Camera Module FP5 for FP4

That’s what I hoped for the last two years. There was not realy any improvement on the camera software wise. So hoped that they bring a better camera module, to compensate that. But let’s hope you are right. :slight_smile:

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For the FP2 ist was necessary, because the hardware was absolutely sub par. But now, the hardware is more than good enough, only the software needs fine tuning.

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Unfortunately, a hardware upgrade would not necessarily bring the outcome you expect (better pictures).

The cameras, nowadays, are comparable to F1 cars: engines are important and fundamental, but without a proper aerodynamic design and fine-tuning you cannot compete for the first place (as a Ferrari fan I sadly know what I am talking about, sigh).
A top-notch camera sensor requires top-notch software tuning to achieve the performance it is designed for.

That said, fine-tuning is much more time-consuming than most people would think, but as confirmed by my colleagues this morning there is now a focus on software to seriously improve the camera performance.

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Thanks. That sounds great. I assume, there is no timline jet - is it?
But optimising the camere for FP5 or FP4 or both?

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I doubt that a new camera module would bring much improvement to the FP4. The camera hardware is already pretty good.
It’s the software/algorithm part that makes the difference these days. Google, Samsung, Apple and all the other big smartphone manufacturers have huge budgets that they invest in their camera software. That’s not something Fairphone is capable of.
And developing camera upgrades is also very resource intensive and costs a lot of money. Fairphone should invest those resources and money in software development rather than hardware upgrades that provide only very minor improvements.
But have you tried one of the GCam ports, for example? They already bring some improvements compared to the original camera app.

EDIT: too late :see_no_evil:

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Nothing we can share for now - sorry.
Camera tuning is also complicated because you can spend a week tuning something (e.g. white balance) to discover that you broke the autofocus in the process, so you need to spend an extra week working on that and so on.

As soon as we have some concrete timeline I am sure one of my colleagues will inform you.

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Imho I believe Fairphone now owns two pretty well potent platforms to advance and focus on further software development. Pushing hw design slightly aside and concentrate resources on software development can help to increase user experience, user satisfaction and broaden the user base at best.
I believe no user hates gadgets more than when there are software flaws permanently confronting them while in use. There are some FP4 software flaws for a while listed in the bug tracker and users patience is limited. When being communicated they might hold new customers off from purchasing the product or if not addressed shortly users give up, sell the handset and rather stick to an unfair but better working every-day device.
Good hardware is just the basis, if software does not utilize as much and good as it could, potential is wasted and many users do compare what’s possible and how much they get for their money.

Ethical values does count, unfortunately they can quickly fall in the background if the user experience is unsatisfactory. This is a new round again for Fairphone, I think there should be something more obvious,more special about the product than higher recycling rate and better conditions along the supply chain.
Users often compare hard facts e.g. camera specs. I’m afraid ethical values aren’t such a strong driver as they were some years ago. Still people want a strong gear at hand for their every day requirements and cope with other people. An OLED display sounds great for crystal clear colors and contrast, even longer battery life. Another good step. Now the software needs attention to rise user satisfaction even more.
Btw. I liked the presentation. Fresh, hip, short and crisp, just straight to the point.

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I hope this is true also for other models?
I read that in the FP5 the camera performance would also not be top and I assume that, considering the good camera modules used in FP5, it’s also a software topic?
Is BTW the support for other Camera apps than the FP own one improved?

We recently improved the camera performance on FP3+ and we are still improving the camera software optimization on FP5 as well.

In regards to the support for 3rd party cameras, we always do our best to provide the latest APIs offered by Android, but each camera has its own balance so it is almost impossible to say whether a 3rd party camera app will perform better when we improve the balance of the preloaded camera app.

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I did not specify it because it was already the topic of the message I replied, but yes, we are also working on the Fairphone 4 camera tuning in parallel with Fairphone 5 :wink:

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Thank you.
This looks promising.

Since I am not very happy with my FP4 camera I have ordered a new FP5 hoping that the camera is a) better that the FP4 camera and b) with the three separate camera modules it will be possible in the future to again get hardware upgrades. Hoping you guys at Fairphone are going to think in that direction again?
Are there any specs available from the new FP5 main camera that show which resolutions/modes are selectable? For example if you want a 16:9 aspect ratio, which resolutions are available then?
With the FP4 I only get 4000x2256, 9MP (out of a 48MP sensor)…

The poor quality of the photos comes mainly from the software, not from the hardware…

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If you cut out areas of a picture to use a different than the native aspect ratio, that will always reduce the pixel count. 4:3 means 16:12, so with 16:9 you dump 25% of the vertical resolution, resulting in 9MP.

And as said several times already, the hardware quality of the sensors is more than good enough, changing them to something else doesn’t make any sense, but will only fill up the electronic waste landfill.

Choice of a telephoto lens instead of the ultrawideangle when buying the phone would be nice, indeed.

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Ok, when choosing 4:3 I get 4000x3000, 12MP
When choosing 4:3 (high quality) I get 8000x6000 48MP

48 MP is too much most of the time (besides the lag of the shutter in that mode) 12 MP sometimes not enough. What I would like to have is something inbetween, say 6000x4500 (4:3) or 6000x3370 (16:9)
I am not sure if I remember that correctly, but I think in LineageOS I already saw such intermediate resolutions in prior smartphones I had (Samsung, Xiaomi).

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But the sensor has a fixed grid of sensor cells, so creating something in between means calculating by software. That can be done afterwards too.

What do you mean by ‘afterwards’? Saving the maximum size image and manually cropping if later on? I mean sure, that’s possible. But it doesn’t sound awfully convenient and doesn’t make nice framing any easier for someone taking a photo while targeting a specific aspect ratio.

I think providing a few software-based options maximizing each common aspect-ratio’s resolution would provide a nice middle ground in terms of making everyone happy.

Cropping afterwards is always better as it gives you the full choice. Cropping while taking the picture throws away probably useful information.

Depends on how you look at it and what your goal is I guess. Same argument could be made for always saving every picture as a RAW file.

I namely see two advantages of immediate cropping:

  • It’s the ‘simple choice’ for someone looking to automize any post-processing and editing.
  • It makes it easier to see if everything is still in frame and looks good if you target a specific aspect ratio that’s slimmer than your current one. Imagine going from 4:3 to 16:9 - you’ll always need to cut away a minimum amount of image to reach that aspect ratio, as you can’t make it any wider. Even large film productions often use on-screen indicators how a shot would be framed if cropped to 16:9 or ultra-wide-screen when shooting in 16:10. (I believe the firat avatar movie made use of that for example irc, since the blu-ray and the cinema editions were released in different aspect ratios.)

In question was the option to crop the image to something in between the physical resolutions. That doesn’t make sense to me.