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« Are More Deaths Looming in Smartphone Bloodbath? Sony & Blackberry might be sold soon | Main | I Dream the iDream: my iFantasy is yes an iCamera. And isn’t it about time Apple did another iRevolution of a stagnant major global industry like cameras? (updated) »

January 26, 2015

Comments

Blah

@Pekka:

Your unqualified dismissal of Android cameras is also trash.
Deal with it.

Typical Apple fanboi

newbie

This is one of best posts ever.

newbie

Summary in table form would be a great appendix. Actually, one day I will do one for myself anyway, if it would not appear in this blog

Wayne Borean


My dad was heavily into photography, including movies (I really have to get all his movie film digitized). My first camera was a Polaroid Square Shooter.

Then life happened, and I stopped taking pictures. When digital cameras came out I got back into it. I have a Canon SD1200 IS which I use for junk pictures, and a Canon SX210 IS for the good stuff (it has a really nice optical zoom, and lots of fun settings).

My phone is an iPhone 3GS. Since I'm disabled, I won't be replacing the phone for a while. Hey, it still works fine!

My daughter has a Nikon, and my wife a Canon SLR.

Yes, we like taking pictures.

Great article. Loved the explanations.

Wayne

MikaA

Hi Tomi,

A couple of comments from optical guy.

Canon's top of the line model is 1DX, and if I recall, can do 12-14 frames per second. This I believe, is the reason for its lower megapixel count, the more typical bodies like 5D and 6D sport around 24 and manage about half the fps if even that. I've been using the original 5D for a long time and have come accustomed to its 12 Mpixels so that it's not megapixels I'm looking for (I don't usually crop my images and try to get the framing right with the lens).

What I do look for is the high ISO, and to be more exact, clean high ISO and NOT in the noise reduction terms, and improved corner autofocus and slightly more FPS. This however, links to your article too. Mobile phone sensors are actually very good from the efficiency point of view; they are I believe, pretty much state of the art barring some more expensive stuff. Larger DSLR sensors are usually slightly worse in the terms of light conversion efficiency, but make up for it with lower noise due to larger pixel well capacities which leads to smoother output and decreased need of noise reduction.

Both 1DX and 5DIII can also go up to star high ISOs, but somewhat usable ISO seems to remain around 25600-51200 at the moment. Lumia 1020 got close to ISO 800 being usable with the quick tests we did one night with my friends phone. It was a bit surprising that the phone's image quality go to that level, but there was a noticeable difference between 5D and 1020 images at that ISO, and clearly for the 5D.

There have been some talk that Canon may be releasing a large megapixel body (50+) shortly. Let's see whether that will happen. Nikon already does 36 Mpix with D810, and Sony has 36 Mpix A7 so the traditional DSLR companies have not fallen asleep. Additionally, the more traditional large-format approach on increasing the megapixel count has been to use a film of an approximate size of an A4 arc and then scan that. I certainly wouldn't like to know how many megapixels could be achieved with that, nor would I like to subject my computer to that... And nor would I like to carry that sort of equipment either :D

Nevertheless, my biggest detriment in using the mobile phone camera is actually their usage ergonomics. They are good for snapshotting if nothing else is available, but I'll keep my DSLR for more serious photography hobby. It's a lot less painful to use (in durations like several hours) as most of the necessary settings are immediately available as physical dials.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro

The size of the lens does not need to relate in any way to the size of the sensor. Think of pinhole cameras for an extreme example of this.

Oh, and pixels are not little squares. http://alvyray.com/Memos/MemosCG.htm#PixelIsNotSquare

abdul muis

@Tomi

I believe plastic allow the lense to be lighter and THINNER. Apple can't change to glass if it want to be thinner and thinner.

Phil W

Great article, first time I've seen a really accurate analysis of cameraphone camera performance outside of those in All About Symbian ie by Steve Litchfield. Most of the other so called comparisons are flawed in that they only look at part of the performance spectrum, usually (I suspect) with a particular bias involved. The only comment I would have is that the Lumia 1020 is crippled by not having a separate dedicated chip to handle the picture processing as does the Nokia 808. Unless Microsoft address that I don't see them improving the poor shot to shot times of the 1020. I don't think Microsoft see the phone camera as a priority, so I doubt this will be addressed. Probably the only flaw in the 1020, mind you.

Azathoh

1. Ever heard of Pelican Imaging (pelicanimaging.com)? They make a vary thin array camera that uses 16 small lenses to synthesize a large image.
2. A Pentax 645z will get you 50 Megapixels for $8500.
3. For large prints you don't need 300dpi because you view them from farther away

clane

@Tomi
Great article, I really enjoyed reading it. One correction though. I have the Lumia 1020 and it does do "Continuous Shooting mode". The Nokia Camera app(s) & Microsoft Blink app both shoot a series (20 I think) of shots that you can search through for the best picture. I use this feature all the time when taking photo's of my grandkids so I don't miss the shot I actually want. The only drawback is it takes about 30-45 seconds for the camera to save the shots and be ready for the next set.

bogey

@LeeBase

The article is about finding out the best camera on a smartphone. I think it is one of the most informative and unbiased comparison I have ever read. It made clear that iPhones camera just isn't at top level. Is it so hard to admit? :-)

Lullz

One correction about the Pure View sensors. For example the sensor of Nokia 808 is not really cross shaped but a rectangle. Here is an image explaining the physical shape of the sensor.

http://betanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Nokia-808-PureView-sensor-explained.jpg

As you can see, it's not really cross shaped but the trick is to never fully utilize the full sensor size and also having it shaped as a compromise between 16:9 and 4:3. It's also possible to take images with the full 41MP sensor but the standard camera software doesn't support that feature.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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