Flashbacks: the phones that revolutionized mobile cameras, part 1

28 February 2021
We look at the phones that were the first to reach important milestones in the history of mobile phone cameras.

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  • Anonymous

Tons of useful stuff.
And Iphones never are responsible for them.

My dentist has an iphone and showed me a very dumb feature. Looks like it turns few photos into very short vid with some animation like AR effects.

So shocking to see even Phone Arena ( no other site loves Apple that much) admits iphone camera makes people yellowish. Iy has been there since iphone 7, they dont fix it.

For the priced charged and amount of money made by selling them, Apple should be the most innovative company on Earth.

Iphone should have similar cam setup used by Huawei + complete manual mode like LG/Sony .

I think back in 2016, you can make a case wide-angle was cooler to have than Telephoto since Telephoto only had 2X optical zoom. But ever since the Samsung's periscope zoom started coming out, wide-angle started to become less practical. The race for better zoom has already started.

  • Anonymous

Another important phone was the first phone that could capture more light per time than a Canon Aps-c DSLR + f/4 kit lens. It was the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha/ Xiaomi Note 10.
The first phone that can capture more light per time than a Canon Aps-c DSLR + f/3.5 kit lens is the Vivo X60 Pro+.
It's simply fascinating that nowadays there are phones that can capture more light per time than a DSLR + kit lens and even have OIS. It shows how much the hardware has improved.

  • Anonymous

By the way, another important thing is the first phone that could combine multiple raw files in order to improve the relationship between detail and noise. This was the Google Nexus 5 as far as I know. It had HDR+, which could combine up to 10 raw(!) files within seconds. This was basically the first phone, which had a "night mode" as a night mode does nothing else.

  • Anonymous

"We've seen bigger, though. The Nokia 808 PureView from 2012, which did have a larger sensor at 1/1.2" optical format."
Only the active sensor area is what counts in the end. The maximum active sensor area of the Nokia 808 is 75mm². The active sensor area of the Huawei P40 Pro at its 23mm field of view is 75mm², too.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 28 Feb 2021"The Nokia 808 PureView was the first phone to use pix... moreAnd regarding "but the idea is the same", I have to say that the idea is not the same at all.
Downsampling=resizing=digital pixel binning can not give you more detail per angle in low light conditions whereas analog pixel binning can give you more detail per angle in low-light conditions! Downsampling/resizing/digital pixel binning can not produce detail that wasn't already there. Downsampling is nearly the same thing as looking at a photo from a higher distance, nothing special. Downsampling/digital pixel binning just edits(!) the photo, the raw data of the sensor is still the same. Analog pixel binning combines charge, so the raw data of the sensor is different!

Well this is pretty damn interesting.
If i go as far a i can remember the very first photography is from year 1827 if y memory is correct since then many changed a lot.

There are many things skiped in this article but if they would speak about every single thing which was first ever it would take either a super long article nobody would read or a whole year of sundays to speak about the litterary same thing.

  • Anonymous

"The Nokia 808 PureView was the first phone to use pixel binning"
That's misleading and probably even wrong. The Nokia 808 used digital (!) pixel binning, which is nothing else than downsampling/resizing.
Modern phones use analog pixel binning, which combines charge. It is a totally different technique.

  • T-money

Super interesting - thanks for this little history lesson!
Surprised the Sony Ericson T68i wasn't mentioned - I always thought that was the first cell phone camera combo.
Also neat to see all these players innovating at the beginning, and sad to see they're no longer in the game :(

i thought that there would be mentioned Sony Ericsson K790i/K800i the first phone that used Xenon flash not led diodes and back in 2006 i think was among the first ones who spotted 3.2 mpx camera (3.15) ?

Anonymous, 28 Feb 2021Night mode of gran prime works same way. It takes few seco... moreIf you are talking about that old school style Night mode, even my ancient Xperia Neo has it.

Modern Night Mode that popularized by P20 are about pseudo long exposure + image stacking + magic hand usage stability, all at the same time.

Rkm, 28 Feb 2021I hope they bring back shutter button (actual half press au... moreThat I have to agree. Especially when smartphone camera are to watched out in a flagship.

