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New smartphone camera technology improves your photos

January 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Tired of taking lousy photos? One of many new smartphones could "snap up" your game. Many are coming with incredibly innovative camera features. Consumer Reports shows new technology that can help you solve some age-old photo challenges like a pro.

Professional photographer Michael Polito says it can be really tough to get a good group photo.

"It could make or break a photograph if just one person is blinking, or with a bad expression," said Polito.

But what if you could get the best take of each person and then combine those into one photo?

"You can actually do this with some smartphone cameras," said Consumer Reports Senior Electronics Editor Mike Gikas.

Here's how: After snapping a photo, you choose a person and thumb through her poses in the photos you've taken. Pick the one you like best, and combine it with the best takes of the other people in the photo. Voila! You've got the best picture possible. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, LG Optimus G and the Nokia Lumia 920 all offer this feature.

"The Nokia Lumia 920 also takes care of another problem: If someone ruins your shot by walking in on it, you can remove them," said Gikas.

All you have to do is tap on what you don't want in the photo and the camera takes it away.

On some smartphones you can set it to automatically take pictures when certain words like "cheese" are spoken.

And the camera automatically takes the picture. It's on phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and LG Optimus G. And ever miss a shot because you didn't take it fast enough? The LG Optimus G senses when your finger is about to snap a photo and takes multiple shots so you don't miss the moment.

With smartphones getting smarter, you'll have fewer excuses for taking a bad photo.

You can expect to see these innovative features begin to show up on traditional cameras in the coming year. The Samsung Galaxy digital camera already allows you to combine the best takes of each person from multiple photos and combine them into one picture.


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