This guide and all images inside are copyright 2011 Edward Arriola. My goal with this guide is to help you increase the quality of your camera phone photos, explore and redefine the limitations of your camera phone limitations, and give some general photography advice. I will not be covering in-phone photo editing, editing programs including Photoshop Express, Vignette, and the like, or exploring anything other than the stock Android camera phone software found on 2.2 – FroYo. This guide will be laid out in three parts Part 1: Hardware -- cameras and how they differ between digital SLRs, point and shoots, and cell phone cameras Part 2: Software and what it does All my testing has been done on a Droid X and a G2/HTC Sapphire. If there is a discrepancy between what I write here and your experiences, please let me know and we can figure it out together. The beauty of photography is that we all can learn from each other.About me: I was an emerging professional photographer, until I got fed up with clients and decided to keep it strictly as a hobby. I focus more on people and models, but am quite capable at shooting the occasional landscape or still life. By day I work in sales for a Fortune 200 insurance company, by any other time I am a photographer, model, fire dancer, fencer, karaoke junkie, and occasional triathlete. Part 1: Hardware Cameras have evolved from a complex photo-reactive chemical coating on a plate to a complex photo-reactive sensor behind a piece of glass. Unfortunately, that simplistic view is akin to saying that astronomy is just flying around outside Earth’s atmosphere. This section is about how camera hardware differs between their uses and builds.There are three main types of cameras I will be writing about: Digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, point and shoots, and camera phones. DSLRs are the large “professional” looking cameras, usually with interchangeable lenses, large bodies (the part the lens attaches to), and often a thick strap to support it around the neck or carry it by. Point and shoots are the consumer grade cameras you see carried in purses, backpacks, glove boxes, and anywhere else someone wants a camera in easy reach. Camera phones are…well, if you don’t know by now, I’m curious as to why you’re even reading this guide. However, camera phones are a former accessory to cellular phones, but have evolved into an industry standard for feature inclusion.The main differences between DSLRs, point and shoots, and camera phones are simple, sensors and lenses.The sensor is what records the light that comes into your camera. It’s what actually records the photo. The lens is what brings the light to the sensor. With sensors, the general consensus in the photography world is that “bigger is better.” Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean more megapixels (how many pixels it records), but rather the actual size of the sensor. A full frame DSLR has a sensor which is the same size as a 35mm film strip, while a consumer grade DSLR (often called a crop-sensor or various other names) has a 1.6 crop factor (basically, it literally records a smaller square of what the full-frame camera does). For those interested in how this works, Wikipedia has a very thorough article on how that works.When you have your subject in focus with a large sensor, you have a lot of latitude for making the backgound blurry or sharp. This is called depth-of-field (DOF ). It depends on a number of factors, but mostly focal length (a.k.a. “zoom factor) and aperture (how wide open the lens is to let light in). Also, with large sensors, you have more flexibility in low light situations. Part 2: Software DSLRs are able to shoot in a format called RAW. This is about three times the size of a JPG file with three times the data. It’s ideal for photo manipulation in, say, Photoshop. They are also able to shoot in jpg. When a camera, any camera, anywhere shoots in JPG mode, they do their own batch of photo processing to the original data. Phone algorithms for processing differ between manufacturers or programming, as do those for any DSLR or point and shoot. My suspicion is that Android has a standard set of protocols and algorithms for photo processing which manufacturers tend to leave alone, except for the user interface and menu layout. Open your stock camera app. Touch the screen and you’ll see an overlay of “Scenes,” “Effects,” a flash on-off-auto indicator, and a switch to video. Hit [FONT=宋]“[/FONT]menu” and you’ll get your picture modes, tags, and settings. Tags are for organizing, video isn’t for stills, and the rest I will be talking about. Your menu may be laid out differently.Starting with Scenes: Auto: This is the phone’s best judgment to take the photo. The flash will go off depending on the situation, the shutter might go faster or slower, and the sensitivity of the sensor might change. It’s a solid default position and usually damn good at what it does. This is also the most versatile mode, in that you can change practically any setting (flash, ISO -- sensor sensitivity, etc.) Portrait: Good for taking pictures of people Landscape: Good for landscapes Sport: fast shutter speeds, good for freezing action Night portrait: long shutter for capturing lots of light and a flash for exposing a foreground Sunset: longish shutter for capturing the fading light and the colors of a sunset. Macro: shifts the camera’s focus to up close to capture close up (often small or tiny) objects. Steady shot: fast shutter and a flash to reduce blur.Let’s go to effects: Black and white: converts the image to black and white. Negative: puts colors and tones in the opposite of how we view them (dark turns bright, blue turns red, etc.). Sepia: lays a golden hue over the scene – basically black and white with a brown-orange overlay. Mimics old films. Solarize: mimics how the scene would look if taken with film that had been exposed to light during developing. Changes the saturation, hues, and brightness of colors. Self portrait mode only works in landscape orientation – holding the phone horizontal. It automatically focuses on a face and keeps taking pictures of said face(s) as long as they’re in front of it. To quickly stop taking pictures while you recompose, just turn the camera 90o to portrait orientation –vertical. Photo stitch usually works best when holding the phone in an opposite position to what you would normally shoot in. For a wide landscape, try holding it horizontally so you get a landscape which is tall as well as wide, or try to pan up while holding it horizontal for a wide tall shot (say, of a building or NBA player). Of course, you can get a really wide shot by holding it horizontally and panning horizontally, same for tall by holding it vertically and panning vertically. For self portrait mode, you don’t even need to press the shutter button. It starts taking pictures right away. With the photo stitch, you just need to take the first picture then follow the on-screen guide to take the rest. You can hit the “stop” button to finish the stitching process anywhere from 2-6 photos into it. Finally, there’s multi shot. These are pictures which likely wouldn’t print up any larger than 4x6” and processed for quick storage. This mode is ideal for capturing sequential action. Let’s say popping a champagne bottle at a New Year’s Eve party.