Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Oppo F1 vs iPhone 7p on GSMArena compare tool

so, with the data up on GSMArena, I thought I'd look at the iPhone 7p and see how it does against the Oppo F1.

well ... given my other posts showing how crummy the Oppo JPG engine is and how much better it can do by using DNG (here, here), that the iPhone 7 is this close to the Oppo it will take a comparison using DNG to sort out the sheep from the goats

just a little bit of contrast tweaking (of only the Oppo segment) makes them look even closer ...

Folks, I think that phone cam's have hit the physics wall ... they're already diffraction limited (which is why they don't have aperture contols) and with the amount of light (read, the lack of light) reaching each pixel its a tibute to modern manufacture and physics that they work as well as they do...

I suppose the iPhone lovers will find some reasons to justify spending 4 times as much

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Settling in

with my self arrived with my bags and opened up the door to an empty place I have started the task of sorting my stuff and settling in.

I got the opportunity to go for a quick jaunt with a mate out (not far) into the countryside and so I though I'd put up a snap of an old abandoned (I assume) shed or barn.

It feels funny saying things to people about "my place" back in Australia, as the habit of calling that house my home is still strong.

I wonder how that will go?

I'm sure (from chats to my neighbours) that the new owners have wasted no time in settling in either, and have seemingly started to make renovations happen.

Hopefully it will change sufficiently that I don't actually want to go back. Either way for now the only place I can call home is here in Finland.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

stepping off the home plate

Well this house on this street has been many things to me

It was where I was born, went to school, came back during University, where I lived after my parents passed away, where I did my masters degree and where I settled with my wife.

The house has seen many changes since my parents bought it in about 1956, starting life as a chamferboard house:

... and ultimately being rebuilt into the one above over years of iterative development.

Throughout my life I've been involved with this, helping dad as I could (depending on my age)

to ultimately doing renovations on it myself as an adult.

as my wife and I turned it into a home we wanted to live in, as well as making some steps towards making it our home.

I have no doubt that Anitas influence helped me to shape this place away from what my parents built and into something which was us. It was good to have the opportunity to build a home together even if it was short. Since her passing I have completed many of the works we started together, the downstairs bathroom and the kitchen are now newly renovated.

I have learned many life skills here, developed my relationships with my wife and my friends and developed myself too. Kiitos kulta.

I have left here and come back again many times in my life, and now today I leave for the final time, as I have sold the house.

It was not a decision I took lightly, but ultimately no matter what this place represents to me it is (without those people) just a place.

Over the last few months I have systematically stripped it of all the things which were reminders and items of significance. Some have been discarded and others have been kept. I've tried to be pragmatic about much of it.

So I now step off the "home plate" for the last time ... and head for the other side of the planet to see where the journey of life takes me next.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Oppo F1 - expert mode (more details)

well most people don't seem to dig through the details of the workings of their cameras, and as the "selfie expert" is probably aimed at people who are "selfie-ists" few will realise just how good the native camera app is ...

So lets have a look at what I (as a photographer) love about this tool.

First, getting there. Open the camera then click the little bunch of circles which are on the right of the shutter button. That takes you to the settings. From there pick "Expert Mode"

annoyingly (like most phones) the orientation does not switch fully (or even switch at all) despite the phone being oriented ... so you'll have to live with that.

Once in Expert Mode you'll find some interesting features:

You will see that you're in expert mode by the display note (and you can restore "default" by just tapping the X beside Expert Mode) and the new controls and a new focus point picker.

First the most useful control sets are innocuously hidden under the EV  The astute will also observe that the "focus point" box has changed shape a little ... more on that in a tic.

Because this screen does not rotate well (I've rotated it a little to make it easier to read. The key adjustment areas are:

  • Shutter control (auto and pick your own up to 16 seconds)
  • ISO control (auto or pick your own)
  • Exposure Compensation (sort of pointless and I'll explain why in a tic)

This is an enormously powerful feature set and liberates the phone from being frustrating for photographers doing low light work to making it a fully functional camera that any photographer will find handy. Lets look at them one at a time

Shutter control

Having control over the shutter is an enormous benefit, especially when you fix the ISO. In the modern age of digital cameras that Auto ISO things it leaves people confused as to what is happening. For a film user, once you loaded the film in the camera it was decided ... you were using (say) 200 ISO and that's that. Film users were intimately aware of how change in ISO was a give and take affair. Sure it gave you the ability to have faster shutter speeds in low light, but it took from you the clarity and sweetness of 100ISO images. The same is also true in digital.

So if you want to get the sweetest images (from a noise perspective) from your camera, always bias towards the lowest ISO you can get your hands on. Which leads me to:


So being able to pick your own ISO means you can make images where adjusting the shutter (sorry, no aperture control on phones for "diffraction limit" reasons) will show you exactly the changes you are making to shutter as brightness changes in the picture.

Exposure Compensation

So this leads us to Exposure Compensation which (when you have ISO and Shutter locked to your preferences) is sort of a a spare foot ... maybe handy but for what? Its about the least useful component to one who wants to be in control. I suspect its only use is when you've locked the ISO to your pref (say 100) and left the shutter on Auto (because there isn't a choice for anything less than 1/4 of a second which isn't any good in daylight)

But rather than muff about with Exposure Compensation the Oppo F1 camera offers you a more potent tool ... that of Spot Metering.

Watch this spot

So, looking at the screen in Expert mode again we see that "changed" focus point when you go into Expert Mode. This is how it works.

So lets say you move the "focus point" in the usual way (by tapping on the screen somewhere) to over there on the wall (default is center)

because you don't want the foreground in focus ... now the astute will also see that doing such has also altered the exposure, because (for most cameras) the chosen point is also where exposure is biased towards. But that could be too bright or too dark resulting in a dark or light photograph. 

This is where you drag the circle out  of the square and place that where you want the exposure spot to be metered from ... voilla .. Spot Metering

You can then move the spot to other places (drag it) and find the exposure you like ... thus there is little need for Exposure Compensation (but its not heavy to carry right).

Pretty handy stuff isn't it. So go out and be creative with your camera phone...