Tag Archives: camera

Top 7 Android stories this week: Android 4.4.3, Project Ara, and new Google Camera

This week in your world of Android: clues of Android 4.4.3 emerged, the G3 broke cover, a phone kill switch initiative was announced, we learned more Project Ara details, Google released a new stock Android camera and updated other apps, and the OnePlus One’s design finally leaked.

These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few words. It’s Android Weekly.

Where’s Android 4.4.3?

Android 4.4 KitKat logo - aa

First, Android 4.4.3 appeared in a Sprint Nexus 5 update support page. Then in a Bluetooth certification doc. Then in the changelog of a Google app. There’s only one thing missing – the actual rollout!


LG G3 details build up

lg g3 packaging

LG is due to refresh its flagship device, and this week we got a bunch of details about the G3, including screen resolution – Quad HD!, a color option, and, potentially, the SoC.


Finally, a killswitch agreement

emergency kill switch Credit: dumbledad

Some of the world’s top smartphone makers and carriers have agreed to implement kill switches in devices starting with July 2015. From that point, everyone will be given the option to remotely wipe or lock down their phones in case they lost them.


Juicy Project Ara details

project-ara-mdk-2

Google held the first ever Project Ara developer conference this week, in an effort to attract software and hardware makers to the innovative modular phone project. We got to learn more about how Ara works and when we will be able to actually buy the first modular devices.


Brand new Google camera

<a rel=google camera” src=”http://cdn03.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/google-camera-710×413.jpg” width=”710″ height=”413″ />

Google revamped its Camera app and released it to the Play Store. Compatible with Android 4.4 and higher, the app brings a new Lens Blur mode, better Photo Spheres and panoramas, and a refreshed user interface.


Google apps updates

google calendar

Besides Camera, Google also released a brand new Remote Desktop app and updated Calendar and YouTube with some nifty new features.


OnePlus One breaks cover

03 - UXiGMhb

The OnePlus team revealed lots of details about the upcoming One, but until this week, we didn’t have a clue about its appearance. The bad news? You will need an invitation to buy it.


What’s the biggest Android news this week? Tell us in the comments.









Android Authority

Sony Xperia Z2 camera wins top spot by DxO benchmark

Z2 20.7MP camera in Japan

The folks over at DxO Labs like to put our favorite smartphones through some rigorous photography and videography tests. They recently put the Sony Xperia Z2 through the ringer, and with a score of 79, it came out in top spot of all mobile devices tested to date.

The Xperia Z2 is Sony’s flagship device for 2014, announced back in February, it has been a thing that many desire, especially thanks to glowing reviews and honors like topping DxO Labs photo and video benchmark evaluations. Aside from the scientific methods used by DxO, we really fell in love with the Xperia Z2′s photo taking abilities after an early developer model went for a little stroll in Tokyo back in March. A sample photo from that night is below, but do check out the full story for the rest of the photos, and a sample of the Xperia Z2′s 4K video recording as well.

Xperia Z2 Tokyo 20.7MP camera shoot

Under the waterproof hood, the Sony Xperia Z2 packs a 20.7MP Exmor RS camera sensor – Sony G-type 27mm equivalent f/2.0, resulting in a device capable of producing photos at a massive 5248 x 3936 pixels and video at 4K, or 3840 x 2160 pixels.

DxO’s overall score is a combination of photo benchmarking tests and video benchmarking. On the photo side of things, the Sony Xperia Z2 scored an overall 81 points, with top marks for exposure and contrast and low marks for image artifacts. Video did not fare as well, with an overall 73 points, the Xperia Z2′s video autofocus rated very poorly, however, exposure and contrast once again received exceptional marks.

DxO chart DxO

Just as the HTC One (M8) recently took home top honors for its display touch response time, the Sony Xperia Z2 is the first of this year’s major Android flagship devices to be ranked using this particular testing. We will be glad to see how well the other flagship devices perform, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, with its 16MP ISOCELL camera sensor, the LG G2 Pro, with its 13MP sensor, and the HTC One (M8), with its Ultrapixel technology running a seemingly tiny 4MP main camera sensor.

