Apple has finally announced the iPhone 13 which may be one of the most underwhelming refreshes of the handset in many years. While there is a lot of new stuff, nothing added is really groundbreaking in the way previous phones have awed when it comes to features in imaging. It is certainly a clear refinement of nearly every aspect of the hardware and software with better low light gathering and a first for a phone the addition of ProRes recording at 1080p and 4k 30p depending on the phone storage spec.
There are neat features like rack focusing which allows for AI-assisted machine learning depth of field selection based on people’s faces whenever their eyes are visible and or enter or exit the frame. It is kind of gimmicky as it seems to do away with precise manual control of the feature but this is yet to be explored fully by reviewers. When it comes to Slow Motion capture, we have essentially no change for the 4th year in a row!→ Continue Reading Full Post ←
Sony has now released the third iteration of their Xperia 1 series which are the flagship phones from the company that really push the capabilities of the brand. Many point out that Sony smartphones are excellently made and perform admirably while also including the now coveted 3.5mm audio jack which has been removed at the behest of Apple iPhone influence in the vast majority of phones. We will say it once more, USB C audio adapters are terrible connections compared to 3.5mm jacks which offer the best possible audio transmission possibilities without compression and other trade-offs.
The new Sony Xperia 1 III continues the 120fps 4k HDR pedigree of the Xperia 1 II which is clearly a much-coveted feature for video enthusiasts. This time around the phone improves color, compression, and HDR fidelity to deliver an outstanding image when light allows it. The phone also has the typical 1080p 120fp and 240fps frame rate that have been showing up as commonplace features in flagship smartphones but absent is any higher frame rates that were included the Motion Eye TM technology used in previous Sony phones allowing 1000fps 1080p recording for a short time.→ Continue Reading Full Post ←
The hegemony of phone sensors has been the purview of Sony with their Exmor sensors for many years but now Samsung has started making inroads in the space with their ISOCELL chips. The latest is currently mass-produced and shipping in handsets already which is not a paper launch, but a real thing. The chip is capable of massive low light improvement compared to other sensors because it is essentially a near 1″ sensor with 1/1.12-inch measurements. This is close to what Sony RX cameras use as a main sensor, and a first for a phone.
As to how they are able to fit this sensor on phones, it is a dance between a protruding camera bump that is a little larger than usual and also a lens system that creates a full imaging circle from a minute distance. The GN2 is capable of recording 480fps in HD 720p, 4k 120fps, 30fps in 12.5MP windowed size and 10fps in 100MP mode which uses a clever algorithm and three RGB exposures to derive a 100MP image from the 50MP source. → Continue Reading Full Post ←
Xiaomi has surprised this year with now the Mi 11 Ultra phone which is a big step up from the Mi 11 released earlier this year. The huge difference lies in the size of the sensor which is close to a 1″ camera sensor like those found on the Sony RX camera series for example. The phone has two 48MP sensors and a main 50MP sensor for the main camera with a highly protruding camera bump that really screams for a case to be able to balance well on a flat surface.
The slow motion modes on the phone are rumored to be the garden variety with 120fps/240fps 1080p, 60fps 4k, and also a selfie camera that does 720p 120fps which is becoming commonplace. What is really peaking our interest is the 1920fps slow motion mode that is touted by some reviews. It is unclear what the phone is capable time-wise as the specs are still not all there. The samples we have seen show detail loss and the clear signs of interpolation. → Continue Reading Full Post ←
OnePlus has finally released its new flagship 2021 phones. And they have built a new 3 year partnership with medium format camera maker Hasselblad to build their phone camera modules. On this first iteration, we get Ultra Wide 50MP, Wide 48MP or standard and a 3.3x telephoto with 8MP which is the lower quality of the bunch.
OnePlus has respected its own heritage when it comes to frame rates as the new 9 handsets retain the 240fps in Full HD 1080p and 480fps in HD 720p mode for somewhat super slow motion and a new mode of 120fps in full 4k which is exciting. OnePlus had the edge in recording duration in previous phones and this new variant might keep that edge. However, we feel disappointed the resolution did not go up to full HD at 480fps and allow for a 960fps HD mode like many other phones out there.→ Continue Reading Full Post ←
There is always an outlier when it comes to phone innovation and we have to give it to Oppo in 2021 as it seems to have created a phone that really delivers features that seemed impossible just months ago. The Oppo Find X3 Pro can deliver the usual 4k 30p and 60p video and up to 720p 480fps slow motion along with the common standard of 240p at 1080p. Where the phone jumps ahead of the pack is the inclusion of a real microscopy camera module that has a ring light to boot.
The Microscope camera can deliver a mind-altering 60x microscopy range magnification that looks so good that you might think it was taken with a professional clinical microscope. It will not be enough to show blood cells that usually require over 100x to be appreciated but it delivers detail on small insects, fibers, textures, and electronics that previously required a complicated camera setup attached to a multi-lens instrument.→ Continue Reading Full Post ←