Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Oppo F1 - super macro

Ok, as part of the ongoing "review" of this phone (and its camera) I thought I'd look next at the "Super Macro" feature.

As established in my earlier post, the camera software enjoys crappy JPG compression, which makes the 100% views of these subjects seem ... well shitty really.

However, (sorry pixel peepers) all is not lost because in my past experience the 100% view is not a good representation of print (or indeed what you may see on a giant 4K screen). So I prefer to look at the 50% view of things, just to get an idea.

Ok, so I took a shot out in the back yard, nothing fancy, no tripods, just like a regular Joe going "Ouhh Dear, that looks pretty" and snap a shot.

To give you some idea what I was photographing (attempting to give some scale here) its the classic decorative "plumb blossom" which is in our back yard ... this year has been quite a poor showing to other years. None the less, here is a shot of the sort of thing I was photographing, just a wee bit further back than the macro shot:

So now, moving about 10 cm closer to the blossom, and engaging "Super Macro" we get this:

Now for the technically minded (probably not the usual market for the Oppo F1) this superMacro setting almost certainly applies digital zoom and then uses interpolation to "upscale" before saving as a 4160 x  3120 JPG ... (with the usual ham fisted crummy compression).

This brings with it benefits of not having to be really super close to the subject and making it look distorted, and at the same time taking better use of the sensor before the JPG engine muddies up the image.

Now it looks pretty good, and if you happen to want to "print big" your masterpiece then this is the sort of details you can expect to see on close examination of a 35cm wide print:

which isn't bad all things considered.

I believe that the 'fuzzieness' of the hairs at the base of the stamen supports my "upscale - crop" before saving. Given the sorts of detail losses the JPG engine causes (seen in the DNG vs JPG comparison in the last post) it would certainly tolerate this upscale and you wouldn't really tell.

The only way to tell would be to carefully take two images (preferably on a tripod) one with superMacro and the other just in RAW and compare the two results.

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the RAW (which will not allow you to then set superMacro) will be better, but as that would be a Pain In The Arse in camera (seriously) then this is probably the best compromise method to maximize outcome and convenience.

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