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A Introuduction to Windows Phone 7
Back in the days, or many moons ago, I had the pleasure of using a Windows CE / Pocket PC device, which then evolved into Windows Mobile and now Windows Phone. The history of mobile devices has come a long way, what I enjoyed most about Windows CE / Windows Mobile was the ability to utilize .cab files into the mobile system, for organizations that utilized Windows CE / Mobile for business, they too had the robust feature set as a mini computer in their pocket with cellular voice and data and even Microsoft office.
In the year 1999-2000, it was the stepping stone of everything IP (Internet Protocol), as the .com boom was happening, connected devices where ever you go, always online always connected and always ready. During the evolution phase of Windows CE and Mobile other manufacturers / vendors had also made impressive advancements, Apple was in brain storming mode for iPhone, PDA’s we’re dying off as HP’s Compaq iPAQ PDA was seeing a decline. Manufacturers from all over the planet started producing their own mobile products, which lead into the whole vision of open source or linux everywhere, even Intel wanted to part take with NEMO, but that’s for another discussion.
Today as a consumer of electroic goods, people have such open choices, Windows Phone, iPhone, Android, Ubuntu Mobile / NIX mobile, which one suites you best for your needs & wants, varies per-person, but in my case, this is the answer to the questions that many saw, the potential. Some believe it can still be more than just another device in the market. Project Andromeda / C-shell the next segment in the progression of Windows via Mobile has us more than intrigued and pending on release. With Microsoft’s current offering, I do not compromise any production bottleneck’s when it comes to photography, since the introduction of Adobe DNG RAW file format built-in (Digital Negative) in 2012, which not only made my life and workflow easier, but gave me the functionality as a companion to my pro series camera’s.
The above is just a brief history, the next following chapters will give you a an in-depth look and how I go about to get the shot I need and want for either precious moments and or production usage. Let’s get started.
The Beloved Zeiss lens
For over 200+ years of understanding and implementing optics for real world usage. Zeiss optics have found it way into the mobile smartphone arena. It all started with Nokia, then found its way into the Microsoft Lumia Line of Products. The binding of precision with speed and accuracy in a lens diaphragm was micro-sized to outfit a mobile device, which then gave the ability to function as a portable, small compact camera in your pocket. The first time I’ve heard of Nokia fitting a 41 mega-pixel enabled camera into a smartphone, I was speechless!
During that time I had a Lumia 920 and was featured in a blog post at blogs.windows.com, detailing the capabilities of the Zeiss optics in a mobile device, then when the Lumia 1020 was announced, I jumped right on it as it was the sequel to the Nokia 808 from Microsoft during it’s partnership, once again gaining momentum, I was once more published on the blogs.windows.com. along with other fellow photographers from around the world, titled “The stories behind 8 stunning Nokia Lumia cityscape photos”
The Lumia 1020, retrofitted with also the same components and subset of mechanical instruments for capture and then only to be surpassed with the ability to capture in a Adobe DNG file format with an Adobe Partnership, I was one happy camper. But it doesn’t end their. The Lumia 1020 besides its psychical construct of ergonomics and the ability to attach a battery / camera grip for a stylized point and shoot type and having a standard 1/4 inch thread for mount support, this was the beginning of a path with no deviation. I was set, time to rock & roll, pivoted like a skateboarder, I was about to do hand stands with it also! :)
During the time of Lumia 1020 many users felt that they needed more apps in the Windows Phone universe, I did agree to an extent. Apple’s iPhone user base and the general public’s mantra was apps, apps, theres a app for that. Android was a mature Mobile OS, but, yes!, but not one of the those two platforms had Adobe RAW file support built-in. Which is huge if your a photographer, but the app gap problem. I recall since my first phone that had data via T-mobile, when AT&T was on the same network under the Deutsche Telekom Network along with other providers across the globe, unlimited was unlimited and tethering was not a service for an additional fee. I would tether my laptop or device via serial to usb, into my laptop and work continued from there. The same applied for my phone knowing that it could never replace my DSLR, it was a companion camera. I have gotten some shots in places where no DSLR or Professional camera was accepted to be used and got away with RAW files with 7200x4000 plus PPI (pixels per inch) resolution, so when it came down for me to use it in a commercial setting, it was like I was shooting with a Professional level DSLR, further more during that time only a medium format digital camera would support such resolution, I’ve been told, but it’s coming from a smartphone and a tiny sensor like that can not produce the quality for commercial grade usage.
