Looking for a smartphone with a good camera

Note that GCam also allows you to save the ‘raw’ (DNG), even in HDR+ Enhanced and Night Sight modes.

AFAIK, the Google camera app on the Pixel will export a 14-bit Bayer DNG after all the multi-frame HDR+ wizardry (see RPU samples for 4 XL and 4a).

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I have a 3a and I initially thought as @aadm stated about the raw files but I found one thing was the heavy vignetting made them look bad and hard to edit. RT will use the gain map to correct this using a Flat field correction from the meta data. It makes a big improvement or I cheat in DT as there is no such support and use the lens settings for the Huawei P10. Not technically correct but the raw files look much better IMO . When I started to really look at the jpg the treatment in many photos was way too harsh and colors were sometimes actually washed out from what I could get in the raw. So now I still will use the jpg but surprisingly I did an icc profile using the colormatch script with a jpg and raw pair and I get nice results with raw files and find I use them as often as I choose the jpg. I will go back and try to do an edit to this post with some examples if I get some time…

Thank you guys, thank you to everyone who answered here. It’s very useful and educational.

I think I will get S10, since it’s better than others I mentioned and I will get the Pixel’s camera app to get the most out of it.

There is only one thing, I checked the M51 specs again and it seems like it has much bigger sensor than S10, because it’s 1/.73" vs 1/2.55". But then I checked Google Pixel 4a and it has 1/2.55" as well. So is M51 much better than both S10 and Pixel 4a, sensor-wise?

And the 52mm camera that isn’t present in S10e (which is significantly smaller than S10, which means more desirable for me) is only 1/3.6". Would that make the S10 much better than S10e (since it has this additional camera) or not (because the additional camera is quite poor anyway)?

Here are two DNGs (HDR+ Enhanced and Night Sight mode) from GCam on a OnePlus Nord. darktable complains about not finding the matrix. They don’t look sharp at the pixel level. They seem to be mosaiced; I don’t know about the bit depth.

HDR+ Enhanced mode:
IMG_20210630_140220.dng (10.3 MB)
Night Sight mode (yes, I know, it’s broad daylight):
IMG_20210630_140232.dng (9.7 MB)

Currently ART is the only OSS raw processor that supports the GainMap (lens shading map) included in dngs from the Pixel and other phones. RawTherapee, darktable, etc, do not support it yet. When it’s included in the dng file and is not a no-op, it’s very important to apply it because it’s not just vignetting but it affects each color channel differently. So if it’s not applied the colors can be correct in the exact center of the image and there’s a heavy color cast closer to the edge.

The example in this thread shows how incorrect the colors can be when the GainMap is not applied. In that case it was mistaken for an incorrect color profile.

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I must have been in Art but I swear I did try it in RT…funny…too many programs on my PC :slight_smile:

I think open camera saves tiff’s in a DNG container. You can’t extract a jpg preview from open
camera DNG and the tags showed references to tiff somewhere I think. They are on average 10MB larger than the DNG from the native pixel app so that might make sense. I may be wrong but for sure they are not the same DNG.
Just too a quick shot out my open office door… one pixel and one for open camera…which shoots a very flat raw for me…

IMG_20210630_130155.dng (23.3 MB)
PXL_20210630_165800503.NIGHT.dng (12.7 MB)

TIFF is also just a container. DNG is a TIFF.

The difference in size you’re seeing is most likely due to compression - original Pixel DNGs use JPEG lossless.

Yes, without having inspected the files it’s very likely DNG lossless compression vs. no compression. Open Camera does not compress, while GCam derivatives do. A linear DNG has three channels and a mosaiced bayer raw file has one, so one can guess by looking at the size what flavor it is. :slightly_smiling_face:

Ya the open camera DNG tags say full size preview uncompressed but I have not found any thing that could extract a preview. I think most tools expect a jpg for the preview not a tiff so I think the open camera DNG is just the image as you say DNG is a container for tiff file…I am sure there is a nuance but no utility I found or exif could pull out a preview so that is why I surmised what I did…

I believe that kmilos was not talking about the embedded preview data “being a TIFF”, but the mosaiced data (raw DNG) or demosaiced data (Linear DNG) itself conforming to TIFF/EP. If I recall things right Open Camera does not embed any preview data at all, just uncompressed mosaiced data, but don’t quote me on that.

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Ya that is what I was trying to articulate badly I guess… I think it just has the data no preview…

Ah, I see. Yes, that is likely the case. You can save plenty of storage by running them through the Adobe DNG Converter with lossless compression enabled.

I haven’t used OC too much I have ON1, Open Camera, Hedgecam, and the Google app. Mostly just shoot in the google app and those files are pretty small around 13MB.

Instead of speculating, just run exiftool -a -u -s -g1 or exiv2 -pa on your files.

For the OpenCamera one:

Indeed, just single image (IFD0) with the full resolution Bayer raw, uncompressed, and from a single frame (10-bit)

For the original (Google camera app) one:

  1. A small resolution JPEG preview in IFD0
  2. The full resolution Bayer raw in the SubIFD, but: 14-bit after multi-frame processing, and JPEG lossless compressed

@mikae1 Adobe DNG Converter will indeed provide the identical space saving, as the same JPEG lossless compression will be used (the only one allowed by the baseline DNG spec).

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I was referring to running Adobe DNG Converter with lossless compression on the Open Camera DNGs (which are uncompressed). That saves space.

That, or you could run GCam (which as you say are already losslessly compressed). However, the variants of GCam I’ve tried for my phone under LineageOS all require Gapps/Play Services or microG. So, I’ve settled on Open Camera.

EDIT: found this now: GitHub - lukaspieper/Gcam-Services-Provider: App faking only the absolute necessary Apis to use Gcam without Play Services

I know, just saying the expected saving is to be pretty much in line with the GCam DNG as the identical JPEG lossless scheme must be used. Might be even better since 10-bit data is being compressed instead of 14-bit.

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Taking it somewhat back to the topic of “finding a smartphone with a good camera”… One of my major gripes with smartphones cameras is that the main camera uses one of my least favorite focal lengths (~28 mm equivalent).

Yes, today there are multi-camera smartphones, but the problem is that every phone I’ve looked at uses a crap sensor for all cameras except for the ~28 mm one. Has anybody found a recent smartphone that does not use an inferior sensor for a 35–45 mm equivalent focal length lens?

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Thanks if I knew exiftool as well as you I wouldn’t have to speculate…:slight_smile: Thanks for sharing…
The google app now has a nasty habit of creating a useless raw file if you use zoom. In the past you would get a jpg of the crop generated by the zoom and a full sensor raw file. Now it tries to create a raw with the same crop applied so if you zoom in all the way you get a raw that is 900K. Darktable won’t read them and the jpg’s are actually larger in terms of storage at around 2 Mb. I have tried to get feedback from Google but with no luck