While we await further device benchmarking results, if you are serious about camera performance on mobile devices and want the low down, I suggest you head on over to DxO to see all of the benchmarking results for the Sony Xperia Z2. If you are not all that concerned about the specifics, you can rest assured that the Xperia Z2 will do justice to saving your memories in picture form. It can even capture the mood around those images, if you don’t mind chat bubbles on your photos.

Sony offers compelling camera capabilities in the Xperia Z2, is that enough to get you to purchase, or do you have another device in mind this year?









Android Authority

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Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

It was only a matter of time before Sony, who has a longer and more extensive experience with cameras and imaging, rose to the top of DxOMark’s benchmarking tests. With a score of 79, the Xperia Z2 has grabbed the crown from long-time titleholder, the Nokia 808 Pureview.

This is definitely not the first time a Sony Xperia came close to toppling Nokia‘s contender. Last October, the newly unveiled Xperia Z1 almost accomplished it but came up short with only 76 points versus the Pureview’s 77. By building up on its predecessor’s experience and technology, the Xperia Z2 was able to achieve the highest score to date on the benchmarking site.

81bddfbe3795x420.jpg Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

The ranking isn’t a straight win, however. Aside from the overall score, DxOMark also separately ranks devices based on their performance on still photos and video. When it comes to stills, the Xperia Z2 may be at the top with a score of 81, but it as actually tied with the Nokia 808 Pureview but still way ahead of late 2014′s flagships like the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S4 and the Lumia 1020. Interestingly, the Xperia Z2 actually performed poorly compared to the Xperia Z1, managing to score only 73 versus its predecessor’s 74, landing it in third place.

3c1da9a18d00x338.jpg Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

That said, the Sony Xperia Z2 offers the best balance when it comes to camera features. Color and detail preservation are superb and noise levels remain quite low. And while the video recording performance isn’t as high as some might wish, the ability to record in 4K resolutions of 3840×2160 is something you cannot ignore. Overall, the Xperia Z2 does well in proving Sony’s camera chops, leaving digital photography fans looking forward to the next iteration.

SOURCE: DxOMark

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Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

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Big improvements coming to stock Android camera app, sources report

Google Nexus 5 black aa 4

Google is reportedly preparing to push new features and improvements to the stock Android camera app.

According to “sources aware of Google plans” cited by Engadget, Google is currently testing the new app, which will eventually be offered as a standalone app in the Play Store, making it possible for Google to update it without a full system update.

Said sources claim the camera app will gain a refreshed user interface and that Google is going to fix framing, so the entirety of the shot is visible in preview mode when taking a picture.

Google is reportedly adding a mode that mimics a shallow depth of field lens to create a blurry background behind the subject. This feature is currently present on several OEM Android devices, such as the Xperia Z2, Galaxy S5, and the HTC One (M8).

Improvements are also coming to the panorama and Photo Sphere modes, which will be able to stitch imagery at higher resolution.

Interestingly, Google is said to be planning to open up the stock camera to third-developers, who will presumably be able to create custom filters for the app. Users will be able to import these filters, extending its functionality. It’s not clear if Google will only allow filters or if it will give developers more power to alter the user experience.

The new app is currently in testing and Google will “soon be ready to show off what it’s been working on,” says Engadget.

It’s not the first time we hear of Google’s efforts to improve the camera app in stock Android. Back in November, clues of a new and improved API were found in a code repository, suggesting that features like burst mode, RAW capture, and face detection would eventually land on stock Android devices. At the time, it was speculated that the API wasn’t ready for the spotlight, which was why Google opted not to deliver the update along with Android 4.4 KitKat.

At least when it comes to features, Google’s Android camera app is lagging behind the apps offered by OEMs like Samsung or Sony. This update could make it more competitive and allow Google to add new features at a faster pace.


