03-14-16 02:31 PM
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  1. GLTruesdale's Avatar
    Ok, I swore I wouldn't get dragged back into this one....I get annoyed when people say "the PP has a bad camera". Yes, it has a slow focus. This is its biggest problem. That doesnt make it bad, just harder to use. Maybe for some this counts as bad, not me.

    Anyway, I see people taking blurry photos and saying the camera is bad. I thought I would put this to bed once and for all. Firstly, I am an engineer, and my current job is designing an IR camera module for machine vision. I actually know something about cameras I am still a poor photographer, but I don't blame my tools.

    So (apologies for the length of the post in advance). The camera records light that hits it (duh). The sensor is the light sensitive bit - it is made up of millions of cells which convert photons (light) to electricity. The more photons, the higher the voltage, the brighter the pixel. Each cell is amplified to give the final value for the image. If you have a nice bright scene, then it takes very little time to get enough photons to make a bright pixel. You can also turn down the amplifier so the cell is less sensitive.

    Noise is always there. It comes from inconsistencies in manufacture, temperature, bleed etc. When you amplify the cell, you also amplify the noise.

    ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor/film to light. In a digital camera ISO is basically the amplifier. High ISO = high amplification = high noise. Low ISO = low amplification = low noise. With me so far?

    So if you want low noise in low light, you need to capture more photons. You do this by leaving the sensor "open" for longer. You can get the same amount of output by simply lowering the amplifier and leaving the sensor active for longer. The length of time the sensor is active is the shutter. It isn't a mechanical shutter like an SLR, the module basically freezes the cell so the voltage doesnt change.

    Ok, so we get nice low noise photos now. Execpt.... when the shutter is open a long time, I move the camera and the photo gets all blurry. Step in OIS (stabilisation). It adjusts the lens so that it stays still. This enables you to take photos for much longer. It works great for stationary objects, but fast moving ones will blur. The PP has OIS and I suspect the camera software is biased towards low ISO, shots which rely on OIS.

    If you want to capture fast movement in low light, or even normal light, you need to tell the camera to up the ISO and speed up the shutter. That is what action mode is for. Night goes the other way and allows for extra long shutter times. The flash normally sets the shutter at a speed where motion blur won't occur (1/60 to 1/125 of a second). By using the flash, your subject won't move hence won't blur.

    I am not defending the PP camera per se, I believe they have relied more on OIS than other brands. This will slow the shutter and cause blur. However, in static scenes, the lower noise will make the photo look better.

    I fully expect people to reply saying they don't care - it still takes aweful photos. Hopefully you'll now realise that software can change all this, and if BlackBerry prioritise shutter speed rather than low ISO, the images will be better.

    Now focus speed is another thing completely........

    Sorry for the long post - hope this helps some people understand what is going on rather than just saying it is cr*p.

    Posted via CB10
    Thanks for the technical perspective. Cleared up some questions I had. Lets hope the software helps.

    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 06:47 AM
  2. bb10_fan's Avatar
    Thought I'd put my money where my mouth is. Here is a shot at night, low lighting, ceiling fan going at about 600rpm (max speed). First shot is night mode. Note very little noise for such a low light shot. I used camera++ so I could control the settings better.


    Attachment 331492

    Notice that you can't see the fan blades at all. Everything is on auto except night mode. Next up is action mode with everything again on auto


    Attachment 331494

    Now the shutter is faster, but you can only get a glimpse that something is there. There is more noise though. Next, I set ISO to 3200. Now you can see the blades. The front blade is warped due to the sensor scanning, lots of noise


    Attachment 331495

    Now, we turn on the flash. Wow, where did they come from. The fan is still travelling faster than the eye can see, yet there are the blades. Who will be the first brave soul to say this was a static scene with no movement


    Attachment 331496

    Posted via CB10
    Man, I wish we had a button "Infinite thanks"

    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 07:41 AM
  3. dejanh's Avatar
    @vader42 - good post and example. A few weeks back, I posted in the other thread about the camera issues that the problem is two fold - shutter speed and focus speed. You give a good technical explanation with a real world example. Software should be able to fix these, alas even the newest leak does not address the issues.

