Qualcomm to show Snapdragon 805 camera improvements at CES


There is no doubt that Qualcomm is using CES to show exactly what the new Snapdragon 805 processor is capable of. A few days ago, we saw a preview of the Ultra Sound Note technology being used. Today, Qualcomm has released another set of videos that gives a look at what the processor can contribute to photography. Chroma Flash, Action Shot, and OptiZoom are all brand new. Chroma Flash takes two photos — one with flash and another without. By doing so, it merges the images together so users do not have a cold photo from the device’s flash.

If your camera struggles with focusing on a particular object, Action Shot aims to solve that problem. Upon tapping the object, the camera will remain focused on it as it moves across the screen. OptiZoom is similar to Action Shot as it has to do with keeping things in the shot. OptiZoom keeps an object in the frame as it is moved around.

Hit the break to watch a short video on each feature. And be sure to stick with Talk Android for our CES coverage.
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Samsung announces Galaxy Camera 2 and NX30, could not wait until CES


After receiving certification in India last week, Samsung has decided to pull the cover off of the successor to its Galaxy Camera. The Galaxy Camera 2 (pictured above) has the same 16MP sensor, 21x zoom capable lens, and 4.8-inch display from before. The changes come in other ways. The battery is now fatter at 2000mAh and the weight has dropped to 9.2 ounces. To power Android 4.3, a quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz with 2GB of RAM is on board.

Samsung also took the cover off of the NX30 camera (pictured below), the NX20′s successor. This cameras sensor is 20.3MP and takes just 80 milliseconds to find what needs to be focused on. The display is based on one of Samsung’s Super AMOLED touchscreens and it can tilt and swivel to your desire. Samsung has not yet given a release date or price on either camera. Hit the source link to view the press release on each device.

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Dual 5MP camera unit announced by Toshiba, will allow for stereo-3D shots for both smartphones and tablets


Toshiba is making waves in the smartphone camera industry, as the manufacturer just announced a dual-5MP camera module which generate a 13MP image through upscaling. With this development, the camera can be thinner than current 13MP cameras. Smartphones will be able to be made thinner as a result as well.

The dual camera unit also comes with a companion chip which will allow for the simultaneous recording of both image and depth information. The depth data will be applied to objects captured in the image— the result will be somewhat of a stereo-3D image.

While Toshiba hasn’t announced any particular release date on the module, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it and how smartphone manufacturers will adapt to the new camera technology.

Hit the break for the full press release below.

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Sony’s Xperia Z1 MotionShot camera app available on any device with Android 4.0 and up


Need to get your hands on the Sony Xperia Z1 camera app? Thanks to XDA Forum Member xperiaZ2, you can. Android devices running at least Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher can download the app that allows users to snap a photograph with motion. This merges the motion into one single image for your viewing pleasure. To download, hit the link below. Just make sure you have at least 500MB available to install the MotionShot camera.

Source: XDA Developers [Download Link]

Moto X Camera update rolling out with manual focus and exposure control

Moto_X_Back_Camera_Lens_Motorola_Logo_TAThe next version of Moto X’s camera, version, is rolling out in the Play Store as we post. The update includes the ability to manually control focus and exposure, support for additional languages, and other bug fixes. To manually control focus and exposure, you need to swipe from the left and access the camera’s minimal settings menu, and tap the icon that looks like a finger pointing to a square. From there you can drag the box anywhere to set focus and exposure.

You can find a download link after the break for the updated camera.

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Samsung to merge divisions in hopes of improving smartphone cameras


A report out of Korea indicates Samsung has merged their Digital Imaging Business Division with their Wireless Division. The Digital Imaging Business Division is responsible for cameras produced by the company, while the Wireless Business Division is essentially their smartphone division. According to a statement released by Samsung, the company “will transplant the brand, sales networks, software competency and manufacturing competitiveness of the Wireless Business Division into the Camera Business Division, and integrate the technical know-how of the two business divisions into competency for differentiating our smartphones.” The reorganization was effective on December 11th.

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Android 4.4.1 is more than just camera fixes for the Nexus 5

Android 4.4.1

Android director of engineering David Burke announced just the other day that the team was working on Android 4.4.1, an update largely filled with bug fixes involving the Nexus 5 camera.

“All of this gets a boost with an update to Android 4.4.1 rolling out to Nexus 5,” Burke said. “It improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag.”

However, the 4.4.1 update is more than just camera fixes since it’s going out to other Nexus devices (post Galaxy Nexus). Hit the break for the full changelog.

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Chrome OS camera gets update to interface, framework for more features


Google has started the process of rolling out an update to the Camera app that is included in ChromeOS. The updated app features a new user interface that puts more emphasis on the content, which in the case of a Chromebook is probably the user. While that is nice, most users will probably be more interested in the features that are described as “in the pipeline:”

  • video recording
  • the ability to upload to YouTube and Google+
  • Syncing of pictures across Chrome devices

Unfortunately, no timeline for the availability of these new features was provided. The new version of the Camera app is being rolled out to users in the typical Google phase fashion. However, users impatient for the update can head over to the Chrome web store to grab the update.

sources: +François Beaufort, Chrome Web Store

Google focuses on camera app with 3 new Nexus 5 commercials


Google has released three new commercials via YouTube for the Nexus 5. The three 15-second spots focus on the camera app, showing off different features. These include the ability to take better pictures of high contrast scenes thanks to HDR+, creating Photo Spheres, and creating animated sequences of still images using Auto Awesome.

You can check out all three spots after the break.
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Moto X camera app now being updated through the Play Store

Motorola Camera

We now take a break from all this Nexus nonsense to talk about the Moto X’s camera app.

When certain pieces of hardware on devices need to be upgraded, we usually see OTA software updates. However, Motorola is now updating the Moto X camera app through the Play Store.

The device’s camera was one of the weaker features of the phone at launch, and the last OTA update to all Moto X variants greatly improved the performance. But now, Moto has decided that if they want to update the camera (and maybe some other things) more frequently, the faster way to do so is through the Play Store. (Basically, the carriers are constantly getting in the way.)

This is a very welcome change, as maybe other manufacturers will catch on and do the same with many features of the phone that don’t really require an OTA update.

Here’s what the update brings:

  • Brightened camera viewfinder so it’s easier to see
  • Enabled Quick Capture for more Enterprise users IT policies
  • Bug fixes

Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.

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