    








Android Authority

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Project Tango camera specs revealed – IR and extended FOV sensors included

Some camera specifications for Google’s Project Tango have been revealed. It turns out that the telephone comes equipped with four, yes 4, built-in camera sensors, including two extended Field of View sensors, an IR depth sensor and a normal camera sensor to round it all out. Chromium internet browser Issue # 352542 has an exciting identify all in its own, “Add Project Tango tool help to Chrome.
 
” After a short description of the project, the report describes Tango’s special cameras/ranging sensors. First up, a modest 4MP rear camera, but that is where ‘normal’ stops.
 
based on this report, Project Tango will come with two fish eye cameras, 180° Field of View (FOV) on the rear and 120° FOV on the front, the latter being roughly the FOV of the human eye. Camera sensor number four is a 320×180 pixel infrared depth sensing camera. if you are unfamiliar with Project Tango, it’s the brainchild of Google’s Advanced Technology and initiatives (ATAP) group. it’s a phone that is capable of creating a full 3D map of an environment.
 
Current uses for the technology have included games that turn your physical living space into a virtual game, 3D mapped building interiors that could go up to Google Maps, improved robotics sensory and navigation aids for the visually impaired. We described Project Tango in detail some time back, but do take a look at their cool video below.

Project Tango camera specs revealed – IR and extended FOV sensors included

project tango

Some camera specifications for Google’s Project Tango have been revealed. It turns out that the Phone comes equipped with four, yes 4, built-in camera sensors, including two extended Field of View sensors, an IR depth sensor and a normal camera sensor to round it all out.

Chromium web browser Issue # 352542 has an exciting title all in its own, “Add Project Tango device support to Chrome.” After a brief description of the project, the report describes Tango’s special cameras/ranging sensors. First up, a modest 4MP rear camera, but that is where ‘normal’ stops. According to this report, Project Tango will come with two fish eye cameras, 180° Field of View (FOV) on the rear and 120° FOV on the front, the latter being roughly the FOV of the human eye. Camera sensor number four is a 320×180 pixel infrared depth sensing camera.

If you are unfamiliar with Project Tango, it is the brainchild of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. It is a phone that is capable of creating a full 3D map of an environment. Current uses for the technology have included games that turn your physical living space into a virtual game, 3D mapped building interiors that could go up to Google Maps, improved robotics sensory and navigation aids for the visually impaired. We described Project Tango in detail a while back, but do check out their cool video below.

The infrared camera on Project Tango is a part of the OV4682 3D depth sensor, built by Omnivision. Combining input between the 4MP shooter and the IR sensor allows the image to be processed into 3D mappings of an environment. The equipped sensors could lead to Project Tango providing future image processing and post-capture capabilities, such as adjustable image focus like is found on the Lytro Camera and Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 ISOCELL camera.

The ATAP team says that they’ve handed out all of their currently available developer units to third party software developers. The list of partners includes Bosch, the Open Source Robotics Foundation and a few universities, amongst others. We are excited to see what uses they come up with using Project Tango.

Do you think Google is doing the right thing by focusing on innovative new camera uses, as opposed to competing in the megapixel space race?


    








Android Authority

Camera Plus Pro 5.0 – All New Looks For The Pro Photographer In You

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Udupi, India – Global Delight today is proud to release a new version of the hugely popular professional camera app. The new Camera Plus Pro brings a major redesign to the interface and workflow to complement iOS 7 and its style along with Full-Resolution Image Editing, HD Video Zoom, iMessage Sharing and much more! Users also get to experience fully featured smartphone photography with options like Focus and Exposure controls, Live Filters With Preview, Tweaking of Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness and much more in a slick and uncluttered manner. This gives users the freedom of complete control over their captures.

Camera Plus Pro brings a new and attractive take on pro smartphone photography by melding intricate capture options and powerful editing into a beautifully translucent package. Users get to choose from wonderful filters (both live and post-capture), record in HD, edit unlimited and share captures to multiple online services; adding to the amazing specs already present. Leveraging the new technologies that iOS 7 brings, extra care has been taken to ensure that the new Camera Plus Pro carries over the same level of expertise that made it the favorite of pros worldwide. Look out for speedier captures and even more hands-on editing!