    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 09:15 AM
  4. oberkfell's Avatar
    Camera ++. This fixes the crap bag software blackberry Dumped on us.

    It's almost like they had my 12 year old son design the software. You know.... I know everything lazy a s s attitude.
    02-03-15 09:36 AM
  5. Zedd88's Avatar
    Thought I'd put my money where my mouth is. Here is a shot at night, low lighting, ceiling fan going at about 600rpm (max speed). First shot is night mode. Note very little noise for such a low light shot. I used camera++ so I could control the settings better.


    Attachment 331492

    Notice that you can't see the fan blades at all. Everything is on auto except night mode. Next up is action mode with everything again on auto


    Attachment 331494

    Now the shutter is faster, but you can only get a glimpse that something is there. There is more noise though. Next, I set ISO to 3200. Now you can see the blades. The front blade is warped due to the sensor scanning, lots of noise


    Attachment 331495

    Now, we turn on the flash. Wow, where did they come from. The fan is still travelling faster than the eye can see, yet there are the blades. Who will be the first brave soul to say this was a static scene with no movement


    Attachment 331496

    Posted via CB10
    You still don't get our or at least my issue. You already acknowledged that the focus of the camera is slow, which you feel is not an issue. I feel otherwise. In your photo, the fan, although rotating, isn't going anywhere! This gives you all the time in the world to setup you camera, change the ISO to a higher level, change all your manual settings, tap to focus then snap your picture.

    I've already posted cases before. So I'll use an extreme case to explain my sample case. You saw a robber in a get-away car. You grab your phone to snap a picture of the plate number of the getaway vehicle. Wait. I'll shift first to manual mode. Wait. I'll change first my ISO level. Wait, don't drive away yet, wait for my phone to focus! By the time you snapped the picture the car is gone.

    Here's another sample with attached picture. A message popped out of the console of my car and I wanted to snap a picture of it to show to the car dealership. I used my phone tapped and hold to focus and then snapped my photo just in time as the message disappeared. I admit I didn't wait for it to finish focusing. But if I waited for it to focus, I wouldn't have shot anything at all since the message already disappeared. Can I tell the car, wait for my focus to finish before hiding your message!?!?

    Passport camera is ugh....-img_20141219_174423_001.jpg

    I have other cases where I don't even have a photo to show because of the slow focus, the moment already passed and I wasn't able to take a shot.

    I recently bought Camera++ and the manual settings is at par with my Lumia. But focus speed didn't improve at all. Snapshot mode is slightly faster but is very inconsistent in getting the focus.

    Posted via CB10
    buwee and Vintage123 like this.
    02-03-15 11:28 AM
  6. oberkfell's Avatar
    My focus speed is much quicker with camera ++. I don't know if it is attributed to downgrading from 2072 to 1955.
    02-03-15 11:44 AM
  7. bb10_fan's Avatar
    You still don't get our or at least my issue. You already acknowledged that the focus of the camera is slow, which you feel is not an issue. I feel otherwise. In your photo, the fan, although rotating, isn't going anywhere! This gives you all the time in the world to setup you camera, change the ISO to a higher level, change all your manual settings, tap to focus then snap your picture.

    I've already posted cases before. So I'll use an extreme case to explain my sample case. You saw a robber in a get-away car. You grab your phone to snap a picture of the plate number of the getaway vehicle. Wait. I'll shift first to manual mode. Wait. I'll change first my ISO level. Wait, don't drive away yet, wait for my phone to focus! By the time you snapped the picture the car is gone.

    Here's another sample with attached picture. A message popped out of the console of my car and I wanted to snap a picture of it to show to the car dealership. I used my phone tapped and hold to focus and then snapped my photo just in time as the message disappeared. I admit I didn't wait for it to finish focusing. But if I waited for it to focus, I wouldn't have shot anything at all since the message already disappeared. Can I tell the car, wait for my focus to finish before hiding your message!?!?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have other cases where I don't even have a photo to show because of the slow focus, the moment already passed and I wasn't able to take a shot.

    I recently bought Camera++ and the manual settings is at par with my Lumia. But focus speed didn't improve at all. Snapshot mode is slightly faster but is very inconsistent in getting the focus.

