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  1.    #1  
    Being sorely disappointed with the color balance in the 700p camera, I have been experimenting with it to see what I could do to improve my shots. Note how the balance changes dramatically as I cup my hand under the lens. Here are some of my results: [Note: all images unedited other than reducing file size to 240x192]
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    Last edited by CTreePO; 07/19/2006 at 11:45 AM.
  2. #2  
    You mean this is how I have to take pictures from now on? They need to include this in the manual or send us a free 3rd hand. This blows.
  3.    #3  
    I guess it certainly gives new meaning to the term "'Palm' Pictures!" <g>
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by CTreePO
    I guess it certainly gives new meaning to the term "'Palm' Pictures!" <g>
    Ha Ha, the camera sucks, but the comedy, is great...on a real note, i have taken some pretty good pics with the crappy 700p, it all depends on the lighting , even indoors its pretty bad, i guess im going to give the PAlM PIX a try, ill just have to explain to everyone why my hand is in everypic
  5. #5  
    Yes, the built in camera of the Treo sucks. I agree with the previous poster that the comedy you get on this board is better than the picture quality!

    Check out the below links explaining color balance. White balance is a huge topic, but I found a couple links below that explains the subject pretty well.

    http://www.outbackphoto.com/workflow/wf_65/essay.html

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...te-balance.htm

    In short, inserting your hand into the picture is almost the equivalent of using a neutral 18% "gray card" to obtain more accurate colors. You can buy a "gray card" at many camera stores for about $15, and it's simply nothing more than thick cardboard paper that is approx 18% gray on one side, and white on the other side. Gray cards usually come in either 4x6" or 8x10" sizes.

    Unfortunately, due to the obvious extreme limitations of the Treo's camera, it's not possible to do a custom white balance preset as you could on a high end digital camera. Therefore, a viable alternative is to insert your hand or a "gray card" into the picture which helps to produce better (more accurate) colors. I'm not saying this is an ideal situation for taking pictures with the Treo, but it does help for improving colors.

    In my own experience, I have found that when taking a picture that is primarily in outdoor *shaded* light (such as the picture example from the original poster), the colors tend to shift towards blue. To compensate for this blue (cool) color shift, in a D-SLR high end digital camera, you would either change your white balance to something such as "Cloudy" or "Shade" white balance, or change the Kelvin temperature to produce a warmer tone. However, when taking a picture in full outdoor sunlight, colors tend to be more accurate, therefore sticking your hand into the picture (or using a gray card) might not be necessary.

    If I were to take pictures with the Treo, I would then have to post-process in Photoshop to adjust the colors/contrast/curves/levels/sharpening/cropping to my liking before I'm happy with the image. This is the process I normally do when shooting with my Nikon D1x DSLR cameras.

    In summary, don't expect much from your Treo's camera! It's really a toy camera in my opinion!
    Last edited by Casey Cheung; 07/20/2006 at 09:02 AM.
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
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    #6  
    This is probably the best picture I have been able to take so far.
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  7.    #7  
    Casey, your brief summary was clearer than an hour in a color zone class I took at Pittsburgh Film Makers, 25 years ago! However nothing could be better than a B/W zone system lecture I participated in, on Ansel Adams...

    My son and a friend got into the act with an idea for balancing color in headshots (see attached)! <bg>
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    Last edited by CTreePO; 07/20/2006 at 10:58 AM.
  8. #8  
    amazing discovery, depressing that its a discovery that our cameras can actually take decent pictures.... I wonder if i have any that turned out good to post.... hrm
  9. #9  
    Upon further examination... all my pictures suck :/ Best I could come up with
    bah :>
  10. #10  
    Color rendition and color balance issues are very complicated.

    I sell photographic lighting products and have been trained in color theory. I train people about color and lighting issues all the time.

    Casey gave a pretty good easy to understand explanation and the links he supplied are great…especially the second one.

    The camera on the Treo is a lot of fun and with most simple cameras if the conditions are right you can take very good pictures..

    The original images that CtreePO supplied were not of the “ideal conditions” that render accurate color. Indeed I think the images look pretty good for a phone camera. Taking an image from inside open shade, which is very blue, to sunlight will fool many cameras.

    Keep at it and every so often you can come up with great images.

    But…if good images is your objective then you HAVE to use a real camera…preferably one with at least a minimum of manual control.

    Here are a couple of my pics…
    Attached Images Attached Images
  11. #11  
    I really find it pretty amusing that some people expect or hope to take high quality images from the Treo's camera. Trust me, it's nearly impossible to take a decent image from the Treo's camera, unless in very ideal conditions such as bright sunlight. Trying to take a decent shot in low light is pretty near out of the question, especially because the Treo doesn't have a built in flash.

