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How To Use The Samsung Galaxy S9 Camera For Better Photos

Take a look at these easy to follow S9 photography tutorials straight from Samsung that cover everything from customising the camera to working in low light.

| Samsung Galaxy S9 in Camera Phones
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Samsung Galaxy S9 Rear

Samsung Mobile is one of the most popular smartphone brands and with impressive specs, including really great cameras, and slick designs, it's not difficult to see why. 

Samsung's latest smartphones (Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus), which we reviewed earlier this year, were the first camera phones to feature variable apertures which made us, as well as photographers, pay a little bit closer attention to them. In fact, we were that impressed with its photo-taking capabilities, the S9 Plus still sits in the number 1 spot of our 'Top 17 Best Camera Phones For Photography' list. 


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Samsung Galaxy S9 Pro (2)

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is also a great tool for photography and to make sure S9 smartphone owners are using its cameras to their full potential, Samsung has put together some quick, no-nonsense tutorials that, in not much time at all, explain how specific Samsung Galaxy S9 (and S9 Plus) camera features work.

Each of the quick tutorials are shown below along with a little bit of text that explains what each video tutorial is about. 

If you're an iPhone user who's arrived here to pick up some smartphone photography tips - great, but you will probably find our guide to using the iPhone camera a little more useful. 


Settings & Storage 


How To Customise Your Camera Settings


  • Launch the camera app then tap the gear icon.
  • Default picture size is a 4:3 ratio, but you can adjust it. Not sure what size to pick? Try a larger frame with the 18.5:9 Infinity Display. 
  • Scroll through the settings to explore what else you can change (there's quite a bit).
  • Samsung recommends turning on grid lines so you can capture better-balanced photos. 
  • You can also activate the 'floating camera button' which allows you to move the shutter button around the screen into a position you find easier to reach/more comfortable to use. 


How To Use Expandable Storage


Want to add more memory to your Samsung Galaxy S9? Well, you can with a MicroSD memory card to the sum of 400 extra GB which is plenty of room for photos and video.

To insert a MicroSD card, remove the SIM tray with the included pin and simply pop in the MicroSD card into the slot - simple. Next, open the camera app and tap settings as you'll need to tell the S9 that you want to save images/video to the now inserted MicroSD memory card. Scroll down to 'storage location' and select 'SD card' to make it the default option. 


Photo Editing 


How To Edit Photos With Snapseed

There are, of course, other photo editing apps to use/choose but we have to agree that Snapseed is one of the best. 

To open images in Snapseed, open the app and tape anywhere to access your recent photos. Next, select 'Develop' to begin editing (you can even edit RAW files). There are lots of options to pick from and the tools are really easy to use. For example, if you want to brighten or darken your images, select 'Exposure' and adjust the level by sliding left or right. To add mood, play around with shadows and you can balance a photo by adjusting the contrast levels. 


Lighting Techniques 


How To Capture Daylight & Low Light With Dual Aperture 


Dual apertures open up a whole new world of creativity for S9 shooters and a day-to-night comparison is just one way you have a little more fun with your photography (if you're a Galaxy S9 owner, of course). Dual aperture adjusts to light levels automatically but for extra control, you can switch to the built-in Pro Mode. 

Let's start with the daytime photo so find your scene, turn your phone into a horizontal position and select the Pro Mode in the camera app. Adjust your settings and capture the shot. 

After the sun sets, head back to the same spot again to capture the view in low light. You'll need to use Pro Mode again so you can adjust the shutter speed and toggle Dual aperture from f/2.4 to f/1.5 to brighten the scene. 

You now have two photos you can combine with the help of the Layout app (available in the Google Play Store) to give your image a day/night twist in one frame - day on the left and night on the right. 


How To Use Dual Aperture To Capture Light Trails


Another use for Pro Mode and dual apertures - light trail photography. A city street, after the sun has set, is the perfect location for this as plenty of traffic will move through your frame, creating the light streaks. Once you're in position, open up the camera app, switch to Pro Mode, select 'shutter speed' and toggle the Dual Aperture option. You'll need to adjust the shutter speed to around 1-second and even though optical image stabilisation is built in, it's still a good idea to use a tripod or rest your phone on something steady. Once set-up hit the shutter button and watch a trail of light cut through the frame - pretty cool. 


How To Use Pro Mode In Low Light


Open your camera app and, once again, select the Pro Mode. The Dual Aperture camera will automatically adapt to the lower lighting levels but you can tweak the exposure with the manual settings if you want to. If you do adjust the shutter speed, ISO, focus etc, you can see how it will change your image immediately thanks to the live view you get with the Samsung Galaxy S9. 


How To Use Pro Mode In Day Light 


Pro Mode isn't just for low light photography as it can give your daytime images a creative edge, too. There are several adjustments you can make to shutter speeds, ISO, aperture... and more. 


Focus & Zoom 


How To Use Live Focus


'Live Focus' is Samsung's wording for creating bokeh in images and the Galaxy S9 Plus has a Live Focus mode built in so you can capture portraits with blurry backgrounds. 

To access the mode, open the app and select 'Live Focus' then frame your subject until you see the words 'Live focus ready'and hit the shutter. Next, go to the Gallery and you can toggle between the wide-angle and close-up photo. After you've captured the image you can tap on 'adjust background blur' which gives you the tools you need to introduce bokeh to your image. When happy, hit the tick and your bokehrific image is captured. 


Creative Shooting 


How To Use Super Slow-Mo


Some things look really cool when slowed down and when we say 'slowed down' we mean 'way down'. When you open the camera app you can select a super slow-mo option which, once you've framed your subject and hit the record button, you can use to slow specific moments right down. Super slow-mo turns 0.2 seconds of footage into 6 seconds and once you've captured enough footage, hit stop. 


For more smartphone related content, take a look at our top lists and reviews. You can also learn more about the S9 and S9 Plus in the comparison table below. 

Comparison Table

Samsung Galaxy S9Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Front Camera
Pixels8Mp (Megapixels)8Mp (Megapixels)
Max Aperturef/1.7f/1.7
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Telephoto
Additional CamerasNo DataWide-angle standard camera, 2x Telephoto camera
Max Aperturef/1.5 - f/2.4f/1.5 - f/2.4
35mm equivalent26mm26mm - 52mm
Optical Zoom0x2x
Image Sensor
Pixels12Mp (Megapixels)12Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)40324032
Pixels (H)30243024
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.55inch1/2.55inch
Sensor Size (width)No DataNo Data
Sensor Size (height)No DataNo Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor5.8in6.2in
Screen resolution2960x14402960x1440 - 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Touch ScreenYesYes
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/24000sec1/24000sec
Shutter speeds longest10sec10sec
ISO sensitivity50 - 125050 - 1250
Movie modeYesYes
Video Resolution
  • 4K
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 4K
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS60fps60fps
Stereo SoundNo DataNo Data
Other Features
Image StabilisationYesYes
Internal Memory4000MB6000MB
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-ion 3000mAh3500mAh
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo DataNo Data
View Full DetailsView Full Details

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