Tag Archives: Smartphone

Kodak introduces Ektra: a 21 MP camera with Android smart phone

This is a smart phone designed specifically for photography enthusiasts, with a 21 megapixel f/2.0 rear camera and a 13 megapixel front camera, plus 4K video. Kodak calls it a “photography first” smart phone. It even includes an actual shutter button.

?A Kodak smartphone aimed at photographers has gone on sale at a pop-up store in London.

Source: Kodak Ektra ‘photography first’ smartphone goes on sale – The Irish News

This phone actually looks very interesting for those of us who like to take pictures and video. Plus it features a 10-core processor, which presumably aids not only high performance applications, but also helps to reduce power. Multi-core systems reduce power by enabling basic functions to run on just one processor, and only powering up additional cores, as needed.

Learn a lot more at the Kodak Phones web site.

The demographics of camera users

The author, at the link below, notes that those under 30 predominately use their smart phone to take photos.

Older travelers use compact point and shoot cameras, and middle aged and older often shoot with higher end DSLRs.

One thing I noticed on my trip to the UK , specifically London, was the abundance of cameras.

Source: Cameras, Cameras, Everywhere | Garden Walk Garden Talk

A recent Nikon item said that 55% of their DSLR sales are now going to consumers upgrading from smart phones.

My observations are in line with those of the linked article. I noticed this summer an increase in the number of travelers using an actual camera, rather than a smart phone. “Bridge cameras” – which look a bit like DSLRs but have a built-in, non-interchangeable lens, are popular.

The market is shifting a bit back towards real cameras. My hunch is many consumers will start out with larger cameras but eventually retreat to smaller cameras as they find the size and weight becomes cumbersome.

I suspect the 1″ cameras, with excellent image quality and good low light performance, may be the sweet spot for size, quality and convenience.

As the next blog post notes, post processing software is enabling small cameras to begin to rival their big cousins’ features. Software tools today provide high quality noise reduction, enabling small sensor cameras to work more like big sensors, and software tricks can even simulate bokeh.

Using 2 cameras to create fake narrow depth of field images

Small sensor cameras – such as smart phones and point and shoot cameras – are unable to create significant blurring of the background or foreground. Narrow depth of field is mostly limited to large sensor cameras – or to long telephoto shots.

But, two camera sensors may be used to measure depth in the scene. One camera is used for the actual photo and the second for depth. Parallax, or the difference between the two camera images, varies by distance to the subject. This information is used to blur the original image based on distance to the subject. (Blurring is done by averaging local pixels together using a simple average or a weighted average.)

This means that software creates the narrow depth of field effect, rather than large sensors and expensive lenses.

The HTC One M8 smart phone has this feature today. The linked article gives examples of how this works, in practice. Take a look at their sample photos!

We compare the HTC One M8 camera with a Fuji X-M1 to see what its bokeh-style effects are really like.

Source: HTC One M8 Camera vs A Proper Camera: Fake Bokeh On Trial

Note that if the cameras are very close together, as is typical on a smart phone, the ability to accurate measure distance a long ways from the camera is greatly diminished. Image resolution and interaxial spacing both impact the capability of this feature.

Rumors are that the iPhone 7 will feature dual cameras for the same reason – to create narrow depth of field photos using tiny sensor cameras built in to the phone.

Currently, the best narrow depth of field comes from DSLR full frame cameras and expensive, large aperture lenses.

But post processing software is eliminating many advantages of the full size cameras. Modern post processing noise reduction enables many small sensor cameras to perform more like their big cousins in low light. And now, with dual cameras and depth processing, little cameras may soon deliver narrow depth of field at lower cost than the big guns.

This should be worrisome to the DSLR makers. Particularly as increasing numbers of shooters would prefer to travel light – and not have to carry big camera bodies and heavy lenses.

2015 Mobile phones to feature 4K video support and massive megapixel imaging

Suspect many phones will be shooting 4K video as well as the new Qualcomm smart phone chipset features 4K video encoding and decoding:

2015 will see handsets with 4K displays and 55MP cameras. It’s going to be EPIC.

via Snapdragon 810 & 810: 4K Displays, 55MP Cameras & 64-Bit Android | Know Your Mobile.

Android L is a future release of the Android OS and it will move Android from a 32-bit OS to a 64-bit OS. This means too that future phones will feature much more memory and higher performance processors.

Another 3D mobile phone announced

LG Reaffirms Commitment to 3D with Optimus 3D Max.

From a photography or video perspective, we may not be paying sufficient attention to the mobile smart phone category. There are now quite a few mobile phones featuring glasses-free 3D displays, and I also saw some 3D tablet demos at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. The latter were also glasses-free.

The problem is – what do people do with a 3D phone? There’s not a lot of content and may be only a few games that might be able to support 3D. Is watching a video, let alone a 3D video, something we want to do on our smart phone?

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Low end camera and camcorder sales dive, expensive cameras rise

Study: Smartphones Putting Serious Hurt on Point-and-Shoot Camera Sales | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.

Smart phones are replacing the very low end still and video cameras.

2011 versus 2010:

  • Point and shoot camera unit sales down by -17%
  • “Pocket” camcorder unit sales down by -13%
  • Traditional camcorder unit sales down by -8%
  • High end point and shoot cameras (10x zoom are larger) up by 16%
  • High end detachable lens cameras sales up by 10+%
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