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Smartphone photography
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A peaceful Xmas for all you guys and girls!



Taken with Google Pixel XL


PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, guys, for your perfectly illustrative greeting shots! That makes the choice not so easy.

Have nice Christmas days!


PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Níce Christmas!

Goods picture to support your wish!


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for note regarding photography with smartphone: Gsmarena has a comparison service in a Dpreview style, of the same test scene in good and in low light.

Some Nokia, Motorola and Chinese phones under 400$ give pretty amazing image quality, close to or better than Canon S90-S120. Maybe not yet at the level of Olympus E-PL1, but surprisingly close.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1
I have gotten really good results from my Pixel. I have a telephoto and macro lens from Moment and their app which allows you some manual controls (ISO, exposure, shutter speed, white balance and focus). It allows you to shoot in RAW too. It is not as good as my DSLR, but it really ups the quality of my phone pictures.

__________
Homepage


PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inspired by the discussion and willing to get myself a very portable camera, I provided myself with a very decent Moto G7+ at a pretty low price.

Given the core role of the software in computational photography, I put myself to compare different camera apps with the same lenses, in the same way we normally take test shots with different lenses. It was worth a try, as the rendition vary indeed.

Here are results of three apps used, Android stock camera, Open Camera and proprietary Moto camera.

#1 A general shot corresponding to one taken with an ultra-wide FF equivalent, the sharpness is equal all over the view field


#2 A 100% crop from the center of the three shots, the best taken from a series taken with each using different settings. The third shot was taken with a time distance, but with the same grey sky, so the colour differences with the former two may have a role, while the sharpness is well typical for each of the three.


#3 An example of indoor screen "capture" with Open Camera


#4 The same with Moto camera


As one may see, the stock Android camera gives pretty soft shapes (and nice "retro" colours). The Open Camera uses a part of the sensor for processing (EIS?) thus making the image sligtly cropped but visibly sharper, with neutral colours but more grainy sky. And Moto camera makes a compromise between the two, giving a pretty natural feeling and an especially estonishing homogenity and clarity to uniform surfaces. In fact, it shows itself closest to Canon S90 from the early 2010s.

The uniformity of colour rendition by Moto camera is confirmed in the last two shots. Whereas Open Camera captures screen diffraction and accentuates its uneven structure, Moto camera processes it in a more even and pleasant way.

I had a chance to compare night shots taken with Moto and Google cameras : the GCam is even more impressive, with its technique of summing up 7-15 individual shots (but slower).

So, if you want to get better photo results with your smartphone, think to upgrade your software and/or chose API 2 in your settings !


PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems not that much time ago members exchanging with XMas pictures in this thread. And here is a shot taken with Moto G7+ in the very center of Paris under restrictive anti-Covid measures.

I applied some in-phone tweaks, like colour punch and slight exposure compensation, I also did an in-phone resize (that did not work that well, I'd say). This is to show the computational camera makes a good job of counter-light situations.



PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1

But how empty!


PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right! Taking into account this is at Champs Elysées, that looks like a lapse of Martian chronicles.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pictures! Good clarity and composition. The advances in cell phone camera abilities don't keep me from feeling a slight intrinsic disgrace in some cases if I turn up someplace where photographs are required, and I'm utilizing my phone instead of a DSLR. It is currently time to shed such sentiments and understand that in the event that the telephone will accomplish what you need it to, at that point that is the finish of that.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post! I've been looking for something like this for a long time, thank you!

Last edited by Jackjones1337 on Wed May 06, 2020 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
...
I applied some in-phone tweaks, ...


Have you seen the output from LomoChrome's Metropolis film, Alex? Very similar to your tweaks, and a look that I think works well for urban settings.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the smatphone can be even comparable to the 'normal' camera to be honest.
It still can be nice sometimes...









PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sciolist wrote:
alex ph wrote:
...
I applied some in-phone tweaks, ...


