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Show Me Your Phonetography

Specs sound nice and reviews are cool, but what if there was better way to see how phone cameras perform in real user environments? Our conversation over the weekend gave me a great idea: what if we all posted images taken by our phones in similar lighting conditions? It'd be easier to compare performance, wouldn't it?

Here is what I want from you, if you're so inclined:

1.) Take one picture in great lighting conditions (natural light)
2.) Take one picture in great lighting conditions (artificial light)
3.) Take one in medium lighting
4.) Take one in low lighting sans flash
5.) Take one in low lighting with flash

Don't use filters or apps -- the idea is to see what phone cameras can do!

Share the images (you don't have time to do all of them, though that would be amazing) in your stream, and be sure copy me +A.V. Flox or hashtag it #myphoneisbetterthanyourphone or drop a link in the comments. Or all of the above.
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Jason Salas's profile photoHarry Lang's profile photoBrandon Partridge's profile photoAngyl Bender's profile photo
70 comments
 
I've been really happy with the on-board cameras on Samsung Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S and Gaqlaxy II gear. They work extremely well in natural light, and quite decently in artificial light (which is why my newsroom got rid of our Blackberries 2 years prior). I've used an HTC smartphone, too, and was impressed with the camera.

Samsung Galaxy Tab - https://plus.google.com/photos/116113014152499702246/albums/5645328372481684753

HTC Nexus One - https://plus.google.com/photos/116113014152499702246/albums/5660914304134352865
 
I'm going to copy everyone who was in the original thread in the event you guys want to be a part of this -- I hope you do! You mentioned so many phones I haven't played with just yet!

+Gretchen Chappelle +Wally Mead +David Lobpreis +Brian Titus +Walid Muhammad +Luis Roca +Bob O`Bob +annabelle m +Douglas Wake +Olivier Malinur +Aaliyah Love +Harry Lang +Leah Kinder +Kristin Milton +Rebecca Price Butler

Also including +Max Huijgen and +Brandon Campeaux because I'm curious. :)
 
+A.V. Flox I'll do ya one better; I'll do all the photos you're asking for with not only my current phone but the two previous phones I've used. :)
 
I'm in. And I'll shoot the same images on my galaxy nexus and iPhone 4s to compare
 
+Jason Salas, oh, yes, Blackberry cameras were absolute garbage a couple of years ago. I remember well because so many friends still used them. I imagine they have improved their offerings to stay in the game, but I haven't had an opportunity to see the resulting images. I hope someone who comments on this thread has one and wants to share!

Thanks for posting your albums, by the way. I'm impressed with +Samsung USA's Galaxy Tab images. I have a Tab 10.1 but I rarely use it for photos. It's a little too big for fast on-the-go action.

The Nexus One images aren't bad, either. I'm interested in looking at images of the One S alongside them. Thanks for sharing!
 
+Douglas Wake, one of the full light images should be outside and another should be inside, huh, for better comparison? Let's do both!
 
Oh, and the new iPad and a Samsung focus windows phone 7. I can shoot the same shot with all four for a good comparison. Yes, I'm a gadget geek, but you already knew that.
 
+A.V. Flox send me a phone that takes pictures and I'll take all the pictures you want ;-)
 
I hope you get some submissions from the new Nokia WinPhone with the Zeiss lens.
 
Funny, +Geoffrey Dunn :P Are you on a contract with any carrier? If so, if you've kept that phone long enough, there are plenty of free phones with middling to decent to good cameras.
 
+Geoffrey Dunn, don't blame you -- those old-school Nokias were trust little devices. I had one myself. :)
 
I can predict the future: Apon's comment will get deleted because it's SPAM.
 
I don't think I have the time to participate in this, but in the past I've done some comparisons between my iPhone4 and my ancient Sony Cybershot DSC F707 and 717, because they're both in a similar megapixel range. If you're doing like, still subjects in good light, the lens difference really stands out - bokeh quality and glass characteristics and such, not to mention having optical zoom at all is a pretty big difference. On the other hand, the iPhone has some degree of IS and the Cybershots don't, so if you're going sans tripod the iPhone has a reasonable chance of coming out on par in sharpness. Now if you're doing specialized stuff that requires superfast shutter speed or low light performance or super megapixels or whatever, nor the cameraphone nor the F7*7s would cover you. In conclusion I'm really interested in what putting better glass on a cameraphone can do in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing and works within its limitations. :)
 
Sony xperia cameras i like most advance and smooth
 
+Angyl Bender, do you have these online somewhere where we can see? That would be interesting!
 
