The mobile phone photography thread

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Brad
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#1
O.k I'm not sure if this thread will go any where but recently I have been taking most of my photos with my cheap Samsung phone mainly as when ever I get out and about I'm always doing something else ,Dog walking ,cycling , working, family stuff. Because of this I've started to become interested in how to get the best from the device I always have on me. Please feel free to post anything phone photography related ,apps ,add on devices, use of the phone ,processing images ,good videos and anything else really. There is already a place to post your images here Mobile phone photos

Here is a link to some one I've been watching lately.

Tim Day
 
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Garry
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#3
Arguably the best app for shooting video is FiLMiC Pro. Versions are available for Android and iPhone.

I don't know much about Android camera apps, but for processing I always recommend using Snapseed. It's fast, easy, and can do most of what you might want to do.

For getting photos onto a PC or Mac, I recommend PhotoSync. It can be faster than plugging your phone into the computer, waiting for it to show up in Explorer or Finder, then navigating to the photos, selecting them, and moving them. In fact, once it's running, all you have to do is select your photos and move them. But it can do far more than that such as creating subfolders on the fly, deleting the originals, and a lot more. It's also usually faster than using AirDrop. There's a paid version and a free version, the main difference being that the free version now transfers photos in JPEG at a lower quality, although you don't need the paid version on the receiving end. The paid version is only £13.50, which is worth it if you use it after every shoot, as I do. PhotoSync is available on Android, iPhone, PC, and Mac.

Since I use iPhone, the rest of this is for iPhone users, so thanks for making this an open thread.

For processing video, Lumafusion is reckoned to be the best. I use it and it makes everything I want to do so easy. Occasionally I have to go back to Vegas on the PC, e.g. if I want to use masking. There quite possibly won't ever be an Android version, though I wouldn't rule it out. People also want Mac and PC versions, but so far nothing has been forthcoming. Lumafusion is easy enough to use on an iPhone, but I recommend using an iPad.

For shooting photos, I can recommend FiLMiC's new camera app, FirstLight. It gives you more control over the camera than the built-in Camera app and also includes some film-style filters, with more available if you take up a subscription. ProCamera is also good, and has a cheaper subscription model.

For processing photos on the iPhone, I'll always recommend Snapseed first as it's so easy to use, it's fast, and it does most of what you might want to do when it comes to making both global and local adjustments to a photo. Its main drawback is that you have to run Snapseed then open a photo - you won't find it (or be able to put it) on the Share sheet. As a good Lightroom substitute, Affinity Photo can't be beaten. Other good options include Lightroom Mobile, which also allows you to set Exif data while the others don't; and PixelMator which is a good rival to Snapseed.
 
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17,561
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Geof
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#4
pears 1
by geof worrall, on Flickr

this is from my moto 4...android cheapy
its the only mobile phone i have...!!..its the focus which gets me...ie there is none..
my daughter has a great phone with a really dedicated camera fitted..but too pricey for me
?? is there also another thread on this or is this one different ??
cheers
geof
ps..i email them to myself then use LR/PS2
 
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droj
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#5
Moving image files (some of them RAW) from iPhone to PC seemed to be an awful hassle, with impossible hoops of Apple protocol to try and jump through, and the bypass strategy of emailing such relatively large files to myself was pretty clunky.

Then I found the app EaseUS MobiMover Free, installed it on the PC, and it became a doddle. I have no vested interest in it, it just worked!

My puzzle is why Apple couldn't have made it as easy as that?
 
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#6
It's remarkable what some people manage to turn out using their phones - I suppose they're people with a very good native eye - but to me it's a 'snapshot in good light' device, and I miss the control (eg of aperture) that I find a vital component of composition in the 'real world', and the ability to go deep and dark with the light.
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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Brad
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#7
Do you go out deliberately with you phone for photography Garry ? I must admit that I also use mine for snap shot style photography of things I see when I'm out and about and focus is a sometimes a problem but I have just discovered that by holding you finger on the screen over the point you want in focus locks the focus and reduces this some what ( on an Android phone that is ). The two things where my phone falls apart are images with a fairly high contrast and the fact it only has the one focal length. The plus side is that the fairly wide angle lens allows me to capture things at a close range that I cannot back off from one thing that springs to mind is canal boat moored on the same side as me and museums where things are tucked in close to each other. I also like the fact that I have a range of formats and allows me to do square format and see exactly what I am including in the frame, some thing my Sony will not allow.I'm never likely to have an expensive phone but the camera is the thing I use most on my phone. Moving the photos from my phone to my PC is a bit of a faff especially as I use Linux on the PC. I will try some of the apps you mentioned. I must also admit that using my phone also makes me feel less of a photographer when around others with serious cameras and you do tend to get treated differently. The reverse of that is you tend not to be noticed where the use of a large more serious looking camera would get you noticed. This is a personnel thing but
I always feel I've achieved more if I get a good result from a basic simple/old device ,I almost expect to get a good result if I've just thrown lads of money at it and this is not just photography. As far as lack of aperture control goes has anyone any examples of processor created out of focus back grounds? I'm not sure of the correct terminology for this and as far as I am aware have never seen any examples. And last but not least in your opinion is it worth getting raw images from the phone or as I've heard there is too much noise because of the small sensor so raw is not worth it !
 
