Former Google exec Vic Gundotra praises Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera, says Android photograp...

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Former chief of Android Vic Gundotra praised Apple for its camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, and panned the Android ecosystem for a slow march in photography technology because of how innovations need to propagate across the entire codebase.




In a Facebook post on Sunday, accompanied with pictures that Gundotra took, the ex-Google executive called Android the problem for the reason it takes time it takes for new breakthroughs by companies like Samsung to get wide adoption -- and even afterwards, confusion may reign.

Gundotra said:
Here is the problem: It's Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos?

It's because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.

Also the greatest innovation isn't even happening at the hardware level - it's happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago - they had had "auto awesome" that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc... but recently Google has fallen back).

Apple doesn't have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.

Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.
Opponents of the post are noting the DxOMark ratings of Android phones -- but appear to be missing the point. Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality.

Gundotra served as the Senior Vice President of Social Networking Services at Google -- but not before he was the Vice President of Engineering for the company. He was responsible for developer evangelism, overseas applications development, and open source programs -- specifically Android.
albegarclolliver
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    zouzkazouzka Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
  • Reply 2 of 46
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    netmagerepressthislolliver
  • Reply 3 of 46
    LoneStar88LoneStar88 Posts: 278member
    zouzka said:
    So what? I picked D, which was the Apple iPhone7+

    I love my iPhone's camera. I also have a Canon 6D, which is a decent camera, but I honestly can't remember the last time I lugged it anywhere to take pictures.

    I have my iPhone with me all the time. And, as true as "The best camera is the one you have with you." is, I'm so happy that that camera is the iPhone 7+.

    When I need a tripod, I bring along my Manfrotto BeFree: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&O=&Q=&ap=y&c3api=1876,{creative},{keyword}&gclid=Cj0KCQjwqvvLBRDIARIsAMYuvBFBck4ztrsMTrEAwJTVMRQ5FzAzpzRPME0lTXSdQ_kLIFy-QcaH5-oaAhmkEALw_wcB&is=REG&m=Y&sku=1083152
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 46
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,520member
    Paging Gatorguy, paging Gatorguy…
    pscooter63watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 46
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    That's the thing that makes me laugh with those review that does essentially static, long setup tests and claims Samsung camera is better

    well who the hell uses a camera that way instead of whipping it out and taking a picture in less than a second with our shaky hands while carrying some shit in the other hand.

    No one of those android shills seemingly does that test. The huge and mounting dsp advantage of the iPhone means the gap is going to be a chasm this fall vs the average even higher end android phone

    a camera is not just something you put on a tripod and have all the time in the world to setup
    edited July 2017 watto_cobrajony0lolliver
  • Reply 6 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,716member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Paging Gatorguy, paging Gatorguy…
    Why, are you missing me? That's certainly a vote in my favor so thank you..

    But if you're waiting for me to dispute Mr. Gondotra's comments you'll have a very long wait. He's certainly more qualified that me or anyone else here AFAIK. Note what he actually refers to tho and why he feels as he does (and it makes sense) and not what you'd like to think he's saying. But anyway I have no reason not to trust him.

    Anything else? 
    edited July 2017 Solifotoformatrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 46
    stanthemanstantheman Posts: 311member
    Both the WinTel experience and Android-Samsung demonstrate that open standards lower production costs and therefore device prices, while Apple's closed system promotes more rapid innovation. It does not appear that mobile computer technology has matured to the point yet where Apple's future is imperiled. By pushing innovation forward every year, Apple is making it impossible for Android phone makers to standardize (commoditize) costly components, or share new application features. Its R&D activities will both preserve Apple profitability going forward and generate some amazing new products.
    rare commentwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 46
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,570member
    zouzka said:
    KBHD is a clueless Android fanatic.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 9 of 46
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,344member
    Most people are probably unaware that DxOMark hasn't never finished a promised iPhone 7 Plus test. They have neither figured out a metric for testing a cameras computational photography capabilities, nor have they figured out any metrics to measure those capabilities.

