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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Galaxy Nexus camera discussion

I simply can't get past the sad fact that this phone only has a 5mp camera. I've read a lot of nonsense commentary about that, saying things like "megapixels don't mean anything anymore". The simple fact of the matter is, while the number of megapixels certainly is not the only significant spec in a camera, it is certainly one of the most important specs if not the most important spec. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and hence the higher the quality the image is, plain and simple.

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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by irishjoeyo View Post
I simply can't get past the sad fact that this phone only has a 5mp camera. I've read a lot of nonsense commentary about that, saying things like "megapixels don't mean anything anymore". The simple fact of the matter is, while the number of megapixels certainly is not the only significant spec in a camera, it is certainly one of the most important specs if not the most important spec. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and hence the higher the quality the image is, plain and simple.
Wow, that is just so wrong.

Let me put it to you this way. Would you rather have a $200 14MP point and shoot, or a $1000 10MP DigitalSLR? There's a reason that one camera costs over 5X as much even though it's less MP.

The single most important aspect of a camera is the lens glass, followed by the sensor size (not megapixel size, but physical size). Google publically stated they selected 5MP for two reasons:
1. Zero shutter lag requires faster processing, so they went with a smaller size to ensure that there wouldn't be any lag.
2. Low light performance is far superior. Since the physical size of the 8MP and 5MP sensor are the same, the larger sensors on the 5MP CCD allow more light to be captured quicker.

I'm not going to go into obsessive detail, but for most pictures, the 5MP sensor should be fine. BTW, the same criticism was levied against the iPhone4 when it came out, and that was widely regarded to have one of the best cell phone cameras around.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by irishjoeyo View Post
I simply can't get past the sad fact that this phone only has a 5mp camera. I've read a lot of nonsense commentary about that, saying things like "megapixels don't mean anything anymore". The simple fact of the matter is, while the number of megapixels certainly is not the only significant spec in a camera, it is certainly one of the most important specs if not the most important spec. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and hence the higher the quality the image is, plain and simple.
Folks like you is the reason why camera manufacturers are pushing higher mega pixels every year way beyond its optimum range for sensor size.

I don't want to write pages to explain that, but say this instead. I have 10MP Panasonic ZS3 and newer 16MP Sony HX7V. They both have 1/2.3" size sensor and similar lens aperture. And guess which one makes better details, quality images? ZS3 runs circle around HX7V.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, that is just so wrong.

Let me put it to you this way. Would you rather have a $200 14MP point and shoot, or a $1000 10MP DigitalSLR? There's a reason that one camera costs over 5X as much even though it's less MP.

The single most important aspect of a camera is the lens glass, followed by the sensor size (not megapixel size, but physical size). Google publically stated they selected 5MP for two reasons:
1. Zero shutter lag requires faster processing, so they went with a smaller size to ensure that there wouldn't be any lag.
2. Low light performance is far superior. Since the physical size of the 8MP and 5MP sensor are the same, the larger sensors on the 5MP CCD allow more light to be captured quicker.

I'm not going to go into obsessive detail, but for most pictures, the 5MP sensor should be fine. BTW, the same criticism was levied against the iPhone4 when it came out, and that was widely regarded to have one of the best cell phone cameras around.
Actually, you're wrong. You're comparing a non-SLR camera to an SLR camera, which is apples to oranges. We're talking phone cameras, here, so make sure you're on the same page before you make egregious mistakes in your criticisms.

Low-light and shutter lag do not affect image resolution and image resolution is the single most important aspect of image quality. While both of those features do matter, they do not affect image resolution, and that is my point.

If low-light capabilities and shutter lag are more important to you than resolution, then that is your choice. I didn't say and I'm not saying that megapixels should be YOUR most important feature.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Folks like you is the reason why camera manufacturers are pushing higher mega pixels every year way beyond its optimum range for sensor size.

