1/33
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None 

    Due to the wide D.O.F. of the phone camera and wide angle, it is important to frame your food properly to avoid your background to interfere with the interest of the picture. Try shooting from a higher angle to expose more of the area of the table instead of the disturbing background if present.

    Another factor will be the white balance as it governs the colour of your picture. By default, the auto white balance works quite well and I do get a desirable image from it. Occasionally a bit too warm sometimes as shown in the example below. Always check your screen prior to shooting for the best colours, and do not get fooled by your SAMOLED screen!

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 640/800
    Shutter Speed: 1/17
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None 

    All the tips and recommendations are just for your reference only. It is your freedom and creativity to explore any style of food photography that you like. And to compile your food adventure, I would recommend you to download an app called Evernote Food which is able to compile all the information for your future reference. Or download Million Moments to compile all your pictures in a nice collage album.

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Night Panorama Limitations

    I went to Singapore for a 3D2N trip last week and manage to try out a night panorama shot. Apparently there are some limitations when it comes to night panorama shots, mainly due to the slower shutter speed required for the low light conditions, as expected.

    Below is a test shot I took at Clarke Quay and as you can observe in the picture, the middle part is slightly blurred due to the swiping motion during the panorama. The both sides of the picture are sharp and detailed because of the brighter scene.

    It is not impossible to shoot a night panorama with the Galaxy S3. All you need is a very stable hand with a very slow swipe motion. You can predict when the phone is going to take the next picture by following the guide frame in the screen and stop before it. Slowly move your phone until it reaches the frame and tries to stop to let it take a picture before swiping again in the direction.

    Below is a better sample shot taken in the Waterworld of Universal Studio, Singapore. I terminate the panorama after a few frames because I don't want to include the additional crowd into the picture. You can always terminate the panorama by tapping on the shutter button once again.

    Where as in daylight, there is absolutely no problem taking a swipe panorama because the shutter speed is fast enough to avoid any motion blur. Below is a sample shot taken at Marina Bay Sands during day time.

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    Beautify Shooting Mode

    Changelog Update:

    Beauty Shooting Mode description updated.

    Beauty Mode will change your auto focus mode to Face Detection. After taking a picture, it will take some time to process. What I notice is, during the process, heavy noise reduction and spot healing took place. I can guess that it is to beautify human's face for a portrait shot, removing as many possible flaws on the face, resulting in a very smooth and clear face. In my opinion, this type of editing might favour some girls, but it will render the picture a bit unnatural.

    When to use?
    - remove noise and pimples on a face typically.
    - for portrait shots or self portrait shots.

    - none

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Colourful Morning Cloud

    Sun ray in the morning colouring the clouds

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 80
    Shutter Speed: 1/50
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None

    Panorama of Paddy Field

    Wide paddy field panorama

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: -
    Shutter Speed: -
    Shooting Mode: Panorama
    Scene Mode: -

    Visiting the Paddy Field with S3

    The paddy is ready to be harvested!

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 80
    Shutter Speed: 1/800
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None

    A Test Run in Mid Valley

    Hey, it's Mickey Mouse!

    Aperture: 2.6
    ISO: 200
    Shutter Speed: 1/33
    Shooting Mode: Single
    Scene Mode: None

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    [Guide] Samsung Galaxy S3 Camera Usage Guide, Part 6: Summary and Conclusion

    Part 2: User Interface 
    Part 3: Limitations
    Part 5: Scene Mode
    Part 6: Summary and Conclusion

    Updated: 14th June 2012
    Update: 19th July 2012 - Tips and Tricks No. 7



    The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a camera equipped with a 8.0 MP pixel BIS at the back and another 1.9MP BIS for the front facing camera. Both cameras are able to give outstanding image quality when compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy S2. The camera in the Galaxy S3 gives vibrant colours, with saturated green colours in particular. Sharpness and details are improved with the sharpness comes mostly from post processing sharpening instead of the lens. However, it still produce very sharp photos especially at low ISO, and I'm very satisfied.

