Digital Photography


Tried RAW Mode for the First Time


I only have one digital camera that can take photos in RAW mode. I bought the camera around 2002 or 2003 (I think) and never used the RAW setting because CF cards were expensive and the biggest card I had was only 256MB (plenty for JPEGs but way to small for RAW). With some time on my hands (day job ended yesterday) and no need to skimp on CF card space, I shot a few photos around my home using the old G3 (4 megapixel) in RAW mode. I’m not sure my old Windows based photo editors could deal with RAW mode. However, the current generation Apple iPhoto works fine with this format.

I’m pretty happy with what I see so far. And, while the RAW files are large, they are not gigantic compared to today’s much higher resolution JPEG images. I may carry this old camera around a bit and shoot more RAW images this week.

Digital Photography

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My Pocket PC Camera Has Macro Setting?


I think I noticed the macro switch on my TyTn Pocket PC Phone Edition (aka Professional Edition) when I got it last year. But, I never tested it out until this week. While the TyTn’s digital camera is better than most Windows Mobile device cameras I’ve tried, it is still hampered by a cheap lens. And, the macro feature suffers because of this. The macro photo of the leaf looks relatively sharp here because it is a resized down from the original 2 megapixel image. The original image looks quite blurry.

Still, it is a nice feature to have. I’ll play around a bit more with distance, lighting, etc. to see if I can figure out optimized techniques for its use.

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Windows Mobile

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Back to Basics: Cameraphone Sports Mode Setting


Generally speaking, the cameras on most phones are much slower than even the slowest of the first generation consumer digital cameras back in the 1990s. So, I’ve never really expected to get much in the way of action shots with my cameraphone and ignored the so-called Sports Setting the camera configuration. However, while waiting for my daughter at her gym today, I decided to play with that setting to while the time away.

You can see one of the photos I took using the Sports Setting using my T-Mobile Dash (AKA HTC Excalibur). On this particular phone, this setting reduces the resolution to 640×480 (which makes sense) and takes three (3) photos in succession after pressing the selection button. You can adjust the number of photos it takes per squeeze in the configuration menu.

I’ve shrunken the photo from the original 640×480 to make it blog-friendly. It won’t make anyone throw away their Digital SLR. But, the result was better than I expected. I guess I should try some of the other camera phone settings too now.

Back to Basics
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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TwitPic: Send a Photo to Twitter From Your Phone


TwitPic is a free web service that lets you attach a photo web link to a Twitter tweet. Here’s how you do it, head over to TwitPic and sign-in with your normal Twitter account name and password. Then, click on Settings and add the special email address it shows you to your cameraphone’s email contacts list. The address is in the form of: twitterusername.secretstuff@twitpic.com. If you send a photo to this email address, the email subject line will become your tweet text and a weblink to your photo will appear beside this text. Anyone who clicks on your TwitPic photo link will be able to see your photo.

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices

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CHDK Wiki: How to Hack A Canon PowerShot Digital Camera


I really tempted to try a CHDK Wiki Canon PowerShot digital camera firmware hack. But, a big streak of digital cowardice is getting in the way 🙂 According to their FAQ, the changes are not actually written to the camera in a permanent way. The firmware hack can be reversed by simply removing the flash card with the hack on it. Applying the hacks adds features to some (but not all) Canon PowerShot cameras.

Digital Photography

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Back to Basics: The Subtler Differences Between Cameraphones and Digital Cameras

Dash cameraphone vs. Canon A710IS

Discussions (and sometimes rants) about camera phone photos usually steer towards pixel count, clarity, and color. However, there are subtler differences between camera phone photos and digital camera photos. Take the two photos above taken using a T-Mobile Dash cameraphone (left) and a Canon Powershot A710IS point-and-shoot digital camera. I’ve resized both photos from their respective 1.3 megapixel and 7 megapixel resolutions so that both images are 320 pixels wide.

The first thing you probably noticed is that when resized to the same width the Dash’s photo is much squarer than the A710IS’. Cameras vary slightly in aspect ratio. So, if something seems slightly odd in your cameraphone photos, compare it to the aspect ratio of the digital camera you normally use. Cropping the camera phone photo to match the aspect ratio you are comfortable with might help.

Although I did not take the two photos at the exact same angle, you can still see that the camera phone photo seems flatter than the digital camera’s. Seeing distinct people (mostly heads here) drops off rapidly after a row or two of tables in the food court. The digital camera has a slightly wider angle of view even though I took both photos from exactly the same spot.

So, if something about your camera phone photo doesn’t seem quite right to you. It may not be the resolution or even the sharpness of the photo. It might be some of the subtler aspects of  camera phone’s imaging characteristics that might be at play for you.

Back to Basics
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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