Cellphone camera apps

Android and iOS are taking over the world as the devices of choice for most people, and especially on the iOS front, still photography with an iPhone is taking off. The quality is “good-enough” to get something respectable out of it that FlickR audience would appreciate.

For video though, things are not as peachy as for still photography on smartphones. Video requires a few extra features to make it usable for artistic usage. These are:
– iOS: 24p/25p/30p fps selection (the FilmicPro app hacks this, but it’s not the real output of the camera). Low contrast/saturation/sharpness “flat” mode. iOS supports exposure compensation + lock, tap-to-focus and focus lock, and high bitrate.
– Android (most models): 24p/25p/30p fps selection. Higher bitrate (24mbps). Low contrast/saturation/sharpness “flat” mode. Exposure compensation + lock, and focus lock. Some models have tap-to-focus, but not much else.

So between the two, iOS wins so far easily on video by offering more control, but it’s still not perfect. I mean, we’re not even asking for full manual control here, just the basics to be able to get good video out of these phones. iOS only needs a few things to get it right, but the Samsung/Google/HTC/etc camera engineers really need to get a freaking clue about video and select hardware for their devices that support these features.

I know some people will argue that cellphones are not great to use for art, but I disagree. It’s the artist that matters, not the hardware. However, the artist can NOT fully open his/her wings and use the hardware to the fullest if the BASIC FEATURES are missing. For still photography things are easier, since fewer features are needed for people to get a good output. But for video, some extra stuff are needed, that are easily doable with modern hardware, but somehow they’re not taken into account by the engineers or project managers so far.

2 Comments »

Richard Allen Crook wrote on December 17th, 2011 at 6:23 AM PST:

How do you set the iPhone into flat mode? I tried to find it after reading this but I can’t.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 17th, 2011 at 12:58 PM PST:

You can’t, that’s one of the features missing in it.


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