How to Use the Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera: Everything You Need to Know

This guide will show you how to use the Galaxy S5 camera app to take better looking photos, how to use the many modes and other tips and tricks you need to know about the new camera app.

With the Samsung Galaxy S5 users have access to a range of photo options with the built-in camera app. Samsung delivers a new interface that makes the camera easier to use, but if you are upgrading from a Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S4 or coming from an iPhone the app can be a little confusing to use.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S5 Tips & Tricks

We’ll walk through the Galaxy S5 camera settings you need to know, a few tricks like using another Galaxy device as a remote viewfinder and how to access all of the camera modes, a few of which are not where you would expect to find them.

Learn how to use the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera to take better looking photos and use all the different modes.

Learn how to use the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera to take better looking photos and use all the different modes.


The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a 16MP rear facing camera capable of taking photos faster than the other Galaxy smartphones thanks to a new fast autofocus that users will notice as soon as they open the camera app and aim at a subject. Users can also record 1080P video and 4k video with the Galaxy S5. 4K is a new higher resolution video format that is gaining a little traction on new HDTVs, but for the most part users will be fine shooting in 1080P.

Galaxy S5 Camera Tips & Tricks

Watch this four-minute Galaxy S5 camera video for a run through of various features and modes. In the sections below we will break out more on how to use each of these Galaxy S5 camera features.

Galaxy S5 Camera Basics & Features

When you open the Galaxy S5 Camera app you’ll see the following screen with a lot of different options. Here is an explanation of what each of these on-screen options does.

Learn the basics of using the Galaxy S5 Camera App.

Learn the basics of using the Galaxy S5 Camera App.

  1. Switch to the front facing camera.
  2. Turn on Selective Focus without going to settings. This allows you to take a photo and choose the focus later.
  3. Turn on HDR preview and HDR mode for richer colors.
  4. Access all of the Galaxy S5 camera settings.
  5. See what mode you are using at a glance.
  6. See if you have location, voice control or other options turned on.
  7. Switch to Video mode.
  8. Take a photo.
  9. Pick a new mode to use.
  10. See the photos you took in the gallery.

These are the ten basic functions of the Camera app, you can tap anywhere on-screen to focus there and to get the light reading from there. You can also pinch to zoom in on a photo, but it’s better to get closer if you can.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera Settings

There are many Galaxy S5 camera app settings to check  out and to change to customize the experience. Here is a quick rundown of the various settings and what you should change right away. Keep in mind that not all of these settings will be available for every mode, but most will work in Auto Mode.

Learn about the Galaxy S5 settings.

Learn about the Galaxy S5 settings.

  1. Picture Size – Select the Resolution of the Photos – Leave this at the highest setting unless you need to change it for a personal preference.
  2. Burst Shots – Turn this on to hold the shutter and take a burst of photos as long as you hold the shutter.
  3. Picture Stabilization – This can help deliver a clearer photo if you have shaky hands or are moving, but it can also slow down the focus. Leave this off until you need it if you want the Galaxy S5 to focus faster.
  4. Face Detection – With this on this can detect the faces in your photo to focus on them and take a better looking photo.
  5. ISO & Metering Mode – You can change to a custom ISO or Metering mode if you want to control more of the shot.
  6. Tap to Take Pics – Tap on the screen to focus and immediately take a picture
  7. Selective Focus – This should really be in Modes, but it lets you take a photo and then blue a background or foreground by picking where to focus after you take the photo.
  8. Video Size – Pick the resolution for your videos, 1920 x 1080 is standard HD or opt for 4K at UHD by tapping on this option, but keep in mind the larger resolution uses more storage.
  9. Recording Mode – Choose normal, slow motion, fast motion or smooth motion that is 60 frames per second.
  10. Video Stabilization – Turn this on to help stabilize your videos and remove shaking and motion.
  11. Audio Zoom – With this mode on when you zoom in during a video the Galaxy S5 will amplify audio at the source, and dampen surrounding noise.
  12. Effects – Put a live effect such as Vignette, faded color or others on your photo before you take it.
  13. Flash – Control when the flash will fire.
  14. Timer – Set a 2,5, or 10 second time to line up a photo you are in.
  15. HDR – HDR on will show a live preview of a HDR photo. This combines multiple photos into one for richer colors.
What the Galaxy S5 camera settings actually do.

What the Galaxy S5 camera settings actually do.

  1. Location Tags – Tag your photos with the location you take them.
  2. Storage – Choose to store photos and videos on the phone or on a Micro SD card.
  3. Review Pics/Videos – Turn this one to see your photo right after you take it.
  4. Remote Viewfinder – Link up to another Samsung device to use one phone to control the camera on another.
  5. Auto White Balance – Choose your white balance to suite your lighting.
  6. Exposure Value – Manually correct exposure with a plus or minus.
  7. Guide Lines – Turn on Grid lines on the Galaxy S5 camera app.
  8. Shutter Sound – If you don’t want others to know you are taking pictures turn off the shutter sound.
  9. Voice Control – Say Smile, Cheese, Capture or Shoot to take a photo and Record Video to start recording with your voice.
  10. Help & Reset – Help explains these modes and reset will change everything back to defaults.

If you use some of these more than others you can tap and hold to re-arrange the Galaxy S5 camera setting icons to put your favorite options at the top of the screen.

Galaxy S5 Camera Modes

Choose the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera mode to fit your photo.

Choose the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera mode to fit your photo.


Tap on the Mode button on the main Galaxy S5 camera to switch between modes. The best thing to do is leave this on auto until you know you need to use a specific setting. With auto the Galaxy S5 camera app will pick the right mode for your subject from night mode or landscape to others.

Beauty Face – This mode applies an airbrush effect to portraits to deliver a more flattering portrait.

When you use Shot & More you can pick the various modes after you take the photo.

When you use Shot & More you can pick the various modes after you take the photo.

Shot & More – This mode allows you to take a series of photos and then apply an effect right away or later in editing. It includes five modes.

  • Best Photo – Pick the best of seven photos.
  • Best face – Pick the best face for a subject or subjects so everyone is smiling with eyes open.
  • Eraser – Remove an unwanted person or object from a photo.
  • Drama shot – Show motion by picking several frames to put the subject in.
  • Panning shot – if something moves through the scene you can make the background look blurred to show motion.

Hold the camera still while taking the photo then you will see a list of the above options that it can apply based on what the camera detected. You can also access this from the gallery later by tapping on the Edit icon for any photo taken in this mode to see the various options. It’s a good idea to check this out right after you take a photo in case the photos don’t come out just as you want. Some modes like Eraser and Drama shot are finicky.

Panorama – Take a panoramic photo with a very wide view.

Virtual Tour – Create a panning and moving tour of a house or area by snapping photos that are then animated in the gallery.

Use dual-camera on the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera app to get in the photo.

Use dual-camera on the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera app to get in the photo.

Dual Camera – Use both cameras to put yourself in the photo. Slide up from the bottom edge to reveal other ways to frame the second camera and tap on frame to move around.

You can also download more modes like Animated photo, Sound & Shot, Sports and Surround Shot to do more with the camera by tapping on download all the way to the right. After downloading more modes you will see them in the mode listing and you can select and use them, just like the above options.