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  • Unleashing the full power of Android 5.0 Lollipop camera: see the difference between lossless raw (DNG) vs JPEG

Unleashing the full power of Android 5.0 Lollipop camera: see the difference between lossless raw (DNG) vs JPEG

Unleashing the full power of Android 5.0 Lollipop camera: see the difference between lossless raw (DNG) vs JPEG
Android 5.0 Lollipop comes with a very noticeable visual overhaul, but it's the little changes under the hood that really make this upgrade huge. After long years of offering very limited access to the camera feed to developers, Google has finally opened up by introducing a much more versatile Camera v2 APIs.

Put simply, with Android 5.0 Lollipop, developers have the power to make camera apps that give the user control over shutter speed and allow for lossless raw (in DNG format) image output. 

This opens up a world of possibilities for post-processing, as you can just take the RAW files and non-destructively edit them to get the most out of an image - better dynamics, suppressed noise, and all the other benefits of having files with no compression rather than compressed JPEGs.

The new camera APIs also allow app makers to go as deep as changing the color correction matrix, as well as benefit from massively faster camera burst rates. With the new camera API, the 8-megapixel Nexus 5, for instance, is capable of going at bursts of 30fps, faster than even many dedicated cameras.

What we really want to focus on here, though, is how you can unleash the full power of the camera APIs in Android 5.0 Lollipop by using the lossless DNG files and slightly tweak them. We compare JPEGs out of the camera with DNGs that have been tweaked slightly, and then reformatted to JPEG. We've also downsized all images to around 2 megapixels for faster loading. Take a look at the results right below: which ones do you prefer, the JPEGs or the edited DNGs?


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posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:41 15

1. Limbopope (Posts: 62; Member since: 12 Aug 2014)


Is it my imagination or are the light switch and light on the ceiling missing in the DNG of the close up face image. DNG is amazing XD

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:45

3. Dee79 (Posts: 281; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


Its there just about. Just cropped out more :)

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:22

36. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4813; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I have to admit, these pictures look pretty amazing. I wonder how the Nexus 6 camera will rate against the others!

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:58

39. haseebzahid (Posts: 1853; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


get samples from 1020 /1520 /930 you know how will DNG look its helps in zoomed crops greatly

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 16:24 2

49. Jimrod (Posts: 1069; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Nah, someone just got a little carried away with Photoshop seeing as even his freckles disappeared - which kind of renders all the comparisons a little suspect really. Why edit? Just give us the same shots.

posted on 22 Oct 2014, 02:30

58. My1cent (Posts: 342; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Missing switch and light at pic.19, 20
Looks like OVER-edited DNG!

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:46

4. zig8100 (Posts: 227; Member since: 13 Dec 2012)


Lolol

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:50 1

7. Deaconclgi (Posts: 405; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


The ceiling is curved behind his head compared to the JPG photo too!!!

Woa! You mean with DNG I can dodge bullets? No, Limbo. What I mean is, that when you’re ready you won’t have to...also, it isn't the ceiling that bends, it is your mind that bends. There is no ceiling.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:29 5

16. boosook (Posts: 1429; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


LOL! That's because the in-camera processing includes lens distorsion correction, while DNG is a sort of raw format: you get what comes out of the lens and sensor. This happens for every camera nowadays. Especially in compacts, you would be surprised to see how much the images are distorted by the lens and how much correction they get in post processing by the camera.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:33

31. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


exposure is too high in dng

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:02 8

26. shaineql (Posts: 348; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Just imagine next Flagship generation from sony/Samsung/Lg , we will rain terror on apple :)

Plus this is biggest step up in mobile OS world since ever(Android 4 to 5)
Cant even compare it to iOs 7 to 8 or WP 7 to 8

GO GO GOOGLE

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 13:00

40. haseebzahid (Posts: 1853; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


ahm ahm WP8 had it long before you ever knew infact 808 pureview had this i think, or atlest 1020/1520/930 do have dng images :P

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 13:32

44. hemedans (Posts: 476; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


wp8 to wp8.1 was major improvement i have never seen in history of mobile os

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 02:19

56. o7o (Posts: 110; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)


You realize this isn't the first time it's introduced right? It has been available on WP8 flagships from Nokia long ago!

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:44

2. der_damo (Posts: 179; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)


The porsche-one in the bottom looks awesome!

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:47

5. Numz (Posts: 34; Member since: 31 Oct 2009)


In every comparison the raw one looks the best and from a nexus 5 no less. I'm excited for the camera enhancements.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:48 1

6. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Porsche PA-namera Turbo.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:58 2

25. power_x (Posts: 264; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


I see what you DNG there

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:50

8. ali262883 (Posts: 13; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


Waiting for final release.. Its awesome

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 09:57

9. LikeMyself (Posts: 435; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)


Wow! The DNG compressed photos look like professional photos! The amount of details is impressive! The jpeg ones look like the typical high quality smartphone pics, but the DNG are just awesome! I believe the Porsche belongs to PA owner!