I don't want to write pages to explain that, but say this instead. I have 10MP Panasonic ZS3 and newer 16MP Sony HX7V. They both have 1/2.3" size sensor and similar lens aperture. And guess which one makes better details, quality images? ZS3 runs circle around HX7V.
You just made the same mistake the other person did. We're talking phone cameras, here, so this is another unfair comparison.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You just made the same mistake the other person did. We're talking phone cameras, here, so this is another unfair comparison.
Well, I compared the same category P&S cams to show my point. How's that unfair? The same principle applies to phone cameras. You simply don't understand the negative effect of higher pixel density in small sensor and are hung up on "higher mega pixel = better image quality" hype.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, I compared the same category P&S cams to show my point. How's that unfair? The same principle applies to phone cameras. You simply don't understand the negative effect of higher pixel density in small sensor and are hung up on "higher mega pixel = better image quality" hype.
Hype? LOL. It's a fact, not an opinion. And contrary to your assumption, I do understand the the MP vs. sensor size issue. But simply because 5MP maxes out the sensor on the GNex's camera doesn't mean that 8MP on an appropriate-sized sensor wouldn't take better pictures in a well-lit area - it is likely that it would. Do you think that, in a well-lit environment, the GNex's camera would still take a better picture than the 8MP camera on my HTC Incredible?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hype? LOL. It's a fact, not an opinion. And contrary to your assumption, I do understand the the MP vs. sensor size issue. But simply because 5MP maxes out the sensor on the GNex's camera doesn't mean that 8MP on an appropriate-sized sensor wouldn't take better pictures in a well-lit area - it is likely that it would. Do you think that, in a well-lit environment, the GNex's camera would still take a better picture than the 8MP camera on my HTC Incredible?
Well, if you understand that, what makes you think 8MP sensor will take better low light pictures than 5MP sensor? Assuming lens spec is similar (this is big assumption), 5MP sensor will take better picture because signal to noise ratio is better due to large pixel receiving more light.

I can't answer Dinc vs Gnex question because there are other factors involved like lens, firmware. But if Gnex had 8MP sensor with everything else being the same, 8MP will definitely do worse in low light.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, if you understand that, what makes you think 8MP sensor will take better low light pictures than 5MP sensor? Assuming lens spec is similar (this is big assumption), 5MP sensor will take better picture because signal to noise ratio is better due to large pixel receiving more light.

I can't answer Dinc vs Gnex question because there are other factors involved like lens, firmware. But if Gnex had 8MP sensor with everything else being the same, 8MP will definitely do worse in low light.
My question was regarding taking a picture in a well-lit environment. I don't dispute the fact that the GNex's camera would likely take a better picture in low-light. However, that is another matter. How well-illuminated the image appears to be is different than the resolution of the picture. My point is that resolution, at least for me and also for most people I've talked to, is the most important feature with respect to image quality.

If all you did was exchange the sensor in the GNex's camera for a different sensor that was appropriately sized for 8MP, and you left everything else about the camera the same, then it would take better pictures - at all light levels - than it currently does. Is that not true?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Anyway, I can't spend any more time on here at the moment. At the end of the day, the importance of all phones and all features on all phones is subjective. If you prefer the GNex, go for it. I don't, and the camera is one reason (the sheer size of it is another). But hey, that's me. I'm not telling anyone what their preferences are or should be. The GNex is a fantastic device; it's just not the one or close enough to the one I'm waiting for.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by irishjoeyo View Post
My question was regarding taking a picture in a well-lit environment. I don't dispute the fact that the GNex's camera would likely take a better picture in low-light. However, that is another matter. How well-illuminated the image appears to be is different than the resolution of the picture. My point is that resolution, at least for me and also for most people I've talked to, is the most important feature with respect to image quality.

If all you did was exchange the sensor in the GNex's camera for a different sensor that was appropriately sized for 8MP, and you left everything else about the camera the same, then it would take better pictures - at all light levels - than it currently does. Is that not true?
As I don't want to take this thread too much into camera discussion, I answered your question in PM. Bottom line is 5MP is non-issue at all light levels.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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snip
Not to call you out but you really don't have even an elementary understanding of digital camera technology. You should really do some research instead of clinging to these half baked tidbits of understanding you have and using it to argue.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 02:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Actually, you're wrong. You're comparing a non-SLR camera to an SLR camera, which is apples to oranges. We're talking phone cameras, here, so make sure you're on the same page before you make egregious mistakes in your criticisms.

Low-light and shutter lag do not affect image resolution and image resolution is the single most important aspect of image quality. While both of those features do matter, they do not affect image resolution, and that is my point.

