A photographers phone

Discussion in 'Phone and Mobile' started by wmervine, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. After many years of ignoring the camera of cellphones, I find it's become a serious consideration for my next upgrade. My Samsung note has been quite fun to play with, so I'm upgrading shortly and debating an iphone 5 or the new Sonys or HTCs. The iphone does seem to be the best for add on lenses etc.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Why not upgrade to the Note II or the new Galaxy Megas or even a Galaxy S IV?
  3. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    The best Android cam imo is the HTC One X or the newer One X+. I'm not sure about their latest model "One" with the "ultrapixels" though. HTC build quality is 100x's better than anything by Samsung. The One X and The One X+ are both reasonable on craigslist right now
  4. There isn't a huge difference between these for photography. Just pick the one you like on the rest of the merits - size,
    screen, OS, build quality, etc. One thing I'll say, this is something you'll be carrying for 2 years, so the iPhone with the in-
    person tech support, the drop damage replacement option and multiple years of OS upgrades has an edge in that
  5. I've been quite happy with my iPhone 5 and I ordered an Olliclip the other day, mostly for macro. I'm a phone-in-case kind of person - I don't like naked phones - and I'm hoping that I can cut out a portion of my case to fit the Olliclip so I won't have to take the case off every time to use it. I've used a handheld lens for macros but that is not convenient. Hopfully the Olliclip will arrive tomorrow and surgery on the case will commence. I'll report back.
    I am not familiar with the Android environment but there are many great iphone apps should you also be interested in in-phone or ipad editing.
  6. Macro. iPhone. Field 1/2 " across. Handheld Hastings triplet.
  7. If you can handle Windows 8, ill rep for a Nokia Lumia WP8, with a special photo sensor chip and Carl Zeiss lens! also f-stop and ISO settings they are amazing if you're looking for a camera with a phone built in!! two downsides, not the best macro and no zoom.. but by far the BEST in low light photos from a picture phone! took this photo just a little bit ago in a dimly lit room, no flash..
  8. I'm not against phone cameras but if you're going to complicate the phone camera with separate lenses, wouldn't it be better to just wear a small P&S with a 4x zoom on your belt? I find that my Maxx RAZR phone camera is just too difficult to control well, see in bright light, focus quickly, shoot clearly. There's no optical zoom.
  9. To expand further on Alan's comments I think of mine as a phone with a (2MP) camera. My inspiration for getting it was to be able to message a picture to another cell phone. Even the 2 MP has to be downsized to be included in a message (on my carrier anyway) so I don't know how much of an improvement a 6 or 8 or whatever MP would be after downsizing. My phone plan cost me $84 a year with 900 minutes and I don't see how much additional benefit I would get from a better camera with another plan. If at the end of the year my carrier offere a phone with a better camera for about the same service cost I will probably upgrade. And I would prefer to put the money saved into a better more usable digital camera.
  10. I always have my phone in my pocket, I dislike things like cameras on my belt and the Olloclip fits snugly in a film canister which I still have a lot of.
    Personally, for most casual or walking around phone/P&S shots I much prefer the phone for convenience. If I'm in the woods with a pack etc I'll definitely add a P&S to my strap and probably a DSLR in the pack.
  11. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "There isn't a huge difference between these for photography."

    I think there is. Actually, I know there is. With the advancements of the cameras and their marketing in the last couple years, I'd say the manufacturers think so as well. For many, myself included, the differences in camera quality is a huge part of the decision when buying a phone. The next Google phone, the Nexus 5, is reportedly working with Nikon for their next camera.
    Very cool photo, Edwin
  12. Even DXO can't come up with ways to make one phone camera seem that much better than the rest. They gave the same score to the iPhone 5, 4S, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3, and only put the other current models a few points behind those.
    There isn't no difference. There is insufficient difference to make difference in phone quality a reasonable criterion when choosing between phones. The phone apps are pretty much equal as well. Just get the phone you like best.
  13. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "There is insufficient difference to make difference in phone quality a reasonable criterion when choosing between phones."

    Depends on ones standards, I suppose. We could say the same about aps-c sensor cameras and everything else.

    Any enthusiast that follows phone cameras knows that those cameras are not anywhere near equal. There's plenty of (unbiased) geek sites that have run tests and shoot outs and will clearly show you there's a big difference in low light, sharpening, color balance, and fill flash. The iPhone5 kills Samsung and you can't get much better than Htc One right now.
  14. it


    Good info.
    I am also looking to upgrade, having used this almost completely useless Blackberry for too long. (My travel phone is the awesome $18 Nokia 1202 I bought in Dhaka. I know tons of shooters in Asia who use it. Battery lasts a week and it has the killer 3rd world app.)
    I posted a question on my FB page and got 50 smartphone opinions in one day. Based on Eric's last post, gonna go check out the HTC today.
  15. its a shame the LG Viewety never took off, so much so most people have never heard of it. it really was a P&S camera with a phone built in, Nikkor lens 14mg, projecting zoom lens.. how much better camera phones could be if that one phone would have been a success! being only carried my Verizon may had something to do with the downfall.
  16. Eric, you're not reading what I'm writing. I acknowledge that there are differences. I argue that these differences are not significant enough to be decisive in phone selection, when there are other differences between the devices that are of greater significance. E.g., operating system and confidence that the device will receive prompt OS updates during the standard 2-year period of ownership; whether in-person tech support and decent accidental damage protection are available; size; what cell phone companies you can use the phone with and how good their networks are; and durability.
    If you can provide references to reviews that show there is a significant difference between the cameras in the higher end phones, feel free to do so.
  17. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Eric, you're not reading what I'm writing. I acknowledge that there are differences. I argue that these differences are not significant enough to be decisive in phone selection..."

