It's about that time of year, folks - as Mobile World Congress approaches at the end of February, more and more upcoming phones are going to be leaked. The first major leak is from @HTCFamily_ru, which posted a photo of an unknown HTC phone this morning. It appears to be a new member of the One family; the rear is the only visible angle, but it's showing off what looks like two cameras on the back.
Sony's oddball external smartphone cameras have a lot of shortcomings compared to a conventional point-and-shoot, but they're getting a little better today. The manufacturer has released the 2.0 firmware for the QX10 and the more expensive QX100, boosting their video recording capabilities and low-light sensitivity.
Video recording for both models has been expanded to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Formerly it was 1440x1080/30, the 4:3 aspect ratio equivalent. The shifted resolution should make videos taken on the QX cameras match up with most phones, HDTVs, and 16:9 monitors.
There are a lot of self-styled "action cameras" out there, most of which are trying to catch at least some of the thunder of the wildly popular GoPro. GPS specialist Garmin has thrown its hat in the ring with VIRB, a deluxe, ruggedized, mountable HD video camera with a plethora of bells and whistles. Like the competition, the Garmin VIRB now has an official Android app for remote control, viewfinding, and recording.
The Photospheres feature has been a photographic novelty thus far, but today Google Maps has added some notable functionality. The Views section of Google Maps already lets you place your own 360-degree panorama on specific points in the world, but now you can connect them via virtual paths, creating an instant, locale-specific Street View. Other users can then view it and move between multiple Photospheres for a more complete experience.
Remember when Apple was up in arms about Samsung swiping their look for the first generation of Galaxy phones and tablets? Prepare for a case of design patent infringement that makes that look pretty tame. Today Nikon issued a press release stating that it had won a preliminary sales and import injunction against Sakar International, a current licensee of the Polaroid brand name, for the Android-powered Polaroid iM1836. See if you can guess why.
DP Review, one of the go-to sources for reviews, guides, discussions, and even periodic photo challenges related to all types of photo gear, recently published their own exhaustive review of the Nexus 5 on DP Review Connect, the mobile-centric arm of the site.
The review covers everything you could possibly want to read about the Nexus 5's camera, digging deep into its features and flaws (there are many in both columns), why we don't exactly have the great photo experience many expected, and providing tons of sample images in all scenarios.
One of the biggest issues with many Android devices is the subpar camera – only recently have manufacturers really started to step up their game and put better hardware in top-end devices. What many users may not realize, however, is that simply trying different software can drastically change the entire camera experience. Sure, the device is still limited by the hardware, but changing the software can definitely help get the most out of any shooter.
We had high hopes for the Nexus 5's camera, and while we haven't gone so far as to call it awful, we wouldn't rush to call it much more than a general improvement over last year's offering. It tops what the Nexus 4 brought to the table, but it doesn't quite match what other manufacturers have come up with since. Yet Google doesn't like this narrative, so its moving forward with efforts to brand its latest handset as the perfect companion for capturing any moment.
One of the advantages to Android's open source nature is that we can poke around in the source code, looking for interesting stuff. This is how we've become aware of some things Google has planned for the stock camera experience. Code from the Android Open Source Project shows that a new camera API has been in development, but it was pulled last month because it wasn't ready for release with KitKat.