If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen most of these photos. But, I just had to share on the blog, too. A couple of months ago I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S4, which comes equipped with a 13MP camera (pretty much equivalent to a good point-and-shoot). I just couldn’t get the default camera app to do what I wanted, so I started hunting around for something better. The Camera FV-5 app had good reviews, and only cost $3.95, so I figured I’d give it a try.
I am so impressed! I’m not going to go into all the techie details, but I will tell you that my favorite features are the ISO sensitivity (which goes from 100 to 1600 — basically this is what controls the brightness of your photo), and the touch focus which allows you to tell the camera exactly what to focus on just by touching that area on the display. The default camera app does allow you to do “macro” type shots, but the touch focus on the Camera FV-5 app makes gives you so much creative control and allows you to take full advantage of the camera’s fixed aperture (f2.2) to create nice depth of field. I’m still trying to learn how to control shutter speed to take better pics of the kids.
I’m not going to be trading in my DSLR anytime soon, but this just proves that technology has progressed to the point where you can get really good photos with just your phone and a couple of apps (we’ve come a long way from the flip phone days). The final frontier is figuring out how to get better photos in low lighting. The phone still can’t do that without a ton of grain or a flash.
Here are some examples of what the Galaxy S4 and the Camera FV-5 app can do. The last one was made b&w with the Adobe Photoshop Express app, which is free, and the rest are “SOOC” or “straight out of camera” and unaltered. You can click through for larger sizes of each photo — even at 1024×768 they’re still crisp and clear and would look great printed out as 4×6’s: