Camera Beta update fixes duplicate full-res uploads, brings new review interface, preps for Lumia Cyan

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Available to those in the know (see the QR code from the links to our app directory below), Nokia's Camera Beta has advanced again with a major update, fixing the duplicate full-res backup issue reported on as part of this feature, preparing for the Lumia Cyan platform update and officially letting everyone play with at least some of the new UI tweaks. 

From the official changelog in the Windows Phone Store:

  • Living Images support*
  • Continuous Autofocus for faster focusing*
  • Surround sound capture in Video*
  • New Camera Roll with Full Resolution Zoom and inline playback of video, cinemagraph, smart sequences and refocus images
  • Nokia Camera integrates with Creative Studio and Video Trimmer for editing your photos and videos

*Living Images and Continuous Autofocus are supported on Lumia 930, 1520 and Icon running the Lumia Cyan software update

The starred items will have to wait for the appropriate hardware or platform updates, of course. It must be something of a nightmare for Nokia/Microsoft to manage all the overlap conditions - people with hardware which is or isn't compatible and which is or isn't updated to the right platform version and which is or isn't updated to the right camera app version! Still, with good coding then hopefully nothing will actually break!

The full resolution zoom is something that several third party apps have been offering for a while (and with extra functions), so it's great to see this become a reality (RAM permitting, depending on device, of course) in the official Nokia camera roll.

In this feature, I talked about changes to the auto-backup facility for Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan, following dual capture photos by Nokia Camera, and I referred to a bug in the current system whereby full resolution images get backed up multiple times after each 'reframe' - this also seems to be fixed in the latest Nokia Camera Beta - I tested it with a number of dual capture shots, followed by reframes and in each case only the original 34MP plus the much smaller reframes were backed up by Windows Phone - quick work by Nokia to respond to this (thanks, DF!)

In terms of interface changes, you'll remember that I reported on the intended camera review UI tweaks here:

First of all, reports that the dual capture system is being abandoned aren't true. Also, implied, PureView oversampling and reframing are also not being abandoned. So there will be minimal change to shot to shot time, but also no reduction in quality or functionality.

What's changing is the workflow, in an attempt to streamline how you interact with your recently taken photos. Nokia Camera will have a simplified user interface. Essentially, there will now be only one 'ball' in the upper left corner. It will have the combined functionality of camera roll and reframing/full-resolution views.

So you'd tap on the ball and see the photo you just took. If you wanted to reframe from the underlying full resolution JPG, you'd then need to tap on an overlaid 'reframe' graphic, lower left in the camera roll viewfinder (shown below, and also spelt out on the '...' menu). This will take you to the same functionality as Nokia currently has in reframing from the Camera interface when using the second 'ball'.


Of course, if you wanted to take a photo and then immediately reframe it, then there's actually one more tap to accomplish, since you've got to go 'via' Camera roll. But, based on my own use of Nokia's reframing technology, the vast majority of these resamples from the underlying full-res images are done after the fact, i.e. back when there's time, sat down somewhere and reviewing what you've captured and trying to make the images as effective as possible. Under this more common scenario, starting from an obvious graphical link in Camera roll is easier and more intuitive (a lot of people used to 'miss' the old 'Open in Nokia Camera' link in the camera roll, since it would often be just off the bottom of the screen in landscape mode).

This is now in place, at least on the Camera (Beta) side of things. I was testing it under the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview and the Photos end is still in the old 'Open in Nokia Camera beta' style - this will all become consistent and as described above when the Lumia Cyan update hits existing devices in due course.

In the meantime, you can grab Nokia Camera Beta here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store