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8 MP Oversampled pictures vs 8 MP manual pictures?

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By Chad_Petree, Senior Member on 19th February 2014, 11:20 AM
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In which way do the 8 MP 16:9 (manual) photos differ from the 8 MP ones taken with superior auto mode?

Besides the automatic exposure and white balance, I keep hearing that the photos taken with superior auto mode are "oversampled" but what do they really mean by that? Is it just a downscaled photo? Because every picture dowscaled looks great, so I don't how this is a special thing, so if I tweak the exposure and the while balance I will get manual photos that look like the" superior mode " photos?

:confused

I see people complaining that 20 MP is too much for a smartphone with such a "small sensor " that the pictures taken by it, have too much noise .

If I use 8 MP do they have less noise in general or they look like they have less noise only because the picture is smaller?
Last edited by Chad_Petree; 16th March 2014 at 11:48 AM.
 
 
20th February 2014, 10:45 AM |#2  
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Anyone?
20th February 2014, 04:55 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad_Petree

Anyone?

I just got my Xperia Z1, so I'll try all different camera modes and see which is best anyway.
If you give me some time, I may be able to share my results here with you

One thing I have already noticed: taking an 8 megapixel photo can sometimes yield more detailed images than 20 megapixel ones, especially when you've selected Night Mode (which isn't available in Manual Mode at 20 megapixels for some odd reason I have yet to learn). I'll have to experiment some more though, but take my word for it: 8 megapixels is more than enough actually.


EDIT: Another thing I had noticed: that so-called "superior auto mode" is far from superior - if you can hold your device steady, you mostly get the best results with night mode. Slightly worse is setting the ISO to 50 (still requires a steady hand for relatively low shutterspeed). Superior auto mode makes the images often look dull in vibrance and lack details.
23rd February 2014, 03:33 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermantje

I just got my Xperia Z1, so I'll try all different camera modes and see which is best anyway.
If you give me some time, I may be able to share my results here with you

One thing I have already noticed: taking an 8 megapixel photo can sometimes yield more detailed images than 20 megapixel ones, especially when you've selected Night Mode (which isn't available in Manual Mode at 20 megapixels for some odd reason I have yet to learn). I'll have to experiment some more though, but take my word for it: 8 megapixels is more than enough actually.


EDIT: Another thing I had noticed: that so-called "superior auto mode" is far from superior - if you can hold your device steady, you mostly get the best results with night mode. Slightly worse is setting the ISO to 50 (still requires a steady hand for relatively low shutterspeed). Superior auto mode makes the images often look dull in vibrance and lack details.

How is it possible to get more detail with 8 mp pictures?

Well know I'm intrigued, how is the testing going?
23rd February 2014, 07:48 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad_Petree

How is it possible to get more detail with 8 mp pictures?

Well know I'm intrigued, how is the testing going?

I've been testing some more and I've come to the conclusion that you shouldn't use Superior Auto mode unless you really just want to snap a picture and don't care about quality. Otherwise, use Manual Mode and set the ISO as low as possible without the image looking to dark. ISO also manipulates Exposure, so be aware of that. For the best results in low-lit situations, use Night Mode.
That's about all I can say.

The Z1 has a good camera if you know how to use it. As a counter example, Nokia devices are often really good as point-and-shoot devices with auto mode, which the Z1 is not. I have some test shots with the Z1 in my sorta-kinda-review of the Z1 comparing it with the Xperia S in the Xperia S forum, here on XDA-developers. In case you're interested in that, check it out right here.


Also: the only time when 8 megapixel shots are more detailed than 20 megapixel ones is if you use Night Mode which isn't available in the 20 megapixel mode, or if you really screw up the settings with 20 megapixel mode.
16th March 2014, 11:08 AM |#6  
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Originally Posted by Hermantje

I've been testing some more and I've come to the conclusion that you shouldn't use Superior Auto mode unless you really just want to snap a picture and don't care about quality. Otherwise, use Manual Mode and set the ISO as low as possible without the image looking to dark. ISO also manipulates Exposure, so be aware of that. For the best results in low-lit situations, use Night Mode.
That's about all I can say.

The Z1 has a good camera if you know how to use it. As a counter example, Nokia devices are often really good as point-and-shoot devices with auto mode, which the Z1 is not. I have some test shots with the Z1 in my sorta-kinda-review of the Z1 comparing it with the Xperia S in the Xperia S forum, here on XDA-developers. In case you're interested in that, check it out right here.