Have you seen the output from LomoChrome's Metropolis film, Alex? Very similar to your tweaks, and a look that I think works well for urban settings.


After your wrote that I went to see film samples. Do you mean something of the kind? It does look similar indeed! I think harsh light contrast also contributes to the similarity of the both cases.

Jackjones1337, it's a pleasure to contribute to your search.

Alex TG, I have a tendency to agree more with Thomas, after several months of using the smartphone's camera: in many cases (with appropriate resize and some colour/contrast tweaks) you barely see any difference from your APS-C camera. Even your first shot might be taken with a wideangle from Konica or Minolta. Sure, for all the rest, including the material feel and pixel peeping, the MF lenses on "real" cameras always (still) rock!

Besides, I am pretty impressed with smartphone's capacity to get closer to a film feeling, in case of a simple BW conversion. When I say simple, I mean it: just sliding off saturation completely and readjusting exposure and contrast accordingly. Here are a couple of samples from Moto camera on the G7+

#1


#2


#3


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Sciolist wrote:
alex ph wrote:
...
I applied some in-phone tweaks, ...


Have you seen the output from LomoChrome's Metropolis film, Alex? Very similar to your tweaks, and a look that I think works well for urban settings.


After your wrote that I went to see film samples. Do you mean something of the kind? It does look similar indeed! I think harsh light contrast also contributes to the similarity of the both cases.



Yes. It's even more similar than I remember. Like 1 .


PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another example from my Mi 9 with a little post processing (clickable for best quality viewing):



IMHO not bad at all and more than good enough for typical WEB presentation.


PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. Even though when you look closer at the grass, you notice something that does not convince completely the eye. Is it a bit squarish pattern or colour spots are a bit unnatural? I noticed the same in some of my shots charged with small irregular details. I presume that's the point where intrapolation algorythms still reveal the weakness of computational photo.


PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
I agree. Even though when you look closer at the grass, you notice something that does not convince completely the eye. Is it a bit squarish pattern or colour spots are a bit unnatural? I noticed the same in some of my shots charged with small irregular details. I presume that's the point where intrapolation algorythms still reveal the weakness of computational photo.


Well OK, nothing really for pixel peepers. But the vast majority of viewers wouldn't spot the difference at such presentation sizes.

Here is an example like it comes from the phone:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/c4KUdayJEg5RQ4jZ8

Downloadable in original size.


PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1080p shows me the difference. 4k would be more obvious?

The look of "oversharpening".

Iirc my phone makes 12mp images by doubling actual camera pixels, guessing the added pixels based on surroundings, thus the smearing and unclarity effects.


PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
1080p shows me the difference. 4k would be more obvious?

The look of "oversharpening".

Iirc my phone makes 12mp images by doubling actual camera pixels, guessing the added pixels based on surroundings, thus the smearing and unclarity effects.


The opposite is the case. Most probable the picture at 100% view on a 1080p monitor looks like a 400% view on a 4k monitor. I wouldn't like that as well. Wink

It's 2MP vs. 8MP on the same screen size, i.e. the 4k monitor looks more like a printed picture due to much higher pixel density and smaller pixel size.
I wouldn't like to switch back to 1080p.

But yes, you're right if you look at a 1080p monitor from a short distance the picture must look rather scary as you can see every single pixel. I would need a loupe or switch to 400% view to have a similar effect.


PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:

Alex TG, I have a tendency to agree more with Thomas, after several months of using the smartphone's camera: in many cases (with appropriate resize and some colour/contrast tweaks) you barely see any difference from your APS-C camera.

The problem is that I instantly see the difference on my 24" Full HD monitor even without zooming in.
Stepped straight lines, the lack of fine detail and/or texture, everything is weird and mushy. I don't like that.
And those are not computational problems - there's a limit to what you can achieve with that tiny lens and its limited optical resolution, no computation can restore details that weren't there in the first place.
It is okay for social media viewed on the same smartphone though.


PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex TG wrote:
The problem is that I instantly see the difference on my 24" Full HD monitor even without zooming in.
Stepped straight lines, the lack of fine detail and/or texture, everything is weird and mushy. I don't like that.
And those are not computational problems - there's a limit to what you can achieve with that tiny lens and its limited optical resolution, no computation can restore details that weren't there in the first place.
It is okay for social media viewed on the same smartphone though.


It goes without saying that these smartphone pictures look best if viewed on a smartphone.
It makes a huge difference if Full HD 1080p is displayed on 6.4" or 24". That is apprx. the same effect like comparing a HD monitor with a 4K monitor of the same size.
Therefore you can imagine how the smartphone picture looks on my 32" 4K UHD Eizo monitor: Exactly as nice as on the smartphone but much bigger.

The real problem is therefore caused by your monitor and not by the smartphone picture. You wouldn't watch any video just 1 ft. away from your TV, right? Exactly the same problem: Bigger pixels require more viewing distance.


PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:

The real problem is therefore caused by your monitor and not by the smartphone picture.

That's quite a bold statement Very Happy
So if I take pictures with a potato and then look at them from closer than half a mile, my problem is not caused by potato?

tb_a wrote:

You wouldn't watch any video just 1 ft. away from your TV, right?

Well, I watch my monitor from 60-70cm and I watch my 46" TV (which is 4K, but is fed mostly with FHD content) from 2m like 99% of the time. I tend not to consume the content with smartphone.

tb_a wrote:

Exactly the same problem: Bigger pixels require more viewing distance.

But those ridiculously big pixels of mine don't require much viewing distance for the pictures taken with APS-C camera.
You're just masking the problem with your ultrafine pixels, doing half of the "processing" by yourself. Good for you. Still that doesn't mean there's no problem.


PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Alex TG

All I'm saying from my own experience is that live is much easier with a better monitor which is able to improve the presentation quality considerably.
Of course there are many limitations with the smartphone and it will never replace my camera equipment. Many pictures are simply impossible with a smartphone.
For me the quality differences are of lesser importance nowadays than the strongly reduced fields of application; i.e. no control of depth of field, rather lousy at night, no tele shooting capabilities, etc...

The best advantage is that the smartphone is most of the time with me. Therefore a smartphone picture is better than no picture in almost any case. Wink
Also important: At least 99% of the people don't spot the difference anyway.

At the end of the day it's primarily a matter of taste and philosophy and the planned presetation method and size is definitely a very important issue; i.e. for the production of billboard posters I wouldn't use a smartphone.


PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
All I'm saying from my own experience is that live is much easier with a better monitor which is able to improve the presentation quality considerably.

C'mon, it's not the matter of dispay "quality". It's the matter of the physical image size.
8MP picture fullscreened on your 8MP monitor will look even worse than downscaled to 2MP and fullscreened on my 2MP one. Because yours is physically bigger.
Smaller resolution images look better to you just because the picture that takes half of my screen takes 1/8 of yours, being physically smaller.

I'm not against smartphones and their cameras. If you see the picture opportunity and you only have the smartphone with you - take this picture with the smartphone!
It's still better than no picture at all. It might be almost equally enjoyable - technical image quality isn't everything, and isn't even the most important thing. And many of the viewers wouldn't even be able to see the difference indeed.

But even 2019/2020 flagship models in many cases produce worse images than my old Olympus C760UZ. Yes, it is a budget 2003 camera. Yes, it has 3MP phone-sized 17-year-old sensor with no dynamic range and no low-light capabilities. Yes, it can store a whopping 18 TIFF (no RAW, of course) images on its memory card (256MB, the biggest available at the time) or about 120 horribly compressed 1.5MP JPEGs. But it has decent lens, and that beats all of the "modern technology".
And unfortunately (for me, I presume) I can see the difference even on 10" tablet without even deliberately looking for it...