- 12-20-2012, 06:25 AM #1
I think the real problem with the camera is that for just about every shot, the aperture is wide open at 2.0. I'm not sure what f-stop the lens can stop down to, but always letting the most light in will rarely result in the photo you want (sharpness). A quality 35mm lens sweet spot is usually in the middle of its range. Photography 101.
I'd love more manual control of the camera.
I found a few photos that have the f-stop marked at 2.4 for outdoors. It appears there is a small range at least.
I was certainly hoping that this wasn't a fixed aperture.
- 12-20-2012, 06:35 AM #2
After doing some quick searches, I finally came across one review that has it marked as a fixed. So that means my metadata is wrong in a photo. Anyways, I fear our photos will NEVER EVER be as sharp as the iPhone or any other device that has a smaller aperture. This is the trade off that is made.
No matter what, this is the best all around cell phone camera. PERIOD. If you want razor sharp photos, go buy a SLR with a quality prime lens.
12-20-2012, 07:12 AM #3
- 3 Posts
Please note that if you talk about f2.0 here, the aperture is only comparable to DSRL in terms of light need. As for depth of field you have to multiply the f2.0 by the crop factor in order to get a comparable number to full frame DSRL. In other words, the depth of field is not at all comparable to a f2.0 setting of a FF DSRL. Just have a look at this comparison for example comparing aperture vs. "35mm acquivalent aperture". Ronald
- 12-20-2012, 07:30 AM #4
Right, I'm fully aware. I used to have lots of high end gear. I made the assumption a while back that this wasn't a fixed aperture. Physics still apply. The more light entering into an area will not be as focused as light entering into a smaller opening. You can toss depth of field out of the equation. Take a quality 50mm 1.4 lens and shoot it against a test sheet on a tripod in aperture priority. The sharpness difference may be tough to make out, but its there.
Please don't confuse my comment about sharpness as depth of field.
12-20-2012, 07:37 AM #7
- 3 Posts
Ok understood. I honestly used to think that the softness came from an (too) extreme jpeg de-noise routine that also was softening daylight pictures. (bit like the Olympus XZ1 "problem" with high ISO) and now they fixed this as a pure software jpeg rendering thing. You're right of course that open aperture will never be as sharp but on the other side the question is what you want to do with a mobile phone camera :).
- 12-20-2012, 07:44 AM #9
I carried my 920 on my last vacation more than my dslr. I was happy with the photos and especially happy with the panorama capabilities. I think you are right about the noise, when looking at the photos in extreme magnification the amount of artifacts and the look of it appeared to be more due to compression.
I used to carry around heavy D2x and D1x for regular snap shots. The 920 gets carried more than my D90 now. 9 times out of 10 I just want a quick, well exposed memory.
12-20-2012, 07:46 AM #10
- 473 Posts
The aperture on the 920 is fixed. It doesn't have blades like we see in traditional cameras. Why you are seeing an 2.4 for the aperture is a mystery.
The sharpness will be there regardless of the aperture... it may not be as deep due to the depth of field but aperture does not effect lens or processing sharpness. DOF yes. Even if you're letting in more light with the f2.0 you still have the shutter end of the equation to regulate that.
I have not had the opportunity to take the 920 out for a test drive since the Portico Update (been busy with the 8X) but based on Dan's photos the other day, the sharpness is better after the update. I hope to have some hands on time with the 920 this afternoon to see for myself.
I would love to see a variable aperture system in these cameras but it would be difficult and probably costly to implement. You're talking about aperture blades smaller than a flies wings. I would also like to see Nokia have put the Lumia 900 camera setting controls in the 920.George Ponder
Reviews Editor - Windows Phone Central
- 12-20-2012, 07:52 AM #11
Sweet spots ľ Why your f/1.8 isnĺt so great at f/1.8
I need to get some real work done at work today :)
Better one The Sweet Spot Lens Setting That Will Give You Sharper Photographs
Last edited by EliteMikes; 12-20-2012 at 08:14 AM.
12-20-2012, 08:40 AM #12
- 473 Posts
Never said a lens didn't have a sweet spot. It's just that the sweet spot will still be sweet regardless of the aperture. The areas around the sweet spot will get softer as you open up the aperture around it but that's more of a depth of field issue.
Spherical aberration is the softening of the edges of the photo... something I haven't seen with the 920 or heard of. The softness on the 920 is more universal if anything.
Diffraction can cause softness (again around the edges of the photo) but requires something to bounce the light off of. Since the 920 lacks aperture blades I don't see that being possible. Unless the light is bouncing off the edge of the camera housing.