Camera Plus Pro has enabled professional photographers worldwide to capture everything with elan. It was downloaded over 1 Million times since its inception and this update reflects the change in times – an elegant interface, buttery-smooth controls and a neat yet elaborate editing suite, complementing the direction iOS is taking. “Camera Plus Pro makes good use of the advancements made in the field of smartphone imaging and this update includes impeccable photography, powerful editing and fun sharing,” said Mr. Guruprasad Kamath, Director of Marketing. With smooth and effortless navigation, slick app graphics and tightly knit camera controls, Camera Plus Pro offers professional level photography on the go.

New additions in Camera Plus Pro 5.0:
Camera Plus Pro has been re-imagined to look and perform great with iOS 7. With completely overhauled graphics and a super efficient UX, it takes on a more modern approach to imaging. Here’s why you’ll love the new Camera Plus Pro:

* Brand new iOS 7 UI and app graphics
* Effortless iMessage Sharing for captures
* Live Filters now come with an easy arrow-based selection at the bottom
* Import and Export captures using Camera Plus Pro 5.0
* Video zooming in HD mode on supported devices like iPhone 5, 5s, 5c and iPod touch 5th Gen
* Timestamp option for photos

Device Requirements:
Camera Plus Pro is specially designed for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPod touch (5th Gen). It also works for iPhone 4 and in the scaled mode on the iPad(R) and iPad mini (including Retina). It runs only on iOS 7 to provide the most optimal experience.

Pricing and Availability:
Camera Plus Pro 5.0 is priced at .99 (USD) and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store. Existing Camera Plus Pro users on iOS 7 can update for free.

[#protected_0#]
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Screenshot (New Screen)
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Global Delight is a multiple award winning closely knit unit with a penchant for creating apps that bring joy and cheer to all Apple aficionados. Some of our most popular apps include Game Your Video, Voila Screen Capture Tool, Camera Plus Pro and Boom Volume Booster for Mac. Copyright (C) 2014 Global Delight. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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Sony Xperia Z2 20.7MP camera and 4K video shown off in shots of Tokyo at night

Z2 20.7MP camera in Japan

The Xperia Z2 went for a little walk about Tokyo, snapping up beautiful photos of the night and some 4K video too. The Chinese blog Ring HK shared the 20.7MP photos and short 4K video clip on their site. They were sure to let us know that the Z2 in use was an engineers test unit, not the finished retail unit that you or I will eventually put in our pockets.

The Xperia Z2 will come equipped with Sony’s 20.7MP Exmor RS sensor and these photos appear to be just that. Photo details show camera model D6503 running software version 17.1.A.0.504_9_f200. The photos themselves come in at 5248 x 3936 pixels, weighing about 9.3MB each. Click any photo below to see fullscreen slideshow, but be forewarned, it contains a good number of large images and may take time to load.

20140306_xperia_z2_night_shoot_pic07 20.7MP

As for that 4K video, just a normal downtown Tokyo intersection shot at 3840 x 2160 resolution. The video recorded in the MP4 format using H.264 with AAC audio. 43 seconds of footage ran a mere 297.9MB of space. Now prepare your eyes for ultra HD video and hit play.

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Cameras on smartphones are getting pretty interesting. We took a look at an apparent 50MP photo from the OPPO Find 7 last week. At MWC we were able to test drive the 16MP camera of the Galaxy S5 and the 13MP shooter on the LG G2 Pro. Not to be left out, HTC has been teasing their new HTC One with some sort of improvements to their UltraPixel technology.

For the remaining photos and the Chinese descriptions, checkout Ring HK’s website. What do you think, are smartphone cameras getting to the point that we can leave dedicated shooters to the professionals?


    








Android Authority

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Videon for iOS – Powerful Video Camera and Editor – Free for Few Days

Lodz, Poland – Lucky Clan has announced that Videon 2.30, an universal, powerful video camera and editor is now free. App will return to its normal price .99 in few days. Videon contains all the features necessary to record great videos – from capture to editing to viewing. Lucky Clan team combined its knowledge of cinematography with advice from industry professionals to create the most extensive video app available. Videon is your one stop app for everything video. See the attached video.

