5 Cool camera features you never use

May 7, 2012 at 6:54 a.m. ET

Anyone can use a camera, but not everyone can be a photographer. The point-and-shoot nature of most cameras may make it seem like they don’t allow much space for creativity, but in fact, there are tons of cool features on your camera that go unused. Here are a few of those awesome camera tricks and how they work so you can unearth the photographer in you.

mom and child with digital camera

Red eye correction and reduction

Red eye can strike at any moment, but usually these types of photos are taken at night with a heavy flash. Most digital cameras include a feature called "red eye correction" or "red eye reduction." A camera flash will bounce off the human retina, causing red eye. When using this feature, the camera will actually flash twice. The first time it will flash to get the subject’s eyes adjusted to the light. Then, the second flash will accompany the actual snap of a photo. Sure, you can go into a photo editing program later on and edit red eyes out, but preventing them in the first place will save you a lot of time when you capture those precious moments.


How often do you take pictures that simply don’t capture the essence of what you’re experiencing? Some digital cameras on the market offer a setting to take a panorama shot, which empowers the photographer to get a wider scope of where the subject is and what is happening in that photo. The camera captures several pictures as you turn the camera, eventually blending them into one image.

Blink detection

When you’re taking photos outside during the height of day, sometimes you’re not able to see your camera’s screen in the sun. And guess what? That gorgeous family photo you intended on taking winds up with a few awkward blinking faces. Not to worry. Using this setting, your camera will tell you who blinked so you can reshoot for that perfect photo.


How many times have you seen people at the beach fumbling to get a shot of themselves by stretching out their arm and hoping they captured their face in the photo? There’s a better way, and it doesn’t require you to ask a stranger. The self-timer is not a new feature by any means, but it allows you to get a self-shot without employing MySpace angles.

Scene modes

When you’re ready to take a picture, you might just head to the trusty "automatic" feature, which allows you to point and click without much thought. But hey, there are other scene modes that could help you capture an even better photo. Want to capture a runner or a dimly lit forest scene? Check out your camera's manual to find the best modes for respective actions.

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