If low-light capabilities and shutter lag are more important to you than resolution, then that is your choice. I didn't say and I'm not saying that megapixels should be YOUR most important feature.
Even in the point and shoot world, there are good cameras with XMP resolution, and there are bad cameras with the same resolution. Just because you didn't like the comparison didn't mean it wasn't still valid.

Resolution isn't everything when the data collected by all those extra pixels might be garbage. And I see you entirely ignored the comment about the iPhone4's 5MP camera.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If all you did was exchange the sensor in the GNex's camera for a different sensor that was appropriately sized for 8MP, and you left everything else about the camera the same, then it would take better pictures - at all light levels - than it currently does. Is that not true?
Nope, not remotely. Unless by "better" you mean "viewable larger". All the image resolution dictates is the size of that image at a given dpi. Of far more importance is how well a sensor resolves the detail it receives through the lens, and that's not dependent on number of photo sites (the 'pixels' on a digital sensor) but more on the quality of the sensor. In fact, too many sites packed closely together can actually be detrimental to IQ as you start to run into diffraction and other issues such as chromatic aberration (fringing).
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've posted this in several places, but has anyone figured out how to shoot a pix in 16:9?

Forget the megapixels, it's almost impossible for me to believe that Samsung didn't provide a 16:9 option for shooting. Virtually every other cam phone I've used has had it.

Anyone?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by irishjoeyo View Post
Anyway, I can't spend any more time on here at the moment. At the end of the day, the importance of all phones and all features on all phones is subjective. If you prefer the GNex, go for it. I don't, and the camera is one reason (the sheer size of it is another). But hey, that's me. I'm not telling anyone what their preferences are or should be. The GNex is a fantastic device; it's just not the one or close enough to the one I'm waiting for.
Ah, I see. So you are disappointed that the phone wasn't what you wanted so you start a thread to bash it to feel better. It all becomes clear now.

What was the point of this thread again?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've posted this in several places, but has anyone figured out how to shoot a pix in 16:9?

Forget the megapixels, it's almost impossible for me to believe that Samsung didn't provide a 16:9 option for shooting. Virtually every other cam phone I've used has had it.

Anyone?
It's not present in the stock camera (that is something that Blur and Touchwiz and Sense have been adding I think), but there should be a 3rd party app that will do it (I just haven't found it yet). Some of the OEM UI's would take the normal image and crop it without showing you the original, maybe a cropping app that would let you fix the aspect ratio?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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All of my other phone 8MP cameras, I have always turned down to 5MP.

This camera is simply amazing!
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Here's my two cents worth....you all are right. So let's look at it simply like this...

If you simply want to capture moments on the fly, take photos to put on your PC as wallpapers, to share with family and friends, maybe print some 4x6's....then both a 5MP and 8MP camera on a phone should suffice for all users.

If you want more quality pics for the same reason above, and maybe larger print sizes...then do yourself justice and use a point-and-shoot camera.

If you want professional quality prints for various print sizes and posters, etc....then buy a DSLR or hire a professional photographer.

Don't expect your phone to be able to match the quality of either a DSLR or even a point-and-shoot camera.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Regardless of the form factor (DSLR, P&S, Cell phone camera) the ONLY thing a higher megapixel count allows you to do is have a larger file, and in turn allow you to make a larger print or make a larger crop. Megapixel has absolutely NOTHING to do with image quality whatsoever.

5 years ago I was shooting events and products professionally with a 6.3MP DSLR (Digital Rebel) and if it was clear enough photo I could print a 20x30 with no image degradation. A little larger and there would be slight issues with the print if you get up close and shine a flashlight at the proper angle. I then upgraded to a 8.2 (30D) and it virtually made no difference. Same glass, same sensor size - same images. A later I upgraded to a 12.8 MP (5D) which let me print more 20x30s and even a little larger.

At the same time I spent more than I should have on a few L series lenses (which ultimately have paid for themselves) and they made the biggest difference in final image quality.

Manufacturers like to tout pixel count like it matters because it is easily quantifiable. They can say their camera is better than the other because the number is higher, but ultimately it's bunk. Seems like almost every market does it. Horsepower/fuel economy/energy savings/download speeds - we like numbers. Unfortunately the number for cameras doesn't matter.

