The Ultimate Camera and other nonsense {sharing}

what is the ultimate camera
the ultimate camera
Finding the ultimate camera in a connected world

AI is at our doorstep now. This post is about cameras, but first let’s take an honest look at how many phones have you changed for the last 5 years. Why did you changed them? Could you have held on to any of them and not upgrade to the new phone?

What has this gotta do with Cameras?

The recent news on Huawei got many of us thinking. Is it viable to continue using a phone that would have no more updates within the next 3 months. Truth is most of us might be very happy indeed if the current apps we have remain as they are and we just keep on using them. But the ugly side of the connected world is that our apps consistently fuel the need to upgrade itself or it won’t even run.

Take whatsapp for example. It refuse to run and force you to do an update. What if you are not able to update like what will happen to Huawei Phone? You end up with a brick.

red and green portraits
Red & Green Currency

Resisting the dependency on Sofware

I wrote about GAS and how i broke out of it here. While that is true for my film cameras collection, it was significantly harder when it comes to Digital. As of that writing on overcoming GAS, I had 4 cameras exchanges done on Digital and 1 on Film. While I have successfully stopped the film GAS, It took me a while to settle on the Digital. When I said exchanges, that is because I swap my camera instead of buying more.

I am digressing. Now what has the Huawei, Software updates have to do with cameras? If you look at the recent innovation on digital Cameras, it is beginning to reach the golden age of its kind, just as film did in the 1970s . We now see the inclusing of AI into the cameras, this is bad news in many ways. For those who are now beginning to see the picture, AI are firmware upgrades that adds extremely useful functionality to your cameras, so much so that the gap between a film camera and a digital finally have a wide gap.

The problem is that it introduces the same dependency cycle we had on the phones to our Digital Cameras and this is bad news. Somewhere along the line you going to have Cameras whose AI would not upgrade further unless you have a hardware upgrade to support it.

Take a look Olympus E-M1x direction and Sony A6400 and the Sony A9/A73 firmware upgrades. It is the future and at some point in time, greedy manufacturers will apply the update cycle trick into the cameras lineup as market share continues to go downhill .

What do you do when your market share are small? How do you increase sales? By upselling.

Find the golden line

couples communications, portraits
Couples communications

Here is the thing. If you read so far and you have no idea what was the big deal, well, your right, nothing really happened to your life and your photography. But something is happening to everyone else around you.

The latest Sony eye-AF with AI is putting disruptions to the concepts of focus points and practicality. Try it. I did and as much as I hated GAS, I came to the conclusion it was not just silly but ignorance not to use eye-AF for portrait shooters. This is not the eye-AF that we need to place the focus point at and wait 1 second or use a live-view. The new eye AFs are game changing feature that removed the need to even set a focus point, if you are doing portraits and it allows crazy tracking.

Candid portraiture photography
Smile your on candid camera

At this point, all the other manufacturers are scrambling to catch-up with Sony new eye-AF. That is the good news. What we can do is find a camera model that have good enuf AI tracking for portrait and before they start putting in kill-switches for upgrades. I know this sound hilarious, but the A7ii users ain’t laughing, they were all left out of the updates.

Remember Acros, Fujifilm simulation, its just a stupid preset and Fuji didn’t add it to their X-Pro and X-T1 users and only open it for users of X-Pro2, X-T2, X-E3, X-T20, X-H1, and X100F. A preset needs new processor upgrade? sure Fuji.

We have enough of this shit.

model portrait film presets sony a6400
Sony a6400 / Amanda

The ultimate camera is the camera that can continuously get free updates from its manufacturer without changing hardware. Since that is impossible, there is none.

There are going to be a backlash in all these, checkout Phoblographer hilarious post about ending up at Pentax door. I am not laughing at his choice, but rather I already know this is not going to last long, end of the day you just have to cut thru the noise and settle down.

Nexus 6p, Marcus says {review by images}

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You know what? I just had it with these reviews on phone cameras that contains plain-examples of images and fill-in-the-template review. Don’t we all have enough already? If i want to see the quality of images, for goodness sake, take some photos that MAKES SENSE and stop talking about low light application on a puny sensor.

With that out of the way, here, i decided to present my own review on Nexus 6p, the current latest and greatest another android gadget from Google. I am not even going to talk about the front “selfie” camera cause i am only going to use the back camera which EVERYONE knows is al ways the better camera.

All these images presented here are taken hand held at various lighting condition and yes, some fashion portraits using available light, sceneries without hdr and macros (i don’t use the HDR mode, because it just distract you away from the main camera performance and into gimmicky processing).

So feel free to click on the images here and view them 100% cause i am not presenting any 100% crop here on some silly zoom in details, just see what you want and make your decision. Images here are unedited.

Jump to the end for my summary.

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amature shadow

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backlighting, no corrections

 

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look at those rubbish…and notice the flare

Summary:

The 12+ mp camera is a killer…for mobile phone camera. The software driving it however, the google camera, sucks. It tries too hard to match Iphone’s ease of use but it fails. Examples are:

  • the lack of slider to do exposure compensation and you end up focusing all over the place just to get the right exposure.
  • shooting speed is slower than Iphone 5s (my device is the 128gb Nexus 6p)
  • burst mode is very interesting but has a mind of its own in deciding between collages or animation
  • focusing on close objects often fails when more contrasty background exist, they should have used laser or infra-red focusing or whatever. This is not evident when viewing on the phone, but you can see the blur shot focusing behind when you open in your notebook.
  • can’t follow target / focus lock like the Sony Z5
  • interesting flare when shooting againt the light
  • weak dynamic range, highlight blows out easily (same for all mobile phones except nokia 808, Panasonic CM1, basically much larger sensors phone cameras)

What happened to low light performance? So far nothing beats the Asus Zenphone 2 ‘low light mode’ but if you had to ask, its the same shit and what is expected from a puny sensor. If this is important, go get a proper large sensor camera, else, deal with it.

What happened to listing out the specs? There are like 4127318744 other sites that can give you the specs, now go away 😉

Do take note that i bought the device myself and hence i am under no obligation to say anything nice nor do i have any interest at all to demean my own purchases.