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Old 12-10-2006, 09:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I just took a long walk in the woods with my two year old and took a bunch of pics with my new pearl (Cingular, .69 OS). I didn't change any of the settings on the camera while we were out, but some of the pic files are +400k and others are -50k, one as low as 14k. What gives?
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamdumpster
I just took a long walk in the woods with my two year old and took a bunch of pics with my new pearl (Cingular, .69 OS). I didn't change any of the settings on the camera while we were out, but some of the pic files are +400k and others are -50k, one as low as 14k. What gives?
-50k? minus?

Don't know how that one happens. But all pics will be varying sizes based on the amount of information captured in the image.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm assuming OP means less than 50k (<50k).

Depending on what you are taking a pic of will determine the size. If it is just a pic of you and your kid against a wall it would likely be smaller in size as opposed to a pic of a scenery with lots of colour.
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Old 12-10-2006, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've noticed this also. What I think might be going on (which is extremely strange to me as I've never seen a camera do this) -- if you zoom into a picture and take it - the camera appears to not really take the picture 'zoomed' in. It more seems to just crop everything else off not really giving you a zoomed image capture.

I took a picture of my dog laying on the floor at no zoom and the file size was about 140k. I zoomed in to 3x and the file size was 50k. I then zoomed in at 5x and the file size was 14k.

I then pulled the images over to my computer and looked at them. the 0x zoom was full size (1280x1024). The 3x was way smaller (about 640x480) and the 5x appeared to be about 320x200 in size.

Rather crappy way to handle a zoom IMO. Even with it being a digital zoom I would expect a picture zoomed at 5x would still capture a 1280x1024 image.
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Old 12-10-2006, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xyzlor
I've noticed this also. What I think might be going on (which is extremely strange to me as I've never seen a camera do this) -- if you zoom into a picture and take it - the camera appears to not really take the picture 'zoomed' in. It more seems to just crop everything else off not really giving you a zoomed image capture.

I took a picture of my dog laying on the floor at no zoom and the file size was about 140k. I zoomed in to 3x and the file size was 50k. I then zoomed in at 5x and the file size was 14k.

I then pulled the images over to my computer and looked at them. the 0x zoom was full size (1280x1024). The 3x was way smaller (about 640x480) and the 5x appeared to be about 320x200 in size.

Rather crappy way to handle a zoom IMO. Even with it being a digital zoom I would expect a picture zoomed at 5x would still capture a 1280x1024 image.
Haven't noticed this before. I'll give it a shot and report back with my findings.
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Old 12-10-2006, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xyzlor
I've noticed this also. What I think might be going on (which is extremely strange to me as I've never seen a camera do this) -- if you zoom into a picture and take it - the camera appears to not really take the picture 'zoomed' in. It more seems to just crop everything else off not really giving you a zoomed image capture.

I took a picture of my dog laying on the floor at no zoom and the file size was about 140k. I zoomed in to 3x and the file size was 50k. I then zoomed in at 5x and the file size was 14k.

I then pulled the images over to my computer and looked at them. the 0x zoom was full size (1280x1024). The 3x was way smaller (about 640x480) and the 5x appeared to be about 320x200 in size.

Rather crappy way to handle a zoom IMO. Even with it being a digital zoom I would expect a picture zoomed at 5x would still capture a 1280x1024 image.
What do you mean. Are you saying you want real zoom lens in you skinney little Pearl? Good grief. Zooming is the equal to cropping the image and will result in a smaller image in both file size and the physical size of the image!
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tried it out and yes it is smaller in size.

What greggebhardt says makes sense though. It's unreasonable to expect a full on zoom on such a small device. My only complaint is that I wish the zoomed image would be full 1280x1024 image size.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandizzle
Tried it out and yes it is smaller in size.

What greggebhardt says makes sense though. It's unreasonable to expect a full on zoom on such a small device. My only complaint is that I wish the zoomed image would be full 1280x1024 image size.
Yes, but that would require an *optical* zoom. A digital zoom just takes a part of the original picture and blows it up.
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamdumpster
I just took a long walk in the woods with my two year old and took a bunch of pics with my new pearl (Cingular, .69 OS). I didn't change any of the settings on the camera while we were out, but some of the pic files are +400k and others are -50k, one as low as 14k. What gives?
The Pearl on zoom mode is sheet and should be avoided. Sounds like you were in zoom mode without knowing it.