    The aperture value of f2.6 may not be the fastest lens around, but is adequate for day to day snap shots. It struggles a bit under low light, which is expected for any phones in the market even for the f2.0 ones as well. The camera focuses beforehand and refreshes every time you move away from the subject or every three seconds. The camera will take a picture as soon as you touch the shutter button, regardless whether the subject is focused or not. Hence, you need to be careful of this and don't assume that the picture is correctly focused just because you love the zero-shutter lag feature.

    Samsung packs a lot of new features for the camera, taking advantage of ICS. Burst Mode is one of the best feature available and it is even better with the Best Photo option. It will be one of the most used feature for this phone. Smile Shot also comes in handy where you need a good focus of the face and auto fire when smile is detected, good for portrait shootings. Panorama is a feature that you cannot miss if you travel to places with breath taking scenes.

    Share Shot and Buddy Photo Share are more to social networking needs where it facilitates media sharing with ease. Share Shot shares picture directly on the fly through Wifi-Direct connection with your friends, good for events and parties. Buddy Photo Share uses face tagging to detect the people within the photo and show email or MMS options directly on the picture for you to share the picture with ease.

    Using Voice Command to take picture is definitely one of the selling point and a great feature for many people. Voice Command can be use extensively when taking a remote picture, avoid hand shake, taking group photos or any combinations that you can think of to utilise this great feature. It can be enabled within the settings under Voice cmd, and should be one of the selling point of this phone.

    User Interface
    User Interface in the Galaxy S3 camera is more complicated when compared to other phones on the market and it is the typical U.I. you will see for all Samsung Android smartphones and tablets. The icons at the left column can be customised, where you can put your most used setting for quick access convenience.

    The settings available within the camera settings are pretty standard for a digitial camera.

    Every camera has their own limitations when it comes to both hardware and software. Photographers need to work around the limitations to bring out the best picture from your camera. The Galaxy S3 camera has a constant aperture of f2.6, which is its limitation for low light. The shutter is limit at 1 second maximum until 1/10000 second minimum. ISO is limit at ISO-1600 for the maximum and ISO-80 for the minimum, usable frames will be for ISO-800 or below. Manual settings for ISO ranges from ISO-100 to ISO-800 only.

    Burst Mode will utilise the phone memory instead of memory card and be prepared for some ram flushing when you spam your shutter up until 20 frames.

    Shooting Mode
    Shooting Mode basically covers everything mentioned in Features section. In Shooting Mode, you are not able to choose Scene Mode except for Buddy Photo Share. Some other Shooting Mode that I left out above like Beauty and Cartoon are those modes that are not as useful as the other modes. HDR on the other hand is a half half feature because it did not really give much advantage because the HDR effect is not as good as expected.

    Scene Mode
    When auto mode fails to give you desirable results, then it is time to explore Scene Mode where there is always a setting for the type of scene you are at. Scene mode changes the settings like shutter, white balance or exposure, depending on which mode you chose.

    Tips and Tricks

    1. The biggest challenge of taking a picture using a phone will be hand shake. Often hand shake will be main factor that destroys your picture. Try hold your phone as stable as possible and try not to tap on the screen too hard when taking picture. Try use any method that you can to reduce handshake like anti shake function, holding phone with both hands, increase ISO (if using manual), hold in horizontal position, use timer or Voice Command, use Best photo mode or tap your finger on the shutter button and lift it only after the photo is taken.
    2. Second culprit will be the focus. Focusing is very crucial for a photo because it tells the viewer where to look at in a picture. A sharp and detailed picture is always preferable than a blurred or OOF picture. Always make sure your camera is focused the correct subject before taking picture. Be careful when using manual focus because the Galaxy S3 will revert the focus frame back to the middle after three seconds.
    3. Third will be noise in picture. Try to shoot with the lowest ISO possible if you prefer a cleaner picture. You may opt for a longer exposure by using night mode but make sure you are able to hold the phone still as long as 0.5 seconds.
    4. Explore all the Shooting Modes and Scene Modes and also to read about the tips for each one if available.
    5. You can get bokeh by shooting as near as possible to your subject. This is because the depth of field (DOF) is influenced by focal length, aperture and focus distance, due to the fact that the aperture and focal length is constant, you can only achieve shallow DOF by shooting very near to your subject, coupled with macro mode auto focus.
    6. By long tapping on the shutter button without releasing, it will initiate the Auto Focus and then it will lock the focus and exposure value for reframing purpose. This option is common in digital camera or DSLR as focus lock/exposure lock, but seldom appears in phone camera. It's good to know that we have this option.
    7. Will add more soon.


