Better 3D Cameras Will Be Coming to Smartphones Soon

We’ve seen gimmicky 3D cameras in phones before, but these new versions will serve a much more important purpose.

Who remembers when 3D imaging was all the rage? We had 3D-capable TVs and pretty horrible 3D cameras in phones. The HTC EVO 3D comes to mind. Wow, what a terrible experience that was. 3D cameras slipped out of the limelight. But, they are now starting to reappear. Old 3D cameras featured dual cameras that would capture separate images. These images would then be superimposed over each other to create a stereographic 3D image. Now, though, 3D cameras are being used in a new way. Apple started using 3D cameras when they introduced face ID in the iPhone X. Now, ZTE, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, claims that better smartphone 3D cameras are on the horizon. Let’s talk about this after the break.

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New Sony Xperia 5 Android Smartphone Comes Loaded with Camera Tech

The Sony Xperia 5 is a more pocket-friendly version of the Xperia 1 and sports the same advanced Digital Imaging tech found in Alpha cameras.

Today in the IFA 2019, Sony announced their next 5G Android smartphone: the Sony Xperia 5. Like the Sony Xperia 1 launched earlier this year at MWC Barcelona, the Xperia 5 incorporates many of Sony’s innovative Digital Imaging technologies, this time in a sleeker, more pocket-friendly package. Like the larger Xperia 1, the Sony Xperia 5 utilizes an OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio, albeit measuring 6.1″ diagonally this time around and packing a slightly lower 2520 x 1080 resolution due to the Xperia 5’s smaller dimensions.

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What We Know About the Google Pixel 3 XL So Far

Leaked photos reveal new details about upcoming Google Pixel 3 XL.

Earlier this week, a user by the name of dr.guru leaked a set of photos of what appears to be the white prototype version of Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 XL on the XDA Developers Forum. While much of the technical information displayed on the device have been redacted to help maintain the source’s anonymity, we can still discern quite a bit of details about Google’s next flagship handheld. One of the first things you’ll notice in the leaked photos is that the Pixel 3 XL will most likely feature a top notch on the front of the device, similar to ones found on Apple’s iPhone X as well as Android handhelds from Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and others. Like the Pixel 2 XL, the front of the Pixel 3 XL also appears to have a bottom chin bezel, where a front facing speaker resides.

But what you probably care about the most is the camera! Or in this case, the cameras.

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First Details on the Upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom Emerge

Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom leaked image

With the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung introduced the first Android smartphone with an integraded point-and-shoot like zoom lens to its portfolio. Now that the Galaxy S5 has been announced, it is safe to assume that it as well will receive a ‘Zoom’ variant with a pimped-up camera feature. The S5 Zoom has indeed already been in the news lately, and now a first picture allegedly showing the device has popped up, plus some extra specs.

What we see in the picture could indeed very well be the successor to the S4 Zoom, which according to Digital Trends may not be called ‘S5 Zoom’ but rather ‘K Zoom’–for whatever reason. As is apparent from the leaked photo of the S5 Zoom, the lens has a much slimmer profile than that of the S4 Zoom. Unfortunately, the grip seems to have been removed, which means the new camera phone might not be as ergonomical as the old one.

As for the specs, the Galaxy S5 Zoom (or K Zoom) will allegedly sport a 20 megapixel sensor, a 10x optical zoom with imge stabilization, a xenon flash, a 4.8-inch 720p display, a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and run on Android 4.4.2 KitKat. According to this Image Sensors World report, however, the ISOCELL sensor used in the S5 Zoom will only sport 16 megapixels of resolution, but on the upside include phase detection pixels for faster autofocusing. Correction: the article by Image Sensors World is on the Samsung Galaxy S5, not the S5 Zoom. We apologize for the confusion.

It is said that the device may be announced some time in May, which means we’ll have to hold out just a bit longer until we know for certain whether the picture above shows the real thing, and what its final specs will be.