I'm not saying the GNex camera is better for being lower, simply that it isn't worse for being lower. Image quality is a reflection of many independent factors, but ultimately megapixel count is not one of them.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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It's not present in the stock camera (that is something that Blur and Touchwiz and Sense have been adding I think), but there should be a 3rd party app that will do it (I just haven't found it yet). Some of the OEM UI's would take the normal image and crop it without showing you the original, maybe a cropping app that would let you fix the aspect ratio?
There's a 3rd party camera app available in the market today for .10 cents! Go grab it!
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Old December 15th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Just to throw a little more water on this smoldering campfire, here are a bunch of links from respectable sources making the case against the megapixel myth.

Summarized in a sentence: These high megapixel sensors are less sensitive than less accurate than their lower-density counterparts, and are attempting to resolve resolutions that the small, cheap lenses are not capable of focusing.

Read on, if you're interested:
Why we've reached the end of the camera megapixel race
More megapixels, better photos: Fact or fiction? - CNET News
The Truth About Digital Cameras - NYTimes.com
Digital Camera Resource Page: Frequently Asked Questions
More Megapixels Does Not Mean More Quality
Giz Explains: Why More Megapixels Isn't Always More Better

For the best "man on the street" perspective, read the NYTimes link (#3). But they're all relevant to this subject matter.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjoeyo View Post
I simply can't get past the sad fact that this phone only has a 5mp camera. I've read a lot of nonsense commentary about that, saying things like "megapixels don't mean anything anymore". The simple fact of the matter is, while the number of megapixels certainly is not the only significant spec in a camera, it is certainly one of the most important specs if not the most important spec. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and hence the higher the quality the image is, plain and simple.
Sorry but you are wrong, 5MP is film quality, anything over is essentially overkill and only useful for blowing up the pictures. The lens/sensor is more important after you hit the 5MP mark, my friends iPhone 4 takes better pictures than the SGSII. From what I can tell so far the Galaxy Nexus image quality rivals the iPhone, you lost some megapixels for the ability to take pictures as fast as you can tap the screen and you can take pictures while recording videos. I love the camera.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Let's not forget that the fast shot-to-shot speeds may be falsely giving some owners the impression they don't need to hold the camera still to focus. Can't tell you how many videos I've watched now where they're swing the camera wildly while pressing the shutter release button, resulting in blurry photos.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi. Agree with MP as only one part of the equation. So let's say it doesn't matter.

Went to VZW today, picked up both the Rezound and the Nexus for some "as is" photos without any setting modifications. Was after dark in a nice softly lit store.

First picture is Rezound (8MP), second is GNex (5MP). If MP doesn't matter, something else certainly does.

http://mattsverizonpictures.shutterfly.com/pictures#n_5

Wasn't daylight, could argue would work differently at other times, but I am moving into photography with a new DSLR, so I was careful with the phones as I used them. Interested to see anyone else's comparison photos. I'd have taken the picture from the same spot, but they're all attached to the dang wall!

I suppose you could say the Rez is the better low light camera, no flash BTW, and maybe different outside?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by brickberry View Post
Hi. Agree with MP as only one part of the equation. So let's say it doesn't matter.

Went to VZW today, picked up both the Rezound and the Nexus for some "as is" photos without any setting modifications. Was after dark in a nice softly lit store.

First picture is Rezound (8MP), second is GNex (5MP). If MP doesn't matter, something else certainly does.

http://mattsverizonpictures.shutterfly.com/pictures#n_5

Wasn't daylight, could argue would work differently at other times, but I am moving into photography with a new DSLR, so I was careful with the phones as I used them. Interested to see anyone else's comparison photos. I'd have taken the picture from the same spot, but they're all attached to the dang wall!

I suppose you could say the Rez is the better low light camera, no flash BTW, and maybe different outside?
The problem here was exposure. Not sure why, but your Nexus shot was wildly overexposed. It wouldn't necessarily consider that a bad thing as over exposing without motion blur in a dim environment is actually tough to do unless you have a VERY good light gathering sensor.z

The Nexus shot probably lacks detail more because it picked some really highISO to get the over exposure more than due to it's 5mp of pixels.

I just did a test with the wife between her 8mp Charge and my 5mp Nexus. The nexus shots were much better.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jasaero View Post
The problem here was exposure. Not sure why, but your Nexus shot was wildly overexposed. It wouldn't necessarily consider that a bad thing as over exposing without motion blur in a dim environment is actually tough to do unless you have a VERY good light gathering sensor.z

The Nexus shot probably lacks detail more because it picked some really highISO to get the over exposure more than due to it's 5mp of pixels.