    I've seen cheap flip phones that actually have a half-way decent built in flash, so why can't the Treo have a built in flash too? You will get horribly underexposed and noisy/grainy images trying to shoot in low light conditions with the Treo, not to mention poor colors too. Trying to correct such a wretched image in Photoshop is an exercise in futility. About the most you can do with a Treo image is to blog it at some blog site, such as Flickr.com, etc. Good luck trying to make an 8x10 print from a Treo image! It would be a waste of $4.00 that could be better spent on lunch money.

    Personally for myself, if I want to take a pretty decent picture, I pull out my tiny pocket Canon SD 450 (5 megapixel) digital camera, which also takes an SD memory card. After taking a picture from the Canon camera, I then swap out the SD card from the Canon camera and insert into my Treo, and copy and paste the images to my Treo, and later move the images to my SD card that normally resides in the Treo. I can then email the high quality pictures to people, or do any number of things with it once the Canon shot images are copied to my Treo. I also have a Treo program called Acid Image Pro that allows me to downsize the resolution of the Canon images to something much smaller for faster emailing speed on my Treo, if I want to.

    My Canon SD 450 digital camera has various white balance menu selections. Therefore, if trying to take a picture in outdoor shaded light, I know better to change my white balance to something warmer such as "Cloudy" which will counter-act the cool blue shift. If I want extra warm tones, such as for a dramatic deep sunset shot, I change to "Shade" white balance. By the way, switching to "Shade" white balance on a digital camera instantly gives a person a nice sunny tan, as if having vacationed in Hawaii !! Hyuck, hyuck!

    For all my serious photography work, I have 2 Nikon D1x digital cameras, which cost $5,000 each a few years ago. My entire collection of digital camera gear probably cost me something in excess of $20k. For critical white balance, I always do a custom white balance preset using an 8x10" neutral gray card, especially when shooting with my DynaLite or Photogenic studio flashes. But when shooting with my Treo camera, which is rare, I simply get what I get!! Don't expect much in this department!

    If you really want to go overboard, you can buy a color temperature meter, such as the ones made by Minolta or Gossen, but these cost somewhere around $1,000+ and does nothing more than tell you the color temperature in Kelvin degrees. This is too much even for me, and a simple $15 gray card is sufficient for my needs.

    Then again, there's always the hand, as pointed out by the original poster! :-)))
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Cheung
    For critical white balance, I always do a custom white balance preset using an 8x10" neutral gray card,...
    You might want to try a more accurate white balancing tool like Expo Disk

    Grey cards are decent for exposure but not the best tool for white balance.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by notacon
    You might want to try a more accurate white balancing tool like Expo Disk

    Grey cards are decent for exposure but not the best tool for white balance.

    Actually, I also have the Expo Disk too, in the 62mm filter size, I think. It's been sitting in one of my many camera bags collecting dust for the past few years. It's a shame, because it cost over $100, and I haven't bothered to use it. The reason I don't use the Expo Disk is because for the life of me, I can't figure out how to do a custom white balance when shooting with my studio flashes (eg: DynaLites and Photogenics). Whereas with a gray card, it's easy to take a reading and locking in the settings with my studio flashes. A gray card makes a huge improvement for color accuracy. Most people use the wrong method of simply setting white balance to "Auto WB", and not realizing you will get wrong and inconsistent colors at least half the time. In my experience, Auto White Balance setting on most digital cameras is only accurate when shooting in full sunlight, otherwise colors shift towards cool blue when shooting in outdoor shaded conditions. On the plus side for the Expo Disk, other friends I know who use it say it's convenient for doing on the run shooting, plus the fact the Expo Disk is very portable and can almost double as a lens cap.

    By the way, getting back to the Treo camera. If you really want to try to obtain better (more accurate) colors shooting with your Treo, I would offer this suggestion as a possibility:

    Buy an inexpensive 4x6" neutral gray card (Kodak brand). With a gray card (the gray side, not white side) facing towards the camera lens, use your left hand to insert the gray card into the bottom left corner of the frame (or top left corner) of whatever you are shooting. With your right hand holding the Treo, take the shot (which also includes the gray card at the bottom left corner of frame).

    After taking the shot, move the image to the SD card. Then copy and paste the image to your desktop computer (or laptop). Open Photoshop program and Choose "Levels". Click on "Set Gray Point". With the Eyedropper, click on the gray card that you included in the corner of the frame. This should instantly improve the colors of the image by removing whatever wrong color cast that exists in the image. For example, if the image is too yellow, this should improve the image by reducing the yellow cast. If the image is too cool blue, this should make it a little "warmer". As a last step before saving the corrected retouched image, I would crop out the bottom left portion of the frame that contains the gray card in the image. Or crop out the top corner portion if you placed the gray card there instead.

