We all the excitement around the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera, let’s not forget just how good the Note 4 camera still performs. Below is 6 action shots combined into a collage to illustrate George jumping.
Below are similar shots taken in the same place as the Nokia Lumia 830. It is not fair to totally compare them as the sunlight was vastly brighter and the sky bluer when I took the shots on the Note 4. With the Lumia 830 the sunlight was a little hazy. Again the Note 4 shots are unedited apart from framing them.
Anyway, below are the photos. Let me know what you think.
I’m not really into videoing events, but this morning I used 4K Video mode on the Note 4 and captured the following video. In fact, I normally would not even use the 4K video mode as it uses so much space, and my ancient MacBook struggles to process it without crashing.
Using the inbuilt Video app from Samsung to playback, whilst playing back, goto settings and turn on capture and playback speed. You can now tap screen and hit capture button to snap a 8mp photo from a frame. If you hit pause, you can skip back or forward one frame at a time using the on screen icons. Using this mode, I was able to get superb stills of my 3 labradors jumping and playing over and around the leat by Windy Post on Dartmoor.
Below is the 4K Video, weighing at around 230mb in file size for just a few minutes recording, and below are a selection of the captures. Head over to http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100 if you want to see all 16 captures from this one video. I could have extracted so many more shots of the dogs at different intervals too. It is also possible to crop in on the photos too.
And now here are the frame captures, a very small selection too of possible frames, from the 4K video.
Going forward, I am always going to use 4K Video for capturing the action!
So far the Samsung Note 4 has been one of my longest owned smartphones, hitting the 4 month mark. Whether this remains to be the case is unknown, as I am currently testing a few other devices currently.
Anyway, here are some of my favourite photos taken with the Note 4 this month. Don’t forget to click on the photo to reveal the full resolution. And if you fancy looking over some more, there are over 160 photos on my Note 4 Flickr Album – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157648796796660/
Below are photos taken on my Samsung Note 4. Any editing is done on the phone. Apps used are Camera360, VSCO Cam, Adobe Photoshop Express and Snapseed. I don’t use any other apps to achieve these photos. I also only use the default Samsung Camera app. If you want to see the full resolution, just click on the photo to go to my Flickr account.
After owning the Samsung Note 4 for 3 months I have finally settled on my perfect setup. With every new phone it takes real time day to day experiences to decide on what works and doesn’t. Even new and updated apps can influence that decision. For starters I have switched from Nova to Apex Launcher. These third party launchers are very similar but Apex themes the interface much better than Nova. Apex allows for so many gestures but I keep it simple. Swipe down to bring down the notification shade and swipe up to access the app drawer. The icon set is Audax. On the home screen I’m using the S-Pen widget and HD Widgets for the clock. I use the S-Pen every day. Tapping on the sunrise or sunset icon on the clock widget opens my netatmo weather station app.
Now my second home screen features Google Now widget which is handy as occasionally it displays useful info. I then have a few apps below. WeMo is the app that controls my Belkin WeMo Smart light Bulbs and Smart sockets. TeslaLED is a torch app. And then the icons below are all the buttons I use regularly to control my TV and DVD. These command icons are widgets from an app called Galaxy Universal Smart IR. As these use the infra red blaster on the Note 4, there is zero lag or delay from pressing these to operation. Plus the Note 4 has a powerful infra red blaster.
The third home screen is the month view widget from business calendar and the met office weather widget. I have Apex set up that I can scroll continuously from one screen to the next without having to go back to the home first screen.
And finally I have the app drawer all sorted into neat folders. I leave some apps outside of folders too but not that many. In total I have 199 apps installed on my Note 4. 51 of those are top notch games. 45 are themes/dock apps/clocks. 21 are photography apps. And the rest are tools, shopping, news, social, office, health, fitness and weather apps.
So now I have the perfect setup this means only one thing – time for change 🙂
They say pictures can say a thousand words. Below are photos showing the Qialino leather case for the Samsung Note 4.