Before Setting Out to Snap Your Next Selfie, You Should Consult This Infographic

Image courtesy of Doghouse Diaries (thedoghousediaries.com)

Image courtesy of Doghouse Diaries (thedoghousediaries.com)

While the smartphone has made it very convenient to take self-portraits and share them instantly via social media, it has also caused a flooding of the internet with pictures of duck-faces and other silly looks. On top of that, more and more (predominantly young) people use the “selfie” as an excuse for stupid, idiotic and downright reckless behaviour.

In order to fight the “selfie” epidemic, which has the world fast in its grip, the people over at Doghouse Diaries have created this simple and effective flowchart that helps you decide whether it is acceptable to take a “selfie” in any given situation. The flowchart will be handed out nationwide to all smartphone users in the coming weeks, and federal legislation will soon make it mandatory to consult the flowchart every time before taking a selfie.

Via PetaPixel

Android Users Rejoice: VSCO Cam Has Been Released

My First Image with VSCO Cam

My First Image with VSCO Cam

Yes, let it sink in a little. VSCO has been out for iOS for some time now. Android users, like myself, have been jealous. As of today, however, you can download VSCO Cam for Android free from the Google Play Store. There are additional in-app purchases and ten presets and editing tools to help you with creativity. Along with all this, VSCO Grid is also available through the VSCO Cam app. VSCO Grid is an online gallery to help photographers display their work on their mobile devices.

For those of you not familiar with what VSCO is to begin with, it is an app that offers filters that are of much better quality than Instagram’s. It isn’t really a competitor, but the service has its own social networking structure. Think of it almost like the best of Instagram and Hipstamatic.

VSCO has extra samples on their website.

Via Android Community

iPhoneArt Launches Kickstarter to Make Daguerrotype and Ambrotype Prints Available to All

Ambrotype print by iPhoneArts

Have you ever dreamed of having your iPhone photos printed as Daguerrotypes or Ambrotypes? Neither have we. But apparently iPhoneArt sees a market for that, which is why they’re launching a Kickstarter campaign so they can bring affordable Daguerrotype and Ambrotype prints to everyone. Using special printing processes, the Daguerrotypes will be executed on specially coated mirrors, while the Ambrotypes will be executed on glass. This way, iPhoneArt aims to give vintage-looking mobile photography a physical form.

Check out their Kickstarter video after the jump.

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Google Adds Powerful Non-Destructive Photo Editor to Android 4.4

Android 4.4 KitKat Photo Editor Video Screengrab

Our friends over at DPreview connect spotted an entry on the Google+ page of Android developer Nicolas Roard, showing a video tour of the new photo editing app featured in Android 4.4 KitKat. As it appears, Google has borrowed a couple ideas from Snapseed, and added a huge amount of filters and tools on top. The great thing about this editor is that all actions can be undone at any time, which makes it the perfect tool for creative experimentation.

It’s nice to see that Google focuses more on photographers, as a powerful camera and photo editor are the two things our breed is really looking for in a smartphone. So far Nokia has lived up to that expectation at least in the camera department, but now it seems Android is catching up. The only question is, though, whether only users of Android 4.4-equipped phones will be able to enjoy the new photo editor, or if it will be made available for older Android versions as well.

7 Tips for Getting Out of a Creative Funk

IbarionexPerelloThePhoblographerCreativeFunk-4

Every photographer goes through it, but sometimes we are reluctant to admit it. The lack of creative productivity seems to come with equal doses of frustration and shame. Such feelings hardly leave us inspired to pick up the camera.

Some will feel further frustrated waiting for that elusive spark of inspiration to strike. But the truth of it is that she rarely pays a visit when you or I find ourselves in this muck of non-creativity.

The great artist, Chuck Close been quoted as saying, “Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” His comments speaks to the truth of any creative effort which is that it’s often the work itself that draws us out inactivity and puts us into the heart of our expression and creativity.

Here are some tips for getting out and doing just that.

