Video camera is shockingly horrible!! Is my phone broken?General

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  1. I recently used my phone as a dash camera when I took my car to the race track for some fun driving. The videos it produced are horrid, far worse than anything I would expect from even the first iPhone.

    The only way I can think to let you see the video is to check it out on youtube where I uploaded it.
    Thunderhill 11-18-12 CCW Bypass Intermediate First Run - YouTube
    Thunderhill 11-18-12 Bypass CCW Intermediate Group 2nd Run - YouTube

    after watching for 10 seconds you will see how bad the video is. This is actually after I used Virtualdub Deshaker to stabalize the video. So the original is actually worse.

    p.s. my car suspension is stock so its not a bumpy ride, track is smooth so not a bumpy road. Using a Ram mount which seems to be the top of the line, most sturdy mount you can buy (mounted phone to my windshield). video resolution on Torque app was "High", whatever that means. when i recorded with the factory camera it was set for 1080p and video stabalization was turned on.

    please comment, is my phone broken? or is the video camera really this bad?

  2. OutOfPhase

    OutOfPhase Premium Member

    welcome to the forums dr_dr_dr_droid. I don't use the video camera much but I am sure some one will be able to help you out.
  3. stridermt2k

    stridermt2k Well-Known Member

    How can shaky video be the phones fault?
  4. desmofan

    desmofan Well-Known Member

    Those vids look a hell of a lot better than anything I've ever been able to get from my Bionic. The bottom line is that the camera on the Bionic is crap.
  5. wildkitten

    wildkitten Well-Known Member

    I honestly don't see the issue. Unless you are using some sort of stabilizing mount, I don't see how you can expect to have a camera of any quality on a dashboard of a car and not expect some amount of shakiness regardless of how smooth the road is. and that type of mount would be much more expensive than the phone itself. Every car has some level of vibration that is going to go throughout the car.

    I thought the video looked very good for what it is.
  6. Since it isn't completely OBVIOUS, if the video is shaking when I am stopped and the car is in park, then thats a problem with the phone. When a phone is completely and inarguably stable, then the video should come as such.

    This leads me to think maybe the camera is having focusing issues when used in this way. The Torque app does not allow many settings for the Camera so I can't change things like focus, stabalization, etc.

  7. Thanks for the reply. Too bad. But this at least leads me to believe my camera isn't broken. It's suffered a couple falls.
  8. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    How is it mounted on the car?

    Are you shooting through the windshield?

    Did you try Camera Zoom FX?

    ... Thom
  9. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    Just to clear my confusion, did you make these videos using the stock camera app, or this Torque app that you mention? If it is the latter, is it possible that the problem is with the Torque app rather than the camera? Or was the video captured with the stock camera app? If not, is it worth trying using the stock app?

    (Sorry, that's a lot of questions, isn't it?)

    I do know that the Bionic's camera isn't the best of the bunch. It takes nice still photos in good light. I never tried a video myself, though.

  10. I interpret your answer as saying "this is the best I can expect from a cell phone camera". Correct me if i am wrong.

    Much higher tier cameras (GoPro) provide amazingly clear video when mounted to cars with much more rigid suspensions than mine. and in much more "shaky" situations. It was intended for that though. May I give you an example of a friends car with a much more rigid suspension using a GoPro mounted to the dash.

    No I'm not using a stabalizing mount, just a very sturdy mount. It's a Ram Mounts. They are like $20-$30 so not super fancy. Just not those crappy cheap ones.

    The video is definitely horrible, but if you think it looks good then I assume you are saying this because it is just a cell phone.

    Your comments are much appreciated, thank you.

  11. Yes. The mount is actually connected to the windshield. I was misleading when I said dashmount. but yes, through the windshield.

    Have not tried that app. I was hoping to use the Torque app because I am able to get car data (the gauges in my videos)

    Here is the video that inspired me to get the app.
    C63 Track Racing in Taeback Racing Park - YouTube
    He doesn't say what phone he is using but it is about a billion times better than my video. But this is very similar conditions to the way i was using the phone. This is what leads me to blame the bionic camera. I think all other variables are the same in between this video and mine. In fact, the car in the video i just posted has a WAY more rigid suspension than my car to the ride is definitely more bumpy.

    EDIT: This video im posting is not the one that inspired me to get the app, but i can't find that one either. that is irrelevant though because it still shows this app working well on another phone.
  12. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    I'd say the issue with that app is that it's collecting a lot of data at the time that it's trying to record the video. I know that this will not help you, but you may want to try the stock camera app, see if the video is still unacceptable; if not, then it's something in the Torque app, and that may lead to an email to the developer to see if there is a way to get it better.

    In other words, rule out the camera (one way or the other) when it's running at its best.
  13. Thanks for your interest. not too many questions at all. The videos in my OP are with the Torque app. But, i also did a session with the factory app which i have yet to upload to youtube. This video however was just as bad as the Torque app. Please see my previous post where i show this app being used in another car. This should clear any doubt that the app is the issue.

    There is something I should mention to be clear. The only camera settings the Torque app allows is resolution:
    -High (the videos I have in the OP are this resolution)
    -1080p (does not let me select this, tells me i need a faster SD card)

    I thought perhaps i was just using the wrong setting. I just did an experiment driving in each mode. Medium thru 720p were just as horrible as the videos I put in the OP. Low was much, much more clear. However, still not nearly as clear as the example video I posted above (C63 car using this app).

