When was the last time you saw a new mobile phone without a camera? Tough one, isn’t it? From a mere gimmick just a few years ago, to a necessarily underpowered addon, to a full-fledged feature, cameras on mobile phones have come a long way. While the iPhone has graduated to become the most used camera amongst Flickr users, every new Android phone that comes out boasts of some new camera technology unique to itself.
Unfortunately, camera apps haven’t really kept in sync with the advances in mobile phone camera technology over the years. So although your phone may be technically capable of a lot of things, the app you use to shoot your photos is most probably showcasing only a fraction of its abilities. And even if it can take advantage of everything available to it, it hides all that control deep within its settings in an attempt to keep the user interface clean and simple to use.
Except for Shot Control, that is.
Most photos taken with phone cameras are grainy, blurry, washed out, dark or just plain boring. It’s sad, because they don’t have to be. People usually blame the quality of their cameras for the quality of their shots, but that’s actually not very important when it comes to getting a good picture.
So how does one get good pictures out of a phone camera? It’s really not about the megapixels. Let’s forget about the technical specifications of our cameras for a few minutes and check out some simple things we can do to improve our photography, keeping in mind certain scenarios we regularly come across in our daily lives. The real lesson here to be learned here is to adapt. Think about how your shots could be imporved before shooting them and you’ll be taking great pictures in no time.
The Consumer Electronics Show showed off many different Android devices, including a handful of new phones and new tablets. However, while those devices headlined Android’s appearance at the show, hardware manufactures also introduced new uses of the operating system on devices including watches and webcams.
Let’s take a look at those devices…
Google Goggles has always been a great testament to how useful smartphones are. Advertised features include the ability take a photo of a French menu and have it instantly translate to English, or search something simply by taking a photo of it.
Recently, Google pushed out an update to Google Goggles on Android, adding some interesting new features in the process. Should you opt in, Google Goggles can automatically analyse all photos taken in your phone’s camera app in the background, without you needing to specifically tell the app to do so. It looks very interesting, to say the least. (more…)
Pano is an app that lets you create seamless panoramic photos using just your mobile device. There are other apps that seems to do the same thing, but Pano seems to stand out among the crowd. It has been available only for iPhone and iPod Touch, until now; the folks at Debacle Software let us test drive the newly-released Android port before it came out, and I am definitely impressed.
I think the key is the “deliciously simple interface” as the team puts it. There are minimal bells and whistles and no distractions. The process of creating your panoramas is simple and intuitive. Each panoramic photo can include up to sixteen images, which gives you a resolution of up to 6800×800.
You’re Android handset comes with a built-in camera application that is fine for taking the odd shot. I’m not sure whether this is specific to my HTC Sense phone, but my stock camera app has options to change photo saturation, brightness, and other variables. There’s also the option to add some very basic filters like sepia and negative. This is a nice set of features that my iPad 2 (and, presumably, an iPhone) doesn’t have and, especially if your phone has a nice five or eight megapixel shooter on it, can be helpful in taking some valuable shots you can look back on.
Cisco’s recent decision to kill off the Flip video camera family also demonstrates that smartphone cameras are becoming the tool of choice for most people’s photo and video capture needs, so these options are becoming increasingly important.
The quote, “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, is tossed around a lot and, although I can’t seem to find its origin, I certainly know it’s true. Everyday moments can be captured with relative ease and with quality to compete with most point-and-shoot cameras. However, these cameras are smart and not like their dumb-phone counterparts. (more…)
It’s that time again! Thanks for all the questions you’ve been sending in; it’s great to be able to help you out with your Android issues. Keep them coming
This time we’re talking about Android vs. iPhone, tablet screen resolutions, separating your contacts into groups for work and friends, and how to turn off that blasted sound effect whenever you take a photo.
Read on for plenty of Android knowledge, and details on how to have your own questions answered.
You’ve seen a panorama and thought, “cool,” “stunning,” or “beautiful”. But, you think it’s too hard to create one yourself. Well, you’re wrong. You can create complete 360 degree photo panoramas of an environment with Photaf 3D Panorama.
This type of photography works by taking multiple images at different positions and then stitching them together. Photaf takes half the job out of this by doing everything other than moving the handset for you. (more…)
Cameras have been standard features on phones for a few years now, and the trend has only continued with every new smartphone taking the megapixel war to the next level. Although mobile phone cameras have traditionally been frowned upon by purists — 8 to 12 megapixel sensors and top-of-the-line lenses notwithstanding — for most, these have become their primary source of capturing everyday moments.
It is a shame then, that as the world’s largest and fastest growing smartphone OS, android does not come with a camera application that lives up to its reputation. The stock app that gets packaged with android phones is at best rudimentary, and meant to simply get the job done. Luckily for us users though, there are a ton of apps that chip in to add bits and pieces of functionality. Camera360 is an application that attempts a jack-of-all-trades approach here, and does so quite successfully.
Android’s built-in camera application is basic, but can get the job done when you need to quickly snap a moment. It doesn’t offer much beyond the simple snap-and-save routine, leaving the field wide open for other apps to enter the arena with boatloads of features, adding shooting modes, features and post-processing effects to give your shots that extra edge. Here’s a look at some of the best free Android apps to help you take better photos.
We will look at the four most common imaging tasks on the phone – capturing photos, viewing them, editing them and then sharing them with the world. Although a number of the apps do all of these on their own, more often than not they are better for one purpose than the others. All these apps are free or offer a free, ad-supported version. Some do have Pro versions that either take away the ads or offer more in terms of features.