If you have a Samsung Galaxy S21 series smartphone, you have made the right choice. There are so many awesome things about these phones including the multi-camera setup. If you’ve splurged on the S21 Ultra, you’ve got an even more impressive camera setup. But you still have a pretty impressive smartphone with the S21 or S21 +.

Many special camera features can be accessed from your phone’s Camera app. Some are automatically activated from the start, but some need to be activated when you want them. Let’s see what you can do best with your S21 series camera app.

1. Make sure you can scan QR codes

QR Code

While this should be enabled by default when you first get your S21 smartphone, you need to check. Being able to scan QR codes with your camera app is so much easier than having a dedicated QR scanning app.

To make sure it’s on, open your camera app and click on the cog icon in the top left corner. This will open your camera settings. Be sure that Scan QR codes is on and blue and you’re good to go.

2. Use scene optimizer for better shots

The Scene Optimizer feature helps you do exactly what it sounds like: optimize your scenes. It helps you determine which is your best shot by automatically focusing on an object, blurring the rest of the scene, adjusting your lighting, and more.

It can recognize a wide range of scenes and is not limited to the S21 app, it is a feature of many Samsung devices.

This is another feature that should be enabled automatically, but in case it is accidentally disabled, here’s how to access it. Open your camera app, tap the settings gear icon in the top left corner and enable Scene Optimizer.

3. Activate shot suggestions

If you want even more help with your photos, be sure to enable Suggested shots in your camera app settings. This feature will give you onscreen tips that will help you snap an amazing photo. This, especially in conjunction with the Scene Optimizer feature, will give you great looking photos even if you are not an expert.

4. Activate autofocus tracking

If you have an unruly camera subject like a bouncing child or energetic puppy, turn on Auto focus tracking in your camera app settings. This will help your camera to stay focused on the selected subject even if it is moving during your shot.

5. Discover the different ways of shooting

Also be sure to check Shooting methods in your camera app settings. When you tap on this option in your settings, you will see all the different methods you can use to take a photo.

The typical way to take a photo is to open your camera app and tap on the circle icon at the bottom. But there are different ways to take photos, including:

  • Press your volume keys to take a photo or record a video.

  • Use voice commands such as “Smile” or “Capture” to take a photo or “Record video” to capture a video.

  • Show your palm to the camera to take a selfie.

  • By adding an additional trigger, you can move anywhere on your screen.

6. Take pictures in night mode

With the improvements to the cameras of the S21 series phones, it is much easier to take photos in dark environments or at night. Better cameras mean more light can be captured, making your photos taken in the dark a lot brighter when you’re in Night mode.

To access and try Night Mode, open the Camera app. Where you would usually switch between photo and video modes, press the button. Following option. Select the option titled Night and you will be in this mode until you close your camera app.

7. Try the single take function

Image gallery (2 images)

The Single Take feature lets you capture multiple different photos and videos with the push of a button. Instead of having to change the angle, zoom, or mode while you’re trying to enjoy the moment you’re capturing, Single Take will do it for you.

8. Test the director’s eyesight

s21 galaxy ultra director's angle of view

Director’s View is a cool filming feature that lets you switch between different zooms while you’re in the middle of a shot. It will also allow you to shoot with your front and rear cameras at the same time.

It’s great when you want to film your reaction to something or just try to make a really cool video.

9. Change the resolution of your video

By default, your camera will record Full HD video with varying frame rate. But your camera can do more. There are three different video capture options that you might not enjoy: Ultra HD at 30 fps, Ultra HD at 60 fps, or 8K at 24 fps.

Related: The Best Accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S21

Of course, 8K is the highest possible resolution for video capture, but it has a pretty low fps or frames per second rate. Ultra HD is still fantastic resolution and you can record at 60 fps. Play around with the different video capture options and see which one works best for you.

To switch between different video capture resolutions, open your camera app and switch to video mode. At the top you should see a setting option that says FHD AUTO. When you tap it, you can see the available video capture options and switch between them.

10. Save your settings

To find the Parameters to keep section in your camera settings, open your camera app and tap the gear icon in the top left corner. Scroll down and you should see Parameters to keep as one of the last options.

In this section, there are three different settings that you can turn on to stay on until you turn them off manually.

  • Camera mode: If you enable this setting, it will always remember the last mode you used your camera for, instead of always booting up in Photo mode.
  • Selfie angle: This will keep the angle you last used for the front camera instead of always reverting to the normal angle.
  • Filters: Enabling this option will keep any filters you applied to each camera mode instead of automatically removing them when you close the app.

11. Play with the zoom features

Even if you’re new to photography or think you’ll mostly use your phone’s camera sparingly, you should know how to use the zoom features.

When you open your camera app, you can easily switch between different zooms at any time. Above the different camera modes, you will see different leaf icons. These icons control the various zooms your camera is capable of. If you have an S21 Ultra, you will see an additional icon for your 10x zoom lens.

12. Create funny GIFs

Did you know that you can make GIFs from any video you shoot on your Galaxy S21? And it’s super easy to do too.

Related: Top Things You Need To Do With Your New Galaxy S21

Open the Gallery app where you typically browse all of your photos and videos. Select the video you want to use to create a GIF. Tap the three vertical dots in the lower right corner and select Open in video player.

After selecting this, tap your screen and you should see a square with GIF in the upper right corner. When you tap that square, it instantly throws you into edit mode where you can choose exactly what part of the video you want to capture in a GIF.

Have fun taking photos and videos

Now that you know the ins and outs of your S21 camera app, it’s time to put that knowledge to work. Taking photos and videos is a great way to capture memories and unleash creative energy. Even if you are far from a professional skill level, you can still take great photos and videos with an S21 series smartphone.

This is what makes this series of phones so great. And if you own an S21 Ultra, you can do even more amazing things with your cameras.

Image Credit: Samsung

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