    I'm starting to lost confidence in the camera on this phone. But im still open to all ideas.
    Thank you,
  14. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    One more idea: Torque has their own forums.

    Forums — Torque

    Perhaps somebody there with a Bionic will have some tips?
    dr_dr_dr_droid likes this.
  15. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    I don't use video much. For this I tried some handheld video using the Camera app and the Camera Zoom FX app.

    The difference was significant.

    Trying Camera Zoom FX might provide you with some additional information when discussing the issue in the Torque forum.

    (The Bionic camera is "OK for a phone camera". The Bionic Camera app is pretty bad.)

    ... Thom
    dr_dr_dr_droid likes this.

  16. Thanks for your thoughts. Like I've mentioned I did do a recording with the stock/factory camera app and it came out as bad. if you are interested in seeing that video I can make an effort to upload it to youtube. perhaps we can compare them.

    aaahhhhhaaaaa, but. maybe the phone was still synced with the device plugged into my car. i didn't un-sync the device when using the factory app so my phone may have still been recieving data.

    I'll use the factory app tonight, turn bluetooth off so my phone isn't synced in any way to the device i plugged into my car, and is not recieving any data. That way i can see the true performance of the camera.

    but just to also mention, that video i posted to compare (C63) shows the app working perfectly. so either the Bionic camera, or the Bionic in general seem to be the problem.

    thank you for your comments.
  17. wildkitten

    wildkitten Well-Known Member

    It seems as if you are expecting professional results from what is intended to be basically a point and shoot camera.

    And yes, I am saying it because it is a cell phone camera. It simply isn't designed to compete with even mid range camcorders or cameras. It's a very small lens as well. Even the cheapest GoPro camera is more expensive than the cell phone, and all it is is a camera, which is fine, because that is it's intended purpose. The cell phone's main purpose is to be, well, a device to talk to other people and as a pocket computer that just so happen that it can take acceptable snapshots and video for casual moments.

    The fact that you are comparing your cell phone camera to a GoPro kind of indicates to me you are expecting way to much from a cell phone camera. Those cameras are designed for somewhat professional use, have much larger lenses and have image stabilzation built in. Very few cell phones are going to have image stabilzation built in, so unless your engine was off when you were stopped and the car was in park, you are going to have vibration that transfers through the car body and into the windshield.

    I also saw the video that you said was what inspired you. You said you don't know what kind of phone he used, but for one thing, it was no where near your ridiculously exagerrated "billion" times. Yes, it was less shaky, but there was still some shake to it. Also, nothing on that page says what he used to take it, so no way to know if it was even a cell phone used to take the video. Also, there is no mention of the mount the person used.

    And I looked up the Ram mounts. You didn't mention what model, but I found none in a $20-$30 price range that has any stabilization to counter movement in what it's mounted to.
  18. I'll try the Torque forums. thanks the helpful responses.
  19. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    Since we're guessing ... here's mine ...

    1. The "bouncing" is caused by it (camera and app) adjusting to a rapidly changing scene. The scene is changing faster than the focus and/or contract can be readjusted and the readjustment is restarted.

    2. The camera (no its not from Hasselblad) doesn't like shooting through the window and is constantly compensating.

    3. The app being used is as bad as the Camera app. (The best app I've found was noted earlier.)

    ... Thom
  20. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    You are correct. I was wrong to mention a GoPro, they are designed specifically for rugged use. Point goes to you on that one.

    I disagree with your comparison to the C63 video. It is somewhere between a million and a trillion times better. Not only is my video shaky, it seems to be wavy and heavily distorted. almost like its aliasing or something. you bring up a good point about him using a phone. i can check to see if that app is exclusively for phones. i think it would be ridiculous to mount a tablet on your dash but who knows. in fact i can ask the video uploader and see if he responds.

    EDIT: Please also notice that I mentioned my youtube videos have been touched up with Virtualdub Deshaker (free video stablization software), plus as we all know when you upload to youtube it also can do video stabalization (i agreed to this). so the original video file from the app is actually much worse than what was uploaded to youtube.

    I believe this is the mount pieces I have, maybe i paid like $50. i cant remember, prices seem to have gone up tho: RAM Mounting Systems RAM-B-166U Double Ball Twist-Lock Suction Cup Mount: GPS & Navigation RAM Mount Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder with 1-Inch Ball: Cell Phones & Accessories
    I bought them separately, one mounts to the windshield and the other holds the phone.
  21. I can admit that the first minute of my video is not bad. Please navigate to the middle of the video and watch a minute or so straighr to fully understand what im referring to. There are some serious video issues here.
  22. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    Response ... #19 ... was revised.

    ... Thom
  23. Much appreciated.

    I've let this sit over night and based on the responses i am glad to find that my phone is not broken and this just seems to be the way the camera/phone works.

    I'll try to send a message to the app developer and let him know that it would be nice to be able to adjust the camera settings: focus, stability. I honestly feel a 8MP camera can do better so a software fix could probably make me happy[ier].

    thanks to all for the comments.
  24. welbinator

    welbinator Well-Known Member

    the first iPhone didn't have a camera.
    Thom likes this.

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