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Old December 5th 19, 07:17 AM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital,alt.comp.freeware
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

I found a Google Gcam APK port that worked on my new $100 Moto G7 today.

1. This is where I found a port of the Moto G7 Google Gcam APK that worked:
<https://www.cyanogenmods.org/forums/topic/google-camera-moto-g7-gcam/

2. That pointed to this Arnova8G2 GoogleCamera_6.1.021.220943556.apk port:
<https://www.cyanogenmods.org/downloads/arnova8g2-google-camera-6-1-021-220943556/

3. This is the specific URL & hash of the APK port that worked on the G7:
<https://f.celsoazevedo.com/file/gcamera/GoogleCamera_6.1.021.220943556.apk
SHA256: 45086D4DF1C436F8C95522A65AF6521B74FB725AF526CB3999 11BCF45E7EEB88
79.4 MB (83,268,234 bytes)

When I query the installed APK on Android, my backup/query apps report:
o com.google.android.GoogleCamera 6.1.021.220943556 (45790636) User+XLdalvik
o Camera 6.1.021.220943556 com.google.android.GoogleCamera-45790636

A minor bug is that the Gcam port above always crashes whenever I press
o More Settings Help & feedback Send feedback <--- this crashes
o More Settings Help & feedback Help <--- this crashes

Other than that, a quick testing of other Gcam APK buttons seems to work.
o Panorama
o Portrait
o Camera
o Video
o More Night Sight
o More Photo Sphere
o More Photbooth
o More Slow Motion
o More Lens
o More Settings

--
Usenet is a public potluck which works best when adults share useful tips.

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Old December 5th 19, 08:45 AM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

On 04/12/2019 19:26, Arlen Holder wrote:
On Wed, 4 Dec 2019 18:56:01 -0000 (UTC), Arlen Holder wrote:

If you need more side-by-side comparisons, I can likely dig them up since
the Internet seems rife with the potentially astounding claim that the
Google Gcam APK dramatically improves the quality of the results (QOR) on
almost 100 common phones out there today (see list in the original post).


Hi Martin Brown,
In my response to Poutnik, I found more side-by-side comparisons, where,
apparently, you can _vastly_ increase the camera QOR simply by loading a
decent port of the Google gCam (which is not available on Google Play).

o Here are side-by-side photos on the Motorola G7 with the Gcam APK:
<https://www.cnet.com/reviews/motorola-moto-g7-review/2/
"But here's an interesting wrinkle. If you're savvy enough to install
the Google Camera app (Gcam apk), which is essentially the camera app used
on the Pixel 3, you'll be rewarded. *The results are eye opening*. Photos
taken with the Google Camera app on the Moto G7 have more detail, dynamic
range and better color."


I don't agree that the Google Camera app is necessarily better.

A quick glance at the claimed example of "superiority" shows that the
main difference in the cat images is that the Google one is 1/3 stop
under exposed. There is literally nothing in its luminance histogram
from 210-255. Also when you try to correct for this defect some nasty
pink block artefacts appear in the back wall. Examining the example of
the cat in detail the first thing to burn out is its white nose.

The default app is too contrasty and overcooked on the unsharp masking
front but if you rescaled it to use the same dynamic range as the Google
image would look really quite similar. I haven't time at the moment to
put the results online but I will try to do so next week.

The remaining difference after that is that the ginger fur is more
pronounced and overall white balance is warmer in the APK image.

The main technical question for this group is "how" the APK does its magic.
o HDR+
o ZSL
o NightSight

Where it wasn't obvious to me that one could dramatically improve the
camera QOR so greatly (based on the cites I've provided), simply by loading
a port of the Google Gcam APK.


Being able to alter the parameters for unsharp masking strength and
contrast would help to bring them into line. It isn't rocket science.

On PSPro about -25 on each of brightness and contrast gets the Moto G7
image approximately in line with the Gcam APK. The Moto G7 image is
making better use of the JPEG format storage. You can always take a
contrasty image correctly exposed and tone it down but making an under
exposed image brighter can reveal unwanted artefacts.

