So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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bfitzgerald
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So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

:mrgreen:

I picked up a Pixel 3a new open box for 200 euro. What can I say, except Google have some clever software magic going on here. Yes it was time to get rid of the Lumia 950 (good camera shame about how Microsoft treated their users, never fixing the bugs and dumping the OS), the camera was nice on the Lumia. However things have moved on

Welcome to night sight, crazy you can even shoot in low light and blend the images to make something that is very very acceptable. HDR+ even in difficult lighting is able to retain shadow and highlights. I do wish there was more manual control like the Lumia, however the end results are quite impressive for a phone camera. I can clearly see why the camera makers are struggling, they're so far behind in software development it's not even funny. For most users who don't need longer reach, it's probably pointless buying a MILC, they're not that cheap, and you get stuck with slow kit lenses which won't work well in low light

I don't think they'll be able to come back from this, and the ever increasing prices on MILC gear almost seal it's fate. I'm looking forward to using the pixel more, samples to follow and yes you can even shoot raw if you want..
For me I don't care whilst I love using cameras, if you have one in your pocket and can get the "end result" - then I'll use that, I believe most consumers will feel the same.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Some photo samples I think the results speak for themselves. Of course I could have used a faster lens on the Sony..even so I'm at ISO 3200, yes you can use MFNR, the results tend to be a bit smeared out though from past experience.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Night shooting not a problem with night sight
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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All pixel shots using night sight, it's hardly worth it but you can use the DNG raw files on the pixel, they are blended multiple shots so show way less noise and can be processed fairly well, though I think most will just use the jpegs.
There are still plenty of reasons for using a real camera, ability to use different lenses, macro and user experience. As far as new users coming in, I cannot see how MILC makers can compete with high prices and slow kit lenses. Perhaps for specialist uses such as video creators, and specific needs. For the rest of the market, it's just plain gone now. I don't see a lot of future for the camera industry, and that's last years model not an expensive phone, even the newer Pixel 4a is hardly "ultra pricey"
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Well, here's a comparison of the phone with a good camera appeared. :) I hope now it becomes clearer why I started thinking about purchasing a phone with a very good camera. :) Even if we consider that Pixel 3 has far from the best camera, (I have on Xiaomi two cameras - 20 megapixels), the photos still speak for themselves. I personally thought hard about purchasing a phone like Xiaomi MI 10 Ultra or Samsung Galaxy S20 pro.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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I suppose it depends on what you want camera wise. I see new phones coming out with multiple lenses. UWA and a tele. Though the cost increases, and so far I've found many of the phones are a bit large for me. Hence the Pixel 3a is about as big as I'd want to go (similar size to the Lumia 950 bit taller, but narrower), the 4a is smaller still with a similar camera (F1.7 slightly faster I think)

The other thing is Google love or hate them, do seem to have put quite a bit into this snazzy processing - and the results are in most cases very good, not perfect in portrait it can miss some areas of background blur - it is a lot better than previous attempts.
I'm not much into the Apple side of things so Android is the way to go. The Xiaomi phones are overall quite good, if they made one that wasn't too big I'd have looked at them too. The Pixel processing is quite different to the Lumia, that phone was a bit overly warm on many shots (quite a lot really), the Pixel is more neutral (sometimes a bit too cool though simple enough to tweak in post)

I've not been a fan of Samsung's punchy look, perhaps it's down to each person what they like. The thinking was to get one good camera at a decent price, perhaps later on see what they offer. I'm also not a fan of bloatware, and the Pixel phones deliver a clean experience. Overall it is better than the Lumia despite less pixels, the processing was at that time very good on the Microsoft phone - they just pulled the plug and it didn't get improved, Google moved forward quite a bit since then. There is a super res zoom which uses movement combined with multiple images to get some decent ish zoom, and it works quite well up to say 2-3x, beyond that not great, however Gcam v 8 should improve that when it's out
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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I agree, Pixel 3 from Google is a very decent phone with a good camera and the software made by Google is very strong, based on many developments used in graphic editors. Basically, the color of the screens is determined by technology, if it is Amoled, then the color will be warmer and more contrasting and oversaturated, if ISP, then a more correct color and less contrast. I just have two phones with different screens in front of the eyeses. Personally, I decided to wait a bit until they install decent optical zooms in the phones. They are already there, but somehow not everything in these phones is pleasant and of course the price for such a phone. :)
So far, I'm getting along with my Xiaomi. :)
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Xiaomi are quite good their processing isn't as cooked IMO, though not quite up to Google's they might get there. If they can make smaller handsets I'd consider them in future, most are way too big for me. The A3 was about the size I'd look at, and you can hack install Gcam evidently.

