Camera Phone Technology 101

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wtfxxxgp

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Thanks for the informative article. You might have just cured my insomnia.
Geez. That was a cruel comment! hahaha

Seriously though, that article was very informative for those of us who like to know a bit about everything :)
 

David_118

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Great article. Very Informative. It would be useful, knowing these concepts, if there was a studio that took mobile cameras and used them on some standard set of scenes, either photographing paper with test patterns, or constructed scenes in low light, or whatever, that could measure things like signal-to-noise, HDR performance, optical abberations, shutter speed, etc. Anyone know of such an outfit?
 

MobileEditor

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Great article. Very Informative. It would be useful, knowing these concepts, if there was a studio that took mobile cameras and used them on some standard set of scenes, either photographing paper with test patterns, or constructed scenes in low light, or whatever, that could measure things like signal-to-noise, HDR performance, optical abberations, shutter speed, etc. Anyone know of such an outfit?
There are several labs, such as DxOMark, Image Quality Labs, and Sofica, that perform these tests. We're considering adding some of these tests to our reviews, but they require expensive equipment and software to do it right. Hopefully, we'll be able to expand our camera testing in the future--budget and time permitting.

- Matt Humrick, Mobile Editor, Tom's Hardware
 

zodiacfml

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Good job. Finally, someone who really knows about what's being written. The tone and some information though might be too much for someone who has not even heard of shutter speeds or aperture. I also feel there's information overload as each topic/headline deserves its own article including investigation on megapixel/resolution spec.

 

Hashmael

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This was a really interesting article, but my takeaway was basically:
1) The constraints imposed by mobile phones in terms of power consumption, thickness, cost, and scalability all require substantial compromises in terms of the actual optical capabilites of a phone's camera. These are fundamental physical limitations on the quality of information being gathered.
2) The increase in computational power, scaling down of CMOS fab size and scaling up of CMOS complexity, and development of increasingly complex post-processing algorithms... all basically do their best to compensate for fact 1.

What I'm reading between the lines, then, is that if users were willing to deal with increased bulk, fragility, cost, and power consumption, they could get a far superior image.

This is where I see the beauty and promise in Project Ara. Rather than buying a completely separate dedicated camera (with several of the same parts as your smartphone) or buy a niche phone at a premium, and have to deal with all the downsides all the time...
You could just swap in a module with a big CCD, OIS, glass optics, and variable f-stop at will-- and then offload much of the post-processing to either your phone's CPU or to another fancy, shiny ISP module... then pull it out and tuck it into a protective case when you're done.
 

Pedasc

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I wish they introduced an updated version of the Lumia 1020. 41mp *drool*
I'd rather have 16-20MP for the same size sensor and let each pixel get more light. Pixel count is only one factor and for my uses a 16MP image is way more than I need unless I am doing a serious crop. The article actually does a good job describing why.
 
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