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Google Pixel 3 (I think I'm done with "traditional" cameras)

Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
My brain nearly exploded SEVERAL times during this video. Obviously even if you dislike the haptics of cel phone photography (VERY much like I do), you must admit that computational photography is making leaps and bounds. This new Pixel 3 is clearly a game changer (and I already felt that my first generation Pixel often gives me better photos than my cameras). Imagine the next iteration....or the one after that....or (let me catch my breath here).....imagine if Google actually made a PROPER camera with all this tech inside.

I just had my original Pixel repaired after the mother board failed (Thanks Google for paying for the repair even though it was out of warranty) so I'm not yet in the market for a new phone. But my thinking after watching this video is that I could easily buy one after selling off my remaining cameras (that I rarely use anyways).

Or I'll wait until my phone dies of natural causes and maybe the Pixel 4 or 5 will be out.

 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
124
Trust me Luke, I'm right with you. My Gen 1 Pixel is still going, but looking at all these samples (esp. the Wide Angle mode and the promised Night Sight), it's really really tempting. But I tend to skip one generation on DSCs and try to skip two on phones. Gah. :biggrin:
 

Bruce McL

Regular
Dec 18, 2016
68
Interesting video! High points for me:
- The use of pixel shift to decrease noise and increase resolution. This makes in-camera digital zoom much more effective than cropping in post.
- Some of the computational features, particularly image stabilization, are baked into the DNG file. I wish Apple would do this.
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Sep 14, 2012
124
Texas
I am an iPhoneX user and while it takes amazing images, like Luke said the experience of using it for photography is not at all satisfying. Maybe that will change with more innovative design. Right now I really don’t think of my phone as a camera. And only use it that way if it is the only alternative.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Same here, Don. I only have the 6S, maybe if I had a "Tennis" Max I might feel differently. The Pixel 3 certainly looks the goods, but... I wont sell myself to google even for a great camera in the phone.
 

serhan

All-Pro
May 7, 2011
124
NYC
But Galaxy 9 has 4 cameras:)
The Samsung Galaxy A9 is the first quad-cam smartphone

Also I saw the google pixel samples at dpreview, not bad for a small sensor:
Official Google Pixel 3 sample images

One lx100 ii review was saying the same thing, eg why do you need to spend $1000 when everybody has a cellphone with them. I guess it is correct with most of the people, which shows in the compact sales and push for the ultra zoom compacts where the cellphones are still behind... I still like the buttons and the raw editing to get better results but the cell phones with AI will be pushing the envelope rather then the classic camera companies...

Below video shows that you can use a headphone jack to even take a photo with an iphone, interesting:
 

Bruce McL

Regular
Dec 18, 2016
68
If Google made an ILC with a 1" sensor and this tech they'd change the game completely...
I agree, but I don’t think there is enough money involved in traditional cameras to make it worth Google’s time - or Apple’s time.

Another alternative would be for Panasonic (as an example) to hire away some people from Google or Apple. Howerver I don’t see the management of any major camera company allowing outsiders to come in and make the necessary changes, so that won’t work either.

Perhaps the job of changing the ILC game could be accomplished by a technology company from China, with assistance from former Google or Apple people. I think that’s the most likely scenario.

Yi Technology is one candidate. They already make a Micro 4/3 camera. They emphasize ease of use and connectivity more than the traditional camera makers do.

Yi Technology
 

Chris2500dk

Top Veteran
Dec 22, 2011
104
Copenhagen, Denmark
I really like the concept of computational photography, we bought an original Pixel which my wife uses, and for her it's so much better than any camera would be. Zero fuss, just snap a picture and you're done, automatically synced to the cloud so she doesn't have to fiddle with transferring images to her computer when she gets home.

That being said I'm not quite hooked on the image quality yet. It's great for viewing on a phone, but put it on a large monitor and it's easy to see there's a big difference between a tiny phone sensor/lens and a camera with a much larger sensor and good optics.

I'm playing around with Kandao Raw+ which works somewhat similar to Google HDR+. It takes a stack of raw files and combines them to reduce noise while taking the moving parts from just one image. You get a DNG file as output to process further. It works great, I took a 10 image stack of ISO 3200 raw files from my A6300 and the result looks like ISO 100, but it's a lot of manual steps compared to just one single shutter activation on a Pixel.
Maybe someday camera makers will see the light :)
 

Les Klein

Veteran
Dec 10, 2015
104
Montreal area
I’ve described my lifelong interest in photography as a combination of using the camera and viewing the resultant image. Smart phones are continuously improving the image, but the act of taking the picture with a phone (I have an iPhone SE) just doesn’t cut it for me. Having a viewfinder is paramount to using my camera — none exists for cellphones. I know there are gadgets that could be added butbthat’s not what a sleek cellphone is all about.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
124
Lexington, Virginia
I’ve described my lifelong interest in photography as a combination of using the camera and viewing the resultant image. Smart phones are continuously improving the image, but the act of taking the picture with a phone (I have an iPhone SE) just doesn’t cut it for me. Having a viewfinder is paramount to using my camera — none exists for cellphones. I know there are gadgets that could be added butbthat’s not what a sleek cellphone is all about.
This is true for me as well. I enjoy using the camera while shooting and that's part of the experience. The cellphone is practical and not as fun alternative, which is nonetheless gaining usage.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
69
Los Angeles, USA
One thing I noticed is that dedicated camera usage in the west is down, but in many parts of Asia people still like using both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. In fact, because camera equipment is so expensive, I find the craft to be more well respected. I notice used camera equipment in Asia tends to be treated with more care, which I think is a reflection of the photographers who use the gear.

