Check out the new PixelMaster 4.0 camera app

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The ZenFone 4 series has had a big interface change, and chief among them is a reorganization of the native PixelMaster camera modes and addition of live filters. We’re going to run through them so you know what’s available, and how to get to them.

How to change camera modes on the ZenFone 4

From the camera screen, just swipe from right to left if you’re holding the ZenFone 4 upright in portrait orientation. Swipe from bottom to top if you’re holding it sideways in landscape. You’ll notice three little dots by the shutter key that show you whether you’re on the camera mode screen, the shooting screen, or the filter screen.

ZenFone 4 camera diagramFor quick access to your favorite camera mode, there’s a button on the shooting screen. By default, this is set to switch to and from Pro mode, but you can set it to whatever mode you like. Just press and hold the camera mode you’d like to have quick access to from the mode selection screen. A pin will pop up on whichever one is set as your shortcut.

Auto mode

ZenFone 4 auto mode cameraAuto mode is a versatile mode that will automatically adjust settings to take the best picture possible. HDR (high dynamic range) will kick in when you’re looking at a backlit subject, or there’s otherwise a big difference between well-lit and poorly-lit areas. Just tap on the screen to pick where you want to focus. Press and hold to lock the focus and exposure. You’ll even get a little slider after that which you can drag up and down to adjust the brightness.

Along the left side of the screen are icons for changing flash, turning on a timer, toggling portrait mode, changing aspect ratio, switching HDR shooting, and diving into more detailed settings. Many (but not all) of these shortcuts also appear in other camera modes. Auto mode is the default camera mode, and will be helpful in just about every circumstance.

Pro mode

ZenFoner
Pro mode provides a complete range of manual control over your photography. Along the right are menus for adjusting white balance, exposure value, ISO, shutter speed, and focus control. If you want to go back to the default settings after fiddling, there’s a helpful reset button. Pro mode also has additional indicators, including a level and a histogram so you can make the most informed composition choices possible.

GIF Animation mode

GIF Animation mode is a simple way to create a looping animation file from a short video. Simply hold down the shutter button for as long as you want the GIF to run, and the camera will keep firing stills. Once you release, you’ll get a chance to review the animation, turn up the speed, change the direction of the animation, or set it to loop. The final result is great for sharing to Instagram and other social media.

Slow Motion mode

ZenFone 4 slow motionSlow Motion mode is for shooting great video clips of subjects in motion. After shooting the clip, you can adjust at what point in the timeline the slow motion effect kicks in, then tap the icon in the top-right to export the final file. Try this one when you’ve got front-row seats at a sports match!

Beauty mode

 

ZenFone 4 beautification mode

Beauty mode helps you take the perfect selfie. For handy access, Beauty mode is the default shortcut when switching to the front-facing camera. Just tap the settings icon in the bottom right, and you’ll be presented with an adjustment dial. Use the tabs along the bottom to switch between skin smoothing, skin brightening, eye enlargement, and cheek slimming.

Swipe to rotate the wheel on each to your preferred filter strength. Some of these effects can be applied for video too; just tap the red recording button next to the shutter key. There’s also a toggle next to the settings icon for eliminating a yellow color cast, which can often ruin a good photo. For a more simplified interface, be sure to try out the included SelfieMaster app. It helps you take beautiful selfies with minimal fuss.

Super Resolution mode

ZenFone 4 Super Resolution modeSuper Resolution mode captures the finest details. It effectively takes four photos and creates a composite using each. The end result is incredibly sharp. The catch here is that you’ll need to hold the ZenFone 4 fairly still for the processing to work effectively. If you’re able to prop up the ZenFone 4, or even mount it on a tripod, you’re bound to get the best shot possible.

Panorama mode

ZenFone 4 panorama modePanorama mode connects a wide strip of photos together to make an extra-long picture. This is perfect for capturing majestic landscape photos from a high vantage point. Once you start shooting the Panorama, just slowly move the ZenFone 4 either left or right. Whenever you’ve covered as much landscape as you want, just tap the shutter button again to stop it. The final photo will be sure to blow your friends away, and make great banner images for Facebook or Twitter.

Time Lapse mode

Finally, Time Lapse mode helps you capture long stretches of time within a short video clip. Think of it as the opposite of a slow mo clip. It takes a still photo at a set interval, then puts them all together to make a video. By tapping the camera icon, you can set the interval to be whatever you like. For longer periods, like when shooting a sunset, set a longer interval, like 5 seconds. You’ll want to make sure you can set up the ZenFone 4 for a long period of time here, as you don’t want the scenery being too jerky throughout the timelapse.

ZenFone 4 filtersSwiping in the other direction from the shooting screen brings up all of the new filters. These include faded and hipster styles, grayscale, vibrant, warm, nostalgic, and retro, each with their own tone and personality. A live preview in the thumbnail shows you exactly how the final product will look, plus they can be equally applied to video. Try them out for yourself!

That’s all there is to the PixelMaster 4.0 camera! The experience has been pared down quite a bit from the previous version of the software, but hopefully this provides a simpler, more straightforward photography experience. Learn more about this great phone can do at the ZenFone 4 product page.