Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lillies in bloom - testing the Acer Liquid phone camera

I took my new cell phone out for a bit more fun today. The colour balance and crispness has really surprised me:
 Orange yellow lillies in fulll bloom

I think the greens are a bit off still, I'll have to sit and stew over that before I decide what to do. I wanted to test the focus and closeup features primarily so I kept taking photos of the same plant. All you need to do with the Windows 10 camera app is tap the screen where you want the camera to focus and it pulls up a sharp image very quickly:

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Smartphone upgrade - Acer Liquid M330's camera

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.

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Unidentified plant mimicking a kickass mutant monster in the making

I have no idea what plant this is: Unidentified plant in Toronto

Looks like a mutant milkweed pod. I spotted it while walking along a street north of St. Clair near Spadina. If you know what this is, leave a comment. I’m baffled. There was a huge grouping along a fence. 

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Yellow daisies & face planting on cement

If you’re wandering around Toronto and see someone fall out of a garden or over a fence, that would be me. I periodically become so fixated on a specific shot, I forget about the small fact that I’m not the most nimble person in the world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve face planted over the years.  It’s a bit embarrassing. But not enough to stop me.

Case in point:

Yellow daisies @ St Clair Subway

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1929 apartment building in Toronto - abandoned & unloved

I was trotting along Spadina Rd, north of St. Clair on my way to an appointment when I  spotted this:

 Toronto Spadina Rd abandoned apartment building 467 Spadina Rd, the Monticito apartment building, built in 1929.  Evidently it's been abandoned for 7 or 8 years now and in limbo. I’ve been digging through city records and have found applications by the current owner to renovate it rather than demolish, so that’s good news, but that application dates to 2014. 

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

- Dorothea Lange

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