Ever Evolving Mobile Device (Cell Phone) Camera technology

WOW!!!!

It sure has been a while since I posted! Life along with the Mistress kind of had me tied up for a while! No pun intended!! While I had a few moments of peace and quiet, it made me ponder on the subject of this post. So here we are…

Modest Beginnings

As I touched on in a previous post, the mobile phone or cell phone didn’t even have cameras back in the day. They only did one thing and that was work as a telephone. Now a days I don’t even think that you can find a phone that doesn’t have a camera! The Mistress has come a long way in the photography department! Might give away my age here but I can still remember shooting with film and developing photos in a darkroom! Now a days, this can be done digitally right in the palm of your hand with your phone.

Early Phone Cameras

The early mobile device cameras were fairly simple compared to the ones we use in the here and now. Their focal range was not very good and Lord help you if you tried to take a picture in low light. The pixel noise was something to behold! Resolution was not that good either. You’d be lucky if you could get a 3×5 print off the phone. Still it allowed us to capture a moment if we didn’t have a camera with us and we got what the photo would look like instantly. Similar to a Polaroid. Still at that time, it was very cool to see technology get reduced that small even though the quality was not that awesome.

To The Here and Now

Now your retinas are bombarded with commercials talking sometimes even boasting about how good a mobile devices camera is. From how much resolution to how well it works in low light, the newer devices are a sight to behold! Their resolution has gotten a ton better allowing some users to even print portrait sized photos from pictures from their phone! Low light handling has gotten a ton better. Yes you still will have the noise in them but it is greatly reduced! The focus mechanics are getting so much better as well! This really allows everyone from the complete novice to even an expert to take some nice photos without having to lug a camera around all of the time. See a moment happening, just grab your phone and take a photo! When you couple these cameras with different software, you can even get different cameras all on one device. I will explain below!

Different Cameras from the Same Hardware?
Are you Nuts?!?

Nope not at all even though the Mistress has had me in her clutches for a while! I’ll explain this statement. For this example, I’m using the camera found in a iPhone (Android has similar things happening as well. Not sure with the Windows phone. Only dabbled with one for a very short time.). The stock application that works with the hardware to make the camera allows me to take photos, burst mode (rapid fire) photos, video, slo mo video, panorama and time-lapse for starters. That in itself is impressive and with the recent updates, I can change exposure on the fly! Pretty nice.

Now you can get apps short for applications that can change or modify how the camera works! I will give a sample of a few that I use. These may or may not exist on other brands of phones besides the iPhone. These are what I use and with a little research, you might find something similar.

Camera +

This app is actually two apps in one. It not only has more advanced features than the stock camera on the phone, it also has a darkroom app that is very cool. I love how sometimes the Mistress can reward sometimes! Back on track here, the camera part of this app will allow the user to have closer to a DSLR experience from their phone. You can adjust the exposure on the fly (similar to what the iPhone native app can do) however you can change the mode of this feature from auto in which it adjust the shutter speed and ISO automatically to where you can control both manually! You can also set one spot for the camera to meter the exposure while having another spot set for the focus! That’s cool to me!There is so much more that this can do and if you are interested to see what it can do, then please have a look at this URL http://campl.us/

Hipstamatic

This app essentially turns your modern-day device backwards in time to an old style camera. With this program, you set up a kind of film that ranges from black and white to color, from clean to grungy and with a few effects such as light leaks and tints built-in. You also will set up a lens that can set up such things as vignettes and other effects. The combination of the two will affect what the final output looks like. These folks have even gone as far as to make the interface look like some older cameras! I’m feeling all nostalgic right now! The company does also offer a free/subscription based app called Oggl which I use time to time but if you want the push the shutter and see what comes out in a minute (kind of like a Polaroid), then you want to invest in the Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic has packs which have not only different films and lenses you can use but sometime also have flash effects as well as new camera bodies you can dress up the application with. So for the ones who feel nostalgic (like me), give this app or Oggl a try. Oggl if my feeble mind recalls correctly, is available on all platforms. More information can be found here http://hipstamatic.com/classic/ and here for Oggl http://hipstamatic.com/oggl/

645 PRO

For those who are used to a DSLR and wished that you phone would behave more like one, this is the app for you! The interface looks like a high-end DSLR back and will allow the user very finite control over the devices camera including exporting out some very high-resolution TIFFs! You can change the format of the film and so much more! If you are a control freak and maybe want to score come cool points, check it out here http://jag.gr/645pro/

Pro HDR X

This app allows the camera to take HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos and creates the final results without having to use another program to complete merging of the exposures. You can allow the camera to select the spots in which it will get the exposures for or you can select them. The results can be quite impressive! After the camera has taken the multiple exposures, you can adjust the final for your specific taste. To see more about this app, please go here http://www.eyeapps.com/2014/10/13/introducing-pro-hdr-x/

Let’s Wrap This Up

As you can see by this post, we did a very small comparison from where we were to now. I also touched on how powerful the modern versions of the mobile camera can be by using some examples that I use. Again I apologize for using almost exclusively Apple apps. Again I don’t have an Android nor Windows phone anymore so I have to use what I know. I’m sure that there might be similar ones in your respective app stores. Just have a look and see.

If you thought that the apps for the camera are impressive, you should see the photo manipulation apps! That might be a topic for the next post I believe!