Also in Asia, Fuji and Olympus are quite popular and I saw lots of young people using cheap C-mount lenses to get more artistic photographs. This is the reason cameras like the Olympus Pen-Lite has so many of those darn art filters! Also venues are more apt to create installations that are photo friendly in public spaces. I live in LA and honestly I've yet to see any venue go out of their way to create interesting photo ops. Also what's annoying if a venue in Los Angeles has a visually interesting installation to take photos at...it's usually on semi-private spaces, so if you look even remotely professional they'll kick you out.

Also just gauging pictures posted by friends on social media, I have many friends with the latest smartphones and honestly their photos don't look great at all. In fact I'd say photographs have just gotten progressively worst as people have shifted away from dedicated cameras. All these new tech innovations don't mean squat, unless the end user is willing to maximize the potential of the technology.
 
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Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
124
The Asian domestic market is definitely a special case. In fact, the Nikon 1 system developed the way it did feature-wise because it was informed in part by a core user group of young single women in Japan. Hence the J-series and lack of external controls and the propensity to force automatic preview of the last shot taken.

I think it's not so much an appreciation for technical Image Quality as much as it is more of the so-called "At The Moment" (ATM) phenomenon. People's memories are now streamed into media channels and have about the shelf life as short as double-tapping the Instagram image (to Like) and moving on. If I sound like a Luddite, I should also point out that above behavior describes me to a small T on IG. :) Except I don't have the app open 24/7/365 on my phone. Occasionally I will pop in, see the last five images from people I follow (mostly other photogs I know personally) and like them if appropriate.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
69
Los Angeles, USA
The Asian domestic market is definitely a special case. In fact, the Nikon 1 system developed the way it did feature-wise because it was informed in part by a core user group of young single women in Japan. Hence the J-series and lack of external controls and the propensity to force automatic preview of the last shot taken.

I think it's not so much an appreciation for technical Image Quality as much as it is more of the so-called "At The Moment" (ATM) phenomenon. People's memories are now streamed into media channels and have about the shelf life as short as double-tapping the Instagram image (to Like) and moving on. If I sound like a Luddite, I should also point out that above behavior describes me to a small T on IG. :) Except I don't have the app open 24/7/365 on my phone. Occasionally I will pop in, see the last five images from people I follow (mostly other photogs I know personally) and like them if appropriate.
I've also noticed the opposite with film photographers in Japan. Many will showcase their work in small print galleries and some photographers will have little or no exposure on social media. I also find such a support network lacking at least here in a city like Los Angeles. Maybe I should start doing gallery shows! :D
 

serhan

All-Pro
May 7, 2011
124
NYC
OK, I gave up after seeing this article:

Diligent dog owner uses the iPhone to capture the pastoral scenery
勤力狗主人用 iPhone 捕捉田園風光 - DCFever.com

"In the eyes of photographers, no matter how much the quality of the mobile phone's photography is improved, it still has a distance from the SLR camera. But there is no denying that there are more and more people using mobile phones. The opinion of landscape photographer Mariko Klug, who has won several awards, seems to best alleviate the opposition between photography: photography does not depend on the technical quality of the equipment or image, but the power, content and composition of the image itself."

Her flickr:
M a r i k o
 
Jan 28, 2014
104
Helsinki, Finland
I really, really agree. I’ve found out that for example my wife concentrates more to composition and mood and can make excellent photos with iPhone. She doesn’t even notice any possible technical restrictions :D

And same applies for Mariko, her pp style hides very effectively restrictions of iPhone camera.

I’ve tried to copy my wife’s method, but I can’t ‘see’ pictures on the iPhone display. That’s why I still prefer real ‘traditional’ photo apparatus, if you can call mirrorless Olympus for that...


OK, I gave up after seeing this article:

Diligent dog owner uses the iPhone to capture the pastoral scenery
勤力狗主人用 iPhone 捕捉田園風光 - DCFever.com

"In the eyes of photographers, no matter how much the quality of the mobile phone's photography is improved, it still has a distance from the SLR camera. But there is no denying that there are more and more people using mobile phones. The opinion of landscape photographer Mariko Klug, who has won several awards, seems to best alleviate the opposition between photography: photography does not depend on the technical quality of the equipment or image, but the power, content and composition of the image itself."

Her flickr:
M a r i k o
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
124
Troy, NY
My primary use of the camera feature in my portable telephone is to snap the shopping list chalkboard...
I don't have a smart phone, but I have used my Canon G12 to shoot pix of plumbing parts so I should show the guy at the hardware store.

Here's a pic that snapped with my flip phone's 1.3 meg camera, heavily cropped.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

I didn't have a "real" camera with me.

Cheers, Jock
 

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