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:13 7

14. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


of course ,,, every APPLE PARTNER has Porshe

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:45

20. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


This site never was and never will be Apple partner. Do you see any other site posting that much news about iphone's bendgate ? Now tell me who's the biggest benefisier of this ridiculus

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:51 2

22. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


+ bendgate controversy. Yes, PA is that company's partner.
(PA give us too little time to edit a comment)

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:02

10. Settings (Posts: 1494; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


That is why RAW and DNG is left with professional photographers, it has room for many post-processing.
Average joes should stick with JPEGS, since today's cameras have good sensors and processing powers it is par with lossless formats.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:03

11. 5sApple (Posts: 11; Member since: 12 Sep 2014)


This is amazing. Well done Lollipop

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:04

12. ptikjp (Posts: 6; Member since: 08 Aug 2014)


You'll probably need an editor capable of manipulating .DNG to post process the RAW files ... like Light Room. This means there is extra effort in getting results. Its not point; capture and display experience anymore. You snap the pictures and then edit them (perhaps on the phone itself - not sure if the software exists yet) to your liking.The results are impressive none the less and is an option when you need it; should you need it.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 22:37

53. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Welcome to WP Lumia, android playing catch up. Good news for Droid however.

Check out "Rawer" for Windows Phonehttp://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=991cc82e-80d8-4fa0-a929-c6c7e6ea20e8

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:11

13. Bogdan86 (Posts: 48; Member since: 06 Oct 2014)


with the new APIs is ther any posibility to have manual control over the Shutter speed ????

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:14 1

15. AstronautJones (Posts: 303; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


"Put simply, with Android 5.0 Lollipop, developers have the power to make camera apps that give the user control over shutter speed and allow for lossless raw (in DNG format) image output. "

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:36 4

17. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 163; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


GREAT! I now can unlock the full potential of my Z2's camera.

My Z2's photostream:https://www.flickr.com/photos/125751132@N08/

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:56 2

24. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


With 2/3" curved sensor (with RAW support) Z4 should destroy each and every camera phone out there. Finally we can have a camera that should take equal/surpass the 808 in terms of IQ. Super excited about Z4

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:14 2

34. sergiobr (Posts: 694; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


And Samsung , and LG etc.. All them doing fantastic cameras

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 13:19

41. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


Yeah, LG and Samsung's ISP is the best in the android world. Especially I'm really impressed by LG's ISP, IMO they have the most well rounded camera in the android world, LG's smartphone consistently take great pic in various lighting situation (you can't say the same thing about samsung's smartphone), they're like the apple in android world meaning you can rely on their camera software. LG up their design game and they finally come with very good and modern looking UI.I'm really impressed with LG.
Even if Sony fu**ed up their great camera hardware with default camera mode, with RAW capabilities Z4 owners should be able to bring out the best of Sony's hardware - that's the most important things for me. No more suckier superior auto mode, RAW all they way.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:18 1

35. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10439; Member since: 14 May 2012)


The same has been said with every release of the Z and has fallen short of the competition. Maybe next time.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 13:30

43. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 163; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


I ain't no scientist but I pretty much know that there are formulas which are facts:

The ones who said Z1-Z3 cameras are bad are either:
1. Never own the devices
Or
2. Own them but doesn't know how to use the camera.

I don't trust comparisons as the way to find out the true capability of a cameraphone is testing them out yourself.

Now I've taken over 2000 photos with my Z2, I know its strengths & weaknesses. And I have experiences with Samsung, LG, iphone cameras as well.

And I bet, I BET if I use Samsung, LG, iphone camera the same way I use Xperia cameras, I will not get great or even good results that I want because there are some faults in the camera system.

Example: there IS manual settings in samsung camera. But if I lower the ISO, the camera doesn't drop the shutter speed so I often shoot black wallpapers. Also the night mode uses some sort of interpolation method which does more harm than good, a night shot full of noise, artifacts & inconsistent exposure.

LG & iphone camera: not much that can be done, especially the iphone XD

I bet note 4, LG G3, iphone 6 plus which are hailed as the top cameras here can't shoot images as good as my Z2 does in my flickr photostream, I guarantee you that.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 22:41

54. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


I get to play with the z and z1s daily, even my paultry 925 takes better images imo. The 1020 is a beast waiting for the z3 to hit our hands.

Without xenon flash, you have a camera that is 'good' that little difference makes it amazing. When you can stop a full speed fan blade in night with no motion blur cause of xenon flash, no matter the curved sensor it simply won't 'blow' it away.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 13:57

45. sbw44 (Posts: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


And you think that Nokia and MS are just gonna sit around and fo nothing? You forgot nokias involvements with pelican technology and MS agreement with Canon?