Those are one of the thing I miss using a Sony phone.

I hope they bring back shutter button (actual half press auto focus one) back. Nowadays only Sony's have it.

Anonymous, 28 Feb 2021- galaxy gran prime has night mode, quality is poor but it ... moreP20 Pro was king in night mode. Nuff said

under my collection... here are "noteworthy" phones in terms of camera...
nokia n8 - quality lens and conservative processing for that quality image... it also has xenon flash which i still cannot compare to led pulse flash...
nokia 909 - like the n8, somehow (at times n8 is better) because of manual camera settings which has intuitive interface...
xz2 compact - for its 960fps superslowmo (an organic one, not interpolated, though this is not the first, i am still looking for a used xz premium with "usable" condition for my collection)...
lg g4 - for stabilized shots, photo or video, manual setting interface is also intuitive...

  • Anonymous

Nick Tegrataker, 28 Feb 20211. Are you seriously comparing a simple multi-frame noise r... moreI say Gran Prime had a night mode.
Did not say it was image stacking.

Main purpose of stacking in this case is to avoid the longer exposure , which requires tripod.
Gran Prime does not need tripod to avoid blur.

Yes. Using RGB + monochrome has limitations like no HDR photos and 4K videos. Just like XZ2P, P20 Pro could not use both cameras for macro/HDR.
Softness was too much light in. Monochrome 1/2.3" can grab as much light as a 1/1.1" RGB.
Night video of XZ2P is much better than the thing xiaomi tried without success with mi11.

I heard Samsung is gonna heavily invest in WRGB sensors now.
All flagships should be using this for years.
No issues with colour like RYYB, more light sensitivity.

Kingslayer, 28 Feb 2021I love that my favorite smartphone of all-time is getting m... moreI concur.
I generally say 2014 was the last-best year for phones, at least in terms of the consumer. It gave us best choices in the Samsung Note 4 (No Compromise), HTC M8 (Loudspeakers), Sony Xperia Z3c (Smallest), and the Moto G (Best Budget). It also gave us a simple lineup (Small, Medium, Large) from Apple with the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6+ which all had similar cameras and performance, and only differed in size of battery and screen.

Although, you could say the 2016 year was also great (almost as good, same, or better). Anything after like 2017 and on were definitely worse. And the (gas leak) year 2015 was bad simply due to the compromised QSD 810 chips and compromised Samsung phones. The only standout device was the Blackberry Priv, bringing back qwerty option.

What 2016 gave us was: Samsung S7+ (best camera), LG V20 (last battery), ZTE Axon 7 (loudspeaker), LG G5 (IP66 and battery), Sony Xperia Z5c (smallest), and Alcatel Idol 4S (best budget). Even Apple had their best lineup (S M L) choice in the iPhone SE, 6S, 6S+.

There's a good reason why the Samsung Note 4-Exynos (64bit) is one of the longest kept Android Phone in history that isn't obsolete.... it is/was simply THAT good. Not to mention all of the other phenomenal choices I listed. We have had some good or even great phones come in since then, but they have had compromises in one form or another. If I were to list some honourable mentions it would be:
Sonim XP8, Samsung S8-Active, Sony XZ1c, Google Pixel 2XL, ASUS RoG, ASUS RoG 2, Samsung Note 9, Samsung S10+, Sony 1 mkII, Sony 5 mkII, iPhone 12 mini.

Anonymous, 28 Feb 2021** Please keep between people that understand about the sub... moreIf my explanation are out of subject, you are welcome to elaborate about it. Because I dont think so.

*Funny why mods keeps deleting your post, talking about who actually doesnt belong here 😆*

  • Anonymous

Shui8, 28 Feb 2021'galaxy gran prime has night mode, quality is poor but... moreNight mode of gran prime works same way. It takes few seconds and a circle starts to surround the shutter button.

There is no blur. Just low quality noisy photos and artificial scenario (night turned into afternoon)

  • Anonymous

Shui8, 28 Feb 2021'where quality always lower'. Yet its still th... more** Please keep between people that understand about the subject only.

No place for you here. Sorry !!!