Camera phones explained

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Camera phones

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Most of the latest phones have a built-in camera so you can take photos - some will also let you record videos. Here are a few things to look out for.

Megapixels

  • Digital photos are made up of millions of little dots of colour called pixels. The more pixels you have in a picture, the more detailed the image will be and the better it will look when you print it or display it on a large screen.
  • Pixels are counted in megapixels - there are one million pixels in every megapixel.
  • Don't obsess too much about having lots of megapixels - a 2 megapixel camera will take images that look excellent when printed as a standard 6inch x 4inch photo.

What else should I look for in a camera phone?

If you're looking for a really good camera phone, you might want to select one that has some or all of the following features:

  • Memory - the more memory you have, the more pictures you'll be able to store on your phone. Scroll down to A bit more about memory for more info.
  • Optical zoom - uses the camera's lens to make part of an image appear bigger. This lets you zoom in to an object and take a more detailed picture of it.
  • Digital zoom - enlarges a portion of the picture to make it appear bigger. The difference from optical zoom is that because the image is enlarged digitally, you will lose some of the image quality.
  • Automatic focus - very useful for making sure your photos are sharp.
  • Flash - if you're going to be taking pictures inside, a flash is a must.
  • Shake control - helps prevent blurry pictures.
  • Photo editing software - lots of phones have photo editing software built in. This is great if you want to print pictures straight from your phone without downloading them on to a computer first.
  • HD video recording - if you fancy yourself as the next Steven Spielberg, an HD video recorder will let you make films that look fab on the latest large screen tellys.

Transferring, editing, saving and deleting

When it comes to managing your photos and videos, every phone is different. You can find help:

microSD A microSD card is a removable memory card that's inserted into your device that increases the amount of memory space it has.

You can transfer the data on a microSD card to different locations, by syncing with a USB cable, slotting the card into your laptop (not all laptops have this capability) or wirelessly via Bluetooth.

If I insert a microSD card into my phone, is my stuff automatically saved to it?

  • This depends on the phone. Some phones will automatically save data to the microSD card, and only when it's removed can you add things like pictures and music to your device's memory. These kinds of media take up a lot of space, so your phone might not even have capacity to save it straight to its phone memory anyway.
  • You can see how much storage your phone has available by going to the settings on your phone and looking under the storage tab.
  • Some apps can't be saved to a microSD card, there'll be saved straight to your phone's memory, this is for legal reasons.

What is expandable storage?

  • You might have heard the phrase "expandable storage", when referring to a phone's storage capabilities, it means the device has room for a microSD card, so you can increase the storage your device has, it doesn't mean that the phone can literally be stretched!

Can I insert any microSD card into any phone or should I buy according to my phone's software?

    • You should check in your device's manual to see what cards are compatible. If your phone states that the maximum size of microSD card it will take is for example 32GB, you can't put a larger sized card in, it won't work.

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