Feeds

Is your cameraphone an oxymoron?

iPhone 3G v iPhone 3GS v Palm Pre

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Let's try something tougher

Dark, backlit subjects are difficult for a simple point-and-shoot camera to image decently, but a few of my test shots of this glad-handing bronze businessman ("Shaking Man" by Terry Allen, 1993) came out not half-bad.

iPhone 3G 2.2.1 - backlit-image example

An iPhone 3G with Software 2.2.1, as expected, turned in the worst performance
Click for a full-resolution image

My oldest phone/software combination - the iPhone 3G running Software 2.2.1 - tried its level best, but it just didn't have the chops to pick out detail in both the statue's face and the background. Luckily, it's a free upgrade to Software 3.0.

iPhone 3G 3.0 - backlit-image example

Software 3.0 helped the iPhone 3G to sharpen the background
Click for a full-resolution image

The difference between an iPhone 3G running Software 2.2.1 and 3.0 is subtle, but noticeable. Check out the improved detail and the sharpness of, for example, the post on the left.

Palm Pre - backlit-image example

The Palm Pre's sharpness and balance are good, but color is again off a bit
Click for a full-resolution image

Of all the cell-phone cameras I tested, the Palm Pre edged ahead of the others in sharpness and depth of detail. But, then again, "sharp cell-phone camera" is a bit of an oxymoron.

iPhone 3GS - backlit-image example

When trying to balance between foreground and background, the iPhone 3GS blew out the background
Click for a full-resolution image

When I used the iPhone 3GS's choose-a-focus-and-exposure-point feature, it was difficult to find a happy medium. Focusing on an edge of the statue and including just a bit of the background, as in the image above, blew out the background. On the other hand, focusing just on the background made statue's face a dark, detail-free muddle, as I detail on the next page of this article.

Nikon D70 - backlit-image example

My DSLR chose a balance of foreground and background exposures
Click for a full-resolution image

There's something to be said for using a real camera and not a micro-lensed toy, as are the cameras in even the smartest of smartphones. Even when I let my old Nikon D70 automatically set the exposure based on the Shaking Man's face, it responded intelligently.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.