Photowalk With the Asus Zenfone Zoom

Vijay from iClickd had invited us for a Photowalk around Ulsoor Lake a little while back. That was the perfect time to try out the capabilities of the Asus Zenfone Zoom phone with it’s 3x optical zoom. We started off the walk at around 7am, a great time to catch some great photos, the lighting of the rising sun and the looks of a fresh day. During the day, Vijay took us though tips on photography and how to look at the same scene from a different perspective.

Zenfone Zoom

If you haven’t heard of the Zenfone Zoom, it’s an android phone with a 13 Megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization in which they even managed to include a  3x Optical Zoom (and 12x Digital zoom). It’s also got a Laser aided autofocus, which helps in getting a really quick focus on the scene. If you’re looking for the snaps taken with the optical zoom, take a look at the ones with the birds. I didn’t enable the digital zoom option during this photowalk.

Zenfone Zoom Camera Bump

The phone itself features a premium feel leather back, with a bump around the camera at the back. This is probably there to house the optical zoom mechanics.  Asus has managed to do the impossible by adding a the zoom functionality without the retractible lenses, which helps keep the phone’s profile relatively slim.

How does it perform?

Before we go to the Image capture samples, here’s my quick thoughts on the Zenfone Zoom.

  • Great Optics, average execution. While the camera features great optics from Hoya and the optical zoom, I found that the camera’s sensor and the software tuning of the images lacks in quality. This is especially true when you zoom into an image you’ve taken.
  • Hangs at times. During the photo walk I experienced the camera hanging a few times. In some cases, quitting the camera app and force closing it fixed it. Twice I had to reboot the phone to get the camera to work, since launching the camera brought up a black screen in those cases.
  • Slow Camera App in Low Light Conditions. While taking photos in low light conditions, the camera interface starts to stutter and starts acting quite slow in focussing and clicking snaps. You end up missing the subject or the they move by the time the camera gets into action.

Since most of the problem I faced were software based, I’m hoping that Asus brings out an update in the near future to fixe these nagging issues.

Image Samples

Lytro Camera – Take a picture and focus later!

The Lytro Camera is touted as a the world’s first focus free camera. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like those EDOF point and shoot cameras, but something out of science fiction. The folks at Lytro call their product a “Light Field Camera”, which produces “Living Pictures”

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So before I go head with the rest of the post, check out this sample image from a Lytro Camera. Wait for it to load fully and click on the blurred out butterfly and see the magic at work.

Having fun yet? With this camera, you don’t have to worry about focussing on your subject and getting blurred out shots. Just point click, and play around with the snaps and get the right focus you need at home on your computer.

If you’re curious about how this camera goes about taking such pictures, you can head over to Lytro’s site and get the low down on the tech behind this gadget.  Now the Lytro hasn’t yet been released in the market, but you can pre-order these from their site from $399 upwards. The first cameras should be out early in 2012.

For more information about this camera, head over to their site:

More sample images from the Lytro Camera:

Source: Mashable