I just did a test with the wife between her 8mp Charge and my 5mp Nexus. The nexus shots were much better.
those pictures were taken to help me decide and i still havent. overexposed for sure, but by samsung, not me. would love to take them both out fior a photo shoot but i hate handcuffs!
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Old December 15th, 2011, 09:25 PM   #28 (permalink)
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those pictures were taken to help me decide and i still havent. overexposed for sure, but by samsung, not me. would love to take them both out fior a photo shoot but i hate handcuffs!
You're in two distinctly different locations, with different lighting conditions. It's an unfair comparison. Hardware can only make up for user error so much.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #29 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=irishjoeyo;3656309]Actually, you're wrong. You're comparing a non-SLR camera to an SLR camera, which is apples to oranges.

No irishjoeyo, you are dead wrong about megapixels being the biggest factor in image quality. You're also wrong in your comparison of SLR and non-SLR cameras.

The only thing that technically distinguishes a SLR camera from a non-SLR is the mirror element. In a traditional point and shoot camera as well as a phone camera, light is directed to the sensor constantly. In a SLR camera, light is normally directed to the viewfinder and for a moment, the sensor during exposure. This is why they are called Single lens reflex - they have one motion/reflex to switch between guiding light to the view finder or sensor.

Should you sought the truth, the most important parts of a camera that determine the quality of your pictures would be the sensor size, quality and optics.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 10:01 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Crayon View Post
You're in two distinctly different locations, with different lighting conditions. It's an unfair comparison. Hardware can only make up for user error so much.
And that's fine. If being equally careful with two phones isn't good enough and causes "user error", I'll be happy with the one that works better for me.

Seems like a nice phone though. Didn't mead to hurt anyone's feelings.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Wow, that is just so wrong.

Let me put it to you this way. Would you rather have a $200 14MP point and shoot, or a $1000 10MP DigitalSLR? There's a reason that one camera costs over 5X as much even though it's less MP.

The single most important aspect of a camera is the lens glass, followed by the sensor size (not megapixel size, but physical size). Google publically stated they selected 5MP for two reasons:
1. Zero shutter lag requires faster processing, so they went with a smaller size to ensure that there wouldn't be any lag.
2. Low light performance is far superior. Since the physical size of the 8MP and 5MP sensor are the same, the larger sensors on the 5MP CCD allow more light to be captured quicker.

I'm not going to go into obsessive detail, but for most pictures, the 5MP sensor should be fine. BTW, the same criticism was levied against the iPhone4 when it came out, and that was widely regarded to have one of the best cell phone cameras around.
Actually the sensor is the most important factor in any camera. Go read up on Gizmodo/Engadget regarding this. 5MP is more than enough for a camera on a smartphone. If you really want "12MP" get a regular camera, these devices are never meant to be that high rez.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 10:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
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And that's fine. If being equally careful with two phones isn't good enough and causes "user error", I'll be happy with the one that works better for me.

Seems like a nice phone though. Didn't mead to hurt anyone's feelings.
It's not fine. Anecdotal "proof" isn't fine, nor has it ever been fine. The camera is good for the purpose of a camera phone, and that's all it needs to be. I understand the iPhone changed that, and people want that with Android-but there's still not a comparable Android phone that can push out iPhone 4S level shots-but still, i'd rather trade capturing the moment (speed with the Nexus) than never capturing it at all (iPhone 4S or any other Android phone).
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Old December 15th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I have seen all these videos of the nexus camera having the ability to make peoples eyes look super big, or even the mouth. Anybody know where to find the option for doing this? I've looked everywhere.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I have seen all these videos of the nexus camera having the ability to make peoples eyes look super big, or even the mouth. Anybody know where to find the option for doing this? I've looked everywhere.
Don't have the phone and haven't played with all the camera features. However, if you don't see anything...you may want to quickly go grab Camera Zoom FX in the market. It's one of the .10 cent apps on the LAST day. May be worth it regardless, and I do see those features you are asking about in the app.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Don't have the phone and haven't played with all the camera features. However, if you don't see anything...you may want to quickly go grab Camera Zoom FX in the market. It's one of the .10 cent apps on the LAST day. May be worth it regardless, and I do see those features you are asking about in the app.
Thanks, I found it. The options are only available if you are video recording.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PetiePal View Post
Actually the sensor is the most important factor in any camera. Go read up on Gizmodo/Engadget regarding this. 5MP is more than enough for a camera on a smartphone. If you really want "12MP" get a regular camera, these devices are never meant to be that high rez.
The key to understanding this matter is the pixel density on sensor, number of pixels per unit area (/mm^2 or /inches). Lower the pixel density, it's better because each pixel size is bigger and can receive more light. DSLRs have much larger sensor than P&S cams and phones. So it has lower pixel density compared to P&S with same MP, leading to low noise clean images. On top of that, it has high quality large aperture lens that can let plenty enough light to sensor at fast shutter speed.

