Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Well, this is unexpected. I bought a new smart phone this week and I kicked the training wheels off the camera.  I wanted an inexpensive replacement for my BLU Jr which, after a couple of years of continuous use decided to pack it in. It still works, but overheats to such a degree, it’s begun to give me a nasty case of hot pants. I wanted to stay with a Windows phone because I like the software and they offer a series of inexpensive options. It also allows me to seamlessly synch between my Surface and laptop. Oh and yea, I really am cheap. I spent a whopping $129 + taxes on it.

The one niggling issue with the BLU was the relatively weak camera. The colour balance took a bit of work to correct and it was, quite frankly, crap when it came to dim days. It required nearly pristine sunny days to get a good photo. The Acer M330 has a better camera. It's not a DSL quality rig, nor should one expect the super high quality offered with more expensive phones. The better ones even offer RAW options. But for a modest smart phone it does an admirable job.

Another difference is the software. BLU was running Win8 and the new Acer boasts Win10, with the improved camera app. The contrast and colour definition is noticeably better. Another bonus is spot focusing is a bit easier as is access to various controls. No more multi steps:

Windows 10 mobile camera optionsSimply tap an option and adjust from one screen.

I revisited the same daisy patch at the St Clair subway station (see the previous post) and took another shot. Not quite the same angle, but the conditions were identical. I grabbed the second photo on the fly and was a bit rushed, so it's not setup with any attention to detail. I did it to compare when I got home and didn't expect much. After seeing the difference, I decided to write the post today.

Contrasting Win 8 vs Win 10 camera optionsThe new camera and improved app has peeled away the nagging gray haze that often appeared. The balance is stronger.  I’ll have to fust about a bit with the white balance in the future, but the more accessible tool bars along the top makes that prospect less onerous.

And closeups are stunning. This is a quick, again on the fly, photo:

Closeup photo taken with Acer Liquid M330

Unlike the BLU, it took no fussing about to get a sharp, in focused image. I can't wait to explore the various settings.

Oh and I didn’t fall out of the daisy patch this time. Hurrah!

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"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

- Dorothea Lange

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