Spoilt for choiceI mostly use my phone to take photos and therefore I was planning on getting my hands on the best camera phone available. Initially, I had my heart set on the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy because of their dual camera setup and the quality of their final images.
I mostly use my phone to take photos and therefore I was planning on getting my hands on the best camera phone available. Initially, I had my heart set on the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy because of their dual camera setup and the quality of their final images. As if the choice wasn’t hard enough, Google has now rolled out Google Pixel 2 and 2XL, each with single rear camera which, from what I’ve heard, happen to be the best smartphone camera till date. Now I am in a dilemma. Could you suggest one smartphone with the best camera, whose shots resemble those from DSLRs?
It is undeniable that the purpose of the dual camera is to make the phone capable of producing vibrant and well-detailed images. The presence of dual camera offers advantages like wide field of view, enhanced depth perception, ability to detect small objects, symmetry and more.
You might wonder why if a DSLR can produce vibrant shots with plenty of details with just a single lens that a smartphone needs dual cameras for the same purpose. To explain it in simple terms, DSLRs are equipped with large aperture, big lens and a large sensor, which make them of capable of capturing adequate light and plenty of details during shots.
However, in smartphones with dual-cameras, subject and background can be segregated with the additional details sensed by the secondary camera. And the blurring of the background is entirely through a software, which may result in images with unnatural intensity of the blurs. In some cases, the subject may even lack sharp edges with blurry boarders. And in the case of zooming and wide angle shots, dual-camera smartphones are way behind DSLRs. So the concept of dual-cameras came as an alternative, where the details collected from two cameras blend to form one image resembling a DSLR’s output.
If you like applying effects while taking the shots, then dual-camera smartphones can be ideal for you. If you love travelling or visiting places then having wide-angle camera is a faithful companion. And if you indulge in portraits to flaunt on social media, a Telephoto camera would be the better choice. But if you love natural shots without artsy effects, single camera works perfectly fine.
As for the Google Pixel 2/2XL, what you heard is true. The tests were performed by DxOmark, a benchmark platform for smartphone cameras, digital cameras, lenses and sensors. Superseding the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8—which both scored 94 points on the Dxomark benchmark test—Google pixel 2/2XL scored 98 points. The DxOmark benchmark test protocol uses panel of imaging experts rather than a software. The images and videos are shot by experts in real life situations at different light conditions reviewing Bokeh (portrait) mode, zoom feature, autofocus and sharpness, taking into account the motion of the scene and the speed of image/video capture, etc. And taking account to these benchmark scores, Google Pixel 2/2XL obviously has the best overall camera performance. However, these Google devices are not officially available in Nepal. And getting devices from the grey market is expensive and unreliable. So going for iPhone 8 plus or Note 8 will be the best choice here as of now. But if you can wait, Huawei Mate 10 Pro might be the fitting option in your case. It has a DxOmark score of 97 points and is queued for a launch in Nepal.
Genuine or a gimmick?
Some smartphones are available in different variants with different combination of RAM and internal storage, with other components being the same. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and OnePlus 5 for instance. Internal storage depends on the data stored by an individual and are often manageable with the SD cards (except for the iPhones). But how much difference does the RAM make in smartphones with similar setups? Is choosing the higher end variant always the better choice?
— Abhishek Adhikari
“More RAM the better” is developing as a digital superstition. And smartphone manufacturers are providing higher amount of RAM as a unique selling point. Smartphone manufacturers often bring variable RAM and internal storage to fit the demand of numerous customers, rest of the features being the same. And expecting a better performance, people tend to fall for the premium or costly version with higher amount of RAM. But basically RAM, or Random Access Memory, is used by the system to store data for faster processing during the run-time. But that does not necessarily mean that more RAM is better.
More RAM can be useful on multitasking. But if the load exceeds what it can handle then no amount of “extra” RAM is going to help you cope with the problem and ensure a smooth performance. So, smartphones with higher amount of RAM are misleading at times because the optimisation of the smartphone, which kills the background processes of apps which have been unused for a prolonged period of time, also comes into play.
As of now, Android smartphones with 4GB RAM would ensure good performance, if the processor is capable. iOS devices work fine with even with 2 or 3GB of RAM because of good optimisation. So, I recommend you to get the smartphone variant with 4GB RAM in case of Android and minimum 2GB in case of iOS devices. 6GB or 8GB of RAM may become mainstream in the coming years, but for now, 6GB or 8GB of RAM in a smartphone is overkill and just a marketing gimmick.
Bang for the buck
Can you suggest a good PC for multimedia editing that does not cost me a fortune and doesn’t hang, drop in frame rate or stutter while video and photo editing?
— Bipin Lamichhane
Bipin, everyone wants devices with high performance to cost ratio. However, better goods require a higher investment, there is just not getting around it. And multimedia editing and processing is a power devouring job that requires PCs with great computational speed and power, higher RAM, better storage capacity and big screen. Every single component is pricey and the whole setup will definitely not come cheap.
iMacs and Microsoft surface Studio are good options. However, they are pricey and definitely may not fall in the radar of your choices. So, I recommend you to build your own PC by assembling the components that are individually capable of withstanding the workload.
PC setup with Intel Core i7 7700K processor, Nvidia GetForce GTX 1060 4GB graphics card, MSI Z270 series Motherboard, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 23” monitor with Full HD resolution, 256GB SSD with at least 1Gbps speed are minimum requirements for multimedia editing. This setup can be managed well within an investment of Rs 150,000. Not just for multimedia editing, this setup will perform well with intense gaming without hiccups. If you can invest more, you can opt for components with higher capabilities in the suggested module.