The limiting factor in phone camera is small sensor size like 1/7~1/8". Cramming 8MP into that size sensor is probably equivalent to 20MP or more in P&S camera sensor. No one in right mind in photography would want that. Of course 1MP or lower pixels will result in poor sharpness, low resolution. But bumping it way above sweet spot in pixel density will gain nothing in image quality and actually would hurt it.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:56 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Hi. Agree with MP as only one part of the equation. So let's say it doesn't matter.

Went to VZW today, picked up both the Rezound and the Nexus for some "as is" photos without any setting modifications. Was after dark in a nice softly lit store.

First picture is Rezound (8MP), second is GNex (5MP). If MP doesn't matter, something else certainly does.

http://mattsverizonpictures.shutterfly.com/pictures#n_5

Wasn't daylight, could argue would work differently at other times, but I am moving into photography with a new DSLR, so I was careful with the phones as I used them. Interested to see anyone else's comparison photos. I'd have taken the picture from the same spot, but they're all attached to the dang wall!

I suppose you could say the Rez is the better low light camera, no flash BTW, and maybe different outside?
Are those the only two photos you took? I'd play around with that Nexus. I suspect it's set for center-weighted exposure and adjusted for the black display stand smack in the center of your photo. That's not to dismiss the camera -- for Point & Shoot functionality in a camera like this, it should be using an area exposure which would have noticed the blown highlights everywhere else in the shot, and adjusted accordingly. This can be corrected in software, thankfully, but as a user a center weighted exposure means you need to lock on an area of "average" lighting, which, unfortunately, does not play well with an autofocus setup (unless it's fixed focus?). I dunno, just throwing that out there -- pretty hard to say anything definitive based on just one shot in that particular environment.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Are those the only two photos you took? I'd play around with that Nexus. I suspect it's set for center-weighted exposure and adjusted for the black display stand smack in the center of your photo. That's not to dismiss the camera -- for Point & Shoot functionality in a camera like this, it should be using an area exposure which would have noticed the blown highlights everywhere else in the shot, and adjusted accordingly. This can be corrected in software, thankfully, but as user a center weighted exposure means you need to lock on an area of "average" lighting, which, unfortunately, does not play well with an autofocus setup (unless it's fixed focus?). I dunno, just throwing that out there -- pretty hard to say anything definitive based on just one shot in that particular environment.
Agreed. Would be nice to be able to do a comparison for those that DO value the camera in their smartphones, possibly in the same way that dpreview does for other cameras, with some objectivity. Unfortunately I couldn't, and I was only just beginning to look into it. You are right, I should take more pictures with both and see, but I guess it will still end up attached to a wall, dang it.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #39 (permalink)
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MP aside, since the the thread title is "nexus camera discussion," can anyone comment on the nexus camera in general and in comparison to iphone4, sgsII, rezound, razr, etc? It seems like in many of the reviews I've read, the nexus camera comes out the loser more often than not. Colors look washed out in many sample pics. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the sensor though, as perhaps the software. But at the end of the day, when I want to take "good" pictures I use my dSLR and when I want to capture a moment and have no other camera with me, then my phone will do. I think the Rezound takes fantastic photos for a camera on a phone.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 10:01 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Agreed. Would be nice to be able to do a comparison for those that DO value the camera in their smartphones, possibly in the same way that dpreview does for other cameras, with some objectivity. Unfortunately I couldn't, and I was only just beginning to look into it. You are right, I should take more pictures with both and see, but I guess it will still end up attached to a wall, dang it.
This is highly subjective, but I do have a friend who is just getting into dSLR finally, but has become obsessed with camera quality on smartphones since his son was born, because he's always snapping photos of him (he's 5 now). He cares very much about the quality of the camera on the phone and that is actually like his main requirement in a phone, that it be one of the best at snapping photos.

