The company formerly known as RIM changed its name to Blackberry yesterday, and launched a new flagship smartphone called the Z10. While the the phone is getting decent marks among reviewers, one weakness is sticking out as a sore thumb: the camera’s low-light performance. Gizmodo writes,
The Z10 didn’t even hold the dimmest, most-pathetic light to the other cameras in our test. Look at that photo above on the left. It is an abject and miserable failure. Because this is a particularly difficult shooting setting, all of the photos have problems with noise, distortion, and detail, but we’ve haven’t seen something so crummy as the Z10 in a long time. The Z10 even has a “night” setting that was completely useless. This is some four-years-ago crap.
It’d be interesting to find out who Blackberry chose as the supplier of its camera sensor.
Astrophotography enthusiast Don Marcotte wanted to find out whether the Canon 6D or Canon 5D Mark III was more suitable for his area of photography, so he pitted the two cameras against one another in a few noise tests at his local camera store. He simply shot long exposures without any light (the cap was on) in order to see how much noise would show up in the frame. Read more…
Earlier this month, Nokia found itself in a public relations nightmare after it came to light that photos and videos in a video promoting the Lumia 920 smartphone had been faked. The company quickly began to do damage control by inviting the press to test out the PureView camera against competing smartphone cameras. The Verge’s test was quite promising, and now Engadget is confirming those results after doing tests of their own:
The 920 took the cake, without question, but the iPhone didn’t fare too poorly itself, snatching up nearly as much light as the Nokia device. The 808 PureView also performed quite well, but the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III yielded unusable results.
It’s one thing to snag proper exposure, though — capturing sharp details with little noise and superior color balance is an entirely different beast, and the Lumia managed to do just that [...] The 920 did present some issues with exaggerated shake and other rapid movements, but it offered up excellent results overall, even in scenes that were too dark for us to make out any details with our own eyes
After The Verge broke the story this week about Nokia’s dishonest promo video for its PureView camera technology, Nokia went into damage control mode. As its stock took a tumble, the company hired an internal ethics investigation into the matter, and took steps to turn the media’s attention back to its revolutionary PureView features rather than the dishonesty seen in the video promoting them.
Nokia has endured a torrent of bad press over the past couple days over its faked promo video, but the truth is, the company is investing heavily in improving photography in its mobile phones, and its PureView technology is definitely something we should be keeping our eyes on.
In order to back up its claim that PureView low light performance is “unbeatable”, Nokia set up a “photo challenge” booth at its launch party and invited passers-by to pit their cameraphones against the Lumia 920. The challenge involved shooting a photograph of a still life setup stuffed inside a dark cubby hole in a brick wall. Check out the video above for a glimpse of how the phone’s camera stacked up against the iPhone’s and the Samsung Galaxy’s. Read more…
The folks over at NoFilmSchool recently did a low light comparison of the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, and Nikon D800. The cameras were used to film the same dark candlelit scene with the same settings, and the ISO was slowly pushed up to the cameras’ respective limits. It’s pretty striking how big of a difference in low light/high ISO quality there is in the cameras, especially in light of DxO Lab’s test results for the cameras’ sensors…
The first sample images of the Nikon D3200 have just come out of Nikon France; and although they look great for the most part, the one low-light image confirms suspicions that Nikon may have gone too far putting 24.2-megapixels in the camera. More noticeable on the full-resolution photographs, you can tell that once the ISO is cranked up to about 1600, noise begins to play a significant role. Read more…
Think your lens is good in low-light conditions? Check out this Nikon D700 with a Nightstalker II night-vision system attached — standard issue for the Navy’s Combat Camera unit. PopPhoto has published an interesting article that offers a glimpse into what life is like as a US military photographer. You an also see an example photo shot with the above lens here.
Photographer Adrian Onsen wanted to use the AI Servo autofocus mode on his Canon 40D in low-light situations, but found that the AF assist beam is only emitted once until focus is achieved rather than every time the camera needs to refocus. He then purchased a laser pointer from a dollar store, disassembled it to obtain a defocused beam of light, and attached it to the top of his camera. The hacked-together AF assist tool ended up working pretty well — Onsen was able to shoot sharper photos at a dance club without anyone noticing the extra light. To learn more check out his in-depth writeup here.