When you hit the camera app on your Xperia the mode you’ll find automatically set is Superior Auto. You could spend your entire mobile life using Superior Auto and you’re unlikely to have many complaints. ISO, shutter speed, white balance, the phone does all the thinking for you meaning all you need to do is be in the right place at the right time.
However, there are a ton of neat tricks and features packed into that camera app that you might not be using and they might, just might, take your smartphone photography to the next level. Here are our top five features you might not be using, yet…
What is it: Brighten or darken shots before they’re even taken
A great first step in taking more control of your shots, this slider allows you to adjust the exposure of shots during viewfinder mode. Slide up for brighter, down for darker. The bar will appear when you tap the screen to focus. Don’t want it there? Hit X to move it out the way.
What is it? A 3×3 grid that helps your compositions
Ok this is simple but you want your horizons to stay flat? Your portraits centred? Your ‘rule of thirds’ technically accurate? Head back into the settings menu and pop on Gridlines. These won’t show up in your final images but will help you out while deciding on that perfect composition. Essential.
What’s it for? Keeping moving objects in focus
Your friend is running a marathon, you’re in the crowd. As they come close you focus on them, hit the shutter and, ah, they’ve moved and are now a blurry mess.
This is easily fixed with Object Tracking. From Superior Auto mode hit the settings icon, scroll down to Object Tracking and turn it on. Now when you focus on an object the Xperia camera will remember it, popping a square box around it to show it understands. Now even when the object moves the square box will follow it, ensuring blur free images right up until it leaves the frame. Superb.
What is it? A short cut to make sure you don’t miss your moment.
It’s happened to all of us, the perfect shot lines itself up in front of you, you open the camera to capture it, but your own face is staring back at you. You’re losing precious seconds, but thanks to this handy shortcut, you won’t miss your shot. It’s really simple too. Just swipe diagonally across the screen to rapidly switch between front and rear cameras. Of course the reverse works too, handy for those urgent selfies.
What is it? Total control over your shots.
If you’re already a pro with Manual Mode then this article is probably a little ‘beginner’ for you. However, if you’ve yet to embrace Manual Mode, don’t be scared. Each setting can be individually set to Auto so you can focus on the one you want to use (a little like the ‘Priority’ modes on a DSLR). For example, here we popped into Manual Mode to play with focus, using the slider to focus on the leaf in the foreground, then popping it up to bring the street into clear view.
So there you are. Five modes you might not be using but definitely should. Got any camera questions? Pop them in the comments below and – as ever – share your Xperia shots on social with #TakenOnXperia