Smartphone cameras have changed over the last several years, and these days you can take masterpiece photos with very little effort. But that’s not because everyone has suddenly had photography training – instead, it’s because of the technology that makes your smartphone camera work.
Smartphone cameras have been becoming more advanced, utilizing AI to push the envelope, and developing interest from even professional photographers. Most people take camera quality into account when buying a new smartphone, and have a wide range of standards, from pixel count to lense size. However, what most don’t realize is that hardware is half of the story. Artificial Intelligence is a large determiner in how great your pics come out on a smartphone. AI algorithms can identify setting, determine exposure, brightness, and white balance, and with face recognition, can blur the background and focus on the subject of the photo.
With great algorithms, smartphones can compensate for any hardware that couldn’t be jammed into your pocket. High Dynamic Range can combine 3 separate photos to find the greatest lighting possible, enabling amazing shots in less than stellar settings, such as very bright or dim locations. Top Shot records a 3-second video and picks what it decides is the best pic also giving the photographer a selection of alternates.
The Google Pixel goes one step further, with its new feature, which includes augmented video techniques similar to those above. HDR+ again takes a cluster of shots, but instead of only maximizing lighting, it focuses on attaining vibrant color and reducing noise. Night Sight utilizes motion detection and color correction to get better pics in low-level lighting.
Not only are stock smartphone cameras relatively high in quality, but there are a plethora of developer apps that specialize for any occasion. Looking to take a selfie? Try Cymera Camera, toting the same features of the native camera, adds fun tools for retouching, stickers, and cool light effects to make any selfie pop. Feeling nostalgic? Take a look at VSCO, which recreates the vintage film look, imitating effects reminiscent of Kodak or Fuji. Or go pro, with Moment Pro, which supports RAW images files and videos in addition to access to full manual controls.
Most smartphones can take pictures in higher resolution than 35mm film, and with good editing, you can leave the clunky camera at home in your closet. Old limitations are vanishing with new editing capabilities varying from as interesting as turning a landscape into a Van Gogh masterpiece, to dramatic alterations like removing the background completely in favor of a new one. With apps like Prisma, FaceApp, and Adobe Photoshop Camera, you can greatly enhance and manipulate your already awesome photos. Edit your videos on the fly, or let the AI do it for you using apps such as Trash, Switcher, and FilmoraGo.
Is hardware limitation still bogging you down? It’s time for an upgrade, but don’t toss the phone just yet. Lighting rings and add-on lenses can improve photo quality and versatility. A gimbal stabilizer eliminates shake and allows smooth motion while filming, while a new mic to plug into the headphone jack can bring your videos to the next level.
Find out how new AI and new tech is bridging the gap between amateur and pro photography in your smartphone here.
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