1. jamesino's Avatar
    I've been wanting to flash a AOSP rom instead of CleanROM, but I keep hearing everyone say ttaht the AOSP camera is worse than TW.

    Is what ways is it worse? I don't care for gimmicky features like filters and stuff. Is the AOSP image quality, autofocusing, and how fast it can take consecutive photos worse than the TW? Or is it just missing fancy features like filters, smile detect, etc...?

    If it's because it has worse image quality or noise or blur, feel like, the image sensor and the camera are hardware components, how can a different camera app create a worse image quality?
    03-12-2013 07:42 PM
  2. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    To be clear, I don't know if the AOSP camera software is worse than the TW camera or not, so what follows is general, not specific. But the software has a huge amount to do with image quality. The sensor creates a "raw" image consisting a whole bunch (say about 8 million) of little red, blue and green dots. It's not really a usable image. The software takes all those individual pixels and applies tone mapping, so the range of tones from very dark to white matches, more or less, what our eye sees. It merges those individual colored pixels into groups of 4 (1 red, 1 blue, 2 green) to create a single "dot" in the output file. And it alters the color balance so that images taken under different lighting conditions (daylight, tungsten, flourescent, etc.) all look "normal" to you. It converts the raw image into a jpeg file, which can be viewed by typical image programs. Jpeg is a compressed data format (think mp3), and the more compression that is applied the worse the image quality (although small differences aren't very visible). Finally, an unprocessed digital image is surprisingly blurry. The software applies an algorithm to "sharpen" the image to make it look pleasing. And it may apply noise reduction to images taken in dim light and/or high ISO. And a whole bunch more.

    All of this can be done well, or poorly. And different companies will have different approaches to how to adjust color, how much to sharpen the image, how much to compress the jpeg file, etc. And all of it affects the final image quality.
    03-12-2013 08:37 PM
  3. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    ^^ What he said. Back when cameras were hardware only, and basically it just burned the image onto the film, the hardware (lenses, quality of the film and all the other stuff) was the only thing that really mattered for image quality.

    Since the advent of digital cameras, there's a software layer that has to take what the hardware produces and make an actual image out of it. And that software can make a world of difference. You're not really taking a true picture like you used to (taking what the light was providing through the lense and transposing that onto film)....you're making a digital representation of it so there has to be software there to handle it.

    I think that makes sense with my limited knowledge of how cameras work.
    03-13-2013 12:32 PM

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