Thursday, January 31, 2013

What cellphone cameras really need

I just thought it would be interesting to do a little comparison:

The detail is of course better with the real camera. It's not really a fair comparison because my real camera is 14MP (Sony Alpha NEX-5N) while the phone is only 8MP (HTC One X).

I actually think the detail is not bad for the phone, this is because the phone camera really isn't something you use to shoot printed photos. It is used for uploading on to the internet which rarely go beyond 1,600 pixels on the long edge.

The real problem I think is the dynamic range. This is the most obvious on the first comparison. A large portion of the curtain is completely white out because they all went beyond the maximum brightness the sensor could measure given the exposure time.  While the bottom dark corner is just full of noise and contain almost no useful information.
On the other hand the real camera almost captured the entire dynamic range in this situation.

In the second situation, the phone camera is again, maxed out on the white parts and all the way down to zeron on the black parts of the headphone. The thumb buttons on my mouse are all desaturated because they are too bright for the camera.
An interesting to note is how the real camera had more depth of field even though it had a smaller apeture of d/4.0 while the phone is f/2.0.

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