    Here's a review summary from DPReview:

    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/iphone-7-plus-camera/10

    "The Final Word 

    Comparing the iPhone 7 Plus to the competition is not an easy task. The dual-camera, with its 56mm lens providing something of a tele-perspective, is currently unique in the market. As we have explained throughout this review, it's not without its flaws and of limited use in low light, but the added reach and alternative angle of view it provides in good light conditions make it a real game-changer for mobile photography. That said, we are looking forward to the second generation of the technology which will hopefully be more useful for indoor and night shooting.

    If you can live with the, compared to some rivals, slightly lower levels of image detail, the only thing that could potentially hold you back is the Apple's rather steep price point of $769 for the 32GB base version. However, given the dual-cam's advantages, many users might find the premium over the competition to me more than acceptable."

    I expect improvements to the dual camera system at the iPhone 8's release, but I still doubt that metrics or testing for computational photography will have arrived by then, so expect the same limited reviews, and this goes for all of the Android OS dual camera reviews as well.

    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 46
    zouzkazouzka Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

  • Reply 11 of 46
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,681member
    zouzka said:
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

    And how many are buying a Pixel for this amazing camera? How many Pixel's in general are out there vs any other Android phone?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Paging Gatorguy, paging Gatorguy…
    Why, are you missing me? That's certainly a vote in my favor so thank you..

    But if you're waiting for me to dispute Mr. Gondotra's comments you'll have a very long wait. He's certainly more qualified that me or anyone else here AFAIK. Note what he actually refers to tho and why he feels as he does (and it makes sense) and not what you'd like to think he's saying. But anyway I have no reason not to trust him.

    Anything else? 
    Yes, I'd add that I'd suspect his last part, and I quote,  "Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android" is true of many other iPhones features not just the cameras, for exactly the same reasons he explains in his statement.  This is basically what DED and many others have being saying for years.  The problem is Android.  
    watto_cobraStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 13 of 46
    zouzkazouzka Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    macxpress said:
    zouzka said:
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

    And how many are buying a Pixel for this amazing camera? How many Pixel's in general are out there vs any other Android phone?
    Wait, that was not the point he was making.

    But go buy an S8, a LG G6, etc
    They take excellent pictures.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 14 of 46
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    foggyhill said:
    a camera is not just something you put on a tripod and have all the time in the world to setup
    It certainly can be. It just doesn't have to be.

    Then again, 45 years ago, I was taking pictures with a 5x7 field view camera. And a then-oldish Leica IIIc. And a Canon SLR. ...

    Different tools for different tasks.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,681member
    zouzka said:
    macxpress said:
    zouzka said:
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

    And how many are buying a Pixel for this amazing camera? How many Pixel's in general are out there vs any other Android phone?
    Wait, that was not the point he was making.

    But go buy an S8, a LG G6, etc
    They take excellent pictures.
    But you said the experience is better on a Pixel vs an iPhone....I don't care about S8's, LG's, etc. How many professional photo shoots are done on a Pixel, or any Android phone for that matter versus an iPhone 7 Plus? How many professional movies are filmed on any Android phone versus an iPhone 7 Plus? 
    edited July 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 46
    zouzkazouzka Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    macxpress said:
    zouzka said:
    macxpress said:
    zouzka said:
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

    And how many are buying a Pixel for this amazing camera? How many Pixel's in general are out there vs any other Android phone?
    Wait, that was not the point he was making.

    But go buy an S8, a LG G6, etc
    They take excellent pictures.
    But you said the experience is better on a Pixel vs an iPhone....I don't care about S8's, LG's, etc. How many professional photo shoots are done on a Pixel, or any Android phone for that matter versus an iPhone 7 Plus? How many professional movies are filmed on any Android phone versus an iPhone 7 Plus? 
    That was just an example, the experience is great on those phones too.