Anyway, he's a bit of a phone whore and has been through quite a few between him and his wife. Most recently, he's had the incredible and a test drive of the iphone 4s. He liked the camera on the iphone, but disliked pretty much everything else. I was letting him play with my Rezound and showing him sample photos and he immediately fell in love. 3 days later, he had the rezound and feels that it takes very good pics, comparable to the iphone 4s in general, and better in low light. Now the Nexus is out and we are both looking at sample pics and are disappointed. The difference is, he won't get the nexus because of the camera, whereas the camera is less important to me, so I'm still on the fence.

i agree some more technical reviews would be nice, but there's an anectodal "my friend said" example for you.

For what its worth, the photos on the Nexus seem inferior to the sgsII, iphone and rezound and in some instances even the razr from the samples i've seen. I'm just not impressed, but it's not a dealbreaker for me.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Good post.

I definitely understand that a camera may or may not be important to the user. I remember the days of the Palm phones when they combined the Palm Pilot with a telephone. I remember thinking "now what the heck do you need all that for all the time". Things change!

Now we can access calendars, email, videos, music, pictures, play games, all on a computer/phone that as my dad says has infinitely more computing power than the entire university he attended had in the late 1960's.

I used to think I didn't care much about a camera in my phone- just snapshots of stuff, but now that they can be good pictures, why not? So to me it matters. The only thing I might not love about the rezound is the fat profile, not a big deal, and the buttons which are going to be redundant soon with ICS, unless they get written into sense for 4.0. Even then, the disappearing buttons on the GNex are a way cool idea. Progress.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I take pictures with my phone for selling items on eBay and one thing I was worried about going from my Inc to the GNex was the camera difference. Some of the items I sell, such as baseball and football cards, I need EXTREMELY detailed pictures because the buyers want to make sure on a $350 rookie football card that there is not a blemish on the card and they want to be able to read the writing on it and make sure everything is legit. My plan was to hold on to the Inc until I can get a good dSLR (which is hopefully happening this spring). After taking a round of trial pics with my Nexus, I just put my Inc up for sale because I don't need it anymore.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #43 (permalink)
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This is highly subjective, but I do have a friend who is just getting into dSLR finally, but has become obsessed with camera quality on smartphones since his son was born, because he's always snapping photos of him (he's 5 now). He cares very much about the quality of the camera on the phone and that is actually like his main requirement in a phone, that it be one of the best at snapping photos.

Anyway, he's a bit of a phone whore and has been through quite a few between him and his wife. Most recently, he's had the incredible and a test drive of the iphone 4s. He liked the camera on the iphone, but disliked pretty much everything else. I was letting him play with my Rezound and showing him sample photos and he immediately fell in love. 3 days later, he had the rezound and feels that it takes very good pics, comparable to the iphone 4s in general, and better in low light. Now the Nexus is out and we are both looking at sample pics and are disappointed. The difference is, he won't get the nexus because of the camera, whereas the camera is less important to me, so I'm still on the fence.

i agree some more technical reviews would be nice, but there's an anectodal "my friend said" example for you.

For what its worth, the photos on the Nexus seem inferior to the sgsII, iphone and rezound and in some instances even the razr from the samples i've seen. I'm just not impressed, but it's not a dealbreaker for me.
I haven't taken TOO many pics with mine, but I think the sensor is probably a lot better than early sample shots might suggest. I say this because I think it's capturing better low light photos than about any phone camera I have messed with. Now the issue is that it seems to have some odd issue with it's full auto control and any bright back lighting in a scene. There are a few scene setting and manual White Balance and such that might help with this until there is some sorta update, but I haven't tried them too much so much as I have found any sorta backlighting, even if peripheral back lighting exists to the side of the scene you are shooting it seems to send a glare across the sensor and wash out the picture.

