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Poor photo quality and inability to save photos to destination of choice.

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Lawro.Woods
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Default Poor photo quality and inability to save photos to destination of choice.

I have had my Xperia Z1 Compact for a few weeks now and for the most part I am very happy with it. The thing that lets the phone down for me is the camera.

1st issue is the photos themselves. The quality of the photos seems very poor and noisy which was extremly disappointing for me as one of the main reasons I chose this phone was for the 20 Mega pixel camera. I have heard that this problem is due to the ISO being ramped up when using auto and can be solved with 3rd party camera apps (an example given was "Perfectly Clear") that clean up the images nicely. I haven't tested this myself but if anyone can recommend any app or tips to getting cleaner images I would be most greatful.

2nd issue is how the camera saves pictures. I have the camera setting set to "burst with long press" which mean every time I take a couple of snaps it creates a new folder for that "burst" which more often than not is a single photo or two. This is annoying enough without the fact that with each new folder it starts repetitively naming the photos "DSC_000001" onward meaning I have 10 separate folders all with about 1-2 pictures in each and most of those pictures are named "DSC_000001" so when it comes to moving these pictures in to a folder on my P.C. I have to rename them manually to keep them in order. What I would like is to have all of my photos saved to one folder with a filename that resembles the date that I took them. For example if I took 3 photos today they would be named "02.05.14-00001" "02.05.14-00002" "02.05.14-00003" respectively. Not only would this make creating albums a lot easier it would help us keep track of when the photos were actually taken.
Please tell me there is a way of doing this! It is so simple. (Also side note on why the multi folder burst thing is terrible. I delete the photos from that burst - empty folder remains.)

3rd issue. This has happened to me a few times now and it is the most frustrating. When I press the 2 stage camera button in sleep mode to bring up the camera and an error comes up saying something along the lines of "Camera could not be found"... The only way I have found to fix this issue is to power down the phone and restart. When the main reason for this function is to get a quick shot off like when your best mate is crossing the finish line of a big race, this error is the last thing you want to see. Trust me I know. (Sorry Ryan I really did try to get a photo of it.)

Any who, if any of you lovely people have a fix or work around for these issues it would be most appreciated. Thank you.
 
paddylaz
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(Last edited by paddylaz; 2nd May 2014 at 07:51 PM.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawro.Woods View Post
I have had my Xperia Z1 Compact for a few weeks now and for the most part I am very happy with it. The thing that lets the phone down for me is the camera.

1st issue is the photos themselves. The quality of the photos seems very poor and noisy which was extremly disappointing for me as one of the main reasons I chose this phone was for the 20 Mega pixel camera. I have heard that this problem is due to the ISO being ramped up when using auto and can be solved with 3rd party camera apps (an example given was "Perfectly Clear") that clean up the images nicely. I haven't tested this myself but if anyone can recommend any app or tips to getting cleaner images I would be most greatful.

2nd issue is how the camera saves pictures. I have the camera setting set to "burst with long press" which mean every time I take a couple of snaps it creates a new folder for that "burst" which more often than not is a single photo or two. This is annoying enough without the fact that with each new folder it starts repetitively naming the photos "DSC_000001" onward meaning I have 10 separate folders all with about 1-2 pictures in each and most of those pictures are named "DSC_000001" so when it comes to moving these pictures in to a folder on my P.C. I have to rename them manually to keep them in order. What I would like is to have all of my photos saved to one folder with a filename that resembles the date that I took them. For example if I took 3 photos today they would be named "02.05.14-00001" "02.05.14-00002" "02.05.14-00003" respectively. Not only would this make creating albums a lot easier it would help us keep track of when the photos were actually taken.
Please tell me there is a way of doing this! It is so simple. (Also side note on why the multi folder burst thing is terrible. I delete the photos from that burst - empty folder remains.)

3rd issue. This has happened to me a few times now and it is the most frustrating. When I press the 2 stage camera button in sleep mode to bring up the camera and an error comes up saying something along the lines of "Camera could not be found"... The only way I have found to fix this issue is to power down the phone and restart. When the main reason for this function is to get a quick shot off like when your best mate is crossing the finish line of a big race, this error is the last thing you want to see. Trust me I know. (Sorry Ryan I really did try to get a photo of it.)

Any who, if any of you lovely people have a fix or work around for these issues it would be most appreciated. Thank you.

