An 808 camera data point: Startling starlings

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The whole point about having an insanely good camera in your phone is not that it can take photos which are obviously superior when viewed on the phone screen, or even on a laptop screen - it's that the detail is there to be able to do extra, creative things with the image later on. And this is borne out nicely by an image sent in to the AAS team this week. See below for what a great smartphone camera and great editing can achieve.

Reader Rimas Raguliūnas writes in:

I just wanted to share some of my recent amazement of the Nokia 808. Recently I took a nice photo of birds fooling around in a tree in the medium distance:

Original 8MP photo of birds...
original image here

The problem with shooting was that they were quite distant and flying around very fast. I was aware of the full resolution and cropping capabilities, but opted to use 8MP Pureview mode instead. It gave me the ability to shoot faster. Later, at home, I decided to use Gimp to make slight color corrections and then crop, upscale and sharpen:

Cropped and enhanced
Original of this image here

I was impressed how much of a detail left in the photo! I don't think this kind of cropping and up-scaling is achievable with any other phone or most of the standalone cameras! I don't think it's the right way to do it all the time - there are cases when full 34MP resolution is a better option, but for fast-changing scenery, I guess, it might work for some people.

Nice work, look at the detail in those starling wings, plus a gloriously arty effect from what is effectively a silhouette shot...

I'm often doing something similar, taking a photo of a group of friends at 5MP or 8MP and deciding later that the group shot is a bust but that I love the expression on one or two faces. I then crop in and produce an immaculate 2MP image, perfectly framed and with impeccable quality, for passing onto other friends or family - who naturally think I'm a wizard for being able to produce such perfect shots time after time...

You can follow Rimas's other photos here in his Flickr stream.