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#8
Yes, Brad. I always have the phone on me but recently I've taken to leaving my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera at home when I go out. I'm pretty sure I'll get around to using it again, and maybe a lot, but right now I'm having too much fun with the phone. I was going out with the Sony with my 50mm f/1.8 lens practically glued to the front. The iPhone XS has two lenses: 26mm and 52mm, so I can get a wider range of street photos, and there's no real noticeable difference in quality between the A6000/50mm and the XS unless you pixel-peep at 100%.

Locking focus in the way you describe is a feature of all of the camera apps I use on the iPhone, but I tend to decide which format (in the sense of pixel ratio) to use until I get home and see the photos on a bigger screen, unless I'm shooting something where I want to process the photos and upload them while on location. And you're right about people's treatment of phone camera users: although it means that some people won't bother stopping if you're right in front of them taking a photo, those same people think your photography isn't important, so you can more easily get street photos, and especially street candids. That's always been the way with phones, though. While you're busy getting and locking focus and exposure, look quizzically up at street signs and people think you're using the Map app.

What you're calling "processor created out of focus back grounds" is part of what's known as computational photography. My iPhone has it. Both of the lenses have wide apertures, so you can get the background out of focus if your subject is close to you and a long way from the background. The only portrait-style photo I can show you as an example, is this one I took of Brexit Man (Steve Bray) outside the Houses of Parliament:

https://flic.kr/p/2hkQANw View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/48794896706/in/dateposted/


But you can use the same function to get good non-portrait shots, too. Like this one of some leaves in a park:

https://flic.kr/p/2hMUUq8 View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/49089965303/in/dateposted/


The function is really aimed at portraits, taken with the phone upright, and it looks out for a face to use as the subject. But you can fool it into accepting other subjects and blurring out the background in an acceptable way. And what's even better is that, since the blur is created by the software, you can change it after you've taken the photo. So, if the blur isn't looking good enough, I can (on the phone, or after I've copied it to my iPad) go into Edit mode and change the slider from f/1.4 all the way up to f/16 and use whatever works best.
 
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Garry
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#9
I forgot to answer your question about raw photos. I've tried it on my iPhone and, while the image quality is reasonable, there's so much noise that you might as well let the phone convert it to JPEG in order to save time and get good results. This is the first and only phone I've had that could produce raw photos, so someone else might be able to give you better advice.
 
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George.
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#10
Yes, Brad. I always have the phone on me but recently I've taken to leaving my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera at home when I go out. I'm pretty sure I'll get around to using it again, and maybe a lot, but right now I'm having too much fun with the phone. I was going out with the Sony with my 50mm f/1.8 lens practically glued to the front. The iPhone XS has two lenses: 26mm and 52mm, so I can get a wider range of street photos, and there's no real noticeable difference in quality between the A6000/50mm and the XS unless you pixel-peep at 100%.

Locking focus in the way you describe is a feature of all of the camera apps I use on the iPhone, but I tend to decide which format (in the sense of pixel ratio) to use until I get home and see the photos on a bigger screen, unless I'm shooting something where I want to process the photos and upload them while on location. And you're right about people's treatment of phone camera users: although it means that some people won't bother stopping if you're right in front of them taking a photo, those same people think your photography isn't important, so you can more easily get street photos, and especially street candids. That's always been the way with phones, though. While you're busy getting and locking focus and exposure, look quizzically up at street signs and people think you're using the Map app.

What you're calling "processor created out of focus back grounds" is part of what's known as computational photography. My iPhone has it. Both of the lenses have wide apertures, so you can get the background out of focus if your subject is close to you and a long way from the background. The only portrait-style photo I can show you as an example, is this one I took of Brexit Man (Steve Bray) outside the Houses of Parliament:

https://flic.kr/p/2hkQANw View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/48794896706/in/dateposted/


But you can use the same function to get good non-portrait shots, too. Like this one of some leaves in a park:

https://flic.kr/p/2hMUUq8 View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/49089965303/in/dateposted/


The function is really aimed at portraits, taken with the phone upright, and it looks out for a face to use as the subject. But you can fool it into accepting other subjects and blurring out the background in an acceptable way. And what's even better is that, since the blur is created by the software, you can change it after you've taken the photo. So, if the blur isn't looking good enough, I can (on the phone, or after I've copied it to my iPad) go into Edit mode and change the slider from f/1.4 all the way up to f/16 and use whatever works best.
”Excellent” post once again, and very informative.

George.
 
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George.
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#11
I forgot to answer your question about raw photos. I've tried it on my iPhone and, while the image quality is reasonable, there's so much noise that you might as well let the phone convert it to JPEG in order to save time and get good results. This is the first and only phone I've had that could produce raw photos, so someone else might be able to give you better advice.
I’ve had some very good results shooting RAW on my “iPhone 7 plus” and doing the PP work in Affinity.

