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Sorry Vic, Your Argument Is Blown By Your Own Photos


Former Google exec Vic Gundotra is in the news this week for an astonishing attack on Android and Android phones cameras, one which has no grounding in fact and which seems to be derived from the significant backlash which Gundotra's signature product  - Google+ - has been on the receiving end of.

Let's start with the initial comment, that the computationally derived portrait mode photos take with his iPhone 7 Plus are sufficiently good to replace a DSLR.

Wrong - and the photos he's used to demonstrate his argument clearly demonstrate that. If you look around the children's heads in the section of the photo Gundotra posted you'll clearly see the artificial bokeh has done a poor job of detecting edges and produced a soft, feathered edge which looks, frankly, terrible.

In no way does this equate to the job a DSLR, micro 4/3 or even a decent compact camera will deliver in the same situation.

Still its pretty good for a phone camera, no argument there. However it's the point where Gundotra then goes into a rant about Android phones, open source, mixed apps and... well just about everything about Google that seems to be hurting him since his departure three years ago, that it all goes a bit pear shaped.

The iPhone 7 Plus has one of the better phone cameras on the market today. Maybe even the best, but that's entirely open to personal tastes. What is obvious from any fair camera comparison is that there are a whole group of cameras which deliver very similar, excellent results (for phones anyway) in just this sort of situation.

The differences are very minor though and Gundotra's assertion that Android cameras are two years behind the iPhone is laughable, to the point of ridiculing everything else he might claim.

Ultimately the outright best photo quality on a phone is still that of the Lumia 950 - as you'll know if you spend any amount of time reading Steve Litchfield's excellent phone camera comparisons at AAWP. That's a phone that is  two years old. Demonstrating just how much catching up Apple et al have had to do.

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