I took that comment and generated a 48x32 canvas print and showed it to the same person and they too were amazed by the detail and quality. True story on my
behalf, when I bought my Lumia 1020 to produce work that people were awe to, they had bought prints at the same size 48x32 on canvas which paid for my phone and a year’s worth of service. In terms of cost justification, it paid for itself and more. Still till this day I keep my Lumia 1020 around with my battery grips and use it as a travel companion and or for a companion. Its serves as an emergency phone with offline maps via Here We Go and it still does a great job for super high
resolution photo’s from a smartphone.
But was the hardware technology up to par with generating such a huge file? almost, not 100%, to be frank, but the above only meant, patience comes a long way, when you don’t rush. Get it done, get it done right and the rest will follow. I could have gone into setting my settings to shoot only jpeg (Joint Photographic Experts Group), but it would mean I would loose tons of color, shadow, highlight, mid-tone information. So shooting RAW files is the only way to go if you take photography seriously, with an exception of photo journalism, which abides by press regulations of retouching and manipulation which is not allowed, prohibited by law, standard crop and convert to black and white is the standard.
Today I still shoot with a Lumia as a companion device along with my Nikon & Sony DSLR / Mirrorless camera’s. My Lumia 950 Dual SIM is no longer a supported device under decommission of the Lumia Brand from Microsoft, but it serves so much more than just my companion camera, the flagship Lumia 950 / 950 XL was ahead of its time, with Windows Hello, Continuum, UWP apps, etc. Apple did not have a Windows Hello equivalent until iPhoneX, Samsung released their iteration a year later via Android. Samsung also released their version of continuum, but not too many people advertised it as much. The challenge for Apple and Android manufacturers is that their whole eco-system is segmented, while for Microsoft with Project Andromeda, this project is to compile a Windows Universal System Core Level OS with an adaptive UI for mobile and future products aka the rumored Surface Phone.
Today I am here to share some in-sight for the needs of some and for a better understanding as to why Windows Camera is still the best hardware camera and software UI with file extension support amongst others in the same vendor class. The next chapter will show you a series of images that depict the
core settings of Windows camera and from a personal opinion on a feature that was dumped for a programmatic software solution that I personally never use on any platform with a camera, not Windows 10 Mobile, iPhone nor Android. HDR - High Dynamic Range or Pixel Density, the term became a buzz word for the general public and TV’s now even promote HDR in their line of products. But what is HDR really? Pixel Density, that it and that’s all. If I make a pixel to print on screen I would like to know the HSB (Hue, Saturation & Brightness), RGB (Red, Green, Blue), LAB (Luminosity with A & B axis for depth of field), pixel count per pixel and White Balance. Let’s say your shopping for a TV, classic scenario, so now we have a long wall of TV’s all of them promoting HDR, 4K, etc. but they all look different under the same lighting condition. Why so? Well it turns out, since their is no universal white balance for any device with a display in the market, which one do you go with? the highly advertised popular one or the one that makes you complete for your needs.
Complete, hands down. no comparison. But it’s cheaper, it means it must be somewhat crappy. Truth be told that some items in life are just better with the focus on enabling everyone with one. In this case my Lumia 950 DS, has a replaceable battery, enough said. I do not need an extra battery charger in my bag and coming from a photographer’s perspective the less I have to carry the better. The following items are always with me unless other events take place, but even then my Lumia is with me. The following includes my MSFT Surface, Lumia, x amount of cables and that’s it. A Photo editing device via Surface with stylus support and 4096 pressure sensitive points for writing, brush stroke’s, Lumia as the capture device, cables just for power transfer.
