The camera is probably the only reason why many Galaxy S10 or S9 owners choose to upgrade to Galaxy S20 as explained in the Galaxy S20 new features page.
But you need to familiarize yourself with the Galaxy S20 camera app first to realize the full potential of Galaxy S20 camera.
This Galaxy S20 guide explains each item on the Galaxy S20 camera app interface, shows you how to use gestures in the camera app, and how to use Galaxy S20 camera quick launch.
Please note, the camera app on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra is identical, although the camera systems on these 3 models differ significantly (as explained in the differences among Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra). So, this guide applies to all Galaxy S20, S20+, S20FE, and S20 Ultra.
Understand items on Galaxy S20 Camera app interface
By default, when you start the camera app on Galaxy S20, it is in the Photo mode, as shown in the screenshot below.
In this mode, you can find the following items:
- Preview screen.
- Shortcut to Gallery
- Shutter (capture) button
- Rear/front camera switch
- Camera modes (shooting modes)
- Zoom control
- Scene optimizer
- Camera settings
- Photo size
- Motion photo
- Camera effects
Now, let's go through them one by one.
#1. Preview screen
You can preview the photo before tapping the shutter button.
The size of the preview screen depends on the photo aspect ration chosen (read on).
You may pinch or spread on the preview screen to zoom in or zoom out. You can switch front and rear cameras by swiping upwards or downwards on the preview screen
#2. Shortcut to Gallery
By default, the thumbnail of the latest photo is shown. It is a shortcut to the Gallery app.
Once in the Gallery app, if you tap the Back button to exit the Gallery app, then you can return to the camera app.
Please note, if you are using the Assistant Menu, you can use Assistant Plus to add the shortcut to Gallery.
Normally, you need to tap the shutter button to take a photo with Galaxy S20 camera.
On Galaxy S20 camera app, you can hold the shutter button to take a quick video.
You may swipe down the shutter button to the bottom to use the burst mode, or create GIF animations.
Please refer to this guide for more details and features of the shutter button.
#4. Rear/front camera switch
You can tap the button to switch between the rear and front camera.
As mentioned earlier, you can also swipe up or down to switch the front/rear cameras.
Please note, when you want to change the camera settings, you need to switch to the desired cameras because some camera settings appear only when the corresponding camera is selected. For example, if you want to enable/disable mirrored photos or mirrored videos when using the front camera, you need to switch to the front camera first, then tap the gear icon.
#5. Galaxy S20 Camera modes (shooting modes)
Other Galaxy S20 camera modes can be accessed and managed by tapping the More button. Other Galaxy S20 camera modes include Pro mode, panorama, food, night, live focus, live focus video, pro video, super slo-mo, slow motion, and hyperelapse. You can also add/pin any of the camera modes in the preview screen so that you can access them without tapping the Morte button.
You may swipe left and right on the preview screen to change camera modes.
Please refer to Galaxy S20 camera modes guide for details.
#6. Zoom control
Galaxy S20 supports hybrid optical zoom and super-resolution zoom as explained in this guide.
By default, there are 3 buttons for 3 levels: 0.5x, 1x (default), and 5x (on Galaxy S20 Ultra, 3x on Galaxy S20 and S20+). These zoom levels correspond to different camera lenses usage.
If you tap any of the three buttons, more zoom levels will appear, as shown below.
These are pre-set zoom levels. You can pinch or spread on the preview screen to get any zoom levels.
Please refer to this guide on how to zoom in and zoom out with proper camera lenses.
If you choose not to use the volume key to take photos, you can use the volume key to zoom in and zoom out.
#7. Scene optimizer
By default, in the Photo mode (auto mode) the scene optimizer choose the best settings based on the previewed objects.
Galaxy S20 camera can recognize up to 30 different scenarios/subjects including Face, Baby, Person, Dog, Cat, Food, People, Beaches, Sky, Mountain, Sunset, Sunrise, City, Snow, Waterfall, Watersides, Scenery, Stage, Vehicles, Drinks, Flowers, Trees, Greenery, Animal, Shoes, Backlit, Indoor, Text, Clothes, Night view.
You can turn it on/off by tapping the button. In Galaxy S20 camera settings, you can also turn it on/off.
#8. Camera settings
The button links to Galaxy S20 camera settings.
Please refer to Galaxy S20 camera settings guide on how to use camera settings.
You can set the flash mode to on, odd, or auto.
In the Auto flash mode, Galaxy S20 camera system will enable or disable flash automatically based on light conditions.
The LED flash is on the back of the phone (see Galaxy S20 layout). It is recommended to avoid it if possible.
You can set 2, 5, or 10 seconds timer for Galaxy S20 camera.
The default setting for the timer is off.
#11. Photo size
Galaxy S20 does not allow you to set photo size manually.
Instead, you can only set the aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9, 1:1, and 20:9). For each aspect ratio, the photo size is fixed.
For the 4:3 aspect ratio, on Galaxy S20 Ultra, you can choose the maximum resolution (108MP) or the default resolution (12MP). Normally, the 12MP one gives better photo quality and less noise. You may consider the 108MP when the lighting is really good.
You may check this photo size guide.
If you want to resize the photos (reduce the resolution and therefore make the file size smaller), you may use the Photo Editor in the Gallery app to resize photos on Galaxy S20.
#12. Motion photo
Galaxy S20 motion photo allows you to capture a few seconds of action leading up to when the shutter button is released.
You can extract different moments, or share the motion photo as a video.
By default, motion photo is off on Galaxy S20.
#13. Camera effects (filters)
You can add camera effects to your photos.
Galaxy S20 also allows you to create your own filters.
If you are in the Video mode, you may see two additional buttons, as shown below.
#14. Super Steady
Super steady is a video stabilizer. It helps you record the moment with less blur and shake, even if you and the subject are both on the move.
This feature was first introduced on Galaxy Note 10.
#15. AR Doodle
The button is a shortcut to AR Doodle, which uses augmented reality (AR) technology to insert 3D objects into your video.
Please refer to this guide (coming soon) on how to use AR Doodle on Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.
Galaxy S20 camera app gestures
As mentioned above, you can use various touchscreen gestures on Galaxy S20 camera app including:
- Swipe up/down on the preview screen to switch front/rear camera.
- Swipe left/right ton the preview screen o choose shooting modes.
- Tap on the preview screen to change focus.
- Tap and hold (long tap) on the preview screen to lock AF/AE.
- Pinch or spread on the preview screen to zoom in/out.
- Tap and hold the shutter button to record video.
- Swipe from the shutter button to the bottom edge to take burst shot photos (or create GIF animations). You can configure the functions of this gesture in Galaxy S20 camera settings.
How to use Galaxy S20 camera quick launch?
Instead of tapping the camera app icon, or using voice command, you can use the Galaxy S20 camera quick launch.
Quickly press the side key twice to launch Galaxy S20 camera app. It is called Galaxy S20 camera quick launch.
In most regions, Galaxy S20 camera quick launch is enabled by default. You can disable it by remapping the Side key functions in Settings—Advanced features —Side key.
Please note, by default, the camera app shortcut is added to Galaxy S20 lock screen. You can also use the camera app without unlocking Galaxy S20.
Do you have any questions on Galaxy S20 camera app on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra?
If you have any questions or encounter any problems on using Galaxy S20 camera app on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra, please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will help you get the answer.
If you have any questions on Galaxy S20, you may check other Galaxy S20 guides:
- Galaxy S20 new features guides.
- Galaxy S20 how-to guides.
- Galaxy S20 camera guides.
- Galaxy S20 accessories guides.
- Official Galaxy S20 user manual in your local language.
You can also join us on our Facebook page.