    The Galaxy S3's camera may not replace your digital camera in terms of quality, especially with all the high end cameras on the market. However, the image quality is very comparable to real cameras at low ISO with the sharpness and details, as well as colour rendering. A phone camera provides the convenience of taking a picture any time any where because a phone is always with you but not your camera. It also provides the convenience of social networking by sharing your pictures directly from your phone instead of the cumbersome process of transferring pictures to the PC then to social media. Even thou my guide is based on thr Galaxy S3's camera, but the general theory behind still applies to any other phones or digital camera. In short, the Galaxy S3 is one of the best phone cameras available in the market now and you will enjoy using it everyday.

    Sample Photos

    [Guide] Samsung Galaxy S3 Camera Usage Guide, Part 5: Scene Mode

    Part 1:  Hardware and Features
    Part 2: User Interface 
    Part 3: Limitations
    Part 4: Shooting Mode
    Part 5: Scene Mode
    Part 6: Summary and Conclusion

    Scene Mode

    After all the explanations for Shooting Mode, we shall now touch about the Scene Mode. Typically, the default scene mode, which is None, works well in most of the cases. The Scene Mode gives us some option to change the colour saturation, colour temperature or changing the limitations.

    There are total of 14 Scene Mode to choose form which include:
    - None
    - Portrait
    - Landscape
    - Night
    - Sports
    - Party/Indoor
    - Beach/Snow
    - Sunset
    - Dawn
    - Fall Colour
    - Firework
    - Text
    - Candlelight
    - Backlight

    Most of these Scene Modes are found in digital cameras and their functionality and features are pretty much the same. I will run down the modes one by one with what I understand about it after playing with a few modes.

    Not sure what this mode enhances but I guess will be the colour tone will be adjusted to make the skin to look more natural.

    In Landscape Scene Mode, the camera will boost the colour saturation of the green and blue, making the tree, leaves and the sky in the picture to pop out more.

    When to use?
    - When shooting outdoor where many greens are available. Good for nature landscape.

    - Frame your picture nicely to get the best composition!
    - Try to get as wide as possible.

    Night Scene Mode is a useful feature because it will lower down the ISO and capped it at ISO-800 to reduce noise while at the same time increasing the shutter speed limit to 0.5 seconds instead of 1/17 sec. The increase of 1/17 sec to 0.5 sec is about 3-stops of light, which means the exposure achieved by 1/17 sec @ ISO-1600 is the same as 0.5 sec @ ISO-200. This greatly improves the image quality by reducing noise through lowering ISO. Increasing the shutter speed also gives good exposure and brighter images but at the same time may invite hand shake. So, do hold the phone as stable as possible or just use a mini tripod or a stand for it to get support.

    Even thou I mentioned about 0.5 sec @ ISO-200, it was just an example. In real usage, the camera will first lower the shutter until it hits the usual 1/17 and then increases the ISO to 800. If the exposure is still insufficient, then the shutter speed will increase until acceptable exposure is achieved, or when hitting the maximum at 0.5 sec, which ever comes first.

    When to use?
    - In night time or low light areas and you do not wish to crank up the ISO too much.

    - Hold your phone as steady as possible to avoid shake.
    - Place it on a surface with good support.
    - Use Voice Command instead of tapping shutter button.

    In Sport Scene Mode, the camera will pump up the ISO to decrease the shutter speed in order to freeze the action. Depending on your type of action, the result may be good or bad. It is best use under good day light so that the camera can use faster shutter speed without increasing the ISO to achieve that. However, I'm not sure how fast the auto focus can cope up with the action and it is best to prefocus on something which lays on the same plane beforehand.

    When to use?
    - Requires to freeze the frame like kids running or your pet jumping

    - Make sure your camera focuses on the correct plane before firing the shutter.

    To be added later, still investigating on what it affects.