George.
 
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#12
Thanks, George, and thanks for your kind comments. I'll have to give Affinity a try for noise reduction. The only drawback is that I'd either have to do the whole thing in Affinity every time, which isn't as fast as working in Snapseed, or I'd have to save the noise-corrected version and then load it into Snapseed, with a resulting loss in quality.
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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#13
Is that the Garrick theatre in Litchfield Garry ? I've been there multiple times but always in darkness ! I've tried Snapspeed although I've only used it a little it seems fairly easy to use and the few results I have tried have been good, as you pointed out it is also fast. I've also looked into getting the files/photos from my Android phone
to my Linux PC using an app called Airdroid ( there is a Windows version) it allows you to see all files on your phone not just photos and you can transfer both ways, I chose to use Airdroid web on the PC. To use Airdroid you do have to sign up for an account using your email address. I've posted a before and after on image thread where I have used the HDR option to my eye it almost makes the image 3d.
 
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Graham
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#14
Nice little thread, thanks.
I always have my phone in my pocket as most people but when I'm out for the day like I was Sunday in the Alps I do like to take a few with my phone but as that can't compete with the D750 the camera wins every time.
Here's one taken with the phone, Xiaomi T9 Pro.
As the phone is good for photos I don't normally feel the need to pp my photos. IMG_20191117_132724.jpeg
 
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#15
Is that the Garrick theatre in Litchfield Garry ?
No, this one's in London.

I've also looked into getting the files/photos from my Android phone to my Linux PC using an app called Airdroid
I've used Airdroid in the dim and distant past. It's OK. But I installed ES File Explorer and set up a direct connection to my PC using SMB, so that I could just copy and paste the files. There are other file managers that let you do the same thing.

Ooops!
I just realised that I posted the Garrick Theatre photo in the wrong thread! This one's supposed to be for discussion. I'll delete it. here.
 
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George.
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#17
I'm guessing they are really naff

You've got it in one.

"I've put a "Raynox" close up lens on my iPhone 7plus before now (held on with a couple of elastic bands on round the mount) and managed to get some pretty reasonable results."

George.
 
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Graham
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#18
Has anyone ever tried the cheap add on lenses to alter focal length ? I'm guessing they are really naff
Not me personally but a Jumping spider group i`m in on FB and there is a guy has one and his shots are incredible, mostly better than some DSLR shots, But he has said practice makes perfect.
 
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#19
I paid a little over £25 for a set of lenses (can't remember the make) in Jessops and found more or less what I expected to find. Athens 2x tele was OK in the centre but OOF at the edges. The CPL didn't seem to work at all (and yes, I know about sun angles, etc), and even the wide-angle/macro combo was soft. I've seen some acceptable results online from the Moment and Olloclip ranges.
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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Brad
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#20
White balance ! Today I took the phone out with my super expensive £2.99 tripod on a dog walk in woodland. I have to admit that in the past I have let the camera do it's thing on auto but have generally been disappointed with woodland colours as they never seem to look like what I am seeing, This time I decided to use the phone in Pro mode and tried the various setting I ended up setting exposure to minus 0.5 and the white balance to cloudy this brought the colours out lovely and they looked much nearer to what I was seeing. The conditions were really flat with fog so were pretty poor. Here are a couple of examples. The shots are as they came out of the camera but I have had to reduce the size to post here which has lost some of their quality. The true balance would be some where halfway but in the standard camera app I cannot vary the white balance and just have presets.

In auto mode
1.jpg

In pro with white balance set to cloudy.

2.jpg
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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Brad
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#21
Have any of you played with any of the retro photos apps ? I've used a few to replicate old film cameras and film ,personally I quite like some of the retro effects.
What do you think of them ? Not retro but I have also used 3d apps and Long exposure apps with to my eye nice affects.
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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Brad
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#22
I did a little range test today of Blue tooth shutter that I have had for a while (£1.69 from eBay) thought you may like to see the results. I have had this for sometime so the battery may not be at it's best ! I basically walked away from it and pressed the shutter to obtain max distance.

4.jpg
 
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BADGER.BRAD
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Brad
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#23
First things first I know what your thinking and I think there are two options, option one is how did he get this glamour model to pose for him ? He must be loaded and option 2 this blokes an idiot ! The range at a rough guess was about 40 foot which I thought was not too bad but I have found that this shutter button only works with the native camera app. not bad for a few quid.


1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
 
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Richard
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#24
Mine looks the same and has “Camera 360” on it like yours. The make is Camkix but I’m sure I pad a bit more (£5??) from Amazon. The main button works with at least some Android phones too. But mine woks with 3rd party apps like Camera+ too. Not sure abou range like you are testing but I’ve found it indispensable when you are trying to make a record snap of something fairly inaccessible and can only use one hand.
 
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