The DOF effect on the Pixel isn't perfect, but it can be used for non portraits and most of the time works pretty well
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Of course there are still times a real camera is preferable - the improvements over the years to phone image quality is huge, if they can nail the telephoto part then there becomes even less reason for people to consider a camera. Looking at what's possible now in phones even non high end ones, the ever increasing prices/slow kit lenses on MILC are becoming a hindrance to sales. I'm surprised makers think they will be able to ride it out and just carry on. I will likely keep my camera gear, but if I were semi into photography right now I could get most of what I want with one of these phones. I suspect most consumers feel the same. Remains to be seen how small the remnants of the camera industry will become, I have a feeling the downsizing is not yet over. Olympus sold out, I expect to see more casualties.

I guess it's all about the result, how you got there probably doesn't matter much!
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Quite right, a phone is enough for personal use in 90% of cases, I am very pleased with the use of the phone on personal travels.
There are still two cameras left: A99-2 and A300, I sold crop cameras and lenses for them, well, there are two more lenses, these are DT-SAL1680Z and DT SAL50200 ... These lenses work perfectly with both one crop camera and a full-frame camera. .. I'm not sure if they were worth selling considering that I have a 1680 with metal eternal gears.

PS. Didn't quite understand the meaning of two identical photos in the last message. :(

I really miss the A77-2 camera, a very favorite camera for work ...
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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The torches top one is with the DOF effect in portrait, the second is the one without (it is close ish so show some background blur though not as much) It seems to always say a normal shot too for portrait, I assume in case it messes things up or you want a non blur shot.

I sold the A57, I still have 3 bodies (and the old KM 5d's), lenses I have quite a few most are not worth selling really (ie vintage stuff) I still use them the 50mm F1.7, beercan, 28-85mm, 100-200mm (use this one a lot) etc. I kept the A77 as it has GPS and the A99 I like it still quite a lot, the A77ii I use mostly for videos on YouTube and some photography. I'm not sure it's worth selling them - unless I have an entire clear out. I wouldn't want to be without the gear, I did videos on most of them and surprisingly still quite a bit of interest in the Minolta lenses

Yes the early batches of the 16-80mm were plastic mechanism, also an issue on the 16-105mm from what I hear, they updated them to metal I believe. So if you use them hang onto them. I do wonder if I should sell more stuff off, then I think what would I do with the cash?

I wouldn't be investing in MILC systems, at this stage it doesn't seem worthwhile. I have thought about a MILC just for video and maybe doing some more lens tests, prices are terrible new and I won't pay what they are asking. If a s/h one turned up maybe - there are still some people interested in photography and lenses etc. It's just the mass market has entirely gone really - 10 years ago some people might buy a DSLR or compact, now almost none do. Tons of used gear around doesn't seem good value to buy new! For everyone else their phone is plenty good enough, and based on this I tend to agree - it's just interesting to see how the manufacturers are going to fare, their only solution so far is to keep increasing prices. End result is even less people consider a camera, quite sad really
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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bfitzgerald wrote: ..............
Yes the early batches of the 16-80mm were plastic mechanism, also an issue on the 16-105mm from what I hear, they updated them to metal I believe. So if you use them hang onto them. I do wonder if I should sell more stuff off, then I think what would I do with the cash?
..............
In fact, I repair my cameras and lenses myself ... And in the SAL1680Z lens I first changed to new plastic gears, later I installed a set of metal gears. Disabled completely manual focusing (problems with the lens start with the MF. The clutch collects dust and starts to turn on itself when AF is active). But! For sale or just for further work, I must disassemble this lens, clean out the old grease, dust from the AF and Zoom mechanism and return the MF drive to its place. I usually do this once a year or every two years, depending on where this lens was used. Only then will I be able to do something with this lens. Well, and one more circumstance, it is necessary to find out whether it is worth sending this lens across the ocean at all. Shipping can be very expensive. :(
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Interesting I should have send you the 80-200mm as that was having grease/gear issues. I'm still digging around to find the right one, though it's not urgent as photo work in basically non existent here, into a 6 week lock down 5km limit. Fortunately I have videos I can make and products to review, that keeps me busy.
I never understood why they would use plastic gears in the first place for a Zeiss lens very strange. I've yet to mash up even a kit lens and I'm fairly sure they're cheapo build. Even the old 28-85mm is built like a tank and that has metal gears

I'm not sure what these SAM lenses have build wise, though I've not had any problems so far with them.
On the Pixel phones I am also enjoying the non bloatware, no ad nonsense you can find on other handsets. Weather is awful but I'll post a few more shots when I'm out and about and it calms down. I forgot to mention on portrait shots you can adjust the blur afterwards too, which is a nice touch. Single camera might not sound wow, but the pixel has impressed me. I'd certainly look at a 4a if that was in someone's price range, ie not too expensive. I can't say I find flagship prices too appealing!
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bfitzgerald
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Re: So I got a Pixel phone, yes the camera makers are in trouble

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Google have updated their camera app to 8.1 and it seems to have improved some of the processing, so I'll try to get out a bit once this lock down is finished. At the moment it's a 5km limit which isn't ideal for photography!
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