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Old Jun 3, 2014, 11:26 AM   #1
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I've been in the camera industry and have noticed some interesting things in mobiles.

Firstly, IPhone enhanced video recording apps and the one that comes with the phone generally beat the one on Android phones hands down. Though Android is remaking their camera system to improve it. The problem has been little standardisation between how each phone handles the different low level camera hardware it has, restricting how much they can reliably do without a lot of extra work for different phones. So, until this sorts out, if it sorts out, advanced recording appears yo be better on the iPhone. Windows phones might be different, if they have advanced recording software, but I do not know, but most windows phones come from one supplier. The same might be true for Ubuntu phones, but I do not know.

Next, Samsung and Sony's top phones (and most top phones that use a Sony sensor) :are pretty good. The top Nokia Windows phones use a previously top mobile sensor from Nokia. HTC One is said to use a 3 color pixel similar to the 3 color layered pixels of Foveon, but from Sony. I don't know if this is true or not. Anyway, the Foveon x3 delivers 3 primary colors per pixel instead of one of the colors ( where the other two primaries are estimated and accuracy and lowlight suffers). It does this by sensing the 3 different colors at different depths on the sensor, because the light rays penetrate the surface to different depths according to the color allowing the colors to be separated for recording. The HTC One phone of my friend produces superior color separation in footage at night concerts. Handy to know, if that us your thing. Because of the way normal one color pixel works, at night in concert lighting you may have only a 1/4 of the pixels giving good light in part or the whole image (leaving a complete guess amongst the noise for the other pixels), plus because the other two primary colors are being filtered out less light gets to the pixel than the 3 color pixel,making it more noisy, further destroying the image (believe me, my pictures look ten or more times worse at times, but the sensor is otherwise also better, but it might still out do other top mobiles except maybe the Nokia's which are known for low light). I have images that look like an monochrome (black and red) creative art poster with the noise, of a concert versus the sublime image of the HTC one.

The Samsung Note 3 has a surprising lens. Most mobiles do not have a nice ones, rendering a more detailed and less warped image. Maybe it is the fabled liquid lens, but still not a top quality lens for a normal camera.

Next, don't expect too much, mobiles have a lot of compromise compared to a real camera. I was able to match and surpass my friends old Nokia 808 in low light for noise, with my Olympus Pen micro 4/3rds with standard zoom lens, even though the Nokia has renowned low light ability, a sizable sensor (often bigger is better for sensitivity and noise) and lens aperture (bigger means more light and even less noise). What is the difference between the Nokia and the Pen otherwise, a nice camera to handle and maybe 3 or more times more photographic features in the menus compared to the Nokia and many Android phones. On most phones, it is simplistic, in a bad way for quality recording. The recording quality settings are often much less than a real camera (though some of them, like my pen, are low compared to a cheaper hybrid camera).

You get less lens/equipment options for a normal phone compared to a real camera. You actually buy equipment and attachable lens options to get a phone to be more usable.

There was another downside, I have forgotten. But you get the picture, phones are good for convenience, and getting better, and more useful for more things. For a number of years camera sensor technology has been progressing leaps and bounds, so the latest mobile sensor could be significantly better than 3 years ago. While conventional pixel technology advancement maybe leveling out (so that quality improvements for the same sized pixels might be slowing down) their are some amazing new stuff in development that is a huge leap forward. After that gets to the market, if it does, performance increases might finally settle down for a while. A hint, it will probably render nice 32 MP low light images. However, camera development may not stop there, companies are already looking at holographic camera systems that are 128 Mp+ .
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