I don't, I fell off the photography wagon basically after I got the iPhone, and all my old photos are bitrotting on an old archive drive that I can only hope will spin up whenever I get around to setting up a new photog processing machine. Even when I went to Japan last year, I just took my phone, because I knew I'd always have it on me without having to lug around a bunch of extra stuff and I could just email straight to flickr or FB or whatever on the go. It was really liberating to not have to bother thinking about post-processing or tweaking to "perfection", let me focus on other things and "the now". But for a further unknown reason I've started getting interested in the big cameras again, and I have a bunch of tasks lined up next month with regards to setting up a computer with Lightroom and dusting off my Sony Alpha 550 and light kits, so maybe in a couple months I'll be the girl with the camera bag purse again.
 
Here's one of my Instagrams from japan:
http://ink361.com/#/photos/225122567_8288804

Because I was thinking differently, not so much about the "zing" of an end product, but about the narrative of the moment, I found myself just plain looking at the world differently than I normally would with a large camera, thus taking a very different sort of perspective in my photos. I'm really glad I went through the exercise, and I'll be interested to see if it impacts what I do when I go back to the DSLR.
 
+Angyl Bender, I can't wait to hear about it! I have found my phonetography has changed the way I look at things, too, though I've not posted much of my more serious photography efforts on Google+. I will sometime soon -- maybe your transition back to camera bag girl will inspire me. ;)
 
+Angyl Bender, can I just tel you how awesome it is that you had a LiveJournal? I miss those days. LiveJournal really did everything before anyone else did.
 
I know right! Just another loop up the spiral!
I'd heard of you back then, prolly knew some people you knew, which is why I followed you early on here when I wasn't saturated, name and rep recognition.
 
+Brandon Campeaux, that's awesome! So this covers the iPhone 4S. Neat! I will add mine with my Atrix 4G and the HTC One S tomorrow so we can compare!
 
+Angyl Bender, it's so funny how small the web makes our world feel sometimes, isn't it? :) And hard to believe that was over a decade ago!
 
Seeing that I´m as good as the only fan of the camera phone +Nokia could offer me one to be their evangelist.
but if +Esteban Contreras has a spare Note I could try both ;)
 
I am really impressed with the quality of photos straight out of the phone from the iPhone 4s which is what I use. Whatever I post to Instagram and/or Streamzoo (the 2 photo sharing apps I use) tends to be edited in Snapseed (cannot say enough about how awesome that app is for editing phone photos!) and sometimes I also play around additionally with Instagram filters or the myriad of things you can do with Streamzoo.
 
+Max Huijgen, I was kidding! Though, you know, the HTC One S does have an HDR filter.
 
+A.V. Flox - Right now, I only have outside photos in natural light. I need to dig around my camera roll for inside photos (I know I have some, probably of my cats :) ).
 
+Brandon Campeaux, aw, I was going to make an album with your benchmarks, but now I can't seem to access the post!
 
+A.V. Flox ok, do I have a sample gallery for you. I got loaned a preview #HTCOne S from +T-Mobile, and put it through it's paces at Coachella! I shot my whole LA Weekly Coachella gallery on the cel phone. http://www.laweekly.com/slideshow/curiousjosh-coachella-week-1-36593140/

it was a blast getting shots with the cel phone. It was also hilarious. I had 2 huge cameras from canon's 1D and 5D series... and I was taking pictures with a cel phone. It was so funny that people were taking photos of me!

I'll try to post a higher resolution version of a few shots here later today. The panorama really deserves a better resolution. I'm pretty impressed with the results, and the phone interface for panoramas.

