With the Windows 10 Technical Preview now out for phones - at least, for a variety of mainly lower end devices, and with the chance to play with it at AAWP Towers, I wanted to assess its state and what is and isn't included. Find below a handy reference table, plus screenshots and comments. More from us on this in the podcast!
I've had many requests for a camera head-to-head between the Nokia Lumia 830 and 930, not least since they're now about the same price at some outlets. But I thought I'd wait until they both had Lumia Denim and the new camera software. And then, heck, I couldn't resist adding in the Lumia 1020 and Symbian-powered Nokia 808 PureView into the mix. Plus an Android imposter, just to add an extra reference point. Gulp! So much to analyse and comment on below.
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...
Now, don't get me wrong - I love fiddling with alpha and beta builds of anything as much as the next geek, plus I'm already using and enjoying the Technical Preview version of Windows 10 on my laptop, but I'm having serious doubts about Microsoft's wisdom in releasing such an early build of Windows 10 for phones. Why? Because there's little to be gained at this stage and a lot to lose in terms of time, effort and confusion. In the face of much whooping in the mobile blogosphere, I beg to disagree....
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!
It's the intersection of two worlds - the Lumia 930 coming down in price, just over £300 in some places, under this if you shop around, while the newish Android 'star turn', the OnePlus One, comes in at £270, all SIM-free etc. Both have an awful lot that's worth noting and comparing. Windows Phone or Android - that's part of the equation, of course, but there's plenty of component choice to comment on below.
I know, I know - more imaging. But this one's a bit of an exclusive. In the last of this series of features (in theory) looking at Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera 5, I compare the same shots taken on Lumia Cyan and the old ex-Nokia Lumia Camera with those taken under Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera 5. Microsoft claims significant image processing enhancements - and there are certainly big differences, but I don't think the changes will please everyone.
One of the headline features in Lumia Camera 5 on the likes of the Nokia Lumia 930 is being able to take 4K video bursts and then extract 8MP stills later on in a very easy and intuitive interface. And yes, I know I already provided a few suggested tweaks to Lumia Camera 5's set-up. But what I wanted to look at here was how much quality would be lost in these stills compared to the oversampled results from traditional still capture of the same scene. Would the results be worth the tradeoff in terms of capturing an action moment? Surprisingly - yes!
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!
Yes, I've already given the game away in terms of the mechanics of how Lumia Camera 5 works and why you have to reframe PureView oversampled photos in another application now - but just to be clear, I wanted to break this down into an illustrated tutorial, as I suspect it's going to be a Frequently Asked Question in the Lumia world.