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Photography

Mobile photography

Yesterday we went for a bit of a wander and I thought I would use the inbuilt camera on my Android Wildfire (I’m a little behind the times with phones!) rather than taking a dedicated camera, just to see what it was like. For a start I don’t have any special photo apps on my phone yet – there are just so many out there. This is what I managed to take:

Peckham Rye Common on New Year's Day

What I should probably say is that it took me about 5 minutes to take it by the time I’d taken the phone out of my pocket, unlocked the screen, been distracted by a new text message (well, 2 actually), opened the standard camera app and pointed it in the right direction, worked on a nice composition, unlocked the screen again after the 5 second inactivity time-out, chosen which point I wanted to focus on and then pressed the button. OK, some of that can be attributed to lack of familiarity with the phone, but I can’t help but think that for that amount of faffing around I could have taken a better photo on my DSLR or even a compact camera, whilst having more control over the shot. However…I was able to upload the picture directly to Flickr from the phone, which in turn automatically tweeted it – an obvious benefit.

So, my question to you is – can you recommend any good android apps for taking photos? I’m not talking about photo editing apps, but ones which give you nice control over ISO, shutter speed etc. Answers on the back of a postcard (or just reply below!)

3 replies on “Mobile photography”

Well the trend at the moment appears to be using filters (Instagram et al.) but I just don’t think cameras on phones are that good. I would speculate they just don’t have the same algorithms etc that Canon have (which considering the processing power of phone vs camera you’d think all sorts of clever things could happen!) to ensure the white balance is right etc. The photo you took though looks really impressive! I never could get that from my HTC Wildfire (do you have the Wildfire S?).

Most of the applications just ask the Android system to take a photo, the only real value they can add is with the effects, so I doubt picture quality or performance will improve a terrible amount over the stock applications no matter what you install. There’s a chance though that some of the big players may implement their own low level calls to the camera though, so try giving the one that Google recently bought out a try (Snapseed, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.niksoftware.snapseed&hl=en).

Even the Nexus 4 (which will probably be my next phone) has been knocked down a notch by poor camera performance.

Thanks Matthew – it was indeed the plain old Wildfire (not Wildfire S). I suspect you’re right about the apps just asking the Android system to take the photo – with a lens that small and a tiny sensor, I kind of guessed that there might not be an app to solve my complaints. I’ll have a look at Snapseed though – thanks.

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