Motorola devices have been haunted for years by bad cameras. There was an opportunity to change the poor camera quality perception in 2013 when Motorola reinvented itself; however, critics and consumers were only left disappointed yet again when the Moto X (2013) failed to deliver a camera comparable to that of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG G2. Motorola’s low-end and mid-range devices obviously suffered from awful cameras, too. The Moto G (2013) had a 5MP camera while the Moto G (2014) raised that to 8MP. As we all know, megapixels mean nothing on paper. This year, with Lenovo overseeing the company, Motorola seems to have found itself a pretty good camera of 13MP on the Moto G (2015).
Here is how Motorola describes the new Moto G’s camera:
The new Moto G delivers high-quality photos in any environment. Even in low light, the ultra-fast f2.0 lens produces crystal-clear images, and the color-balancing dual LED flash preserves color and clarity. What’s more, High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging helps you capture both the brightest highlights and darkest shadows, just as your eyes see them.
Below you are going to see images taken by the Moto G. Interestingly, Motorola has the phone’s camera set to capture images in widescreen. This means that they are taken at 9.7MP and 16:9 aspect ratio. Taking pictures at the standard 13MP alters the aspect ratio to 4:3. We have images of both varieties to show you. Also, high-dynamic range (HDR) is set to automatic for all of them.
What’s left to say? For a phone that starts at $179, the camera performs well above expectations. Motorola’s new commitment to sell devices with good cameras is evident in a sub-$200 phone.
Come comment on this article: Motorola’s new focus on cameras shows with the Moto G (2015)
Sony Mobile has just let us in on a new Xperia phone coming our way soon. It’s just a tease, so not much was said. But we know that its camera abilities are in focus.
Lately, we’ve been seeing manufacturers ramp up autofocusing speed in their smartphone cameras, using either phase detection or laser autofocus methods. Last year, Sony revealed that they managed to squeeze their 192-point phase detection focusing technology into a mobile Exmor RS sensor. It was assumed that the Xperia Z4 would have arrived touting it, but now Aug. 3rd appears to be the day.
What’s also interesting is the timeframe of this announcement. This robust camera technology seems fit for an Xperia flagship. However, Sony typically launches their Fall flapship at IFA in September. Could Sony be following Samsung’s lead to move forward their launch to avoid butting heads with Apple?
Either way, we’re always excited for new smartphone camera development. Sony’s new sensor is said to be 21 megapixels and capable of 4K recording at 30fps (with HDR support at this resolution).
Assuming this phone comes stateside, are you excited to see another contender for the top smartphone camera spot?
Nokia may not be making its own smartphones anymore, but they are ensuring their future in the tech industry in multiple ways. We first heard about their newest venture last week, and today the company enters a new market by announcing the Nokia OZO, a VR camera specifically designed for professionals. Of course, this camera can create video for headsets like Google Cardboard and the Oculus Rift.
While it may seem odd to see Nokia making a virtual reality camera, their eccentric gadget looks promising. This spherical camera holds 8 shutter sensors and 8 microphones. The camera is also special in that it has sensors pointing upwards and downwards, unlike some other 360-degree cameras, which only capture horizontally. This will give videos a much more immersive nature, with both video and audio being completely multi-directional.
The Finnish company also makes sure to lure possible customers by offering some enticing software features. For starters, the camera allows for real-time viewing, as well as quickly rendered low-resolution footage (for testing). The OZO also manages to discard the need for pre-assembling your 360-degree content, which can be a convoluted process.
These software and hardware improvements will make it simpler for content creators to produce VR videos for our head-mounted displays. VR production company Jaunt even committed to support OZO by using the camera and supporting OZO content through its post-production software.
We can say virtual reality is a bit immature, at least in terms of consumer products and readily available content. The concept needs to be more polished, and I can honestly say the OZO is looking to be the most elaborated VR camera I have seen. It is well designed, simplifies workflow and should output “professional” quality footage.