+Coachella #coachella #coachella2012 +LA Weekly +LA Weekly #phonetography
 
Hey, +A.V. Flox I've taken a great deal of pictures in varying lighting conditions. In a moment I'll be uploading them and sharing a few of the best ones with you via post. You're free to reshare if they fit the parameters of this project. :)
 
+A.V. Flox All photos posted, plus some extras. I waited this long to do so because Instant Upload apparently degrades pics to 3 megapixels, and I wanted to give the full resolution effect.
 
+Douglas Wake, ah! I didn't realize! I will remind others to take this into account when they prepare to upload. Thank you for letting me know!
 
+A.V. Flox You're welcome! I know you probably saw them, but I shared multiple posts, covering several different lighting conditions. I hope they fit what you need!
 
+Gretchen Chappelle I've done some more looking to confirm what I've read, and it seems that at least initially there was some automatic compression. However, there was supposedly an update that allows "high res" uploading to Plus. No specifics on what Google thinks "high res" is though.
 
Perhaps +Brian Rose can help answer this question. Brian, what does Google+ mean when it says it allows high res uploading to Google+? What kind of compression are we looking at?
 
I too would like tips on what method to use to get full-res phone photos up here. I'm /this/ close to paying for Flickr or Smugmug and dumping there, it's strangely frustrating trying to get pics on here.
 
I do hope +Brian Rose jumps into any conversation, +Angyl Bender, though you may also benefit from +Enrique Gutierrez's knowledge on the topic, as he dumped Flickr in favor of Picasa shortly after arriving on Google+.
 
+A.V. Flox I believe photos from mobile should now be uploaded at 2048 pixels on their longest edge. Adding +Sky Bintliff to confirm.
 
+A.V. Flox +Angyl Bender I took a look at resolution of images a couple of hours ago after I uploaded them. The original resolution of my images (as stored on my phone and computer) is way higher indeed than any of the copies I uploaded to Plus, whether through instant or manual. I don't remember the exact counts in all dimensions, but here on Plus the long edge hits a 2048 pixel limit and my original shots were 3300 pixels on the long edge.
 
So, since there are so many in the know people on this thread already:
- It seems like Flickr is on a slow death. Did their much-discussed update even happen? I know some regular users who didn't notice anything. Yahoo is.. re-something-ing, and the new CEO hasn't specifically, that I've seen, called out FLickr as something they're going to focus, or even put sustaining devs on. I know an increasingly large number of people who have let their subscriptions expire and are looking to move on, but very few who have found new places. Whatever's ACTUALLY happening, a lot of people feel like it's not a thing to be trusted long-term anymore. So I am reluctant, despite it having had the social weight for so long and it still being the place news and stock photo people go to to find stuff.
- Smugmug appears to be in great shape, but doesn't really have the social. However they seem to have great respect for content creators and their needs and rights, and everyone I know that uses them is very pleased and loyal.
- 500px is the new sexy, and people LOVE story mode. But I have an inherent wariness about putting much effort into the new sexy of the moment.
- I also know people using Picasa, and a bunch that report being frustrated with it (like me). We are assured that if we take the time to set it all up we'll be happy, but it's also not social (unless you count publishing to G+, which I could also do from Smugmug etc). I saw some announcements about winding down some of the Picasa support on some platforms, and I have no idea what to make of that.
- Instagram is now FB's. It doesn't bring the awesome gallery stuff, but it bring the new social hardcore and cross-sharing is super easy. This is what I've been running with, but when stuff like this project come up it's just plain insufficient.
- I won't use FB for this because I don't publish to FB Public.
- I am so very never again going to try to host my images on my own server. Lots of tweaky maintaining things work, no social, and collecting local stats or serving ads from your own server only really matters if you're internet famous.

Am I missing something awesome? Am I worrying about Flickr for nothing? Is there a secret handshake or plugin for Macs/Lightroom that makes Picasa awesomely easy? I would love to tap the brains of the people reading if you have any thoughts!
 
+Douglas Wake, thank you for making the observation. This confounds the results somewhat.
 
+Angyl Bender, it's a weird flux we're living through. I find the decay and death of Flickr to be one of the saddest stories of the web. It had so much power and beauty and Yahoo just starved it to death.
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