    Andy, peace man, I'm totally hearing what you're writing. Re-visit my Apr 21, 2013; 02:42 a.m. post. The camera is the first feature I look at. I don't think I'm alone. Judging by the amount of effort that goes into upgrading and then marketing the camera aspect of these phones, I think the manufactures feel the same. The general feeling out there is that Google Nexus4 would have been even more of a hit if it didn't have such a bad camera in it. I know a lot of Windows users that took a chance on the W8 phone because of the camera in the Nokia 920. And we know people left iPhone because of the purple flare in the iPhone 5 as well as that there wasn't much improvement, or any at all, over the 4s.
    Ian, I'm not sure if the HTC "One" is out yet? Might still be the "One X+" on the shelves?
    I don't do two year contracts. I own my phone and go month to month. My HTC One X was bought used when the One X+ came out. I usually buy the second latest-and-greatest phone off of Craigslist for half the price it was new. I'm tempted to buy the Htc One brand new though as each unibody has 200 minutes of cnc time on that alum chassis. It's a pretty sexy phone. Also I'm looking forward to the Fall with this Nexus5 and Nikon rumour.
  18. Oh, we'll, I guess if you're that gearheaded and willing to do things like regularly shop Craigslist for cell phones, then sure,
    your logic holds. I did not get the impression that the OP intended to shop like that. Most people will buy a phone from a
    store with a 2 year contract, and will need something that remains useful for 2 years. E.g., not a plastic Samsung or
    anything from a company that has a history of being bad at supplying OS upgrades. Most people will also want some sort
    of reliable tech support.
  19. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Your fanboy'ism is coming through loud and clear now. My logic holds? I'm so glad to have your stamp of approval. The op's shopping habits have nothing to do with mine, or the rest of your assumptions.
    "I argue that these differences are not significant enough to be decisive in phone selection..."
    "There is insufficient difference to make difference in phone quality a reasonable criterion when choosing between phones."

    Did you even the read Wayne's opening statement? (After many years of ignoring the camera of cellphones, I find it's become a serious consideration for my next upgrade.)
    The advancements during the last couple years in phone cameras, is equal to the leaps and bounds that dslr's were once making when in their infancy. It wont be long before their quality allows most people to stop using their point and shoots altogether. It's no wonder some of us are "gearheads" when striving for quality and are making this a priority when shopping for a phone.
    Good luck with your choice, Wayne.
  20. I'm calling it like I see it. My advice to the OP is, as far as cameras, make sure the phone has one or two, and then
    choose on other criteria.

    Fanboy? Fanboy for what? I'm not even advocating for anything in particular.
  21. Thx for all the feedback guys.
    I suppose a better way of putting it is any reason photographically not to do an iphone 5? The cameras are not drastically different, but it's the plugins and addons that could be useful. The oleoclip is an addon, but so easy to keep in the car. And as this is a contract upgrade, I'm not shelling out cash. If I'm going to pay out for a camera, I'll save for something decent like an X100s.
  22. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    You can google image search "iphone 5 purple flare". That was enough for my missus not to buy one. I'm not sure what was funnier, that they released the phone like this, or their official statement on why it flares. On a number of other fronts (lame Apple security, Foxconn, suing Samsung for something they stole themselves, poor battery) my constitution makes the iPhone 5 the last one I'd own. But if you want an iPhone for its camera, I think you may as well get a used 4s.
  23. Wayne, the iPhone 5 is an excellent choice. You'll love it.
    Purple flare occurs in very limited circumstances - I actually can't find an example on mine to show you. You need to be in direct sunlight and hold the phone at a very particular angle, and if you do get it you'll see it in live view and you can prevent it by shading the camera from the sun with your hand. The reason this happens is that they put a more scratch resistant glass over the lens, which has a different index of refraction, which lets light that enters at the right angle bounce between glass elements.
    The camera is great. It even does pretty well in low light without flash, and it close focuses to 2 or 3 inches. The front facing camera is not as good as the rear facing one. Mostly the front one is used for video chat and the rear one for taking photos.
    The iPhone is for the most part more secure than Android phones because the app install process is walled off. It also comes with better tech support than other manufacturers have and is not currently the subject of a lawsuit for an enormous copyright violation.
    So, yeah, I agree, iPhone 5.
  24. I just scanned thru a few thousand iPhone 4 and 5 photos and found a handful of cases of purple flare. In almost every
    case I shot nearly duplicate photos without noticeable flare. Apparently I noticed the problem, made a slight adjustment
    and reshot with no problem. The circumstances are very specific; e.g. If the sun is in the frame there isn't the PF. It seem
    to need to be just outside of the frame but not too far out to appear.

    Since these photos were on my ipad along with a bunch from my Nikon D300 I noticed one shot with the D300 which
    also, not surprisingly, had flare (not purple, mind you, but quite noticeable). In other words flare is a part of camera life;
    you learn ways to minimize or eliminate it and it has never been a particularly significant factor in my photography with the
    iPhone 5.

    Re iphone 4vs5, I personally would choose the 5 over the 4s, not so much for the camera but for the processor. That of
    the 5 is quite a bit speedier and this can make a real difference when stitching a panorama. I use AutoStitch and waiting
    to stitch 30 image panos wears pretty thin if you want to see the results before moving on.
  25. I just found this comparison over at dp Review:
  26. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    That's pretty good review. Thanks, Wayne.
  27. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

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