Camera phones are today the new norm. Some smartphones even use their cameras as a selling point, making them more attractive for users with a self-discovered talent for photography. But as all other compact cameras, phone cameras come with their limitations that are not easy to overcome. Not easy, but possible, if you use some of the tricks described below  (image via shutterstock).

1. Never use digital zoom

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One of the major limitations of smartphone cameras is their lack of optical zoom. Optical zoom is using the camera’s lens to bring the subject closer or make it bigger on the screen / photo, which doesn’t have an impact on the quality of the picture. Digital zoom in turn does nothing but take the central part of the picture and enlarges it, and it involves a sometimes serious degradation of the picture quality – and irreversibly (image via shutterstock).

2. Use the light wisely

Camera phones – and compact cameras, for that matter – have serious issues when they need to take pictures in low light. So, if you want to take a good picture (and not a silhouette), you will want to make sure that the thing you want to take a picture of, like the face of your friend hitting the jackpot at the royal vegas online casino games faces a source of light, but you don’t (image via shutterstock).

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Another thing to keep in mind is to use the LED flash on your camera phone only when it’s necessary. Sometimes the flash going off when it shouldn’t can ruin the picture altogether.

3. Clean your lens

A thing easy to forget – cleaning the phone camera’s lens. The lens on the vast majority of phones is exposed (not hidden behind a cover like in the case of dedicated cameras), so it can accumulate deposits of grease, lint or other stuff in your pocket (image via shutterstock).

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Keeping it clean will help you snap pictures with a better quality altogether.

4. Colors and filters

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There are a lot of things you can change in your camera’s settings – white and color balance, exposure time, resolution, and so on – which can result in a better quality photo in the end. If you are a digital photography aficionado, or have done your homework, you can make the most out of such a limited hardware by fine tuning the camera to your needs. But if all else fails, you can always (image via shutterstock).

+1 – Apply a filter

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Some camera phones will not be able to snap a good picture, whatever you do. This is what filters were invented for – masking your camera’s (or the photographer’s) shortcomings with artistic effects, turning crappy photos into acceptable ones (and sharing them on Instagram) (image via shutterstock).