For me, the zoom feature on the Pearl is easy to accidentally engage because I press the trackball to take a pic. The trackball also what adjusts the zoom feature, so it is easy to zoom in when one has no intention to.

Just before taking a pic I check to make sure the zoom indicator says "1x" If it does not, I use the trackball to get it back to 1x.

As to why all this is so, the camera on the Pearl is very basic meaning beyond taking 1.3MP pics at the settings the Pearl software allows, it's not going to perform beyond that, especially to the level of what we expect from even low end digital cameras [meaning digital cameras that are nowadays $100 or so].

Making things worse, digital zoom is crap, that is compared to optical zoom. Optical zoom uses the camera lens to mechanically zoom, much like binoculars. Digital zoom uses software to magnify in on a "preset" image [in our case, Pearl's 1.3MP pic], similar to looking at a picture with a magnifying glass.

As I mentioned before, digital zoom magnifies the digital image or pixels. A way to understand this is to put a sharp photo on your Windows desktop. Look at it from the distance and see how clear it is. Then put your nose a few inches from the screen. Notice how the pic degrades when you are up close to the screen because you can see the colored retangular pixels. When getting close to the screen you have magnified or zoomed in on the existing pic which from a distance looks better. Digital zoom works the same way.

Considering that the Pearl is one remarkable device, that is, all it does for $200 [upgrade price], I think the camera does a good job.

As to making the camera better in terms of features, the other posts are correct, you cannot install an optical zoom on such a small device. RIM would have to beef up the phone's size substantially to install an optical zoom lens. Doing so would defeat the phone's small form factor. Besides, the Pearl is a cell phone with a "convenience" camera on it. The camera is not meant to compete with or come close to dedicated digital cameras.

I think the best rule to follow is to never use the phone's zoom feature. In fact, best as I can tell, RIM put the feature on the camera interface simply to be able to say the camera has zoom control. It operates so poorly that I can't imagine RIM thought it was a good design/feature.

By the way, digital zoom is so crappy on cameras that on all my digital cameras I have the digital zoom feature turned off so that I don't accidentally zoom past optical zoom mode.

Cracks me up recalling the "zoom wars" that took place in the late 90's. At that time, the buying public looked to see how big a zoom number a camera had and would buy based on that. Some cameras had big letters advertising "200X ZOOM" It took a few years for the public to realize that 200X digital zoom took crappy pictures.

Last edited by SanFrancisco : 12-10-2006 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well stroked, SanFran
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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hmm my Moto V600 cropped the images when "zooming" too.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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maybe its called "zoom" because it looks zoomed on the small LCDs on phones
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Old 12-10-2006, 10:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanFrancisco
By the way, digital zoom is so crappy on cameras that on all my digital cameras I have the digital zoom feature turned off so that I don't accidentally zoom past optical zoom mode.
I do this for my camera too. I'll use photoshop for "digital zoom". I hope some future update by RIM allows us to disable the zoom on the Pearl.

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Old 12-11-2006, 12:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggebhardt
What do you mean. Are you saying you want real zoom lens in you skinney little Pearl? Good grief. Zooming is the equal to cropping the image and will result in a smaller image in both file size and the physical size of the image!
No. I wasn't not implying that I wanted a 'real' optical zoom. I would prefer the whole zoom 'option' be taken off completely since it's worse than useless. I've never seen a camera, even the cheapest digital camera, digitally zoom in and crop a picture like this one does and that was what I was pointing out. I've always seen a digital zoom still take the picture and blow it up to the resolution of the final image (it just looks grainier/blocky due to the digital zoom).

All in all, this thing takes a pretty darn good picture with descent lighting (and not zoomed).
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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With a 1.3mp phone camera you're lucky to ever get an image that's over 220kb in size. That's an image in good light with a lot of fine detail, like a tree with branches.
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