[Let's Talk Imaging] True-to-life vs social media-ready photos

dipankar paul
dipankar paul ✭✭✭✭
edited September 2020 in Contest & Activities

Hello everyone,

Welcome to Round 2 of our Let's Talk Imaging debates.

We've had a good conversation in our first debate - on whether or not more megapixels and camera sensors actually enhance smartphone photography.

It's time now to look at the out-of-camera experience.

Would you want have a smartphone camera setup that produces results that are exactly how the human eye perceives them? Or would you rather opt for a setup that delivers instantly shareable images.

Do you prefer having full control over what you shoot, and then edit. Or do you want the software to do the heavy lifting for you?

The floor is open. Let's talk!


  • Would you want have a smartphone camera setup that produces results that are exactly how the human eye perceives them? Or would you rather opt for a setup that delivers instantly shareable images.

    Answer: Firstly, a photograph is created in mind & with camera & vision, it becomes a reality. I want to have a smartphone camera setup that produces results that are exactly how the human eye perceives them. Being a photographer, the hustle is always for what I see in the real world, exactly the same reality should reflect in a photograph.

    Do you prefer having full control over what you shoot, and then edit. Or do you want the software to do the heavy lifting for you?

    Answer: I can't rely fully on software to do the heavy lifting for me because sometimes it may miss the output ( like app crash, lag ) but if I can capture the raw having full control over what I shoot then I can cook it afterwards with editing & transform it to exactly how the human eye perceives it.

  • Things are getting interesting. I wonder what comes next. Design? Audio? Choice of Materials? Which one feature do you prefer having over another? Already pumped up and eagerly waiting for future Let's talk series. 😃😁

  • Natz
    Natz ✭✭
    edited September 2020

    For both the questions, my preference would be on natural side, i.e human eye perception and yes, if i opt for the human eye perception, there is no secondary thought, the full control should also be mine.

    The second options are artificial intelligence, which can be faster but it cannot read our thoughts or imagination, it cannot give the best what we imagined or portrayed for the shoot.

    Thanks for the visual platform! @Lets talk Imaging @nokia @dipankar paul

    I hope even my thoughts are parallel with you @Kartik Gada @iamkrishna08

  • Hello hello hello @dipankar paul 🙈I guess I'm gonna go against everybody on this one. I'll be that lazy boi for whom everything should be prepared with minimal effort. Please don't hate me 😁

    Natural vs instantly shareable?

    I'll take the shareability from this. I take out the phone, I press the shutter, I get a good output, I share it off and it's done. Even if not shared today, it's basically taken for the purpose of sharing at some point. Phone captures are barely sent for print and most screens are often not a true representation of the actual colors (PureDisplay on Nokia phones is itself a good example of how software uplifts the viewing experience), so, let's focus on what's more important for digital content - the sharing.

    But sometimes I also want to capture it as it is without anything fancy (beefed up colors or a portrait blur etc). This can be very easily toggleable (AI scene detection?) or made using the Pro Mode, I believe. So, I'll simply buy the shareability if I had to choose either of the two. I believe everybody will be looking for some improvements in their photos on top of how the eyes have seen it.

    That said, I'm not a fan of over processing or an entirely different dimension than what is the actual scene. And I hate it even from edited shots found on social media. Even though they look appealing, they are far off from reality. So, the results should still be realistic. I'll prefer some corrections, probably similar to the difference that PureDisplay makes to the content. Some color corrections in the right areas can make the capture much more appealing. BUT the same thing when over done can ruin the capture.

    A well balanced setup which keeps things natural, yet ready for sharing will be an ideal setup.

    Manual post-processing or handled by the camera app?

    Once again, I'm jumping into the category of heavy processing done by the camera app itself, giving me an image I can freely share Although this shouldn't take too long to complete.

    I'll prefer the jobs done by apps such as Google Camera. Firstly because I don't have editing skills, secondly because most post-processing programs require a significant investment (purchase, learning, time; etc), which won't be a good area to invest into for an unskilled user.

    So, if the camera app can do the uplifting, we got nothing to lose. Yes, for those really willing to take things in their hand, a choice to save a Digital negative will do the job. They can freely edit the image per their liking using their editing programs.