I'm not really thinking it's the lens or sensor though so much as it's trying to get too much exposure in the presence of back lighting rather than relying on it's LED flash(this one is better than most) which tend to be a bit weak. If nothing else I think just putting exposure control on -1 when you are worried about back lighting will help. It tends to bias torwards overexposure really so just keeping exposure control on -1 might work in general unless you are pretty sure from the preview it's getting it right. Not sure why the colors get messed up if the exposure is a little long, but that does seem to be part of what is going on. I also wouldn't be surprised if the other aspect is that it's jacking up ISO too hap hazardly to get maximum light at the expense of color vibrancy.

Basically though I am pretty sure some updates to the software will make this an equal to the SGSII and iPhone 4S pretty easy. You have to understand this is a bone stock Google camera implementation without all the effort to get things perfect that I am sure goes into the proprietary camera software and JPG rendering routines on those phones. It really does seem that the full auto nature of things isn't making the best choices A LOT more than an issue with the sensor. Full dark flash photography on this thing I think will beat any camera phone out there from what I have seen. Not sure if the flash is better or if it just gathers light that much better or some combo, but it will pick up thing MUCH deeper into the shadows than I have seen from other camera phones.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Really great article on Engadget today:

Engadget Primed: Why your camera's sensor size matters -- Engadget
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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I simply can't get past the sad fact that this phone only has a 5mp camera. I've read a lot of nonsense commentary about that, saying things like "megapixels don't mean anything anymore". The simple fact of the matter is, while the number of megapixels certainly is not the only significant spec in a camera, it is certainly one of the most important specs if not the most important spec. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and hence the higher the quality the image is, plain and simple.
You sir could not be any more wrong. Megapixels do mean something, but to be honest, anything over 5MP is overkill. In fact, the more megapixels you put on the same size image sensor, the worse the quality gets. You start picking up more noise. Megapixels are a marketing gimik and nothing more. Any money spent by a developer/manufacturer to put anything larger than a 5MP sensor in a phone is simply money wasted. That money should be spent on enhancing the optics that are in the camera. A 5MP camera can EASILY produce a QUALITY 24" x 24" print. Now tell me, do you actually plan on taking a picture with your phone and blowing it up to art gallery sized proportions? No. I'd be willing to bet that 95% of the pictures taken with phones never see anything beyond a 1024x1024 resolution image uploaded to Facebook...if that much. That is 1MP. To be honest, anything over 2MP in a phone is overkill, but 5MP is pretty standard for point and shoot now, so that's why they're 5MP. Anything beyond that is simply money wasted.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Seems we had enough discussion to understand why higher MP doesn't matter much in phone camera. It's lens and software. I like to see some actual pictures taken by owners of shiny new Gnex.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Also, this guy did a good job showing the camera can be as good or better than something like the iPhone 4S depending on the situation. As he is saying, better than you may have heard. It's probably not QUITE as sharp as the 4S, but I think it's more due to the lens being used than the mp's at work. Doubt any of us have 5mp monitors to view these on. And I think it has better dynamic range than most shooters.

Galaxy Nexus camera: better than you may have heard (gallery) | ZDNet
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Old December 16th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Does anyone actually try to print small poster-sized copy from camera phone? I'm just happy that I can whip out phone to take clear enough picture at the time of car accident ASAP. 5MP or 8MP really doesn't make a difference in camera phone when just about everything uses 1/2.3" or smaller sensors.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SamXp View Post
Yep and that article doesn't even include the 1/3.2" or 1/4" that most Phones use. I have been saying for AWHILE more top teir Smartphones need to worry less about ultimate thickness and put in a 1/2.3" or larger camera sensor. My guess is that you could fit a 1/1.8" sensor in a phone and still have it reasonably thin if you were crafty about the design. It might end up a full half inch thick, but that would be fine with me if I had an extreme grade sensor.

I really feel though that 5-8mp will be the real limit on 1/3.2" phone sensors and they should be able to create plenty fine pix if they optimize these sensors at that MP and refine the lenses and such. Really would like a slightly thicker phone with a bigger 1/2.3" or 1/1.8" sensor and maybe 8-10mp with really great low light abilities though.


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Does anyone actually try to print small poster-sized copy from camera phone? I'm just happy that I can whip out phone to take clear enough picture at the time of car accident ASAP. 5MP or 8MP really doesn't make a difference in camera phone when just about everything uses 1/2.3" or smaller sensors.
Yep, and 1/2.3" is RARE in a phone, but they do exist, just not in any top end broadly marketed phones.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #50 (permalink)
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just tried out panorama. Pretty neat.
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