    Posted via CB10
    Have you ever thought of using just a video mode to capture your extreme cases? Because in those unusual cases quality is not exactly the main concern.
    02-03-15 01:34 PM
  8. Vintage123's Avatar
    Have you ever thought of using just a video mode to capture your extreme cases? Because in those unusual cases quality is not exactly the main concern.
    It's not an unusual case and the quality issue is one of individual perception.

    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by Vintage123; 02-03-15 at 02:58 PM.
    02-03-15 02:44 PM
  9. buwee's Avatar
    Have you ever thought of using just a video mode to capture your extreme cases? Because in those unusual cases quality is not exactly the main concern.
    Sure, why not? - Oh wait...I forgot to switch to video mode as the getaway car takes off - dammed the getaway car anyways, how dare it took off without waiting for me to switch my camera to a mode that may possibly be able to take a picture that may identify the getaway car. LOL

    I am so tired of the same old excuses being made for a great phone with a piece of crap camera.
    02-03-15 03:06 PM
  10. bb10_fan's Avatar
    Sure, why not? - Oh wait...I forgot to switch to video mode as the getaway car takes off - dammed the getaway car anyways, how dare it took off without waiting for me to switch my camera to a mode that may possibly be able to take a picture that may identify the getaway car. LOL

    I am so tired of the same old excuses being made for a great phone with a piece of crap camera.
    Is it the age that makes you this grumpy and unable to learn basic things? There is no separate video mode on Passport, it's the button next to shutter, there is an icon, that reminds camera... see it? just on the right side of the capture button... just between capture button and menu button. Try to press it... video starts recording. And surprise you can also make a picture while recording... Damn it, some people post just for the sake of posting
    02-03-15 03:17 PM
  11. The Big Picture's Avatar
    Vader 42's post is insightful for those who need to understand shutter speeds and lighting in photography:

    http://forums.crackberry.com/blackbe...l#post11319750

    Admittedly, Blackberry has not optimized the software for the passports camera for 1 major reason.

    Passport's camera has OIS (optical Image stabilization) which by default sets the camera to a lower shutter speed compared to non OIS cameras, and its why many of you are finding moving objects harder to capture properly.

    This is also the reason why my passport beats my iphone 5 in low light and stationary situations.

    OIS based camera modules compensates hand movement/vibration with its stabilization, where else non OIS cameras compensates with higher shutter speeds.

    Remember that this is the first time blackberry has used a camera module with OIS, so understandably they haven't gotten the software right just yet. Even though the camera module is the same as used in the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG G3,G2, blackberry does not have thousands of camera software engineers at their disposal, like samsung for example has.

    Use "action" mode where possible to capture moving objects and NOT leave it on auto.

    As a photography enthusiast, i can tell you guys that the camera focus IS slow and is a problem but the good news is that with all the newer leaks installed the software has improved.

    Here's a good read:
    http://www.cameradebate.com/2014/htc...ra-comparison/

    The passport camera has plenty of potential, blackberry just needs to sort out the auto mode algorithm software and autofocus.

    Taken using "night" mode. Your hands does need to be steady though:

    Attachment 331602
    Last edited by The Big Picture; 02-03-15 at 04:03 PM.
    vader42 likes this.
    02-03-15 03:19 PM
  12. Spawn12's Avatar
    Sure, why not? - Oh wait...I forgot to switch to video mode as the getaway car takes off - dammed the getaway car anyways, how dare it took off without waiting for me to switch my camera to a mode that may possibly be able to take a picture that may identify the getaway car. LOL

    I am so tired of the same old excuses being made for a great phone with a piece of crap camera.
    Haha then why have you still got the Passport if the camera is so important to u?? When I bought my Passport, I didn't buy it because it had a 13mp camera as I know every single BlackBerry I've had...the camera isn't exactly the best part of the BlackBerry.

    For me the camera on the Passport is fine as it is, sure the focus is slow and it doesn't take great pics especially with moving objects buts it's fine and hardly crap as you put it.



