I've acquired something of a reputation of being obsessive about ultra-naturalistic, pixel-perfect photo quality and blind to the overall picture - after all, don't 'normal' people look at photos as-is, complete? And, with this in mind, I'd like to set a few things straight - I'm not against image effects, I'm not against post processing, and I'm certainly not advocating others go around looking at their photos under a magnifying glass or zooming them in to see individual pixels. But there is method in my madness...
One of the most frustrating things about marketing and branding, from my engineer's standpoint, is that technologies get brand names assigned to them (which is fine) and then the brand name gets used elsewhere, for something totally different. Which is where the aforementioned frustration comes in, of course. Let's call a spade a spade, etc. And a fork a fork.
In something of a guest post, James Murray tells of perhaps the ugliest hardware hack I've seen for a while - yet one which obviously fulfills a need, one which Nokia should have perhaps considered when designing the Lumia 1020 in the first place?
Yesterday saw my stills shootout between the Lumia 1020 and the Android-powered Galaxy K Zoom - today sees the video equivalent. Being able to capture videos anytime, anywhere, is something that all of us do. And, to be fair, most modern smartphones do a great job at this. But what happens when you want to go further, zooming in and out and generally pushing the boundaries? In split-screen presentation, here's video from (arguably) the two best video capture phones around.
What happens when you set out to create an ultimate camera phone, when a hump is not a dealbreaker, when Xenon flash is a must and when no compromises are involved? From 2012, 2013 and 2014 come the two Nokia PureView camera phone flagships, plus - hot off the production line - the new Samsung Galaxy K Zoom. The latter, unlike the monstrous S4 Zoom from 2013, is streamlined and eerily similar in form factor and scope to the Nokia couple. But which will win out?
I suspect I'm going to have people comparing me with the pot calling the kettle black here, considering the number of smartphones I get through, but more and more I'm realising that a lot of what's really smart about a smartphone is you - and your own set-up and preferences. In other words, chasing the very latest models and swapping devices every few months is - no doubt - fun, but it's expensive and at the end of the day I bet you set up your home/Start screens almost identically to those of your one or two year old devices - I know I do.
Although I covered something along these lines almost three years ago and, let's be honest, a lot of the basics of video shooting haven't changed much, I wanted to update my feature for 2014 and the much newer devices and their capabilities. For completeness, as much as anything. In other words, I wanted all the best of our smartphone camera video capture tips in one piece, in one place. Hopefully something worth bookmarking and pointing people towards?
Last week's reveal of the Surface Pro 3 by Microsoft continued the evolution of Redmond under CEO Satya Nadella towards a company with a focus on a cloud-powered mobile computing platform. It also surrendered the consumer tablet space to iOS and Android as the Surface was subtly pitched towards the Enterprise market. Is this a sign of Windows Phone's future strategy?
Having had a look at absolute camera quality here, it's time to look at the flagship Nokia and Sony smartphones, the Lumia 1020 (from July 2013) and Xperia Z2 (from April 2014), across all features and capabilities, in blow by blow style. Is there an obvious winner?
It's the latest in my series of smartphone camera battles (following recent confrontations with, for example, the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5), this time looking at (in theory) one of the most capable competitors yet, the 1/2.3"-sensored mid-2014 Sony Xperia Z2. Lossless zoom, oversampling, heavy duty image processor, will the Z2, which should have more refined image processing than the Z1 or Z1 Compact before it, give the Lumia 1020 a run for its money? Don't bet on it.