Saturday 27 May 2017

A Google Engineer Recreated a DSLR Photo Using a Nexus 6P with Absolute Perfection

Create Image Utilising Nexus 6P

Smartphone cameras have been enhanced beyond our imaginations and from the rough VGA cameras which the earlier phones featured, to the updated Dual Cameras lots that tend to replicate DSLR type portrait shots with perfections, smartphone photography had progressed to great extent.

However there seems to be one segment wherein smartphones are unable to compare up to the DSLRs low light photography and Google has plans of changing it. OEMs tend to advertise low-light photography as a feature in their phone cameras though usually it is more of a trick. An engineer Florian Kainz working on Gcam team of Google, the team behind the legendary camera of the Google Pixel had been challenged by his colleague to develop a night shot of the Golden Gate Bridge which had originally been shot by a DSLR utilising a smartphone camera.

He had accepted the challenge and had managed in creating the image utilising the Nexus 6P together with some post-processing and created an image using smartphone providing us a glimpse of what Google could do in making night-time outdoor photography a real thing with the support of smartphones.

Technique for Shooting Milky Way – Google Pixel

Using a technique he was capable of shooting the Milky Way utilising the Google Pixel from the Californian coast where the nights tend to get very dark and the stars are said to be the only source of light on nights when the moon is not in sight.

But at 9 to 10 megapixels, the subsequent photos did not seem to be as high quality as a DSLR, though the details seemed to be there. With the results of the Pixel together with the Nexus 6P, it is clear that the final frontier of smartphone photography is on the threshold of being penetrated.

Software has been developed by OEM in order to process the images internally, with all the additions together with the subtractions as well as the averaging of the multiple photos to make night point and shoot photography utilising a smartphone, a reality. But one can’t take photos yet the same way with your smartphone and the Google Pixel tends to come the nearest in taking such images though not close enough.

HDR+ Feature

Google is said to utilise the HDR+ feature that swiftly takes 10 short exposure shots and averages them to form an individual image to eliminate blur and noise at the time of collecting adequate light for good photos at practically low-levels though it will still tend to be impractical in very low-light, moonlight landscapes for example, or starlight photos.

To achieve the image, Kainz had installed a custom Android app which enabled him to set the ISO, shutter speed and focus manually. He also utilised a tripod to keep the phone steady. The custom app was to eliminate the maximum 4-second exposure time for taking longer exposure shots in order to lessen the ISO setting and thus reduce the noise.

When the shutter button is pressed, the app tends to wait a few seconds and then takes up to 64 frames with the selected exposure and ISO settings. Thereafter it saves the frames as DNG file wherein these are later exported to a PC to post-process into one.

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