Details such as specs and price are still kept under the veils, but Nokia tells us we should expect shipments to come in Q4 2015. We are pretty sure it won’t exactly be cheap, though! It is a professional tool, after all. Are any of you guys looking to take advantage of a Nokia OZO camera?
Wondering how Samsung manages to cram a 16-megapixel camera into seemingly wafer-thin phones like the Galaxy A8? By developing a brand-spanking new sensor that fits, that’s how. The Korean company has built an ISOCELL-based CMOS imager that uses extremely tiny 1.0-micron pixels instead of the 1.12-micron units from the previous model. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it amounts to a sensor that’s 20 percent thinner, at a scant 5mm (0.2 inches) deep. In short, you won’t have to accept an unsightly camera hump just to get high-resolution shots.
There’s going to be some compromises with this sensor. While ISOCELL is supposed to help offset the light reception lost by using smaller pixels, the camera just won’t perform as well in dimly-lit environments as bigger sensors from Samsung or its rivals. Still, this is a big deal if you don’t want to settle for low-res pictures in slim devices — and it’s not an exclusive, so you may see it pop up in other companies’ phones before long.
Samsung announced today the availability of a new 16MP camera sensor for smartphones, featuring 1-micron pixels. Dubbed S5K3P3, the new sensor uses ISOCELL technology, which physically separates neighboring pixels, reducing unwanted crosstalk by 30 percent and increasing the chief ray angle by 20 percent. In plain English, that means ISOCELL sensors can capture colors that are more accurate, with less noise, even when the light in the scene is less than ideal.
The new sensor’s 1-micron pixels are roughly 10 percent smaller than the previous step (1.12-micron), but the sensor itself is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor. At less than 5 millimeter in thickness, using the sensor could mean that upcoming smartphones can be thinner or feature camera’s that protrude less from the body.
Normally, smaller pixels result in worse images, simply because a small pixel can capture less light from the scene. But Samsung claims that S5K3P3 performs just as well as the previous generation.
On the highly praised Galaxy S6 camera, Samsung used both its own ISOCELL sensor and the MX240 from Sony (the image quality was largely the same though). It’s very likely that the sensor announced today will find its way in the Galaxy Note 5, either in all units or shared with a Sony sensor.
The S5K3P3 is available to manufacturers from today.
Samsung is one of the largest makers of camera sensors, in addition to systems-on-a-chip, RAM and storage modules, and many other semiconductors. However, Sony leads the industry: its Exmor sensors are found in many high-end devices from everyone from Apple to Samsung, to a smattering of Chinese companies, though ironically, Sony’s own devices don’t necessarily use the best Sony sensors on the market.
We will find out if your hunch about the camera sensor in the Galaxy Note 5 is correct on August 13. The Korean giant will hold its Unpacked 2015 event in New York, and we will be there to report on it.
Nokia has just revealed a new camera for filmmakers called OZO that can capture virtual reality videos. But unlike similar devices from GoPro and Samsung unveiled in the past months, it’s not a flattened circle with cameras but a spherical ball-like device with shutters all over it. It has eight shutter sensors in all to capture 360-degree videos and eight integrated microphones. What users might find advantageous is its capability to show them what it’s shooting in real time through a VR headset. It can also churn out a low-resolution version of the footage it shot within just a few minutes if filmmakers want to see it again or to show it to someone else. Videos captured through similar cameras usually have to be stitched together during processing before you can see them, and that takes a lot of time.
Of course, directors can always publish high-res versions later on for VR viewing devices, including HUDs like the Oculus Rift. One studio, Jaunt Inc., has already pledged to use and support the OZO despite having a more traditional VR camera of its own. Nokia hasn’t revealed the device’s full specs and pricing yet, but it’s slated to be shipped out by the fourth quarter of 2015.