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Flickr Pampers iOS Users, Gives Them Auto-Upload and Auto-Straightening

Flickr for iOS

Flickr has just announced a new version of its mobile app for iOS devices, including to new features of debatable usefulness. In an apparent attemp to further pamper its iOS user base, Yahoo! decided to add an auto-upload as well as an auto-straightening function to its Flickr app. While the former automatically uploads any image you take to your Flickr (as a private picture, mind you, until you make it public), the latter attemps to automatically straighten crooked horizons (or whatever else appears to be crooked in your picture. Noses come to mind.) Both are quite obviously aimed at people who are either lazy or taking pictures of their meals and pets all day long. Or both.

In the announcing blog post, the Flickr team describes uploading pictures from your iOS device to Flickr as a “really painful and time-consuming process.” Now that’s exactly how we here at The Phoblographer feel each and every time that we upload a picture to Flickr! But not so much because of the process itself, but because of that nagging voice of doubt in the back of our heads that wouldn’t stop telling us we should rather have uploaded it to 500px.

via dpreview connect

Must-Haves To Make Your Mobile Photography Better

IbarionexPerelloThePhoblographerMobileEssentials12

For me, there is a lot of freedom that comes with photographing with my iPhone. It’s not just the camera’s compact size that is a benefit, it’s also about the liberty it provides to focus less on the technical and more on the light, the composition, and the moment.

So while a “real camera” certainly has its advantages, the photographs that I produce with a phone often exhibit a greater sense of risk taking and fun, which hopefully informs what I do with a DSLR.

Photography with a phone doesn’t mean that you have to do without software or accessories. As with any other type of photography, there are certain tools that become invaluable for me to produce the best work possible.

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Samsung’s New ISOCELL Technology Promises to Boost Image Quality in Smartphone Cameras

Samsung ISOCELL Smartphone Camera Sensor

In an attempt to further optimize the image quality of small smartphone sensors, Samsung has developed a new technology called ‘ISOCELL’, which promises better color accuracy, less noise and greater dynamic range as compared to current BSI (back-side-illuminated) CMOS sensors. Basically, what Samsung did was to put physical barriers inbetween individual pixels (hence the name: ISOlated CELLs), which greatly reduce light spill as well as crosstalk between pixels. Samsung calculates that this new technology will decrease crosstalk between individual pixels by as much as 30%, meaning more light will be captured by each individual pixel.

A first sensor using this new technology has been created, sporting 8 megapixels on a 1/4″-type device. Mass production of the new sensor is scheduled for Q4 2013, so we might actually see it featured in smartphones or tablets some time next year.

Via Mirrorless Rumors

VSCO Cam Will Soon Be Available for Android Devices

vsco-cam-android-800x250

Android users who also happen to be photographers have much to be happy about. It seems VSCO Cam will soon be available for their devices. VCSO recently announced that an Android version is in beta pahse and will be available in the near future. Initially, they will be launching VSCO Cam for Android on the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, and GalaxyS3. They are now seeking beta testers and you can sign up here to be added to their list of potential testers. Please note that they will only select a few beta testers from those that have signed up. While the app is compatible only with the three aformentioned devices so far, VSCO states that they will add compatibility for other Android 4.0+ devices in time.

Lehmann Aviation Makes Nokia’s New Lumia 1020 Camera Phone Ready For NSA Duty

Lehmann Aviation LA300 drone for Nokia Lumia 1020

Editor’s Note: We’re joking about the NSA thing…

Lehmann Aviation has announced the LA300 automated drone for the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera phone. The drone is able to travel up to ten miles at spees of up to 50 mph, for up to thirty minutes. It is aimed primarily at aerial imaging, for example during excavations. But the fact that it is programmable (quite easily so via a tablet) and navigates autonomously might make this a welcome tool for the guys over at the NSA. Just imagine what you could do with the Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel camera, flying low above inhabited areas. The good thing is though that the ordinary creep won’t be going to buy this, since it comes with a price tag well above US-$ 6k. For more info on Lehmann Aviation’s UAVs, head over to their website.