As a related aside, what that calls into question is _all_ camera QOR
reviews that don't use the best available camera app, since the camera QOR
results are, by all accounts I've seen, referred to as "eye opening" and
"dramatic".


I think you are reading far too much into reviewers hyperbolic prose.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Cell phone makers think
their customers want correctly exposed sharp contrasty images.
(BTW: I think they do push the processing too far in that direction)

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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Old December 5th 19, 10:03 AM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

In article ,
Martin Brown wrote:

A quick glance at the claimed example of "superiority" shows that the
main difference in the cat images is that the Google one is 1/3 stop
under exposed.

....
The default app is too contrasty and overcooked on the unsharp masking
front but if you rescaled it to use the same dynamic range as the Google
image would look really quite similar.

....
The remaining difference after that is that the ginger fur is more
pronounced and overall white balance is warmer in the APK image.

....
Being able to alter the parameters for unsharp masking strength and
contrast would help to bring them into line. It isn't rocket science.

....
making better use of the JPEG format storage. You can always take a
contrasty image correctly exposed and tone it down but making an under
exposed image brighter can reveal unwanted artefacts.

....
I think you are reading far too much into reviewers hyperbolic prose.


Thankyou so much Martin for taking the time to present some facts.
It is much appreciated.

Nick
--
"The Internet, a sort of ersatz counterfeit of real life"
-- Janet Street-Porter, BBC2, 19th March 1996
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Old December 5th 19, 03:00 PM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

On 5 Dec 2019 11:03:24 GMT, Nick Leverton wrote:

Thankyou so much Martin for taking the time to present some facts.
It is much appreciated.


I agree that Martin's post was the _first_ and only post which contained
the kind of factually objective additional information that we would expect
of the r.p.d ng's experts.

I eagerly await his tests, where I point to the successful installation
description I wrote, in case others with the Moto G7 wish to test out the
Google Gcam APK port:
<https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.mobile.android/r_I_vFF0TYA/SHcuTRd4BAAJ

Where I caution folks that my first two attempts, each using a _different_
APK failed, so this information is important to share on the Usenet potluck
for _any_ smartphone that the audience may have, so that everyone benefits
from every post.

I, for one, defer to Martin's judgement, where I'll only state that it
"seems" that the Google Gcam APK port at least reputedly adds additional
"features" to the camera, if not specifically camera QOR.
o HDR+ Enhanced
o ZSL (zero shutter lag) HDR+
o Night Sight
o Super Res Zoom
o Portrait on front & back camera
o Photosphere
o Slow motion 240 FPS (1080p)
o Astrophotography
etc.

--
Usenet is a potluck where some of the guests, like Martin, provide
tremendous value for the rest of the members to benefit from.
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Old December 5th 19, 03:00 PM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

On Thu, 5 Dec 2019 09:45:43 +0000, Martin Brown wrote:

I think you are reading far too much into reviewers hyperbolic prose.


Hi Martin Brown,
THANK YOU very much for taking the time & effort to _test_ what the
reviewers from GSM Arena and Cnet "claimed".

I haven't conversed with you (AFAICR), so I'll let you know that I'm a
logical and reasonable long-time Usenet contributor, where I _appreciate_
that you went the extra mile to _test_ and _compare_ results, apparently on
a Moto G7 yourself (if not, at least with the cited photos).

I will easily, readily, and willingly defer to your judgement on the actual
QOR that was obtained versus that which the reviewers claimed.

Bear in mind that it's not just the Moto G7 that the Xda developers and
cyanogen mod users "claim" is improved - but just that the Moto G7 pictures
are, by all accounts, just 'so so', which means it needs "something" to
improve the camera output QOR.

Being a well-educated adult, I know my limitations, where I will defer to
you and other camera aficionados, where my exposure to this reputed magic
created by Google Gcam ports is only in that I purchased a handful of these
$100 Moto G7 stocking stuffers on Black Friday, deciding to keep one of
them to replace my $130 LG Stylo (which itself was a stocking stuffer two
years ago).

When I read the online Moto G7 reviews, that's when I was first clued in
that a _lot_ of people _think_ that the camera QOR of about 100 phones is
"dramatically" proved with "eye opening" results.