Now without cheating, how expensive do you think this case is? Now you have made a guess, click on the ebay link – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-Qialino-Real-Leather-Rivet-Back-Cover-Case-for-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-4-/261754207755?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3cf1c43e0b
Samsung is rolling out the lollipop upgrade that includes many changes, some of which are under the hood but nonetheless still really important.
As part of the upgrade procedure Google does not force vendors to include all the new APIs. And that is what Samsung has decided NOT to do as well and not include the new CameraV2 API.
So what is so important about this new CameraV2 API. Well it is the API needed to enable the Samsung camera app to gain full manual control of the camera module. This includes the shutter speed, raw support and more.
This new API was a major improvement outlined for lollipop and it seems Samsung has cut corners and omitted this from their update.
Really disappointing news.
Samsung has started it rollout of the lollipop update for the Samsung Note 4. Users in Poland and Russia are first out of the block.
Personally, I would hold fire until the early adopters report back with any issues. Currently, my Note 4 and android 4.4.4 is rock solid. However, I can’t wait to get lollipop on my Note 4 so that I can start to see the battery and camera improvements. Also due to running on ART the speed of the phone has been increased. Early installers on XDA Developers have tested with AnTuTu and are getting scores up from Android 4.4.4 of 45,000 to lollipop of 53,290.
If you have already installed lollipop, do leave a note in the comments with your findings after updating.
Following a discussion on Twitter at the weekend, I was asked how to I capture moving items like pets, kids, people and such like. There are endless pro photography options but I am going to focus on simplicity.
To illustrate what is possible, I took the above shot using the Samsung Note 4. This was snapped in difficult lighting using the burst mode, and then cropped in slightly to focus on the action. So what else did I do to capture this scene. Well below is my thought process.
Framing. Think about what the scene looks like through the viewfinder (screen). If you are going to want to shoot leaping dogs, try and get in to a position where you know your dog will run or fly passed. In other words set the phone up ready with the view minus the dog or child etc.. Now as you start to see you object move in to the target area, and about 1 sec before, press and hold the shutter button. 30 burst photos will be taken. While this happens do not move the phone. Breathe in, tucks arms in to chest as you take the photos. You can never have too many photos! Simple really, but lets step back. If you see you dog running try and let the Note 4 gain focus and then when scene is in target view, then press and hold on screen shutter button to activate burst mode.
What about indoors in low lighting. Normally the Note 4 tries to avoid using the flash, so use the night mode which needs a longer shutter time. This mode is no good for people and pets normally. However, you might be lucky in night mode. For this you must try and hold phone still to get the best shutter and ISO options using the OIS. IF necessary don’t be afraid of using flash. Sometimes there is no choice. IF you need extra light, use the torch mode on another phone to shine at subjects. Beneath a certain low light, the camera will not perform miracles. Other options at night is trying to shoot with HDR mode. Personally I don’t recommend that. You might find having to use an ISO of 800.
In better lighting, another mode worth trying is either Sport or Shot and More. Both these work really well too. As does 4K video recording, then during playback taking a screen grab which will be a 8mp image. Shot and More only works where the action is going to appear left to right or right to left in a predicable line. Once snapped, you can create some fancy modes. Below is one such effect. Because the horse was always going to jump over the fence, the line and my positioning was straight forward to manage using Shot and More.
Of course, you can always tweak the manual settings on the camera app, but usually by then the moment has been lost. Generally, it is understanding the lighting tolerances of the phone. Bright light, dusk, sunrise, sunset, indoor lighting, snow all impact the shots. It is worth practising without people first in your actual setups to see what works best for you so you don’t spend time trying to guess what mode to use and the miss the moment.
So what tips have you got?
Below are 4 photos I took with my Samsung Note 4 that I’ve chosen as my favourite.
If you go to my flickr account you will see similar shots taken with the HTC Desire Eye so you might be curious to see the difference in quality.