The softness I have experience is from edge to edge with the 920. It's slight and easily correctable through post-processing software. The softness your references discuss deal with edge softness and elements that aren't present with the 920.George Ponder
Reviews Editor - Windows Phone Central
12-20-2012, 10:36 AM #13
- 373 Posts
Compare this to the Apple PR "Apple says the iPhone 5 camera lens has also been enhanced with a fast f/2.4 aperture to improve its capability for low-light photography. What’s more, they’ve added a new dynamic low-light mode that boosts the iPhone 5 camera’s aperture by two stops when it detects low light."
I believe both the Nokia and Apple sensors "boost" the effective aperture digitally/DSP-wise for a fake low-light range of a couple f-stops. But again, fixed aperture.
12-20-2012, 10:59 AM #14
- 229 Posts
- 12-20-2012, 11:12 AM #15
I found that out for myself quickly. We certainly have the technology to make a movable aperture in this size device. Blades most likely aren't feasible, but there are other methods of closing a hole in a circular manner. Packing a full OIS system into a phone camera was a major accomplishment.
I was looking to try and find the smallest adjustable aperture device and I came across this. Nokia N86 8MP preview: First look - GSMArena.com Was never a nokia fan before the 800
Not sure they are using any digital enhancement when talking about the lens effective f-stop rating. That would certainly be misleading, but then again, who cares if the result is good.
- 12-20-2012, 11:16 AM #16
" Everything else being equal, 920's wider aperture should be more advantageous for gathering light. You should know that if you've owned DSLRs."
Gathering light does NOT equal focusing light. Go perform my test. It's not just the edges that will lose sharpness, it's the entire frame.
12-20-2012, 11:31 AM #18
- 44 Posts
I'm no camera guy or anything of an expert ... as I don't understand anything in this thread ... but from a regular user and what I think kind of hurts it is ... it seems like it takes wider pictures , like it gets more in the picture than my other phone (came from a Motorola atrix) and that tends to make it not as sharp, because it's focusing on more of a wider range ...
again I'm not picture expert ... this is just a regular occasional picture taker... and oh yeah the quality is good for me
12-20-2012, 11:42 AM #19
- 620 Posts
I think expectations are way too high. After the update I've found the camera to perform within reason. It's night and day compared to the old firmware.
I took a shot from the new firmware and was able to do some noise reduction and sharpening in PhotoShop. The results were quite good.
I actually think the iPhone over sharpens a tad.
- 12-20-2012, 11:46 AM #20
Even without touching photoshop, I think the new firmware is acceptable. I wasn't saying I have issues with it. I'd prefer very little noise reduction and compression to a heavily processed photo any day.
Gone are the days of actually enjoying real photo noise (grain). I guess there's instagram for that...
12-20-2012, 11:50 AM #21
- 229 Posts
Anyway, I think we can all agree that 920 has a great camera. I rather just enjoy the camera rather than getting into all this tech talk but there seems to be a lot of misinformation and mischaracterization in this forum. But that probably happens for every phone cameras.
12-20-2012, 11:53 AM #22
- 1,016 Posts
^well considering the size of the lens, the wider it is... it gets harder to maintain sharpness along the whole frame, especially towards the edge. That is why you will see some 920s and some N8 soften the image here and there. The size limitation in a smartphone are really the big bottleneck for optics...
All phones have fixed aperture lenses ... all expect two: Samsung Pixon 12 and the Nokia N86.
Its not a problem.
- 12-20-2012, 12:07 PM #23
D-SLRs suffer from the same problems as camera phones, i.e. they rely on post processing in some form. It's pretty safe to say that there probably isn't one bad sensor in current models. My old D1x was capable of taking razor sharp photos with a good lens on it, that sensor was absolute crap compared to what my consumer grade body has in it.
12-20-2012, 12:15 PM #25
- 1,016 Posts
No.. its this one: Amazon.com: Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) for Canon Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo
I think its a bit better than the kit. I also have this one: Amazon.com: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens: CANON: Electronics
The last two pics in the album are with that one.. very narrow on a non FF dslr, but it still works great for close ups, great bokeh.
Don't get me wrong, the dslr is still better ... but it all depends on your usage. Personally.. I really don't need more than the 808 for the most part.
So considering that they have the technology ready to go (optics + sensor) I expect a device with the same system running on WP very soon. Hopefully MWC in February.. that is where they announced the 808 this year, and then it took them about 3-4 months to ship.
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