With every rating that the much-quoted DxOMark site puts out for phone cameras, the more I think that it's missing a healthy dose of real world experience and use cases. Not to mention a few key phone models (e.g. Lumia 950). Given that I've tested the majority of recent smartphones for AAS and then AAWP, usually against the best of the competition, I wanted to aggregate my experience into my own 'Top 10' camera-phones of all time. 'SteveMark', if you will.
I did promise (several times) that I was working on a chart explaining where Windows 10 Mobile was going - and here it is. In short, future development of the current branch for mobile will probably end this Autumn, but that shouldn't detract from the continuity of updates to anyone running the OS, in terms of security fixes and applications, even into 2018 and beyond.
Yes, yes, I did a piece just over a week ago comparing imaging on the new LG G6 with the Lumia 950 XL and... well, it wasn't even close. But a) the Galaxy S8+ is also now in for review, with an acclaimed phone camera, and b) some commenters took exception to my using a particular resolution on the G6. So we have a new comparison, a three-way head to head, and all at maximum resolutions. Can the spanking new multi-frame Galaxy S8+ camera finally provide a challenge to the mighty Lumia 950 XL?
Having spent most of yesterday's podcast with Jason chatting about how today's services, applications and content are largely cross-platform and independent of specific hardware, operating systems and interfaces, a very good question pops up: if all the aforementioned don't matter much anymore, then why use a Windows phone at all? Why not use an iPhone or one running Android?
How does the (unbelievably now) 18 month old Lumia 950 XL stand up, spec by spec, against the brand new LG G6, which i've been reviewing? Clammy glass against cheap plastic coated matt plastic with real wood, double camera against one really good PureView effort, and so on. Read on for my blow by blow comparison.
It's been interesting hearing the various reporting of low sales of 'Windows' phones over the last 12 months, with pundits concluding that there was no interest from users, when the main reason was that Microsoft had stopped making or selling Lumia devices. How could people buy what wasn't for sale? How would they know the Lumia 950 etc. existed? The interesting question is why wasn't there any first party hardware for sale? The short answer is that Nadella's 'new brush' was determined to 'sweep clean'. What a shame.
It's perhaps the most relevant camera phone head to head for a while - the legendary Lumia 950 XL, still relevant in terms of specs in 2017, I'd argue, even if it's harder to buy one new, against the very latest LG flagship and perhaps the best thought out of the MWC 2017 super-phones, the well-respected G6. We're not talking an exact match in terms of scope (the 950 XL has only the one rear camera, for example), but this should still be a battle royal!
(By popular demand) I've been playing with photography options on that hardy perennial, the Lumia 1020. Yes, it's not the speediest phone in the world under the Creators Update (here's how to get it there), but most things works very well still, plus you get a 41MP camera phone with Xenon flash - and that's still a massive USP even in the phone world of 2017. But which UWP camera applications to use on the latest Microsoft OS?
One somewhat mysterious application has been in the Creators Update for months and I suspect that many of us have steered well clear, being unsure exactly what to do with it. There's nothing to be afraid of, as it turns out, 'View 3D Preview' does exactly what it sounds like it does. It lets you - ahem - view 3D models. And Microsoft hasn't finished fiddling with it yet, hence the 'Preview' bit. Here's how it all works, anyway.
My series 'Anatomy of a Lumia photo' (here's #1) has proved popular, even though I cheated with the HP Elite x3 instead for #2. #3 had a lovely clock and #4 was all about framing. In the latest installment, shot on the classic Lumia 1020, I - quite literally - get down and dirty with nature...