A debate on Twitter earlier in the week (see below) put up one of THE most frequently asked questions about phone imaging. Why do I/we both pixel peeping when most phone-shot photos are only ever seen on 5"/6" phone screens? It's a good question, but I think I have a great answer. If you're a phone imaging enthusiast then you'll know where I'm going with this already, but for the casual user, here's why I do what I do and here's why enthusiasts care...
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The Lumia 830 (and the 735, for which all this also applies) aren't exactly computing powerhouses, with only 1GB RAM. However, they're not only compatible with Windows 10 Mobile, they work just fine for casual use right up to the very latest Fall Creators Update (1709) - if you know the tricks and hacks. Early in 2018 I covered how to take the much more powerful Lumia 930 (and 1520) on this journey, but I've had requests from readers for the exact sequence for the Lumia 830 (and 735), so here goes...
My camera (phone) comparisons over the last few years have been gradually stymied by manufacturers choosing to over-sharpen, to edge enhance, and to reduce noise. All in the name of producing 'wow' images for social media. Yet, living in the UK, greenery - so trees and grass - and nature generally form part of many test scenes. And it's nature itself, with all its incredible textures, that proves hardest of all to capture using modern camera phones. By way of some data points, I investigate!
Having been highlighting PWAs here on AAWP for months, it's becoming clear that a little guidance might be needed in terms of the 'best' way to run them. In fact, it turns out that 'best' is subjective and depends on how you like to run your Windows 10 phone - but hopefully the advice and examples below will clarify the situation.
One extra that came along for the ride with Windows 10 Camera (née Lumia Camera) was digital stabilisation for video capture, perhaps because this was something enabled by the faster and more capable chipsets as 2015 rolled into 2016. But it may be that you've resisted turning 'digital stabilisation' on in Camera's Settings? I often wonder whether to do so myself and then thought that a comparison video would be interesting for others too. Long story short, it's definitely worth turning on for 1080p footage and below.
Conventional wisdom for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL is that when snapping something you shouldn't go too far down the route of using 'zoom' in the UI, since the PureView lossless zoom only goes so far. But how does this work out in practice and where exactly in the UI should you stop zooming and 'crop later'? Here's a clue: it's sooner than you might think!
It CAN be done. But that doesn't mean you should do it. In fact, it's a last resort if this is something you feel the need to do. What am I talking about? Reframing. Exemplified by the Lumia 1020, this was part of Nokia Pro Camera back in 2013-14, and the idea was that you could zoom in to take a photo, then - back at home - decide that you wish you hadn't zoomed in so far and that you wanted to 'reframe' the photo, either zoomed out or with a different zoom centre. It worked brilliantly. And, well, you can't do exactly the same on the Lumia 930 or 950. But you can get close... with caveats!
Reader Russ Hudson asked an interesting question in an email to AAWP a few weeks back. And one that bears investigating. Russ wonders "what would happen, in an imagined future, if I chose to continue using Windows 10 Mobile after support ended?" He's wondering "what would still work, and what wouldn't, and from a security point of view, what the risks might be?" Although the AAWP crystal ball is a bit cloudy these days, I'll have a crack at peering into the future for us all...
Reader Michael Cunningham had an interesting question - with a simple and obvious answer, though with the usual Windows 10 Mobile transient uncertainties (a fancy way of saying 'glitches') to complicate things. Essentially he had filled his phone/microSD card with photos and videos, but didn't want to delete them from the phone in case they also got zapped from OneDrive, i.e. he lost his backups. Happily, it's easy enough to proceed.
Guest writer Julian Williams brings us some left-field thinking that uses an old favourite accessory and phone in a familiar - and yet slightly different - way, using Continuum from a Lumia 950 as a screen expanding feature that helps him stay in touch with live sport.