Z4 will only be on par with the 1020/808 but the 1020 successor will cream everything else

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 14:43

48. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


What i mean by my comment is that " Z4 with curved sensor (plus RAW support) should destroy every phone already out there". I still believe 808 is king of phone photography in terms of Image quality. But with that kind of sensor Sony SHOULD (let's see if they can) easily surpass the 808 in IQ .

Yeah, i actually forgot about Nokia's involvement with pelican tech. It looks like in 2015 there will be a some exciting new camera tech. I'm also very curious about what the 1020's successor will bring to the table. Sony should/must up their camera game in 2015 otherwise MS surely will make fun the hell out of Sony.
It will be like PS4 vs XBO all over again. Let them fight. Let's see who wins: MS or Sony.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 18:54

52. bur60 (Posts: 838; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


I hope so. Competition keeps innovation and technology alive.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 18:52 1

51. bur60 (Posts: 838; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


And I can unleash my Z3 compact muhahaha, btw amazing photostream, I have to go to Jakarta now.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:38

18. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


DNG looks great!

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:43

19. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2155; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


I just installed it on my N5. I'll have to wring it out later.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:49 1

21. SiyabongaMoss (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


Now imagine RAW on the Xperia Z line of smartphones

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 10:55 1

23. boosook (Posts: 1429; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


If I imagine it, I just see a great amount of noise... ;)

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:06 1

27. twens (Posts: 959; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


I just don't know the hype about Xperia z series of cameras. They're camera quality in person has never wowed me. Just like apple with their camera. They always appear dull and muddy with a yellowish tint to it. Test people call it realistic colors. For smartphone camera, I'll stick with Nokia or samsung.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 18:49

50. bur60 (Posts: 838; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


Its because of the postprocessing. If you think for a second, Most companies use Sony sensors or lenses because of its good performance. Sony has bad postprocessing. DNG allows minimal-to-zero postprocessing.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:10

28. jove39 (Posts: 1824; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


This is good...already using dng format on OPO.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:15 1

29. ishan.heru (Posts: 69; Member since: 31 Aug 2014)


Thank you nokia for bringing such fully featured camera experience that now all the other os are trying to compete. A very well come change from the android world. Would also like to see the inclusion of xenon flash in camera phones.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 22:44

55. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Xenon is king, low light photos with almost no motion blur, this includes a fan blade or a fast moving child. It's what makes the 1020 simply king, imo. I have been loving the 1020 and just sad I didn't fork out the cash earlier.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:32

30. irfanil (Posts: 31; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Ofcourse DNG is better. The blacks and whites are not clipped like in JPEG that is why you have the option to brighten the shadows and tone down over exposed areas.

This is a must have feature for those who want to edit the pictures the way they want and don't rely on the apps processing. Great to see this on Android at last :)

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 11:51 1

32. avalon2105 (Posts: 238; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)


Sony should probably benefit the most from this. Their processing can be off and having RAW file to post-process by yourself should do wanders. Their camera hardware is probably the best in Android world but they never get the processing just right. You can get awesome results with Sony phones but you almost always have to play with settings to get those results.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:13

33. DaMaster (Posts: 33; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


I hope Lolipop is capable do doing 30band PEQ

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:36

37. walkman800 (Posts: 113; Member since: 26 Aug 2014)


mother of god :O

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 12:41 1

38. Penny (Posts: 1647; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Glad this is finally coming to Android. Windows Phone has been able to do DNGs for over a year, and they've had manual control of their shutter speed since WP7. But, Windows Phone made the mistake of not enabling this feature on all devices, while hopefully Lollipop should enable this on all devices.

My single favorite feature of Android 5.0 so far.

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 13:26

42. D.Lamore (Posts: 198; Member since: 15 Aug 2014)


LOLLIPOP f*ck the world RAW

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 14:05

46. Derekjeter (Posts: 813; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Does this mean I will be able to use this on my Nexus 6?

posted on 20 Oct 2014, 14:26

47. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


The dynamic range is impressive, beats having to use HDR although HDR is much faster, when OTG etc.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 12:46

57. rsmani (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


I just read that Camera FV-5, my go-to camera app, is also getting RAW support. I found this link (camerafv5.com/pages/raw-samples.php) with some DNG samples to download and they definitely offer much more potencial for retouching, specially on the shadows, and I can use a better noise reduction algorithm for the pictures or tune the strength of the NR a little bit down to preserve more detail. Definitely I cannot imagine myself retouching all the DNG pictures, but it seems that it will take DNG+JPEG, therefore, I can use the JPEGs for viewing, but know that I still have the RAW if I want to do something with a specific picture...

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