    Compensates the exposure of bright scenes appear in beach or snow areas.

    When to use?
    - In the areas mentioned above or in an area where majority of bright colour is present.

    - Double check with your picture to make sure exposure is correct, otherwise, revert back to normal and use EV.

    Sunset mode applies a warm filter and then slight underexpose the foreground to bring out the feel of sunset.

    When to use?
    - Sunset shots, or when a warm feel is desired.

    - Take an original image first before using this mode to avoid bad output result.

    Dawn mode applies the opposite of sunset where a cooling filter is applied instead. It gives a cold feel of dawn with the blueish tint.

    When to use?
    - Sunrise shots, or when a cold feel is desired.

    - Take an original image first before using this mode to avoid bad output result

    Fall Color
    Fall Color mode enhances the warmer colours as well as saturating it to make it more vivid. A sample picture is available for comparison above.

    When to use?
    - Wants to have a vivid color image

    - Check the result to avoid oversaturating the picture.

    Firework mode is will set the ISO to 80 and exposure to 1 sec by default. With this settings, only the trial of the firework will be captured clearly where as anything else will be underexposed due to the low ISO settings.

    When to use?
    - When snaping firework or when long exposure is required

    - Try to place the phone on a stable support to avoid handshake and light trials.

    Text mode will further increase the already heavily sharpen image. In Text mode, you will realise that the edges of the text has some halo around it, resulted from sharpening post processing.

    When to use?
    - When taking pictures of text or required very sharp details and images

    - None

    Candlelight mode adds a warm filter to give the candle light warm feel to the picture. Other than that, the settings were pretty much same as auto mode I believe.

    Backlit mode will use the LED flash as a fill flash to compensate the bright background. However, due to the weak power rating of the flash, I'm not sure how much effect it will give to the output of the image.

    When to use?
    - Having very bright background where the foreground is covered in shadow due to underexpose.

    - Try not to shoot the subject too far away as the LED flash light is not strong enough to fill.

    I have pretty much discussed everything I know about the Galaxy S3's camera. We should now proceed to Part 6: Summary and Conclusion to wrap up anything that I missed out in the previous parts and not forgetting sample pictures!

    [Guide] Samsung Galaxy S3 Camera Usage Guide, Part 4: Shooting Mode

    Part 1:  Hardware and Features
    Part 2: User Interface 
    Part 3: Limitations
    Part 4: Shooting Mode
    Part 5: Scene Mode
    Part 6: Summary and Conclusion

    Shooting Mode

    Update: Beautify (16-06-2012)
    Update: Panorama Limitations (28-06-2012)

    There are a total of nine Shooting Modes available in the Galaxy S3's camera, with some of the modes already discussed previously like the Burst Mode, Share Shot and Buddy Photo Share. The nine modes include:

    - Single
    - Burst Mode
    - HDR
    - Smile Shot
    - Beauty
    - Panorama
    - Cartoon
    - Share Shot
    - Buddy Photo Share

    I will briefly explain for some modes which is common, and explain a bit more for those modes that are least found.

    Single shot mode literally means that every time you tap the screen, it will only take one picture. It is the default settings and most used in auto.

    When to use?
    - Probably by default, this is the setting you will use most.

    - None

    Burst Mode
    Already discussed in Part 1

    The pictures taken under burst mode will be labelled with the same file name but with suffix 1 - 20 to indicate the arrangement of frames.

    HDR is a fancy feature that comes along with many new cameras and phones. HDR basically means High Dynamic Range, it solved the problem of overexposed and underexposed portion of a image. Usually when we take a picture of people or building under a very bright sky, the metering tend to tell the camera to lower the exposure to compensate the bright portion to avoid overexposure. This results in a very unpleasing image where the person or building will appear very dark while the sky is properly exposed, or the person or building is properly exposed but the sky has blown out all white. I believe many people faced this kind of situation before. To understand more about HDR and more technical terms for your digestion, do click the reference link below from Wikipedia:

    HDR works by combining a few images into one, usually two or three photos will be used and sometimes more. It works by combining images with different exposure values, and then uses the correctly exposed portion will be combined into the final image. Using the previous example of people and bright sky, HDR combines the fairly lit human face, together with the blue sky from the other picture, and then merge the two portion into one. Depending on how much the post processing is involved, sometimes HDR will result in a very unnatural image like an oil painting. 

