Update 1: the following 3 sections added: 1). How to use and enable Galaxy S5 Selective Focus? 2). How to change focus for photos taken with Galaxy S5 Selective Focus? and 3). Why did I fail to use Galaxy S5 selective focus successfully?
What is Galaxy S5 Selective Focus?
Galaxy S5 Selective Focus allows you to focus on what’s important by blurring the background and accentuating the main subject in defined detail.
Essentially, Galaxy S5 selective focus lets you choose to focus on the foreground, background, or focus evenly across the image.
That’s it. And it is pretty cool.
For example, check the photo below. In the past, you have to rely on DSLR cameras or photoshop to get the similar photo. With selective focus, Galaxy S5 can easy take such pictures.
Galaxy S5 Selective Focus allows you to change your mind after the photo is taken
Once the photo is taken with Galaxy S5 selective focus, it is saved in your Galaxy S5 and you can view it as normal photos.
But you can do more with photos taken using selective focus: you can change the focus as you want in the gallery and save it as a new photo.
In other words, Galaxy S5 selective focus allows you to change your mind by changing the focus on the original photo. You have 3 options for the focus: near focus, far focus, and pan focus as showing below.
Please note, you can only change focus in Galaxy S5. If you transfer the photo to other devices, it is a normal photo with the focus you last selected. There is no option to change focus.
Does Galaxy S5 Selective Focus work with video?
The selective focus in Galaxy S5 is really interesting and useful.
You may wonder whether this feature works for video. For example, you want the focus always to be on a person or an object.
Unfortunately, Galaxy S5 selective focus works with photos only. You cannot use this feature for taking videos.
The main reason is selective focus does not track the motion of the object. Also, the additional processing efforts needed make it impractical to use this feature for videos.
What are the side effects of Galaxy S5 selective focus?
Everything comes with a price.
The price you have to pay for Galaxy S5 selective focus is the additional processing time.
In other words, after taking the photo, it will take considerable time to process the photo (so that later you can change focus).
When taking a selective focus photo, you need hold S5 still for noticeably longer time than that for normal photos. It is even not as fast as HDR in Galaxy S5. But it should be close or slightly faster than taking HDR photo with other smartphones (e.g., Galaxy Note 3).
How to use and enable Galaxy S5 Selective Focus?
By default, Galaxy S5 Camera app has two shortcuts added in the left side. The first one is selective focus. The other one is HDR.
You can tap the shortcut to enable Galaxy S5 selective focus immediately. The selective focus mode will be indicated on the display as shown below.
Because HDR (rich tone) does not work with selective focus, HDR icon will be grayed out once Galaxy S5 selective focus mode is enabled.
There are some features that does not work with selective focus. These include:
- burst shots
- HDR (rich tone)
- picture stabilization
- face detection
- manual ISO
- photo effects
- manual white balance
- remote viewfinder
- front camera
If, for any reason, the shortcuts in your camera app are not the default two. You can manually add selective focus to the shortcut. This means you can also add any shortcuts to replace selective focus if you are not happy with selective focus.
In the camera app, tap setting icon (the gear button). Then in the settings window, you can tap and hold any items, then drag it to the shortcut location. This will essentially add a shortcut for this item.
How to change focus for photos taken with Galaxy S5 Selective Focus?
Once a photo is taken successfully with Galaxy S5 selective focus, you can change the focus when editing it in Gallery app.
The edit icon for such photos are slightly different from other photos as shown below.
Tap the edit icon, you can change focus of the photo. There are three options currently:
- near focus
- far focus
- pan focus
You may find the differences of these 3 focus modes easily as shown below.
Why did I fail to use Galaxy S5 selective focus successfully?
It is not so easy to make Galaxy S5 selective focus work as expected. A lot of Galaxy S5 owners often get the message of selective focus not applied. This means you will only get the normal picture.
Some basic requirements for Galaxy S5 selective focus include:
- the front object should be about 10-60 cm away from the camera;
- the background object should be at least twice of the distance mentioned above;
- the background should be some objects, NOT plain walls;
- the objects are not moving;
- your luck (sometimes, it simply refuses to work).
Do you have any questions on using Galaxy S5 Selective Focus? Please let us know them in the comment box below.
To know more about Galaxy S5, please check our Samsung Galaxy S5 features explained page.
More how-to guides , tips and tricks for using Samsung Galaxy S5 are available at Samsung Galaxy S5 how-to guides page.