Hey mate, I'll tackle issue 1 as not sure about the others. Forgive me if I at any point sound patronising/condescending but obviously I don't know how well-versed you are in photography or not, so don't want to suggest something insulting if you actually know your stuff!!

Yeah, the auto modes (esp. superior auto) aren't great. Especially in low light. But as far as I am concerned, you don't get a phone with a camera this good (f2.0 aperture, 20meg/8meg downsampling) to use the auto modes. Unlike an iPhone, which is designed specifically to be a one-button job, these android phones (the best ones) have decent manual modes as every photographer knows that's how you get the very best results.

I always use manual as you have to for best results (ESPECIALLY in low light). You're correct, the auto mode does ramp up the iso too much. Actually quite a lot of phones do this too much....iphones indoors are a good example.

Tip 1: Stay with the stock camera. It will be purpose built for the sensor and will get you the best results

Tip 2: Always shoot manual

Tip 3: With every shot you take, you want the lowest ISO you can get away with. So practice a bit with different environments and you will soon get a sixth sense about roughly what you'll need. If you're in a restaurant or indoors for example, do a quick experimentation with changing the iso's and see what the scene looks like in real-time (make sure you're phone brightness is high). That's usually a good indicator of how the photo will come out.

Tip 4: Tap to focus on what you want focused, THEN hit capture. Don't just hit capture alone.

Tip 5: Phone camera flashes are TERRIBLE. It's the thermonuclear option when you HAVE to capture whatever is in front of you. Never use one unless you absolutely have to. If I have to use the flash....I don't take the picture. I also don't take any pictures higher than iso 800 as the noise is awful (for all phones). For indoor/lowlight you want 200/400 or worst case scenario 800 if you absolutely have to get that shot.

Tip 6: In manual, you will actually get superior photos if you shoot in the 8megapixel mode. Only ever choose 20megapixel if you are going to be doing some extreme cropping with the photo or are going to be blowing it up to huge sizes somewhere.

Hope that helps?
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Lawro.Woods
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Thank you for the tips. They are useful and when I have time to mess with manual settings to take a photo I will certainly use them. But the things that originally attracted me to this phone were the quick launch 2 stage button and the burst mode. I wanted to use this phone as a quick point and click camera for capturing fleeting moments. Unfortunately the quick launch immediately opens in auto mode (with that ****ing annoying sound effect I might add) and by the time I've switched to manual and messed around with the settings (which could use a better layout) that fleeting moment might have passed me by.

Good news is I have come up with a backward way of getting the photos to save by date. Dropbox automatically backs up my pictures with a file name done via date and time. Although this isn't a true fix since I still have to delete the burst folders from my phone every now and then this will do for now.

Thanks again for the tips paddy. Hopefully I will work something out.
 
paddylaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawro.Woods View Post
Thank you for the tips. They are useful and when I have time to mess with manual settings to take a photo I will certainly use them. But the things that originally attracted me to this phone were the quick launch 2 stage button and the burst mode. I wanted to use this phone as a quick point and click camera for capturing fleeting moments. Unfortunately the quick launch immediately opens in auto mode (with that ****ing annoying sound effect I might add) and by the time I've switched to manual and messed around with the settings (which could use a better layout) that fleeting moment might have passed me by.

Good news is I have come up with a backward way of getting the photos to save by date. Dropbox automatically backs up my pictures with a file name done via date and time. Although this isn't a true fix since I still have to delete the burst folders from my phone every now and then this will do for now.

Thanks again for the tips paddy. Hopefully I will work something out.
No worries.

Yeah admittedly if you take a lot of sudden/spontaneous shots that you don't have time to adjust for, the results might be less than ideal. To be honest on my xperia and my gs4 before that, after a while you become so quick at changing the manual options it becomes second nature and you can do it fast enough to catch spontaneous moments with the ideal settings.

Phone cameras are much simpler than normal cameras as the aperture (which is EXCELLENT for low light on the xperia - f2.0) is fixed, so really when it comes to mobile photography it's all about ISO, ISO and more ISO. Therefore when I say 'use manual mode' you can get away with JUST altering the iso to your needs and leaving all the other manual settings on auto. Like white balance for example, which the computer is MUCH better at detecting correctly.

Unless you're shooting outdoors on a sunny day, you must learn to assume that 99 times out of 100, your xperia in auto will select an ISO that is far higher than what you can actually get away with using. So it's good practice not to trust it.
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