Feature Highlights:
1. Capture:
* Intuitive, comfortable interface
* Realtime Zoom controlled by a very intuitive Zoom Wheel (iPhone 4s , iPod touch 5th , on older devices video with zoom has to be rendered after recording, but it is still very smooth)
* Different resolutions – from Full HD down, including 2.35:1 cinema format
* Adjustable Frame Rate – you can set fixed rate, but also rate limit, for example from 24 to 30 FPS
* Video Stabilization
* Save To App Documents, or to Camera Roll
* Pause Recording (iPhone 4s , iPod touch 5th )
* Take Photo during video recording (iPhone 4s , iPod touch 5th )
* Set Focus/Exposure point together or separately (double tap to reset)
* Lock Focus/Exposure by tap-and-hold gesture

2. Gallery:
* Innovative Interface
* Detailed video information
* Fullscreen mode
* Marked new videos (for videos not older that 7 days, and not watched in fullscreen)
* Delete
* Save To Camera Roll (it automatically delete from App Documents)
* Take Photo from video

3. Editor:
* Color effects: Exposure, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Vibrance, Temperature, Highlights, Shadows, Sepia, Black & White, Invert
* Reducing effects: Quality, Resize – with displaying final file size
* Speed effects: Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Reverse – with full or “letters” Audio processing
* Other effects: Sharpen, Straighten, Mute
* Realtime Preview of applied effects even in video is playing
* Trim – with timeline zoom (tap and hold to zoom)
* Split video to 2 or more parts
* Merging videos

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5/5S/5C, iPod touch (4th/5th generation)
* iPad (2nd generation or later)
* iOS 6.0 or later
* 12.7 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Videon 2.30 is free for a limited time. Normal price is .99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photo & Video category.

Lucky Clan
Videon 2.30
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Screenshot
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Located in Lodz, Poland, the Lucky Clan team is an independent software company founded by Sylwester Los in March of 2010. With a focus on the iOS platform, Lucky’s mission is to provide their customers with the highest quality, reliability and compatibility with every device produced by Apple. Their flagship app, ArtStudio, has become one of the most popular tools for drawing, painting, and photo editing for iPhone and iPad. Copyright (C) 2014 Lucky Clan. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Huawei announces the Ascend G6, features 5MP front camera

ascend-g6

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Last Monday Huawei’s MWC teaser revealed that the company planned to release a new smartphone with an “amazing front camera”. At their MWC 2014 press conference this morning, Huawei delivered on its promise by announcing the Ascend G6, complete with a 5MP front-facing camera.

As you may have guessed, the handset isn’t exactly aimed at the high-end market, though its faux metallic edging and rounded bottom make for an attractive enough looking device that is fairly similar to the Huawei Ascend P6’s design.

Specs and features

Under the hood the Ascend G6 offers a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU (unspecified type, likely MediaTek) with 1GB of RAM. Other specs include a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 960×540, an 8MP rear cam, the aforementioned 5MP front cam, 8GB storage, microSD, a 2000 mAh battery and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The handset will also feature a 7.5-mm thick 3G version or a 7.8mm-thick 4G LTE (Cat 4) variant.

In terms of software features, Huawei hasn’t gone into too many details here, though we do know that the handset will feature the Emotion UI on top of Android. For those who aren’t familiar, this custom UI includes several changes to the stock Android experience including getting rid of the app drawer, opting for a style that is more akin to iOS (all apps on the homescreen).

Pricing and availability

This is where things get a bit fuzzy, as we don’t have an exact release dates for either the 3G or LTE version. Reportedly the 3G variant will arrive first in Q1 at an unspecified price. As for the LTE version? It is expected to arrive to Europe sometime in April with a price of €249 — or about 2.

No word on if or when the handset will arrive to the North American market just yet.


    








Android Authority