    For anybody who's not into serious photography, the software's production will define his opinion of whether the camera is good or bad.

  • singhnsk
    singhnsk Super User
    edited September 2020

    Even though it is fair that not all users are tech savvy who will install outside apps, but a good look at how popular Google Camera ports have become can be seen from estimated search volumes (using data from India, shot below).

    With over 180K monthly searches for "Google Camera" and "Gcam" & not counting related keywords, it must be one of the most sought after camera apps on Android. If I compare it to "Lightroom apk", it is only at 12k and a little lesser for "Open Camera".

    There has to be something about the app that users are keen to try out the ports. And we all know what it does - uses a **** lot of AI and scene prediction to fill the missing areas and make the capture look a lot more polished and artistic. And it is all post processing since the sensor isn't giving it some different data.

    All in all, in my opinion, the most valuable investment that a company can do into smartphone cameras is into the field of software & AI. It has become way more important than the underlying hardware. A bad hardware can be made to work by a good software, but a lackluster software will make the best of hardware feel underwhelming.

    Going forward, for a photography centrist smartphone such as the Nokia 9, I believe the best balance would be of having 2 camera apps - one for users like me who are just buying the flagship phone for a good overall experience, including imaging in auto. And another for those who want to take things in their hand and need 100% control over all the aspects. Essentially breaking down pro mode into a dedicated app with lot more additions such as Histogram, tilt identifier; etc.

  • I definitely think real life pictures are better if they are taken the proper light and I think they can turn out brilliant and so can the social media pictures too the can be just as good so u think it really depends on how the photo was taken 😀😀 that's just my little but if a say lol

    Just a picture I took of the sky today funny enough just on the normal camera 👏🏼👏🏼😎😎

  • SirFaceFone
    SirFaceFone ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Just give the users an option to disable or enable exaggerated post-processing and/or the unnecessary beautification 🤷‍♀️

    PS. What is this series for? Is HMD (finally) collecting feedback from their own forums? Genuinely curious.

  • A bad hardware can be made to work by a good software, but a lackluster software will make the best of hardware feel underwhelming.


  • nitinkachare
    nitinkachare ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    I like natural and true images exactly the same which we get to see through the human eye. But I like a feature like AI that is come with the enhanced colour that is eye-catching and shareable to social media. I still don't like beautify skin tones on Nokia Camera. I always set it to beautify off (Skintones aren't well) not only for me for everyone🙂.

    On Social Media, Images need to be beautiful, eye-catching, slightly colours boosted. I would like to see there is an option for control over sharpness, saturation, etc (High, Medium, Low) which is related to images. These are basic things that need to full control over it by consumer and the rest of the heavy task can perform well on the software side.

    I have seen one thread of which is good for this topic.


  • Like I said in the previous , 'ready for social media' would be better for 'smartphones'. I remember seeing a blind test video on MKBHD's yt channel and most of the people voted for the image that looked more pleasing rather than the one with most natural colors. 😅

  • nitinkachare
    nitinkachare ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    1st Image:

    2nd Image:

    Just look at this color of one wall and tell me which is a good one and which one has real color?

    I have cropped same wall image from two phones which I will tell you later after playing blind test🤣. Pleasant Images are good but what if original color getting change.

  • The second image looks more pleasing to me. The cracks and defects in the wall are exaggerated, which makes the picture more interesting 😁. My point is...no one cares what the original color of the wall is! Consider the photo that I took looks like the first image. I would simply edit it to look like the second image before posting somewhere. And the people viewing the photo would be using a phone with an AmoLED screen, or an LCD screen, a screen set to different color temperature, maybe with night mode on! No one's going to ask me what the real color of the wall was. 💁‍♂️For professionals, such things are of great importance. And those guys never use mobile phones as primary imaging devices.

  • nitinkachare
    nitinkachare ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Nice to hear from you🙂. First One Image(Original Color) is captured by Nokia 8.1 (Sony IMX363) and Second One Image captured by Other Brand (Sony IMX 582). Except for those crack and some details, there is other things also present in that image but my opinion is related to color so I posted here crop image related to color.