    Hahaha "professional movies" ? Like who the hell cares about that ? Real professionals use pro equipment.
    The rare one you see on certain magazines, it's just marketing.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Commercial photography and lab work was my profession since 1969, except for a few years. I’ve seen everything under the sun in this field, and have used, or tested most of it, sometimes on behalf of the manufacturer.

    so, first of all, when talking about smartphone photography, we have to be careful. I have not seen a single phone, and that does include my iPhone 7+, that doesn’t have major problems. Yes, it’s true. When taking a picture in very good light, and I should emphasize the word “very”, images can come out very well - as long as you don’t need to do much to them in editing, such as exposure, contrast, sharpening, etc. for once you do, the images break down.

    so what are the differences in quality between them? I do want to make note that I believe that Mike, when he said lens, meant sensor instead. The DXO numbers are very controversial in the higher end photo community. The reason why is because while they say that the results are objective, they’re anything but. They are very subjective. They decide what will be measured. They decide how to measure, and they decide on what weighting to give to those measurements. A good example why we should take their results with a grain of salt is in what they did with their own iPhone camera a couple of years ago. 

    While they state that their measurements and numbers are from RAW sensor data, with no manipulation, when it came to testing their own iPhone camera, they departed from that. So they measured multiple exposure results with RAW manipulation to give a much better DXO number than that rather poor sensor itself could have delivered in a conventional shot. They didn’t state this in their results, until it was pointed out by third parties reading the charts and wondering about the numbers. This destroyed their so called standards and objectivity for many.

    another problem with their results has to do with people’s need for rankings. Does a sensor that rates a (not necessarily correct) 5 point lead over another actually deliver a noticably better image? Maybe, maybe not. It’s actually more complex than that. In taking 100 random photos with any of these cameras, which camera will take a better quality average? That really only has something to do with the sensor RAW quality. Much of it has to do with proper exposure control, and that’s where most smartphone cameras break down. Also it depends on the level of noise reduction, and how that is accomplished, as well as sharpening. Fortunately for those of us using iPhones, the iPhone has the best consistency when taking photos, even if another smartphone has slightly better quality here and there. And as any Pro can tell you, consistency is more important than a small amount of ultimate quality.

    the one thing I’m not happy about, is the lack of sensitivity and dynamic range. But that’s a problem of all tiny sensor cameras, and we’re not going to see a major improvement anytime soon.
    edited July 2017 muthuk_vanalingamgatorguylolliver
  • Reply 18 of 46
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    steveh said:
    foggyhill said:
    a camera is not just something you put on a tripod and have all the time in the world to setup
    It certainly can be. It just doesn't have to be.

    Then again, 45 years ago, I was taking pictures with a 5x7 field view camera. And a then-oldish Leica IIIc. And a Canon SLR. ...

    Different tools for different tasks.
    If your going to do that, you'd better use a DSLR and those big ass cameras, not a smartphone. That's the irony of those so called reviews, and that's why they make so little sense.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 46
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    zouzka said:
    macxpress said:
    zouzka said:
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

    And how many are buying a Pixel for this amazing camera? How many Pixel's in general are out there vs any other Android phone?
    Wait, that was not the point he was making.

    But go buy an S8, a LG G6, etc
    They take excellent pictures.
    Everyone who says that basicly uses that SHIT DXO comparaison that doesn't actually measure usability AT ALL and which weights static shots above well, everything.
    Even things like testing OIS, what they use is arbitrary and non transparent. This critic of them has existed outside the realm of smartphone photography too.

    If people would use their numbers in a limited way, all would be fine; but they use them as gauge of the whole camera/smartphone assembly with the software, which is absurd.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46
    zouzka said:
    zouzka said:
    That's not the point he was trying to make…
    But his point doesn't make any sens. "Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera" But on an S8 there is only the Samsung Camera app, so it's not confusing at all.

    " Gundotra is talking about the entire experience, from the lenses to the Phone's hardware, to the software, rather than just lens quality."
    Yeah, big deal, people still think the app, the quality, the experience etc is better on a Pixel.

    It won't take years for them to be on iPhone's level, they already have years ago now.

    Computational photography, and how apple is able to implement it via a software update, and across apps via an API.

    You can't do that on android, or google takes a long time to implement these features on android by default, without being locked to, say, a samsung phone for example.
    watto_cobra
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