    I'm not sure how many pictures that the S3 uses to combine a HDR image, but judging from the end result, I'm guessing just two pictures are used to create the HDR image. The camera will store two pictures under the same file name, one original picture and then the processed image with a HDR suffix to indicate it's a HDR image. The EXIF of the HDR image is also removed. However, I found out that the HDR effect of the Galaxy S3 is not obvious and many times I do get both identical image for original and processed.

    The HDR output from the camera is also not satisfying and often made the sky looks cloudy instead of clear blue sky. It is also noticed that the HDR image has slightly lower sharpness and details when compared to single shots for some cases. i will try to test more for the HDR feature for various cases and update this from time to time.

    When to use?
    - During difficult moments to have a good exposure of both foreground and background. e.g. clear blue sky but dark foreground.
    - Sometimes will help in some low light situation.

    - Good for landscape and building/cityscape
    - Try to hold the phone as steady as possible because the camera is taking more than one photo, especially in low light area
    - Not really recommended for portraits as will produce very unnatural scene.

    Smile Shot
    Smile Shot is a feature available in many digital camera where the camera will try to detect faces within the frame and takes a picture when ever a smile is detected. Hence, instead of focusing in the middle of the frame, the camera will focus on the face instead, which is actually better and reduces the chances of off-focus pictures. I haven't really put this into test because no one wants to pose for me due to camera shy. There is no settings available to change the smile sensitivity like some digital cameras. It works by tapping on the shutter button once, and then the camera will track the faces and captures the picture when a smile is detected.

    Not sure how wide the smile need to be and how far can it detect the face. I only tested with a picture of a smiling face and it is able to capture it from quite a distance. Translating it to a human scale, I would say a distance of 1 meter to 3 meter will be safe. All you need is to show your teeth and the camera will take a picture of you.

    When to use?
    - A portrait where you need a good focus on the face instead of middle of the frame
    - A self portrait, instead of tapping button or voice command, you just need to smile to your camera.

    - Be within 3 meters (10 feet) of distance from your camera
    - In a good lighting area with good visual of your face, and your teeth of course
    - Say "Cheese" when it fails to detect your smile and you will still get a good image of your face.

    Beauty Mode will change your auto focus mode to Face Detection. After taking a picture, it will take some time to process. What I notice is, during the process, heavy noise reduction and spot healing took place. I can guess that it is to beautify human's face for a portrait shot, removing as many possible flaws on the face, resulting in a very smooth and clear face. In my opinion, this type of editing might favour some girls, but it will render the picture a bit unnatural.

    When to use?
    - remove noise and pimples on a face typically.
    - for portrait shots or self portrait shots.

    - none

    Sample pictures later.

    Similar to many other Android phones, a sweep Panorama feature is also available in the Galaxy S3. It stitches up to 8 images together and processed considerably fast.

    When shooting panorama at night or in low light conditions, try not to swipe the phone too fast and always stop the movement before the guiding frame lines and slowly move to allow the phone to capture a good low light shot. More details are explained in this additional post of Night Panorama Limitations.

    When to use?
    - When you want to have a wide view image of that particular area.
    - Well, when you want a panorama!

    - Bright day with good lights. Panorama in night will end up getting the whole picture with motion blur.
    - Try not to change the altitude too much otherwise you will end up getting a bad stitch.
    - Don't sweep too fast and follow the guiding frame, slow down yr sweeping speed as you approach the guiding frame. Missing the frame will end up in a bad stitch later.

    It's just a filter to create fancy colours on your picture. Not a fan of this feature and won't be using it at all. There are better alternatives out there in the Play Store like Paper Camera.

    When to use?
    - No comment

    - No comment

    Share Shot 

    Share shot feature is discussed in Part 1. In Share Shot, Scene Mode is unavailable and Wifi-Direct connection is required.

    Buddy Photo Share

    Buddy Photo Share feature is discussed in Part 1. 

     Proceed to Part 5: Scene Mode