    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 03:29 PM
  13. buwee's Avatar
    Is it the age that makes you this grumpy and unable to learn basic things? There is no separate video mode on Passport, it's the button next to shutter, there is an icon, that reminds camera... see it? just on the right side of the capture button... just between capture button and menu button. Try to press it... video starts recording. And surprise you can also make a picture while recording... Damn it, some people post just for the sake of posting
    You don't get it do you? - There are plenty of people here that share my view of the crappy camera on the PP. If it is good enough for you then all the power to you. I am fortunate enough to have other phones with decent cameras on them so I don't have to justify my purchase of the PP by defending the crappy camera on it. Every other device I have takes better pictures of moving objects than the PP's camera. I purchased the PP because I LOVE the phone in every other way but I totally disagree with you as far as the camera goes. You, of course are entitled to your opinion as I am with mine but please DON'T try to insult me by putting the age factor and accusing me of not being able to learn basic things. I don't know what you do for a living but I'm willing to bet that I know a thing or two more about tech than you do. Any more insults from you directed at me will result in me reporting your post to the mods. Thank you and have a nice day.
    Vintage123 and MarsupilamiX like this.
    02-03-15 03:59 PM
  14. buwee's Avatar
    Haha then why have you still got the Passport if the camera is so important to u?? When I bought my Passport, I didn't buy it because it had a 13mp camera as I know every single BlackBerry I've had...the camera isn't exactly the best part of the BlackBerry.

    For me the camera on the Passport is fine as it is, sure the focus is slow and it doesn't take great pics especially with moving objects buts it's fine and hardly crap as you put it.



    Posted via CB10
    At which point in my posts did I say I bought the PP because of the camera?
    02-03-15 04:01 PM
  15. Zedd88's Avatar
    Is it the age that makes you this grumpy and unable to learn basic things? There is no separate video mode on Passport, it's the button next to shutter, there is an icon, that reminds camera... see it? just on the right side of the capture button... just between capture button and menu button. Try to press it... video starts recording. And surprise you can also make a picture while recording... Damn it, some people post just for the sake of posting
    Unfortunately, try switching to video mode. It takes a good eight seconds to shift. Am not talking about finger movement, am talking about the time Passport reacts from the time you pressed the video button. It goes blank for about eight seconds before it comes back up and start recording.

    Again, software issue I know. But still an issue that needs to be addressed.


    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 04:21 PM
  16. bb10_fan's Avatar
    You don't get it do you? - There are plenty of people here that share my view of the crappy camera on the PP.
    Do you really see me care how many people share your point of view about Passport camera? No? Great, because I don't give a f... about it.

    If it is good enough for you then all the power to you. I am fortunate enough to have other phones with decent cameras on them so I don't have to justify my purchase of the PP by defending the crappy camera on it.
    Oh, that's great! Because I don't remember that I justified my purchase of the PP by defending camera (software).I'm perfectly aware of its shortcomings.

    Every other device I have takes better pictures of moving objects than the PP's camera. I purchased the PP because I LOVE the phone in every other way but I totally disagree with you as far as the camera goes.
    Did I posted somewhere that I enjoy the camera software coming with PP? And yes, I also have enough devices and other gadgets to take stellar pictures. Was this the right place for bragging?

    I don't know what you do for a living but I'm willing to bet that I know a thing or two more about tech than you do.
    Sorry, here you have my sincere doubts

    You, of course are entitled to your opinion as I am with mine but please DON'T try to insult me by putting the age factor and accusing me of not being able to learn basic things.... Any more insults from you directed at me will result in me reporting your post to the mods. Thank you and have a nice day.
    Well, that was not intended as an insult, but I may consider to turn it into one. My message for you was rather simple: before you post your LOLs and whining take a sec to actually familiarise yourself with the subject you're discussing. If you truly believe that your posts are funny and at least partially informative, let me assure you, they are not. Thank you and have a nice day too.
    02-03-15 04:21 PM
  17. bb10_fan's Avatar
    Unfortunately, try switching to video mode. It takes a good eight seconds to shift. Am not talking about finger movement, am talking about the time Passport reacts from the time you pressed the video button. It goes blank for about eight seconds before it comes back up and start recording.