Also: the only time when 8 megapixel shots are more detailed than 20 megapixel ones is if you use Night Mode which isn't available in the 20 megapixel mode, or if you really screw up the settings with 20 megapixel mode.

It sucks a bit, because when I use use my phone to take pictures is mostly because I want to take quick pictures, when I feel like fumbling around with the camera then I use a dsrl

This is what the verge had to say about the z1 camera

" The Xperia Z1 can produce truly excellent images, but is held back by Sony’s penchant for excessive post-processing and a habit for overexposing outdoor shots. The most common artifices you’ll find in your pictures are a noise-reduction algorithm that produces artificially uniform blocks of color and an associated sharpening treatment that enhances edges. The exposure issue is sadly common among smartphone cameras: you get a sort of haze in outdoor photos where the camera shutter is kept open for too long.

Ultimately, though, these downsides are trifling compared to the Xperia Z1’s upside. An impressive amount of detail is kept even after Sony’s done its best to destroy it. The LED flash works well and doesn’t whitewash nearby subjects. Nighttime photos keep image noise competently suppressed, and even the full 20-megapixel pictures can look good under the right circumstances. It’s just a very capable piece of hardware that could’ve done with some smarter software."

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Last edited by Chad_Petree; 16th March 2014 at 11:35 AM.
16th March 2014, 11:57 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad_Petree

It sucks a bit, because when I use use my phone to take pictures is mostly because I want to take quick pictures, when I feel like fumbling around with the camera then I use a dsrl

This is what the verge had to say about the z1 camera

" The Xperia Z1 can produce truly excellent images, but is held back by Sony’s penchant for excessive post-processing and a habit for overexposing outdoor shots. The most common artifices you’ll find in your pictures are a noise-reduction algorithm that produces artificially uniform blocks of color and an associated sharpening treatment that enhances edges. The exposure issue is sadly common among smartphone cameras: you get a sort of haze in outdoor photos where the camera shutter is kept open for too long.

Ultimately, though, these downsides are trifling compared to the Xperia Z1’s upside. An impressive amount of detail is kept even after Sony’s done its best to destroy it. The LED flash works well and doesn’t whitewash nearby subjects. Nighttime photos keep image noise competently suppressed, and even the full 20-megapixel pictures can look good under the right circumstances. It’s just a very capable piece of hardware that could’ve done with some smarter software."

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I must say, I agree completely with the text from The Verge. It's indeed very capable hardware. I'd love to see an experienced XDA developer tweak the camera algorithms themselves.
If only Sony had the camera software developers from Apple, the camera might've even beaten the Lumia 1020 (say what you want about Apple but their camera software is very good)!
16th March 2014, 12:08 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermantje

I must say, I agree completely with the text from The Verge. It's indeed very capable hardware. I'd love to see an experienced XDA developer tweak the camera algorithms themselves.
If only Sony had the camera software developers from Apple, the camera might've even beaten the Lumia 1020 (say what you want about Apple but their camera software is very good)!

Maybe their BIONZ image processing is the one to blame here?

I'm curious of the outcome of the photos while using cyanmod or aosp

Yes, I won't deny that the iPhone 5s is maybe the only camera on smartphones that works perfectly without tweaking it

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16th March 2014, 12:16 PM |#9  
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Originally Posted by Chad_Petree

Maybe their BIONZ image processing is the one to blame here?

I'm curious of the outcome of the photos while using cyanmod or aosp

Yes, I won't deny that the iPhone 5s is maybe the only camera on smartphones that works perfectly without tweaking it

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I'm not all that much into actual camera algorithms, but I doubt that the BIONZ processing creates those odd stripey noise artifacts when you zoom in at 20 megapixels. I would just love to be able to set the exposure and focus manually, but perhaps these are all things baked into the hardware of the camera, to make this impossible to tweak ourselves. Again, I really don't know much about image processing.
16th March 2014, 01:55 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermantje

I'm not all that much into actual camera algorithms, but I doubt that the BIONZ processing creates those odd stripey noise artifacts when you zoom in at 20 megapixels. I would just love to be able to set the exposure and focus manually, but perhaps these are all things baked into the hardware of the camera, to make this impossible to tweak ourselves. Again, I really don't know much about image processing.

I'm hoping someone else chimes in so we can understand a bit more.

I found this on the z1 compact review " You get a large 1/2.3-inch sensor, which can either shoot 20-megapixel stills or oversample — algorithmically condense multiple pixels’ information into one to make for a clearer image — and produce 8-megapixel pics."

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