Tag: Photos

WileyFox Spark X Quick Review

Posted by – October 22, 2016

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

The WileyFox Spark X is the “top of the range” budget phone from WileyFox. Priced at £139 – just £10 more than the RRP as the original WileyFox Swift, it now has a larger 5.5inch screen, bigger battery, and updated selfie camera.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

AnTuTu Benchmark gives it a score of: 31,676, (3D: 3268, UX: 12243, CPU: 11703, RAM: 4462) so gaming is not going to be a strong point. (As a comparison the Samsung Galaxy S5 scored 60,380, and the new Sony Xperia XZ scored: 136,989)

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Dual sim slots, and a MicroSD slot.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Speaker grill is copper / orange

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – 13mp camera on the back

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Removable back and removable battery

The phone doesn’t really feel like a budget smartphone, but ever since the Moto G, and subsequent models the quality of budget smartphones has improved massively.

The phone is solid, and has a number of stylish touches, such as a coppery chrome surround, a copper speaker grill at the front, as well as a copper fox logo on the back, there’s also a copper surround around the camera lens on the back.

(Compared to the current Moto G, the Moto G4, the Moto G4 is around £160, has a FullHD 5.5inch screen, 8-core processor, 16GB, a 13mp, f/2.0 camera, is waterproof and scores an Antutu Benchmark score of: 46,614 – Source)

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – 3000mAh battery

The screen looks good, and the screen is bright, and it’s not really obvious that the screen is a 1280×720 resolution.  The phone comes with a pre-fitted protective film, although it’s quite thin, so not going to protect it from drops.

In use, the phone is responsive, and does a good job with all the things I’ve used it for. Youtube, Facebook, etc.

The default keyboard is reasonable, but doesn’t have the numbers on a separate line, which is a shame, as a 5.5inch screen is easily big enough to accommodate this. Personally I use SwiftKey, and switch on the number row.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Rear speaker grill

The phone has a decent speaker.

Lets go over the main specifications compared to the WileyFox Swift, with the Spark X on the left, and the Swift on the right:

WileyFox Spark X WileyFox Swift
13mp f/2.8 main camera (Samsung, 4mm)
8mp selfie camera
5.5inch screen 1280×720 (IPS, 2.5d Dragontrail glass)
1.3GHz Quadcore (Mediatek 6735, 64-bit)
Removable 3000mAh battery
154.35 x 78.6 x 8.75mm (thinner)
162.9g (with battery)
Black
13mp f/2.5 main camera, Samsung BSI CMOS, Dual-flash
5mp selfie camera
5inch screen, 1280×720 (Gorilla Glass 3)
1.2GHz Quadcore (Snapdragon 410, 64-bit)
Removable 2500mAh battery
141.15mm x 71mm x 9.37mm
135g
Available in black or white
Same: FullHD video recording (rear and front camera)
Same: 2GB / 16GB built in
Same: MicroSD slot
Same: Dual SIM slots

Sat-nav using Google Maps works reasonably well (not perfect, but good enough), the speaker is loud enough. Call quality is reasonably good.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Close up of camera, top headphone socket

Camera – When recording video (FullHD, 30fps) you can take FullHD resolution photos at the same time. The camera app has auto, steady photo, night, HDR shooting modes. Panoramic as well.

WileyFox Spark X Aston Martin Photo

WileyFox Spark X Aston Martin Photo

Unboxing video:

The problem with cameras on mobile phones… (Phones)

Posted by – March 26, 2010

The problem with cameras on mobile phones is that they’re all crap – do you want to know why?.

In the olden days (you know when people used film cameras) no matter what camera you had, whether it was a cheap piece of plastic crap or the best SLR in the world, it all had one thing in common: 35mm film*. And the one thing 35mm film did well, was take photos no matter what the lighting conditions. Even in dark situations, without flash, you’d still be able to get some kind of photo from it. * assuming you weren’t using a 110 or APS camera. An example on flickr, and another example above with flash (I assume the flickr link is using 35mm film which measures 24x36mm).