    Again, software issue I know. But still an issue that needs to be addressed.


    Posted via CB10
    Eight seconds? Hmm, do you have some other heavy apps constantly running in background? On my device switch to video recording take 1-1.5 sec max
    02-03-15 04:23 PM
  18. The Big Picture's Avatar
    This thread is going to be reviewed by the mods very soon

    Posted via CB10
    Vintage123 likes this.
    02-03-15 04:23 PM
  19. bb10_fan's Avatar
    This thread is going to be reviewed by the mods very soon

    Posted via CB10
    I hope so
    02-03-15 04:24 PM
  20. buwee's Avatar
    This thread is going to be reviewed by the mods very soon

    Posted via CB10
    It will be - I can assure you of that.
    Vintage123 likes this.
    02-03-15 04:41 PM
  21. Zedd88's Avatar
    As a photography enthusiast, i can tell you guys that the camera focus IS slow and is a problem but the good news is that with all the newer leaks installed the software has improved.

    Here's a good read:
    http://www.cameradebate.com/2014/htc...ra-comparison/

    The passport camera has plenty of potential, blackberry just needs to sort out the auto mode algorithm software and autofocus.
    Exactly! That's my problem the AF is too slow to be useful in half of the "real life" situations. Am not talking about staged shots where you shoot a moving object but you already have your phone ready and focused and just waiting to snap the shot.

    As you pointed out the auto algorithm is crappy. True, moving to manual mode will help. But in reality how many people do take the time to change the settings when just snapping a moment. Everything moves around us too fast these days. When I say move, one moment they are there, the next they are gone or have moved to a different spot. Life is fast, and sometimes you miss an opportunity if your camera has problems.




    Posted via CB10
    Vintage123 likes this.
    02-03-15 04:45 PM
  22. Zedd88's Avatar
    Eight seconds? Hmm, do you have some other heavy apps constantly running in background? On my device switch to video recording take 1-1.5 sec max
    What OS are you running? Yes, it takes approximately eight seconds in my phone. I only have CB and my Talk2Watch running in the background.

    Am running official release OS 10.3.0.908

    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 04:47 PM
  23. bb10_fan's Avatar
    What OS are you running? Yes, it takes approximately eight seconds in my phone. I only have CB and my Talk2Watch running in the background.

    Am running official release OS 10.3.0.908

    Posted via CB10
    I'm on the same version. For me it takes exactly the same time to switch to front camera. Do you have SD as a destination for your pics and videos? If yes, try to set device memory and see if it improves switching to video recording. Eight seconds is absolutely too much

    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 05:03 PM
  24. Zedd88's Avatar
    I'm on the same version. For me it takes exactly the same time to switch to front camera. Do you have SD as a destination for your pics and videos? If yes, try to set device memory and see if it improves switching to video recording. Eight seconds is absolutely too much

    Posted via CB10
    I tried changing my destination from SD card to internal storage. It's still the same.

    I've also reduced the video to 720p.

    Here's how I measured it. I got my wristwatch. Opened my camera app and waited for the seconds hand to reach zero. Then I pressed the video mode. Screen will turn blank for quite some time and will come back on. Stop the video recording.

    Replay the video and look at the seconds hand of the watch at the start of the video. It's at eight seconds.

    Am I the only one experiencing sluggish change to video mode?

    Posted via CB10
    02-03-15 05:44 PM
  25. Vintage123's Avatar
    Haha then why have you still got the Passport if the camera is so important to u?? When I bought my Passport, I didn't buy it because it had a 13mp camera as I know every single BlackBerry I've had...the camera isn't exactly the best part of the BlackBerry.

    For me the camera on the Passport is fine as it is, sure the focus is slow and it doesn't take great pics especially with moving objects buts it's fine and hardly crap as you put it.



    Posted via CB10
    We have the Passport because we love BlackBerry. That doesn't mean we have to love the camera, nor does it mean we can't voice our disappointment about it. It's okaaaaaaayyyy to love a product but not love everything about it. I'm glad you're perfectly happy with your not so great pics of moving objects. Lulz.

    Posted via CB10
    buwee likes this.
    02-03-15 06:32 PM
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