While I don't often post to r.p.d, I post frequently to the OS groups,
where you'll see that I am, like you, factually thorough, e.g.,
<http://tinyurl.com/comp-mobile-android
For example:
o What is a good TIMER photo app for Android?
<https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.mobile.android/9GPU430iHUg/f2XFKL2RCAAJ

Hence, I thank you and appreciate that you can take this concept to its
factual conclusion, whereas I can only parrot what the pundits claim in the
online reviews, e.g., GSM Arena says <https://youtu.be/AcE3B5nKdzw?t=230
that the Gcam APK app overcomes limitation of the G7 hardware (But how?).

In summary, we all hope you, and other experts, can get to the factual
bottom of this widespread claim, where your post was the first post that
one would have expected of someone on the r.p.d ng.

Thank you!
--
Usenet works best when you find an expert on the topic being shared.


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Old December 5th 19, 10:54 PM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital,alt.comp.freeware
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

Arlen Holder schreef:

It would be nice to know from others _how_ they succeeded since we failed.


No problem downloading from https://forum.xda-developers.com/nok...-plus-t3905686
using Firefox and installing. Only some warnings needed to be ignored...
Thanks!
I haven't been able to compare the results. The main problem with the stock app is the quality in low light conditions.

--
Alex.


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Old December 6th 19, 12:18 AM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital,alt.comp.freeware
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

On Fri, 6 Dec 2019 00:54:47 +0100, Alex Plantema wrote:

Arlen Holder schreef:

It would be nice to know from others _how_ they succeeded since we failed.


No problem downloading from https://forum.xda-developers.com/nok...-plus-t3905686
using Firefox and installing. Only some warnings needed to be ignored...
Thanks!
I haven't been able to compare the results. The main problem with the stock app is the quality in low light conditions.


Thanks for that update, as there are about 100 phones in that listing which
are said to benefit from the Google Gcam APK port.

The 100 phones covers pretty much most of us, where your reporting will
help the Nokia owners save time and energy on the right Gcam APK port.

Like you, I haven't compared results, where I note the Google Gcam APK port
is a bit more complicated compared to the stock app, as there are a few
settings in Gcam whose function is, currently, unknown to me (although I
haven't tried to decipher them yet, either).

Nonetheless, I'm curious if when you press the Help buttons, it crashes?
o More Settings Help & feedback Send feedback <--- this crashes on me
o More Settings Help & feedback Help <--- this crashes on me

Does your Nokia Google Gcam APK port crash on that feedback also?

--
Usenet is a world-wide public potluck to share users' experiences & ideas.
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Old December 6th 19, 09:20 AM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photoquality of results (but why?)

On 05/12/2019 23:54, Alex Plantema wrote:
Arlen Holder schreef:

It would be nice to know from others _how_ they succeeded since we
failed.


No problem downloading from
https://forum.xda-developers.com/nok...-plus-t3905686


using Firefox and installing. Only some warnings needed to be ignored...
Thanks! I haven't been able to compare the results. The main problem
with the stock app is the quality in low light conditions.

I'd be interested in taking a look at any pair of original images from a
default app and the Google version on the same device. Doesn't really
matter what it is of - I am only interested in the meta data. Be nice if
the image pairs showed some improvement in performance with GCam though.

Pointers to any pairs online would be appreciated.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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Old December 6th 19, 02:53 PM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital,alt.comp.freeware
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photo quality of results (but why?)

The Real Bev wrote:
On 12/04/2019 12:50 PM, Frank Slootweg wrote:
The Real Bev wrote:
On 12/03/2019 02:57 PM, Arlen Holder wrote:

At XDA Developers, these 100 phones are said to benefit greatly in camera
QOR simply using the Google GCam APK which was designed for the Pixels.

o Moto G5S

https://www.cyanogenmods.org/google-camera/ for all versions.

Followed instructions, tried all Motorola and generic files, but NOTHING
installed. Yes, I had 'install from unknown sources' checked. It
didn't actually say that the phone had to be rooted for anything except
one of the manual things.

Perhaps it just knows that I refuse to update to Android8 and is
punishing me.


(Especially if you do not have Android 8/Oreo,) Did you *first*
install and run the mentioned 'Manual Camera Compatibility' app (step
1.)?

