EE top tips: Using camera modes and advanced photo features on your Samsung Galaxy 

9 January 2019

Live Focus

Want to add an artistic edge to your photos? Open your camera app and slide across the options at the top of the screen until you reach Live Focus.

Live Focus lets you adjust the level of background blur in your photos, so you can bring subjects right to the forefront and create a stunning bokeh effect. The background blur slider can be adjusted in real time, so you can see how changing the depth of field will affect your photo before taking it.

Selecting Live Focus will automatically zoom in on your subject, but a wide-angle shot will also be captured – and you can switch between the close-up and wide-angle versions after you’ve taken your photo.

To use Live Focus:

  • open the camera app
  • scroll along to Live Focus
  • use the on-screen slider to adjust the background blur
  • press the shutter button

a girl taking a selfie while riding a bumper car


Want to photograph a stunning landscape in all its glory or take a 360-degree shot that captures everything around you? Pick the Panorama option from the options in your camera app to create a photo that’s larger than life.

Panorama mode works by taking lots of individual pictures and stitching them together for one ultimate image.

To take a Panorama photo:

  • select the Panorama option – you’ll see a bar across the middle of your Galaxy phone
  • position your photo within the bar
  • tap the shutter button and slowly pan your phone from left to right (or right to left) – you’ll need to keep a steady hand
  • you can capture a complete 360-degree image or tap the shutter button again at any stage to complete your shot

Panorama photos are also a great option if you want to upload your photos to Facebook, because they can be uploaded as either videos or 360 photos. Your followers can explore in more detail by swiping across the image or tilting their phone. Panorama images can also be viewed as Motion Panorama images on your phone – displaying as short video clips. 

someone taking a group shot at night time on their mobile phone

Food Mode

As the name would suggest, Food mode is there to make your foodie photos look as good as they taste (hopefully). Food mode automatically adjusts the colour settings of your photo, raising the colour temperature to make your meals look even more delicious.

Here’s how to take a photo in Food mode:

  • open your camera app
  • scroll to the Food option
  • select the area you’d like to highlight by moving the square area across the display
  • press the shutter button

You can use Food mode for taking non-foodie photos too. Experiment shooting different objects to see how this Galaxy photo feature can bring out colours and give your photos more flavour. 

a plate of food, featuring asparagus, egg on toast and a sausage


A good GIF can make someone laugh and get your message across in an instant. With Galaxy phones you don’t have to use the same GIFs everyone else is using – you can create your own.

There are a couple of ways to create your GIF (a short and silent video clip, played in a loop).

To create a GIF while taking your photo:

  • open the camera app and click on the Settings icon (the little cog)
  • scroll down to where is says ‘Hold camera button to’
  • click on this and choose ‘Create GIF’
  • when you’re ready to create your GIF, hold down the shutter button – you can hold it for up to 30 seconds
  • now your GIF is recorded – to make edits, tap on your GIF and click on the pen icon
  • trim your GIF, make changes to playback speed, and switch the direction it plays in

Alternatively, if you already have a video clip you’d like to turn into a GIF:

  • play the video and find the part you’d like to turn into a GIF (up to six seconds)
  • tap on the video while it’s playing
  • hit the GIF icon at the bottom of the screen
  • edit your video before saving it and creating your GIF

two girls taking a selfie while sitting on the horses on a merry-go-round

Slow Motion and Super Slow-mo

Slowing down video playback lets you focus on those moments you might otherwise miss. And it makes all the action more epic. The Slow Motion option lets you record and play back videos eight times slower than normal videos, while Super Slow Mo lets you play back videos 32 times slower than normal videos.

Super Slow Mo videos are recorded in a lower resolution and aren’t best suited for low-light conditions, so Slow Motion videos, which are recorded in Full HD, will sometimes be a better option. If the conditions are right though, the Super Slow Mo option can create something really special.

To take a Slow Motion or Super Slow Mo video:

  • open the camera app and scroll to your chosen setting at the top of the display
  • frame your subject and press the red record button – in Super Slow Mo mode you’ll have to keep your subject within the on-screen square
  • once you’ve recorded your video, tap on the screen to bring up additional editing options
  • trim your video, adjust playback speed and even add your own soundtrack

A skateboarder appears in the lens of a Samsung Galaxy smartphone camera


The Hyperlapse option lets you speed things up, so you can showcase your long videos in a fun and compact way.

Your phone will automatically adjust the speed or you can choose you own pace – up to 32x faster than a standard video.

To record a Hyperlapse video:

  • open the camera app
  • scroll to Hyperlapse
  • tap on the screen and press the ‘timer’ icon (next to the cog icon) to adjust the speed of your video, or use the default auto setting
  • press the record button

Two men record a hyerlapse video on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Get more photography tips for your Samsung Galaxy >


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