Via Photography Blog

Samsung’s Previously Rumored S4 Zoom Camera Smartphone is Real

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Rear SlantedSamsung has just officially announced the S4 Zoom, the latest variation to their series of high-end Android smartphones. Bearing the same name as Samsung’s current flagship smartphone, the S4, the S4 Zoom comes with basically the same hardware specs as the smaller S4 Mini, but adds a full-fledged digital camera with a 10x zoom lens on top. Yes, that’s right. This is not an Android-powered camera like the Galaxy Camera, it’s an Android smartphone with a camera on its back.

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The Nokia Lumia 925 Is Basically a Camera With a Phone In It

nokia-lumia-925

Nokia was previously teasing us with a brand new Nokia Lumia phone, and they were saying that there is more than your eyes can see. And today, they’ve unveiled the Nokia Lumia 925 with a metal chassis and what they’re saying is, “the most advanced lens technology and next generation imaging software to capture clearer, sharper pictures and video, including the best low light images.” This may be what is behind their new feature that they’re calling the Nokia Smart Camera. The feature works by capturing ten images at once and edits the pictures with options like Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus to create a better photo.

Additionally, it will feature Hipstamatic’s new app, Oggl. But besides all of this, a 4.5 inch AMOLED will be used to compose your images with the 8.7MP Optical Image Stabilized camera. Plus it can shoot 1080p HD at 30fps. The front camera will feature a 1.2MP wide angle camera. No other word on the lens has been given yet.

In addition to Europe, the Nokia Lumia 925 will be introduced into the US by T-Mobile. No official word yet on pricing and availability has been announced.

Tech Specs are after the jump.

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Sony’s New XPERIA ZR Smartphone Will Go Skinny Dipping With You

Sony XPERIA ZR submerged

Sony just announced a new XPERIA smartphone labeled the ‘ZR’, which is the latest in a series of dust- and waterproof Android smartphones from the Japanese electronics giant. Following the original Acro and Acro S mid-range models, late 2012’s XPERIA V and their current flagship phone, the 5-inch XPERIA Z, the new ZR ups the ante by pushing the waterproofing to an IP58 certification, meaning it will be able to stay submerged even longer and deeper than its predecessors. Sony claims the ZR to have the “highest level of water-resistance for filming in Full HD underwater“.

Specs are after the jump.

Via PetaPixel and XPERIA Blog

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5 Ways My Phone Improved My Photography

Ibarionex Perello Phoblographer 2 of 8

There are times when the latest, most advanced, feature-filled camera gets in the way of the very thing that it was designed for – making pictures. Surprisingly, it has little to do with the mechanics of the camera and more about the person holding it. In this case, it’s me.

I only started to be aware of this when I began shooting with my iPhone. As I increasingly used the phone to make images, I realized that I photographed in a very different way than when I shot with my HDSLR. In many ways, I was looser, more reactive. More importantly, I was having more fun.

The resulting images seemed to excite me more despite the fact that I didn’t have the benefit of interchangeable lenses, uber-resolution and a high burst rate. So, I began to think about the things that I was doing with my phone, which I could translate to my work with my “real” camera.

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No, You Will Not Be Able to Shoot a Wedding on a Cell Phone

Wired has this very interesting article on the creation of a new sensor using Quantum (vs silicon) that will allow for better light sensitivity. Created by InVisage Technologies, Quantum dot-based sensors won’t be more expensive than traditional CMOS-based sensors, which is nice to know. They should be out next year. In the headline, the author is saying in the headline that the sensor will promise wedding photos from your cameraphone.

As a wedding photographer, I’m disgusted. Is a CMOS sensor in a cameraphone better than the one in my Canon 5D Mk II? Additionally, sure they may have lots of light sensitivity, but just wait till every other DSLR manufacturer catches up. NOTHING will replace good lenses and years and years of honing your craft in photography. I’d love to see the looks on programmers’ faces when they have to create the algorithms for keeping the noise levels down.