If not, there's your main error. If yes, then did it report that all
features are supported? If not, that's your main error.


NOTHING was supported. Red Xs all around.


OK, so you need the complex installation procedure (step 3.).

If the 'Manual Camera Compatibility' app did not report that all
features are supported, the installation procedure (step 3.) becomes
very, very complex and involves unlocking the bootloader, installing a
custom recovery (which is also device-specfic and may or may not be
available for your device) and installing the Camera2 API zip file from
the recovery.


Seemed to require root. No.


I don't think the complex installation procedure requires root.
Anyway, rooting [1] is the least of your problems, the other stuff is
way more complicated/difficult.

Just unlocking the bootloader probably will be a major hurdle, not to
mention the rest.

Bottom line: Installing Google Camera *may* be as simple as installing
a device-specific APK, but it probably *is* not simple at all.


It's hard to see how software can overcome the limits of the hardware
(I'd really like more sharpness and it would be good if the camera would
actually focus as close as it's supposed o), but it's always nice to
believe in miracles.


[1] Info on how to root with the 'KingRoot' app:
<http://al.howardknight.net/?STYPE=msgid&MSGI=%3Cqhvkm7.4l8.1%40ID-201911.user.individual.net%3E
  #20   Report Post  
Old December 6th 19, 05:03 PM posted to comp.mobile.android,uk.telecom.mobile,rec.photo.digital,alt.comp.freeware
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Default Hint: Changing the camera app can remarkably improve your photoquality of results (but why?)

On 12/06/2019 07:53 AM, Frank Slootweg wrote:
The Real Bev wrote:
On 12/04/2019 12:50 PM, Frank Slootweg wrote:
The Real Bev wrote:
On 12/03/2019 02:57 PM, Arlen Holder wrote:

At XDA Developers, these 100 phones are said to benefit greatly in camera
QOR simply using the Google GCam APK which was designed for the Pixels.

o Moto G5S

https://www.cyanogenmods.org/google-camera/ for all versions.

Followed instructions, tried all Motorola and generic files, but NOTHING
installed. Yes, I had 'install from unknown sources' checked. It
didn't actually say that the phone had to be rooted for anything except
one of the manual things.

Perhaps it just knows that I refuse to update to Android8 and is
punishing me.

(Especially if you do not have Android 8/Oreo,) Did you *first*
install and run the mentioned 'Manual Camera Compatibility' app (step
1.)?

If not, there's your main error. If yes, then did it report that all
features are supported? If not, that's your main error.


NOTHING was supported. Red Xs all around.


OK, so you need the complex installation procedure (step 3.).

If the 'Manual Camera Compatibility' app did not report that all
features are supported, the installation procedure (step 3.) becomes
very, very complex and involves unlocking the bootloader, installing a
custom recovery (which is also device-specfic and may or may not be
available for your device) and installing the Camera2 API zip file from
the recovery.


Seemed to require root. No.


I don't think the complex installation procedure requires root.
Anyway, rooting [1] is the least of your problems, the other stuff is
way more complicated/difficult.


What I read seemed pretty definite about the necessity of root.

Just unlocking the bootloader probably will be a major hurdle, not to
mention the rest.

Bottom line: Installing Google Camera *may* be as simple as installing
a device-specific APK, but it probably *is* not simple at all.


It's hard to see how software can overcome the limits of the hardware
(I'd really like more sharpness and it would be good if the camera would
actually focus as close as it's supposed o), but it's always nice to
believe in miracles.


[1] Info on how to root with the 'KingRoot' app:
<http://al.howardknight.net/?STYPE=msgid&MSGI=%3Cqhvkm7.4l8.1%40ID-201911.user.individual.net%3E


We tried rooting something a couple of years ago. It was supposed to be
easy. It wasn't and it didn't work. I'm a pessimist and assume that
doing this will end up with me having to do a factory reset, which is
(in effect) why I'm not upgrading from 7 to 8. The resulting
configuration requirement is NOT something I'm prepared to choose to do
:-( The potential cost by far outweighs the potential benefit.

--
Cheers, Bev
There is a fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness.'


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