Ditch your Phone and Tablet Cables!

Wireless Tether

One of the most common questions I get is how to take photos (and videos) off your phone.  Whether you are working with an iPad, an iPhone, Android or any portable device, tethering these devices to your computer really has become so tedious. There are some handy features to post content directly online like the WordPress app, and even YouTube posting functionality built into many of these devices.  But when you want to tweak your photos or videos on a computer, it’s kind of tedious to use those darn cables every time. Well fret no more, because you can ditch those cables for data transfer!  (Just don’t throw them out – you still need to charge up periodically!)

So, how do you do it? The simple answer is Dropbox! This handy little app has made my life so much easier. No more pesky file limitations on email, data messaging or any of that rigamarole.  Check out the YouTube Video I put together to help explain this:

Video Wars Episode 2: White Balance

Screen shot 2012-07-09 at 1.13.50 AM

After deciding to move forward with a G12 a short time ago (since Canon hasn’t announced their mirrorless edition yet), I started running some video comparisons between that on the G12 and that on my iPhone.  Video is the one portion that I hadn’t really looked at when it comes to a small portable camera, and my own experiments to see what would make the best fit would also serve as good content worth sharing on the blog as well.

So, today, I am sharing the second in a series of video comparison tests both to share my own thoughts on the video quality, and to enlist the thoughts of others on video quality comparisons as well.  The purpose here is to see if there is much difference in quality when I make a manual change to white balance.  We can make comparisons in studio lighting conditions all we want, but the truth is, in the real world there are cloudy days, sunny days, conditions with tungsten versus flourescent lighting,and I know what happens in photographs.  Does the same happen in videos when you can versus when you can’t control these options?  Let’s find out:

iPhone:

Results:  So, the video from the iPhone had some nice cloud definition, but otherwise looked rather flat.  I had the bonus of getting a car to drive through the wet street near dusk, so some nice reflections from the lights bounced off the street.  It gave a good idea of what will happen when two different sets of lighting conditions are in the same space (tungsten from the headlights, and cloudy conditions overhead).  It’s a boring video and will surely not make it to Cannes, but does reveal more of the limitations on the iPhone.

One minor flaw in my capture efforts should be noted though – I recorded the video in portrait mode instead of landscape mode – if you look at the first post from the “Video Wars” series – I did record in landscape mode and it showed as auto-rotating, so put aside the wonkiness in the aspect ratio for now – that was operator error! 🙂

G12:

Result:  I noticed immediately when switching to the G12 that the foreground area got a lot more visible.  This, of course, is due to the fact that I was able to set the the white balance to cloudy.  This way, the foreground is more color accurate.  The trade-off is that the clouds in the background lose their definition.  When I first started looking at the YouTube video for comparison, it looked flatter than I remembered it on the LCD, but even then, it’s still got more detail than the iPhone equivalent.

Verdict:  Here, I think the nod has to go to Canon.  For a highly portable device, it still allows me to get high quality video and more control over exposure, to include ISO and white balance.  We’ll see how the rest of the testing goes, but right now it’s a dead heat – Round 1 went to the iPhone and Round 2 goes to the Canon G12.  Who will be the winner in Rounds 3 and 4?  We shall see? Does the iPhone still have the lead, or has Canon leveled the field?  Would love to hear the thoughts of everyone reading, so feel free to chime in either in the poll, or via the comments:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Camera+

7camera+

Shortly after reading the eBook Eyephone from Craft & Vision for review on its release, I started delving into phone camera photography seriously for the first time.  My eyes were opened that with a little bit of grit, creativity, and a vision in mind, one could quite possibly achieve something worthwhile with these camera phones.  After all, they’re in the 8 and 10MP counts these days.  I’d seen others achieve enough success with them to warrant making a serious go of it myself.

One of the problems was a publication stream – I use Flickr for the contest thread (now in the summer session), but not really for sharing my own photos out anymore as I have gotten pretty picky about what goes live!  Then there’s 500px.  A wonderful venue in and of itself – the photographs there are just extraordinary!  Half the time they make me want to drop my camera and never take another picture again!  Probably not the best venue for a mobile phone photography collage though – especially that this is a work-in-progress project.  I settled in on Instagram.  Aside from having their own nice set of editing tools, it seemed the perfect companion for my iPhone photo exploration.

Part of the reason for this exploration is to share photos with you – the readership!  Some of the photos I share through this feed I hope will make you go “Wow!”  Or “Great shot!” or something along those lines.  I also fully expect that some will make you shrug your shoulders and say “I could do that – no biggie!”  The end result though will be a collection of photos taken over a course of 365 days.  That’s right, a little micro photo-a-day-blog.  You can watch my own progression (assuming I progress of course) with the art of mobile phone photography.  Now granted, this idea started with a battle of dueling camera phones between myself and Kerry Garrison on our respective microblogs “My Droid Pics” and his now defunct “Kerry’s Droid Pics” domains.  Like most 365 photo projects, we lost track of it over time and never really got back.

For now – mine is back on track via my Instagram feed – so if you’d like to keep up on the progress there, join me over on Instagram under my handle there (CBJason).  Or, if you are not an Instagram fan, you can check back here periodically as I’ll likely add gallery posts every few weeks with the latest offerings.  Finally, you can also see current status and updates via this custom 3rd party app called Followgram

I have to admit, having the strong functionality of the iPhone for creative ideas as I go about my day is very handy, and something I am getting back into the habit of documenting, so join me (and tell me about your own efforts – I love to get ideas from others too!).  In the meantime, here’s a sampling of what I’ve shot so far:

And now – for the teaser of all teasers – on Friday I said that the weekend photo challenge was to take five pictures! Above you, there are three random pictures from a bunch I took over the course of the last week or so. Without cheating, who can say which three are the ones from the last 3 days? The winner is going to get something super fun! Share your guesses in the comments section below.

Fair warning – the images will rotate randomly, so don’t guess with “Column 1, Row 4” !