Penguin Splash. Video with a Galaxy phone.

I don’t do a lot of video, and even less using a smart phone but I wanted to see how my Galaxy phone would tackle the task. So,back at the end of September, I was in Calgary and took a few minutes to shoot a small video in the Penguin Splash area of the Calgary Zoo.

I came home and played around with the short footage in Photoshop, and then, as one does with other things going on, I completely forgot about it until watching the weather channel a couple of weeks ago when they showed the penguins at the zoo.

This was my first time using the new video editing tools in Photoshop CS6 and once I play around and experimented a bit, I found it fairly intuitive. That is to say you can manipulate layers and add adjustment layers such as curves etc. just as you would a static image.

It had been really noisy in the small area so this meant playing with sound and adding music. A big thank you goes out to Dexter Britain, http://dexterbritain.co.uk/ . for the use of his music “The Tea Party.”

You can watch Penguin Splash on You Tube.



Blackberry 8900, 3.2 MP Camera.

A couple of week s ago I said that I would be looking at images from phones or the new and emerging art of “Phoneography.” Today we take our first look.

The video slideshow below was made from photographs taken last October (2011) with a Blackberry 8900, 3.2 MP camera.

The location is Banff Springs, Alberta and the Photographer was my husband. With the exception of the photograph of the High Street all of the photographs were taken from inside the hotel thru glass.

Yes, the photographs are a little dark, but these are unretouched snaps, taken by an amateur photographer, without the aid of lighting, on three consecutively overcast days.

Personally I think the camera comes off well. What do you think?

Instagram is now available for Android.

Instagram is a Smart Phone application that allows you to take a photograph, apply a filter and share it to your favorite Social Media “instantly”.

The company was started by two Stanford Educated Engineers, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Their goal was to get back the instant excitement that you got with a Polaroid Camera. Since November 2010 they’ve done a great job for the iPhone. As of today they have 30 million plus Registered users, 1 Billion photographs total and 5 million photos per day being uploaded.

Today they announced Instagram for the Android. There are a couple of things you can’t do yet with the Android version. Instagram is available free from Google Play.

Blackberry is leaving the consumer market.

As a quick, and unscheduled follow up to yesterdays post where I mentioned how difficult it was to find out anything about the Blackberry cameras, a couple of hours ago Blackberry announced that it would be leaving the consumer market and:

(Blackberry) “Will return to its roots and focus on business customers, many of whom prefer BlackBerrys for their security.”

You can read the full article here at:MSNBC

Just saying.

Smart phone cameras; are they good enough?

If you have a smart phone you have a camera with you if not all, at least almost all, of the time. And as any good photography teacher will tell you:

“The best camera is the one that you have with you.”

Now I’m not suggesting that you go and do a high end fashion photo shoot with your iPhone or become the wedding photographer at your sisters wedding with your Android but smartphone cameras have come a long way in the last two years.

Over the next few months I’m going to be comparing the cameras in three phones: the Blackberry 9810 the Galaxy Nexus, and the iPhone 4 GS.
Let’s look at a few of their advertised features:

Blackberry 9810

  • 5 MP with flash
  • 720p HD video

Yes, this is all the information that the Blackberry website cares to share. On the plus side they do have a detailed user menu but I could not believe how difficult it is to get even basic information about the camera.

(My husband contends that this is because Blackberry is basically a business phone and that the engineers at RIM are more interested in its durability than the images it takes.) However having said that I’m impressed with the photographs that the Blackberry cameras take.

Galaxy Nexus

  • 5MP continuous auto focus
  • 1.3MP Front
  • LED Flash
  • Zero shutter lag
  • Single-motion panoramic camera
  • 720 HD Video
  • Video recording in 1080p

The Galaxy stands out as soon as you turn the phone on. An Android phone using 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, as far as viewing is concerned, the 1280 x 720 pixel *Super AMOLED display screen just knocks every other phone out of the water.

Note*

Super AMOLED

(Yes, I had to look it up too!) is a new technology for touch screen mobile devices. The main difference from other devices being that the layer that actually detects the touch is integrated into the screen. Instead of having three layers it only has two which makes it thinner (the touch sensor is just 0.001mm thick ) and eliminates some of the air gaps which makes the screen brighter.
Super AMOLED gives 3 main advantages:

  1. Brighter screens (See note above.)
  2. Less reflection from sunlight
  3. Less power consumption

iPhone 4GS

  • 8-megapixel iSight camera
  • Auto-focus
  • Tap to focus
  • Face detection in still images
  • LED flash
  • Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
  • Video stabilization
  • Front camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second
  • Photo and video geotagging

The iPhone has, in my opinion, been very smart and knows its market. The camera is aimed at photographers and particularly easy integration with iPhone Apps of which there are many.

The Pixel Wars

There is more confusion over pixels than just about anything else. More isn’t necessarily better. So what do *Megapixels mean in real terms?

The real value in pixels is image quality. If you intend to print your images and you are going to be printing large images the more pixels the better. However, unless you are intending to print large images, for the most part the argument is mute. A 3 MP camera will generally give you a good quality 8 x 10 print; an 8 X 10 8MP iPhone should give you an outstanding print.

Note*

What is a Megapixel?

Printed images are made up of millions of tiny dots, 1 million dots is 1 megapixel. Here’s where it gets interesting though megapixels are only half the picture, (if you’ll excuse the pun) you also have to look at dots per inch or DPI. It is the number of dots per inch that determine the clarity and sharpness on the page of your printed photograph.

But here’s the rub, according to the latest statistics over 80% of all images will only ever be digital. Social Media means we no longer need to print most of our images. Smart phones and digital cameras mean we upload and hit send or post our latest renderings to Flickr or Picassa.

So back to my original question are smart phone cameras good enough? Check back and we shall see.