Well, it looks like Huawei’s not the only one with high photographic sights as smartphone manufacturer Vivo has also announced a partnership with Zeiss for camera development in their new X60 series. There will be three models in the X60 series – the regular X60, the X60 Pro and the X60 Pro+. The first two […]
Samsung Electronics is reportedly in a position to challenge Sony’s imaging sensor dominance. Sony had prioritized the supply of image sensors to Huawei, a strategy that has backfired; Samsung is apparently ready to take advantage.
Sony commands more than half of the image sensor market, but because it focused its efforts on supplying Huawei, Samsung has been able to win major orders with manufacturers who did not want to wait behind Huawei. Meanwhile, Huawei’s global reputation has been significantly damaged thanks to its perceived closeness with the Chinese Government. The brand has been banned in the United States, for example, and any company doing business with them in the United States has also been banned from working with Huawei except in special circumstances.
Sony is a Japanese company but has a significant presence in the United States, and the ban directly affected the company’s ability to fulfill orders.
“It’s not what we expected,” a Sony executive said regarding new restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on exports to Huawei earlier this year.
Samsung has reportedly won several large sensor orders in August and September.
While Sony was unable to provide sensors in a timely manner to some manufacturers and therefore lost contracts to Samsung, it is now likely fulfiling fewer sensors to Huawei who was supposed to be a major cash cow. As you can imagine, this is as close to a nightmare situation as could be imagined, and the sensor giant is in a pinch.
Samsung entered the sensor market later than Sony but has been slowly building up its business. The company stated in 2018 that it wanted to dethrone Sony as the number one image sensor manufacturer on the market, and now it has its chance to.
Samsung has reportedly worked with Apple and Huawei on a limited scale while spending more of its effort consolidating smaller companies like Xiaomi and Vivo. Now with Sony struggling in the face of the Huawei fallout, Samsung not only has the technology to compete with Sony’s business but also the factory capacity.
An analyst familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia that “it will be difficult for Sony to fully make up for a drop in supplies to Huawei with an increase in sales to other companies this business year.”
Samsung and Sony have different strategies with their sensor technology as well. While Sony is famed for its fast readout speeds, low noise performance, and excellent autofocus technology, Samsung put its efforts behind resolution. The company has produced a 180-megapixel sensor and is also improving the entire camera module for smartphones, a combination that might be more appealing to manufacturers producing new 5G devices. Even if it wasn’t originally a major reason to choose Samsung, Sony’s backlogged production situation may have given many manufacturers reasons to look elsewhere when in the past they would not have.
“Sony maintains a cautious stance, while Samsung is going on an investment offensive as if now is their chance,” an official with a supplier of equipment used in the production process of image sensors said to Nikkei Asia. “The two companies are demonstrating totally different moves.”
Nikkei Asia reports that depending on global developments, “Sony may fall into a vicious circle in which it turns cautious about investment in the absence of expectation of solid demand, resulting in a loss of competitiveness. If that happens, Sony may see its long-held stronghold crumble.”
It’s been a long time coming, and they’ve been common in compact cameras since the days of 35mm film, but it looks like retractable lenses might finally start popping up in our smartphones. During yesterday’s Xiaomi Developer Conference in Beijing, they showed off a new lens tech that could potentially help smartphone photography take a […]
The world of smartphones moves thick and fast these days, and a lot of them all start to look the same after a while, but this is one announcement I’ve definitely been waiting for. Chinese smartphone company, vivo has today announced their expansion into Europe and they’ve announced a new phone – sort of. It’s […]
Chinese electronics manufacturer Vivo has won a Red Dot Award for its prototype design of a smartphone with a pop-up and removable camera unit. Called the IFEA, the company designed the smartphone in an attempt to glean benefits from separating the camera from the mobile phone.
According to the description on their Red Dot Award, the IFEA is designed to equip smartphones with a detachable front camera. Having a camera pop up or out of a phone isn’t a new idea, but doing so while also being entirely removable and, likely, interchangeable with other camera modules, is. By separating the camera from the phone, the idea is that the design would enhance user-friendly shooting features that are normally constrained within the design of a mobile device.
“The camera module is a separate device that brings to life an innovative multi-angle shooting capability,” the description reads. In Vivo’s design, the idea is that you would also be able to control the device through voice commands in such a way that is “both interactive and intuitive.”
The placement of the camera above the top of the phone was done to increase the amount of space someone would have to properly grip the phone without compromising “visual stability.” Of course, Vivo has multiple accessories in mind to support the design should they move ahead with production.
Though the camera mod does appear to retract back into the body of the smartphone, the possibility of losing the likely expensive module is pretty high. That said, there are ways to make this work. Samsung’s Note series is likely a great source of market research for Vivo, as the S-Pen appears to be just as easy to lose as a theoretical camera module. Samsung has worked out a solution to this by giving the S-Pen the ability to be tracked thanks to Bluetooth. Vivo could institute a similar tracking feature in its camera modules.
For now, Vivo’s design is just a rendering, but the company seems well-suited to bring the idea to life. Vivo has multiple smartphones in its product lineup and seems to put an emphasis on high-quality photography with its mobile devices. All of its phones feature multiple cameras, many with promises of high megapixels, wide-open apertures, and top-tier quality. For a company with this kind of commitment to photography as a main feature, a product like the IFEA seems to be right in line with its goals.
You can read more about Vivo and see its full product line here.
Photographers in cities like San Francisco and Portland have been sharing apocalyptic images of red/orange skies as wildfire smoke literally blots out the sun. But many smartphone photographers trying to do the same thing have tried and failed over and over. It turns out Auto White Balance is ruining their shots.
If you have friends or family in either of these cities, chances are you’ve been send a text with a photo and the caption “the photo doesn’t really capture it right… it’s way more red and ominous looking outside.” The issue has become so widespread that Gizmodo declared smartphones were “color correcting the apocalypse” and the LA Times published a tutorial on how to capture the proper color on your phone.
If you scroll through Twitter, you’ll find many complaints and examples like these:
Fun fact. Had to take that picture with my Canon camera because my phone keeps auto color correcting it and doesn’t show just how gross outside it actually is. pic.twitter.com/68uhYkwTW4
So how do you go from photos like the ones above, to photos like these by San Francisco photographer Christopher Michel:
The answer is simple: download an app that allows you to either shoot RAW photos or choose your White Balance manually. Any of the more professional apps will do, such as Halide for iOS users or the Lightroom app for either iOS or Android. Both of these apps will allow you to change your white balance setting to “Daylight” or “Cloudy” and capture the appropriate Bladerunner vibes you’re after.
This is what it looks like in the Adobe Lightroom app for iOS. You first have to change your camera type from Auto to Pro, and then select the WB setting:
Obviously, if you’re in one of the cities whose skies turning red or orange, capturing accurate photos probably shouldn’t be at the very top of your priority list. But if you’re not in any immediate danger and you want to share your experience, don’t let your smartphone’s built-in camera app ruin it for you.