Night shot Casio Z120

With a digital camera – nearly all of them have flash (I’d estimate 99%) – so in dark conditions you can use the flash and get a half decent photo (generally speaking). Some of the time you can switch the flash off, setup the self-timer, put it on a wall or a tripod and take a half-decent night shot. Which is fairly impressive considering how small the sensor is in relation to 35mm film. (The average compact digital camera sensor size is 7.2mm x 5.3mm (1/1.8 sensor), this is roughly 5x smaller than 35mm film, with an average Pixel area(µm2) of 2.6 – 3.8µm2) (Using a 12mp example: Canon Powershot G9 with a 1/1.7″ sensor, the pixel area is 3.8µm2). Example above taken with the Casio Exilim Z120.

On a side note: Do you remember when Digital Cameras were still new? Like in 2002 or 2003 when digital cameras were still so new that they had to write “Digital Camera” on the front of it somewhere so that you knew it was a digital camera? Simply being a digital camera in 2001 was so exciting and new that they simply used those two words together as a marketing tool / selling point for the camera. Now you’re lucky if you even have the model number written on it, and rarely do you find the manufacturer name on the back these days. (They used to always put the manufacturers name underneath the screen – like this). Now it’s more likely the be the huge number of megapixels or optical zoom or screen size that’s plastered all over the camera.

Night shot - Nokia N86

With a camera phone – most of them don’t have a real flash (maybe 1% has a real xenon flash (the Sony Satio is the only recent one) that is equivalent to the flash you find in a Digital Camera) – and the rest – if you’re lucky (or unlucky depending how you feel about it) – has an LED or a “twin” LED flash. The problem is that even with (or without) the LED flash, the camera’s just don’t cope with low-light situations. You can put the phone on night mode (if you’re lucky), put it somewhere steady^ and switch on the self-timer, and hope it takes a successful shot. The problem is that the sensors in camera phones are even smaller than compact digital cameras. They just can’t get enough light into the sensor, and that means in low light situations they produce crap noisy images that are over-processed so much that you’re lucky there’s any image left to view. Further problems are caused due to the small sensors lacking the ability to capture dynamic range, so dark areas are underexposed, and bright areas are overexposed, further reducing detail in images (the example above taken with the Nokia N86 – where’s the detail in the steps?). The latest 12 megapixel camera phone sensors made by Sony have a 1.4µm pixel size – which is again 2.7x smaller than compact digital camera sensors. (2.6mm x 1.96mm estimation). This is roughly 13.8x smaller than 35mm film.

In a nutshell – it’s all about the light – 35mm film cameras can absorb lots of light, and therefore take photos in dark conditions and get as much colour and detail as possible. Digital Cameras, more so compact cameras, have much smaller sensors and struggle in low light, but don’t do too bad a job of it thanks to having a flash, however, they are very much on the limit of acceptable image quality (that’s why Digital SLRs get better image quality – they have larger sensors). Camera phones on the other hand have had to miniaturize to the point where image quality is badly affected, and the only way to get good photos from them is to use them in ideal light, or have a real xenon flash for times when lighting is poor.

^ Options are limited as I don’t know of any camera phones with tripod mount, and you’re generally lucky if the phone will stand on it’s side without falling over. Even on the “Photo-centric” Nokia N86 8mp you can’t stand the camera on it’s side without it falling over!

The Olympus PEN E-P1 Unboxed (Cameras) Pics

Posted by – June 27, 2009

Olympus PEN E-P1

This is a brand new Olympus PEN E-P1 production model, bought from Jessops in the UK, they are now widely available in the UK from most camera stores.

Olympus PEN E-P1

The world’s smallest digital camera with changeable lens, it features the same size sensor as other Olympus Digital SLRs (meaning better image quality with all the low-noise benefits of a DSLR), but with a camera body and lens size much more in line with a compact point and shoot such as the Canon G10! It is be available with a compact 17mm lens (34mm equivalent, UK Price with viewfinder £749), and 14-42mm 3x zoom lens (28 – 84mm equivalent, UK Price £699). It’s also available with both lenses for £849 (including VAT and free postage) for the 14-42mm Black & 17mm Silver Pancake Lenses & VF-1 External Optical View Finder Kit with Silver body. The camera features dust reduction, a 12.3 megapixel live view sensor, 720p video recording (1280×720) with stereo sound and HDMI out, anti-shake sensor, 3″ screen, 3fps shooting, SDHC support, and ISO100 – 6400.

Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

Click for more photos here: Olympus PEN E-P1 Unboxed Gallery
Update: View Olympus PEN E-P1 Sample Photos at DigiCamReview