I’ll be covering more semi-pro photography and audio gear on this channel in the coming months. To start, I wanted to jump in with one of my favorite hobbies. Macro photography! I like taking pics of thinks super close up, but I haven’t yet been able to afford a proper macro lens. Extension tubes are a solution which have helped improve the quality of my shots, so let’s go hands on with a set!
The Active uses a lower res camera sensor than the regular GS4, and it’s one we’re very familiar with. First making an appearance on the GS3 and Note 2, this sensor doesn’t hold any surprises, though Samsung’s camera app has improved over the successive phones utilizing this hardware.
It does come with one really neat trick though. How waterproof is your current smartphone?
Let’s take a look.
I was a big fan of Ultrapixels on the HTC One, and now they’re making an appearance on the One Mini.What’s missing however is optical image stabilization. Let’s take a look at some samples and see if the One Mini camera can hang with other mid-range handsets.
The lack of an official Instagram app for Windows Phone has long been held as proof of the lack of quality apps for the WP8 ecosystem. “I mean, windows phone doesn’t even have Instagram? AmIRite! High five!”
The problem with not developing an app for a popular service? Someone might develop that app in your absence. There are a couple different solutions for getting pics off of your gorgeous Lumia camera, and on to Instagram’s servers. As of today, my favorite is now 6tag.
Developed by Rudy Huyn, who has produced a number of popular apps for Windows Phone, including mobile 9Gag and Wikipedia clients, 6tag offers up every feature and filter of available on Instagram with a Windows Phone twist.
All of the favorites are here. Upon logging in, you’re presented a page full of square pics from all the people you follow. The same interactions are available, being able to like by double tapping the pic for example. To leave a comment or tag someone in a photo, you swipe across the photo to get access to these other options. It keeps the photo stream a little more focused on photography, and it looks a little less cluttered. Plus lateral sliding squares is just so Metro.
Pics and videos can be uploaded and edited using the same tools and filters as you would find on the official Instagram app. Happily, all of the sharing services are also included, giving you one touch sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Flickr. Unlike the official Instagram app, Huyn also included sharing support for VK, the second largest European social network behind Facebook.
You can also access your likes and lists of people who have liked and commented on your pics. If I have a complaint here, it’s that the live tile doesn’t seem to update those likes very often. I’ll jump into the app and be surprised that my pet picture recently got a dozen likes. It’s a small smudge on an otherwise great experience.
6tag is free to use, but ads are served on certain screens like your profile or when commenting.
It really is unfortunate that Instagram continues to ignore Windows Phone. Some of the most camera phone passionate consumers are Nokia fans, and Instagram is excluding a base of potential users who have sided with a company producing some of the best cameras ever built into smartphones. Seriously. No Lumia 1020 pics?
Of course, this means an industrious developer can step in to fill the void. Until we get that official app, 6tag will do just fine. Plus if you use instagram, you can find me there as SomeAudioGuy.
The Lumia 1020’s monster 41 megapixel PureView sensor is an absolute beast. Even when the output is scaled down to 1080p video, you just wont find a phone camera as capable of delivering the kinds of photographic output you’ll receive from this Lumia. Plus it has the first digital zoom which is actually worth using! It’s a whole new tier above what we would normally consider “premier” smartphone optics.
Yet with all of the accolades I can throw at this phone, no camera is perfect. Let’s go hands on with some video samples!
Benchmarks really can’t tell you how a phone will perform in real world situations, but they can show relative performance between devices. Android seems to be entering a phase of “efficiency”, with mid-range phones utilizing dual-core processors. Even the Moto X, which stands as a premier handset for Motorola, only uses two cores to get the job done.
Let’s take a look at how the HTC’s Mini performs in a number of synthetic benchmarks against its big brother One and an older handset running similar internals.
Bone conduction is a fascinating tech which is starting to work its way into the consumer space. The ability to interact with audio without blocking or covering your natural sense of hearing is like having a super power. Plus this tech should encourage safer behavior from people who use headphones while jogging or (cringe) operating a motor vehicle.
Plus they’re even cheaper on Amazon than when I originally shot this video: http://goo.gl/6PgjVU
My friend Tom Costello is a working actor in LA, and he was kind enough to sit down with me to chat about his experiences using his Nokia Lumia 520.
I hope to continue this as a semi-regular series on how real people (not tech bloggers) incorporate tech into their daily lives. You can catch our first Real Person Review of Marie talking about her Galaxy S4.
We had a few teething pains with Google Hangouts getting the interview started, but it settled down once we got to talking.
I really want to thank Tom for sharing his experiences, and to keep track of his projects, please check out his IMDB profile: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1843641/