    But the Same Image Captured by Nokia 8.1 looks good on Screen of AMOLED except flat LCD Screen and the Same Image Captured by other brand looks darker on AMOLED Screen and On flat LCD Screen It's looking good. I don't have any idea about how the image looks like in night mode on screen. Yes, I don't use my phone as a primary imaging device only for social media so I have much importance in real colors of everything🙂.

    I know on social media everyone likes pleasant images and no one will like the first one image. Even I will like such an image if I saw it but I don't like when it comes other than social media.It's just my personal opinion nothing else.

  • That is the best option 🙂. I think there are 2 Camera apps in new Xperia phones. One simple camera app for taking quick shots and a PRO app packed with features. using separate app is easier than switching between PRO mode and regular mode in the same app. Most of the PRO Camera apps in the Playstore are either useless or very expensive😂.

    And Nokia has the best layout for PRO mode, as far as I've seen.

  • I think for me real life images would be best!

    And an inbuilt editing app would help a lot, just like the old lumia series, i had a Lumia 720 it had only 6.7MP camera with ziess optics but its performance so good that still in 2020 high end device's fail to match.

    What goes wrong now a days is companies are using a lot of AI to make an image look professional and give their user the feel that they can also capture nice photos. But this AI in background makes the camera app very slow, and sometimes it won't work good, even we miss shots as the camera uses its own computer to make the image even after clicking on the shuttle button! So it's not actually necessary except for portrait mode!.

    So i just wanna say that origanility is always good! And for me the benchmark would be the nokia lumia phones...they were so superb in terms of speed of capturing pictures, manual mode, dedicated shutter button, ziess optics, and very important the NOKIA CLEAR BLACK DISPLAY! (CBD) it helped a lot while clicking outdoor, it was awesome i think super amoled can't even compete the CBD display!

    Please nokia, please just don't follow the crowd please be original, and come back with the NOKIA THING! in terms of innovation design, Camera,Built quality.

    No doubt nokia is already doing well but we still Miss the original nokia hardware like the Polycarbonate body design (like lumia series)

    The CBD display. We have pure view display but it's a matter of software but we that clear and punchy black display like the lumia, which really helps outdoor photography!

    Thank you

  • Yes! I have face the same issue while editing pictures! And i think of if i post this image in instagram how my followers gona see these colours?😅🤔

    As i have three nokia phones, Nokia 7.2, 6.1plus, 5.1plus,! And all these phones show different colours of same image 😅

  • For me I need smartphone with minimum interference of AI. If there is good camera setup that gives awesome output or near about to what human eye see then obviously i will go with that instead of choosing AI. Off course for such result we need powerful software to do the processing as per our need not what AI suggests or something he does automatically for us, so we can share immediately. I will prefer to real life camera experience only.

    @dipankar paul

  • I'd like natural-like photo for photos taken from the back (main) camera. But it's also important that photos will retain natural light as much as possible (won't suffer that much under low light).

    Not a selfie person but think most people will like a bit AI touch on their selfies. So I'd like as less possible AI enhancement on back camera but people will probably like a acceptable AI touch on front camera.

  • Thinking philosophical, I believe the glass actually inhibits the objectivity of a photograph being taken. The people who manufacture the glass are the ones accountable for it being produced in a clean way without imperfections. but I think this is unrealistic as there are so many small microorganisms and particles involved which can distort glass in the most microscopic way. And I believe that is important because if even a pixel is out of alignment then how can you say it is objective? Furthermore a picture is a still image of a bigger reality and who has the time to watch a video of reality instead of actually living reality. I think virtual reality is not good for people and can create confusion about how people perceive the world. There are certain place neurones in the brain which fire when you are in certain places. So if you start using too much of this virtual reality then maybe these place cells become assigned to virtual places.

  • The other thought I had is from the chat moderating experience... most reddit mods aren't really interested in moderating live things. As a mod you only have limited time. You either spend more time for macro-modding stuff that really makes reddit communities thrive or you micro-manage the modqueue and now... live chat and talk?