Pinch to zoom

We show you how to use zoom on your Android phone- or Android tablet's camera.

The best camera for the job is the camera you have to hand, and that these days is usually your smartphone camera. Phone cameras vary widely in capability, but they tend to be decent compact cameras. But the features and functions of your camera depend on the specific version of Android you have, or the camera app you are using. Here we look at some options for zooming in when using an Android phone or tablet as your camera. See also: how to set a song as a ringtone on Android.

Zoom on Android - limitations

First up your phone probably doesn't have an optical zoom, so don't expect miracles - specialist camera phones such as the Galaxy S4 Zoom are the exception here. Optical zoom requires a specialist lens, where digital zoom requires only a software feature. The optical zoom on the Galaxy S4 Zoom works via both touchscreen and volume rocker - but most likely you have digital zoom only. Digital zoom can be a useful way of framing a shot, but all it is really doing is cutting out aspects of the photo you don't want to take. It's not going to improve the resolution of objects that are far away (insert your own Father Ted gag here).

How to use digital zoom on Android camera

How to use the zoom function on your Android, indeed whether you have a zoom facility at all, depends on the handset. More specifically, it depends on the version of Android provided with your phone, and the camera app contained therein. Many smartphone makers, including Samsung, bundle a bespoke camera app that offers multiple high-end features including digital zoom. But more recent versions of the vanilla Android camera app also include a zoom feature. See also: how to remove any Android app.

If your phone has a zoom function, you'll probably find that the pinch and zoom on the display action you would use to zoom in on a website has a similar effect when framing a shot. Simply place thumb and forefinger on the area of the potential photo you wish to expand, and draw them apart. If that doesn't work sometimes its a single finger slide - the best bet is to experiment before you need to take a photo.

But if zoom isn't enabled in your version of Android, you can easily install third-party apps to do so. Zoom Camera is a free Android app that offers this functionality, and Camera Zoom FX costs just a couple of quid to add zoom and other photo functions. See also: How to change text message alert on Android.

Phone camera zoom

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