The Z10 has quite a bit to offer users and one of its many features that the company has been focusing on is the the 8 Megapixel camera slapped onto the rear of the handset. Aside from the resolution, it’s the features and quality that will matter more than anything else. In the Z120’s case, one particular feature tends to stand out amongst the the rest, i.e. Time Shift.
For a quick introduction to the Time Shift Camera, you can check out our article here, where we give you an indepth look into this rather handy feature.
But this technology is becoming a very intricate part of today’s smartphone camera fucntionality and is quite handy indeed. Consider a group shot with burst mode. You first choose the shot that looks best, but in some cases, you’ll still find one person whose eyes are closed and another one that’s not looking at the camera. This can be quite annoying as all you want sometimes is a little cooperation from your crew, but it’s seldom possible with boisterous bunches. Imagine using Photoshop to replace the faces in the chosen shot with the ones that look best. You could have choose from the numerous photos captured, select the best possible poses, find the pic with the individual's eyes open, cut, paste etc. etc. all to get that perfect shot. But with today’s technology, it can all be done in a matter of seconds on smartphones like the BB Z10 or the Lumia 920 and such other devices. It’s a simple post process function that uses burst mode and face recognition technology to achieve the best possible group picture you can get.
As of now, the BlackBerry Z10 and Nokia’s Lumia 920 with a downloadable Lense called Smart Shoot have an option that can do this. So we decided to put their 8 Megapixel shooters to test and discuss this feature along with their features in general.
Here’s what the Z10 has to offer in the camera features department:
First off, to access the camera on the Z10, you can tap and hold the little camera icon found at the bottom of the lock screen. It’ll take no more than 3 seconds to start up. The volume rocker can double up as a shutter release in lieu of a dedicated key. A camera icon is also available at the bottom of the main menus of the Z10’s Flow UI.
This feature, as mentioned above, uses burst mode and face recognition technology to capture images quickly in succession. It highlights the faces in the image and lets you select the best possible expression for each. Once you’re satisfied with the facial expression, you can also choose the most appropriate background and the camera does the rest. It blends the images together to try and give you the best possible photo. It took a mere 25 seconds to shoot, select and process the images of two individuals in Time Shift.
BB10 Time Shift
The Z10 features 3 shooting modes – Normal with touch focus, Image Stabilisation and Burst mode that allows you to capture over 80 images as long as the shutter release is pressed.
A few scene preset options are available as well. These include Action shots for capturing fast action moments, Whiteboard, Night shots and a Beach and Snow setting.
LIke most mobile phone camera settings, if not all, you have the option of keeping the flash on or off for all images or switch to Auto mode that will activate the flash based on available light.
With the Z10, you can also opt to capture photos in either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios.
The BlackBerry Z10 can capture video in full HD, i.e. 1080p. It could be reduced to 720p if need be. The flash can be switched on in case of low light capture and here too, you have the option of NIght or Beach and Snow scene settings. A Video Stabilisation setting is also available.
Nokia Lumia 920
Here’s what the Lumia 920 has to offer:
Unlike the BlackBerry Z10, the Lumia 920 packs in a dedicated camera shutter release button, which means you can activate the camera quite literally in under 3 seconds, without even having to unlock your device.
The feature is available through a “lenses” add-on for the camera and there are many more to choose from as well. Smart Shoot detects the faces of your subjects in focus and captures multiple frames of their expressions. Once captured, you can then pick and choose a different expression so you get a perfect shot almost every time. In our test, the Lumia 920 took roughly 33 seconds from the time we started capturing to the time we saved the final image, with the changed expressions.
Another feature present in Smart Shoot is the ability to erase objects. If there are any moving objects in any of the frames captured, you have the option to go ahead and remove them from the final image altogether.
Nokia Smart Shoot
Panorama is another lens that’s available exclusively for the Lumia 920. As the name suggests, the app lets you take a sweep panorama image and automatically stitches it for you.
The Cinemagraph lens lets you create a GIF image by allowing you to animate objects that move in your frame.
You can find many more lenses in the app store like Photosynth, Nokia Glam Me, BLINK, Meme lens, Magic Frame Free, FishEye lens and many more.
Other features of the Lumia 920 includes scene modes, ISO settings, Exposure Value, White Balance, Aspect Ratio and the option to toggle the photo assist light on or off.
The bottom line
In the end, both handsets offer very similar features for the camera, but when it comes to the Smart Shoot feature or Time Shift, the BlackBerry Z10 beats the Lumia 920 in speed. The Z10 is almost 7 seconds quicker from time the photo is taken to when you actually edit and save it, which is quite impressive. Not only that, the Z10 also lets you adjust or change the subject's position in the frame to match their new expressions, a minor but very important feature.
However, in the features department, the Z10 doesn’t have too much to offer. Moreover, where the difference is truly evident is when Nokia’s PureView technology is matched to the Z10’s. The Lumia comes out on top quite easily as image colour reproduction is a little stronger.