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[Q] Better camera app/settings?

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Bazirker
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Default [Q] Better camera app/settings?

So far, I'm pretty happy with this phone but very disappointed with the stock camera app. The camera does pretty well outdoors and in low light, but is terrible in moderate light conditions (i.e. normal indoor conditions.) I just took a bunch of blurry, grainy pictures of my kids with their Easter baskets that all snapped 1/2 a second after I clicked the shutter. The thing that makes me think the camera can do better is that everything looks great on the screen up until I ask it to take a photo, then it refocuses and everything goes to hell. I tried Samsung's sports mode, and that is only marginally better. My wife's new S5 is suffering from the same problem.

Has anyone had better luck with other camera apps or a change in settings? Camera Zoom FX and Google's new camera app don't seem any better. I don't care about effects, HDR, manual photo settings or gimmicks; all I want are sharp, in-focus photos that take without a bunch of lag.
 
bryanu
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Originally Posted by Bazirker View Post
So far, I'm pretty happy with this phone but very disappointed with the stock camera app. The camera does pretty well outdoors and in low light, but is terrible in moderate light conditions (i.e. normal indoor conditions.) I just took a bunch of blurry, grainy pictures of my kids with their Easter baskets that all snapped 1/2 a second after I clicked the shutter. The thing that makes me think the camera can do better is that everything looks great on the screen up until I ask it to take a photo, then it refocuses and everything goes to hell. I tried Samsung's sports mode, and that is only marginally better. My wife's new S5 is suffering from the same problem.

Has anyone had better luck with other camera apps or a change in settings? Camera Zoom FX and Google's new camera app don't seem any better. I don't care about effects, HDR, manual photo settings or gimmicks; all I want are sharp, in-focus photos that take without a bunch of lag.
Turn picture stabilization off and it gets rid of the picture lag.

But yes, otherwise similar issues.

That's the thing. The HTC M8 wins on indoor/low light pics (if you don't get that purple blob effect), this will on outdoors. That's where the whole MP vs. sensor size come into play as larger sensor means more light but not as sharp vs. more MP means sharper but due to smaller sensor less light thus not always great.

Anyway I've found it takes me about 2 pictures to get one I like with HDR and image stabilization off. With that on that all seem to suck due to the delay. Would have been nice to have some true optical image stabilization too. Samsung just doesn't seem to learn/care though.

We get good HW but they cheap out on the little things that make it better.
 
Bazirker
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Yeah, turning off stabilization, HDR etc helps, but there's still a noticeable lag. The lag bothers me less than the fact that my near-stationary subject is coming out blurry. If the camera would simply capture the exact image that is on-screen at the moment I hit the shutter, I would be thrilled...

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Arkanthos2015
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So here's kinda the problem. And it happens a lot with people taking pictures on your phone.

A phone was not meant to be a camera. It just wasn't. In the early days of low resolution things went faster. When you try to run 16 megabit... things are necessarily going to be harder.

Here's the easiest solution to your problems: Practice taking pictures with the phone. Keep your arms tucked in at your sides, keep the phone closer to your body. Shoot in landscape instead of portrait so your hands are in better position. I use the flip case for this phone which means I can use that as well to have better grip and stability. Take the picture... and keep the camera pointed just where you were taking the picture for at least 1/2 sec after you tap the "shutter release". Shutter lag will only be exacerbated by being too quick to move the phone. Also, you don't have to mash the on screen button, light tap and whatnot. Oh and the 1/3 of a sec focus time is their "fastest" rating. While in truth that is pretty darn decent, it's also the fastest you'll have. Expect a possible 1/2 to 3/4 sec focus time. And make sure you're PICKY about your focus. Do it over and over again if it's not right.

Also, your metering mode will have a big impact on your images. Get used to changing them to suit your subject.

I have 13+ years experience as a photographer. If it weren't absolutely absurd, and say all of my bodies died at the same time... I would be carrying a monopod or tripod for use with my GS5... Stability is the key to image quality. Who cares what you look like when you take the picture, it's the picture that matters.

Oh and one other thing, image blur is exacerbated when objects are either very close, or very far away. One because the contrast elements (edges and such) are easy to distinguish from the rest and when they're blurry... you notice it. The other because detail elements are TINY at that range, down to even 1 pixel width, so any shake makes those disappear entirely into blur.

Just some basic things to do. Honestly if it's a choice between getting the shot with my Nikons... or getting it with my GS5? the Nikons will win every time. But in a pinch, the camera on the GS5 is good enough. Just takes the right hands and the right frame of mind.
 
Bazirker
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Originally Posted by Arkanthos2015 View Post
So here's kinda the problem. And it happens a lot with people taking pictures on your phone.

A phone was not meant to be a camera. It just wasn't. In the early days of low resolution things went faster. When you try to run 16 megabit... things are necessarily going to be harder.

Here's the easiest solution to your problems: Practice taking pictures with the phone. Keep your arms tucked in at your sides, keep the phone closer to your body. Shoot in landscape instead of portrait so your hands are in better position. I use the flip case for this phone which means I can use that as well to have better grip and stability. Take the picture... and keep the camera pointed just where you were taking the picture for at least 1/2 sec after you tap the "shutter release". Shutter lag will only be exacerbated by being too quick to move the phone. Also, you don't have to mash the on screen button, light tap and whatnot. Oh and the 1/3 of a sec focus time is their "fastest" rating. While in truth that is pretty darn decent, it's also the fastest you'll have. Expect a possible 1/2 to 3/4 sec focus time. And make sure you're PICKY about your focus. Do it over and over again if it's not right.

Also, your metering mode will have a big impact on your images. Get used to changing them to suit your subject.

I have 13+ years experience as a photographer. If it weren't absolutely absurd, and say all of my bodies died at the same time... I would be carrying a monopod or tripod for use with my GS5... Stability is the key to image quality. Who cares what you look like when you take the picture, it's the picture that matters.

Oh and one other thing, image blur is exacerbated when objects are either very close, or very far away. One because the contrast elements (edges and such) are easy to distinguish from the rest and when they're blurry... you notice it. The other because detail elements are TINY at that range, down to even 1 pixel width, so any shake makes those disappear entirely into blur.

Just some basic things to do. Honestly if it's a choice between getting the shot with my Nikons... or getting it with my GS5? the Nikons will win every time. But in a pinch, the camera on the GS5 is good enough. Just takes the right hands and the right frame of mind.
Lots of truth to your post in regards to the pointers about technique and settings. I've got an EOS-1Ds I use when I plan to take photos, and you need to know how to use your gear and be practiced if you want to take a decent photo.

However, I disagree when it comes to expectations for smartphone camera performance. I used to have the same attitude you expressed about taking photos with a phone, until I recently backed up and printed some of the photos off my wife's old iPhone 4S. The photos it took were shockingly good, and my disappointment with the Galaxy S5 camera stems from the fact that it is getting severely outperformed by the 3 year old iPhone. If the Apple crowd has been able to rely on their iPhones as a competent point-and-shoot camera for years, I see no reason why my flagship Android phone should be no different.

In other news, I've been playing with different settings and apps all afternoon, and still aren't seeing any improvement in performance. Camera Zoom FX allows for ISO 1600, and that's giving me the best performance so far in terms of reducing lag and image blur. (Of course, the images are quite grainy...boo hiss.)
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