Anti-poaching teams can only do so much to protect rhinos. Their immediate presence can deter rogue hunters, but a lot of the slaughter happens before these teams even know that something’s wrong. That’s where non-profit group Protect’s RAPID (Real-Time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device) should come in handy. The system uses a blend of heart rate sensors, GPS tags and cameras drilled into one of the rhinos’ horns (don’t worry, it’s painless) to warn conservationists when a rhino is under threat. If a rhino’s heart starts racing or suddenly goes still, observers get an alert that lets them turn on the camera to see if something’s wrong. Ideally, this will prevent poachers from even firing a shot — they know that they’ll likely be caught within minutes if they chase or kill a tagged animal.
Only prototypes are active right now, but there should be a wider launch by the end of 2016. Protect has grand plans for its technology, as well. It’s hoping to use kinetic and solar power to keep the heart monitor running, and it hopes that versions of RAPID could protect elephants, lions, tigers and whales. Provided all goes well, endangered species wouldn’t need near-constant oversight (or radical steps like removing horns) to survive.
Source: Protect RAPID
We have already had a small sample of what we can expect from the camera in the OnePlus 2, but CEO Peter Lau has uploaded a few more sample shots to the company’s forum, which pits the OnePlus 2 against the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple’s iPhone 6.
The small collection shows a range of 100 percent zoomed close up shots between the Galaxy S6 and Oneplus 2 of random objects. The iPhone comparison aims to show off the OnePlus 2’s capabilities in low light scenarios.
Based on MBKHD’s early hands on with the phone, we know that the camera features a 13 megapixel camera and is capable of a maximum f/2.0 aperture, which comes quite close to the technology inside more expensive flagship smartphones. However, optical image stabilization does not appear to be present.
In the next shots the OnePlus is on the left and the iPhone 6 is on the right.
Overall, the detail and focus in the macro shots looks quite impressive and the colors also seem to avoid any additional tint. The low light shots also look rather good for a smartphone camera, without presenting too much additional noise. Let’s hope the camera performs this well when we get it in our own hands.
Along with these camera samples, OnePlus has also revealed that the smartphone will arrive with a Snadragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, a USB Type-C port and a fingerprint scanner, which will likely give other flagship phones a run for their money. Fortunately, there isn’t too long left to wait until the launch of the OnePlus 2.
What do you think about these early OnePlus 2 camera comparison shots?
GoPro has a new content portal, and, as you’d imagine, it’s filled with extreme footage subscribers can pay to use. The company has followed in the footsteps of Flickr and 500px, launching a licensing program that gives its content creators — especially prolific ones who take high-production videos — the chance to make money off their work. The portal makes it easy not just for creators to sell their stuff, but also for advertisers and other companies to browse for what they need and to secure the proper copyright in one place.
At the moment, you’ll have to apply for access if you want to log into the website. Once you’re in, you’ll find that it allows users to preview videos, download files in different resolutions and formats, as well as look for specific content through the search box. Unfortunately, we didn’t see clues about pricing when we browsed it, but considering the words “premium” and “high-end” were used to describe the portal on its announcement post, we’re guessing it won’t be cheap. We asked a spokesperson about GoPro’s pricing scheme and the percentage a content creator will get per download to be sure, but we were told that the company’s not disclosing those details yet. He claimed, however, that GoPro’s number one “priority is to get money back into the hands of [its] athletes and [its] community.”
Filed under: Cameras
Popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee was lucky enough to get his hands on an early release of the long-awaited OnePlus 2 and he’s taken to what he does best to give the camera on the device an early review before it’s even released.
Only pictures were released that were shot by the camera but they show a 13 Megapixel camera with a f/2.0 lens and are of a decent quality.
There is an automatic mode and also a clear shot, HDR, and beauty mode on the software behind the OnePlus 2 camera and the video mode also shoots in 4K.
The pictures look almost as good as the Galaxy S6 but not quite on par, which is down to the f/2.0 of the OnePlus 2, but certainly proves that the camera on the upcoming device will be up there with the best Android shooters on the market.