Thursday, April 24, 2014

Google updates KitKat Camera App with Bokeh and 3D Parallax?

It is officially found on the Google Playstore for those of you who want to download it but you need to have KitKat running to enjoy this new update. What Google has done is simple, it is a veritable 'fuck you to Apple' with the middle finger up the nostril.

Smartphones has revolutionize photography by making it easy to carry a camera to capture a shot anytime you wish. Apple has done tremendously well by focusing on the simplicity of capturing both video and images but beyond it, it is featureless. Google has up the ante by imbuing its new camera app for KitKat with technological functions such as Bokeh and in effect, 3D parallax capture.

How Does it Work?

By adding a depth map my dear Watson!  The whole idea here is to use the smartphone's processing power to calculate the depth and distance of the object from the sensor and using that as a blue print to render a Bokeh image.

This depth map is also responsible for making a parallax 3D photo, of which you can generate a 3D animated parallax image using a website called Depthy. This is really cool, sort of like what Seene for iOS has done.

Wait a minute, isn't this a auto awesome picture from Google?

Well, it's not entirely the case. You still need the depth perception bit of information for a 3D parallax photo, so without this depth map, a 3D parallax won't work.

Camera Battles to spearhead Future Growth

HTC launched the M8, with a dual camera system to render bokeh. This is essentially the same idea behind the concept of Google's revised Camera App, but done with only one sensor instead of two.

Two sensors make it easier to render bokeh—that's only if it works but I have seen very bad instances of how the HTC fucks it up. Until I figure out and test the device, I will reserve judgement on it.

The Google camera app is a huge improvement. To render a bokehlicious image, you just need pure processing power, found in quad core devices. I seriously doubt a dual core would do this feature justice. There is no need for a secondary camera to measure depth.

Mobile photography is not going to get an eviction notice anytime soon. It has become a way of life for many of us. The idea here is to win the hearts and minds of users. And Google has done this with just an app. Apple is currently lagging far behind in this field. It has instead chose to focus on imaginary problems for a first time camera user instead of catering to a growing number of sophisticated uses for a smartphone camera. The idea behind the iOS 7 camera app update was to make it easier for first time camera users and this is what bores the hell out of me. You cannot possibly address low light issues alone with a updated sensor on the iPhone 5S. Apple has to understand that there is a quantum of features that can make it rewarding for a first time camera user while at the same time satisfy the needs of a growing pool of advanced mobile photographers.


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