Hopefully in the fore seeable future we will see a day that high end camera’s will be modular via connector’s that inserts into the housing of your compute device. Let’s say instead of the PCMIA, PCMIA-extended can be used for storage, OS, mount as external device and un-mounted as a standalone camera system. Cut the cord, remember that campaign since wifi was introduced? But in all honesty a phone can never be replaced, it’s one of those necessities of todays cost of living no matter where on this planet. The sheer beauty of hearing someone’s voice after a long elapsed amount of time. How can Zeiss, Nikon, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc. all play an integral role? through education while building on principals for a brighter and smarter future.
Let’s take a step back and focus on the notion as of why I chose a Lumia since the Lumia product line was introduced. I was always a Windows Mobile person since Windows CE, but it was also a clear understanding that the next iteration of Windows in your pocket was something to be optimistic about, the iPhone & Android platform was dominating the market, Android to me seemed like a sibling of Windows CE / Mobile with support for .apk files, like .cab files for Windows, even as of today Android still reminds me of Windows CE / Mobile. Apple iPhone a successor of Web OS and Symbian, has potential, but lacks many core feature sets. Although Windows Phone 7 threaded the same path as iPhone i.e. no copy & paste, Windows Phone 7 was built from the ground up, with full interoperability in mind, sort of like XML when it was introduced, fully scalable, almost to infinite reach. Even as of Today XML is still the core feature for many properties of computing, from Core strings, configuration properties on systems and so forth.
So Microsoft Lumia, Lumen, Luminosity, L.A.B. (Luminosity with A-axis and B-axis points) via color theory and 3D color light theory, with the reciprocals and transmission in our brain translated this into seeable light. Well since light is the core essence of photography and being able to capture and pronounce the spectrum on a recored binary format, it just makes sense for Lumia. Now’s lets get into the nitty gritty. The gallery below details the core functions of the Window’s Camera. Personally , like in any application I use, I go directly into settings and set up my options for my needs, Make it your’s!
As you can see, with adjustments made to the available settings with Windows Camera, I am able to capture a series of photos such as and is also available for download via my personal OneDrive. Anticipating and adjusting the controls, before hand will give you the most unprecedented experience like shooting with a semi / pro camera. Like most professionals, anticipating the shot before hand is always rule of thumb, never wait until the moment, cause it can pass
The next series of images 1 of many ,is one of many shots of me commuting on the manhattan bridge while in the the subway, in front of a whole train car. When I commute via subway to Manhattan, I always just stop and stare at the city skyline, it’s one of those scenic view’s that I never get tired of. So, I launch the camera app with a simple touch of a button, adjust the controls to my needs and wha-la, got the shot. Once again if you are able to go into the advanced section of controls you are also able to do a long exposure aka drag the clicker. which then give’s you light trails, milky smooth water, or streaky clouded skies
Over the course of time my workflow has changed as available software became available. For a general idea and best practices, I recommend the following below, its all you really need to get started and the possibilities are almost endless.
* An always on computer with wake-on-lan feature on (magic packet)
* Resilio sync for picture backup and selective transfer of RAW files.
* Favorite Photo editing Application.
* Optional - DAM : Digital Asset Management server (Because Windows fully supports Containers, a docker image with a DAM server can be used)
* Optional - Type-C USB drive
Once I have the RAW file(s), I can do whatever I want with them for any medium output whether you use the internet as the application, social media as the substrate. regardless of the medium your final intend will always be ready for Web, Print, Presentations and so forth. If you feel inclined to dive deep into workflow, tag along via my folio site at www.lamchopphotography.com where tutorials section will be up soon, but the most invaluable training is hands on, schedule a training session with me or follow the calendar of event on the site and tune in.
With the abundance of camera’s today, no matter the tool of the trade, whether you are novice to a professional, Shoot For The Memories and Make it Yours, the memories and timeline linage of your existence here on earth can be cherished for ....well infinite. Making it your’s puts your signature craftsmanship into the captured image and or video. So get out there and have fun, capture those memories and share it with friends, family and the world if you like, or keep it totally private. But all in all Shoot For The Memories & Make It Yours ~JWL