Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re trying to get the perfect group shot or selfie, but it seems like you can’t get into position fast enough. Fortunately, your Android phone’s camera has a built-in timer function that allows you to postpone the recording for a few seconds. Not only will this give you time to unwind, but it will also allow everyone to be a part of the memory.
In this article, we’ll show you how to set a timer on your Android camera and add timestamps to your photos.
Set a timer on the Android camera
Setting a timer on your Android camera is simple and practical. Whether you want to take a fun or memorable group shot or take a solo shot, the built-in camera timer can do it. By letting the camera automatically take a photo on a timer, it’s like having an invisible photographer ready to click when you are.
Here’s a rundown of the steps to get you started:
- Open the phone’s default camera or a third-party camera if you’ve switched to one of these. Make sure you are not in panorama mode or the timer may not work.
- Tap the gear icon or the menu button, depending on the phone model, to open the “Settings” menu.
- Find the timer option in this menu and tap it to select how long you want the delay to last. You can usually choose between 2 seconds, 5 seconds or 10 seconds.
- Once you’ve set the timer, tap the shutter button, press the volume button, or tap the screen (if you’ve enabled the “tap anywhere” feature).
The camera counts down from the moment you choose. You should have plenty of time to get into position and strike a pose. Be ready for the camera before the timer runs out.
Note: Some Android phones, such as Samsung Galaxy models, also have a voice command feature that you can enable. This feature allows you to say “timer” to activate a 10 second delay. If you want to take photos instantly with your voice, you can also yell “shoot,” “capture,” “smile,” or “cheese.”
Add timestamps to your photos
After setting a timer on your Android camera, you don’t have to finish exploring the concept of time through your photos. Let’s take a look at how to add timestamps to your photos so you know exactly when they were taken the moment you see them.
While some Android phones have a built-in timestamp feature, others require third-party apps to achieve this functionality. Here are some options for adding timestamps to your photos.
With built-in Android functions
Some phones already have a timestamp function. Newer Motorola phones for example, but it’s not limited to just them. To enable it, you can try the following:
- Open your default camera app.
- Tap “Settings.”
- Look for a timestamp or watermark option and enable it.
- Take a photo to verify that the timestamp is present.
With third-party apps
If your Android phone doesn’t have a built-in timestamp feature, you can use third-party apps like Timestamp Camera or PhotoStamp Camera. To use them, download and install from the Google Play Store, allow permissions and change the timestamp settings to whatever your heart desires.
Timestamp Camera is a versatile little application. It gives you 61 timestamp formats and lets you add real-time location data and GPS coordinates. You can adjust the font, color, size and location of the timestamp on the photo. You can even add custom text or emojis to your photos. PhotoStamp Camera is another solid alternative, offering an intuitive interface and a simple approach to adding timestamps to your photos.
Alternatives to time and date stamps
If you’re looking for more features than timestamps, try a general purpose camera app like Vignette or Camera360. These apps offer several photo editing options besides stamping, though they can be more complicated if you’re new to these tools.
Vignette is a paid application that offers ad-free, comprehensive and impressive photo editing options. It gives you control over things like brightness, contrast, and saturation, and even lets you apply some unique filters. Of course, you can also add customizable timestamps and geotagging, which is why the app is on this list.
Camera360, on the other hand, is free, but still packs a lot of features. It includes tons of filters, a beauty camera for perfect selfies and a complete photo editor. It has a steeper learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate the flexibility.
Fun facts about timers and timestamps in photography
Now you know how to set a timer for better still photos and how to add timestamps. But it doesn’t hurt to learn more with some fun facts and tips related to these features.
The self-timer feature has been around for decades, even in analog cameras. It was a popular feature for taking self-portraits and group shots without anyone else having to press the shutter button.
The Voice Commands feature on some Android phones is an excellent hands-free option. This can be especially useful when shooting in a tricky situation, such as wearing gloves or holding a baby.
Many professional photographers use timers in their work to create long exposure shots. With a timer, they can prevent camera shake that can occur from pressing the shutter button and blurring the image.
The usefulness of camera timers is not just limited to photography. They are also used in videography to create time-lapse videos that capture slow changes over time. You’ve probably encountered them subconsciously if you’ve ever felt bored or taken time to relax by watching nature’s time lapse – like grass growing.
Why bother with apps?
For example, the Timestamp Camera app goes beyond adding timestamps. It can record videos with a time watermark accurate to the millisecond. It could be an excellent tool for documenting fast events or scientific experiments.
Why use timestamps?
Timestamps allow you to create a photo diary or diary that not only records the ‘where’ and ‘what’, but also the ‘when’. This is especially useful for those who enjoy scrapbooking or documenting their travels.
Don’t forget about the creative possibilities. You can use the timer to organize a shot, prepare a surprise or capture candid moments. The countdown can add a sense of anticipation, making the photo more special.
The image of time
Setting a timer or adding a timestamp to your Android camera may seem like minor details, but they can greatly improve your photo-taking experience. Try these features the next time you see a delightful photo-taking opportunity. Whether you’re taking a group selfie at a party, documenting a trip, or just messing around, these handy features can help you get the most out of your phone’s camera. Photography is not only about the destination (the picture) but also about the journey (taking the picture). Get ready, set that timer, add that timestamp and make every moment count.
Which timer setting do you think is best for taking photos? Do you add timestamps to your photos? Let us know in the comments below.