Mentioned in passing in all the Windows 10 Insiders fun at the weekend was that for many Windows Phones, the transition to '10' couldn't be achieved without an intermediate update, to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. Which is interesting for several reasons, not least because this wasn't scheduled to come to most handsets (outside the USA) at all. And because it provides a unique opportunity for anyone with a Lumia 930. Grab it with both hands.
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The apparent duplication in having both Windows Phone 'Photos' and 'Lumia Storyteller' on most Lumias is a little confusing, but a little investigation reveals that the latter can on the whole be used as a replacement for the former, and with significant extra features and tie-ins. It doesn't make much difference for the everyday Lumia, but for the Lumia Camera 5-compatible smartphones, it's very worthwhile making the switch, opening up the full gamut of modern features.
The story so far, I looked in detail at the image processing differences between the 'old' Nokia/Lumia Camera (Classic) and the new Lumia Camera 5 here. Summary? Greater saturation of colours, less noise reduction, increased contrast. Pros and cons all round. But we cheated slightly, using different devices, plus we should also factor the possibility of Rich Capture. Exactly which of all these gives the best photo results?
The number of ways you can shoot a photo on a modern Lumia, such as the 830, 930 or 1520, is multiplying. Leading to possible confusion and I thought a tabular breakdown of typical subject matter, scenes and conditions might be helpful. Which mode is it best to use for each? How simple can I make it?
Yes, I know that Nokia's market research team told them that bright orange would be well received. But it wasn't in this household. So, despite having an orange 930, I set out to find a replacement back that was black - the colour all good smartphones should be(!) Here's my pictorial tale...
The idea of grabbing stills from video footage has taken on a new trendiness in recent times with the likes of the Lumia 930 and 1520 able to shoot 4K video and take out useable 8MP JPG photos - shoot a kid or pet or sporting moment and then worrying about the exact frame to use as a still later on, etc. The 830 gets in on the act with 2K video and 2MP stills, but what about the older hardware? It turns out the Lumia 920, 925 and 1020 can match the newer 830, extracting images of similar quality.
Just to clarify, I'm talking about the Microsoft-written Podcasts client that ships alongside Windows Phone 8.1 and above - not the generic class of podcatchers, rounded up last year. Unless you're a podcast power listener, the 'official' client may be all you need, so I thought a quick set of tips might help a new Windows Phone user get going and comfortable with Podcasts.
I do hate mysteries. Such as old, long-deleted images appearing in my Photos live tile, Marie Celeste-like. Why are these shown at all and how can you get rid of them? Plus, how to filter them better in the first place...
With the arrival of Lumia Camera 5 on the UK Lumia 830, we get a chance to look at the pre/post Denim controversy from the perspective of a conventional 10MP camera phone, i.e. with no oversampling. Previously we'd looked in detail at the dramatic changes in image processing preferences on the Lumia 930 and 1520. See the differences here too on the Lumia 830, especially in low light, with contrast and sharpening now cranked right up to match the 'excesses' of Samsung and the rest of the industry. Do I sound a little unhappy? See the PS. for the silver lining. And see the PPS. if you're really feeling adventurous!
The tying of the hardware shutter button to 4K video capture in Lumia Camera v5 (as seen on the Lumia 930 and 1520) was done with the best of intentions, I'm sure - it certainly creates an 'instant' way to start capturing everything in ultra-high quality, all the while that shutter button is held down. But most people would also like to use the shutter button to take photos in the traditional way. Is there a way to restore the latter, while not losing the 4K 'moment-grabbing' video completely? Pretty much!