    By the way, if you choose to use the white side of the gray card, instead of the gray side, then click on "Set White Point" in Photoshop, instead of "Set Gray Point", and then follow the same steps. Personally, I think the gray side is better than the white side for determining white balance accuracy. This is because there are so many different shades of white, including different levels of reflectivity of white...this in turn makes it more difficult for white balance accuracy. Using the gray side is less prone to these problems, and hence is more accurate.

    Sorry for the long essay...some people might be interested.
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Cheung
    Sorry for the long essay...some people might be interested.
    Oooh, I am, I am...

    I have always loved black and white photography and have 3 Bronicas, a 645 and 2 square format; 2 Nikon FMs; loads of lenses and accessories; 2 Beseler enlargers (with loads of dist on them I'm afraid)... I also have a very suitable Canon PowerShot G5 (can't afford a digital SLR at this point but would LOVE one).


    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Cheung
    I've seen cheap flip phones that actually have a half-way decent built in flash, so why can't the Treo have a built in flash too? You will get horribly underexposed and noisy/grainy images trying to shoot in low light conditions with the Treo, not to mention poor colors too.
    I have theLG VX9800 which takes very sharp photos with great color accuracy and lighting. I think that is why I was so disappointed with the Treo's phone after using tha LG's.

    Camera Specs: 1.3 MP camera with LED flash. 4x digital zoom. Camera Resolutions: 1280 x 960, 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 176 x 144, 160 x 120 pixels. Video resolutions: 320 x 240 and 176 x 144 pixels, 3G2 format. Close-up switch on lens for macro shots.

    Notes: The LG VX9800 has a variety of camera controls and has an LED flash which helps a bit at close range in poorly lit environments. You can adjust brightness, white balance, turn on night mode, use color effects, enable/disable the flash and change or turn off the shutter sound. The phone can take photos at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 960, and can shoot photos at a variety of lesser resolutions.

    http://www.mobiletechreview.com/phones/LG-VX9800.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Cheung

    Then again, there's always the hand, as pointed out by the original poster! :-)))
    I am... a Palm Mom!
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Cheung
    ...

    Sorry for the long essay...some people might be interested.
    Thanks for the great post!
  16. #16  
    [QUOTE=CTreePO]Oooh, I am, I am...

    I have always loved black and white photography and have 3 Bronicas, a 645 and 2 square format; 2 Nikon FMs; loads of lenses and accessories; 2 Beseler enlargers (with loads of dist on them I'm afraid)... I also have a very suitable Canon PowerShot G5 (can't afford a digital SLR at this point but would LOVE one).


    Before switching to digital cameras for the past 5+ years, I previously used medium format Hasselblad film gear for 15 years. Shooting with film, I never even heard of the issue of "white balance". Instead, I would simply tell my pro lab to "print warmer". Either that, or use a warmer more colorful film such as Fuji Velvia.

    Those were the days! I don't know whether I miss those days or not! D@mn I hated cropping the image with those stupid crop cards that I would have to use with a light table and scotch tape to get the image positioned just right. Most of the time, I simply used a "C" or "D" square crop card anyways. I'm sure others out there know what I mean! Nowadays, Photoshop is soooooo much easier for cropping...only takes me seconds instead of minutes.
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by stuartr
    Thanks for the great post!

    Another fellow color/tech geek! You're welcome!
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
  18. #18  
    Quote:
    Camera Specs: 1.3 MP camera with LED flash. 4x digital zoom. Camera Resolutions: 1280 x 960, 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 176 x 144, 160 x 120 pixels. Video resolutions: 320 x 240 and 176 x 144 pixels, 3G2 format. Close-up switch on lens for macro shots.


    Geez, a cheap flip phone with a close-up macro lens too?!? Does it really take decent closeup macro shots?? And to think I spent $3,000 for my Hasselblad 120mm Makro CF lens, and another $700 for my Nikon 105mm f2.8 macro lens!

    You people are kiiiiiiiilling me! Hyuck, hyuck!
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Cheung

    Those were the days! I don't know whether I miss those days or not!
    Oh, I loved spending hours in my darkroom, emerging only to find it was morning! It was only because I had children (pesky things, those kids <g> ) that I stopped spending the night with my semi-glove-clad arms up to my elbows in stop bath, et al.

    Now I spend hours working with graphic files (I use Paint Shop Pro and PhotoShop), but am a perfectionist as well as easily distractable, and end up with half a dozen projects at a time and then turn around and find that it is morning.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by CTreePO
    Oh, I loved spending hours in my darkroom, emerging only to find it was morning! It was only because I had children (pesky things, those kids <g> ) that I stopped spending the night with my semi-glove-clad arms up to my elbows in stop bath, et al.

    Now I spend hours working with graphic files (I use Paint Shop Pro and PhotoShop), but am a perfectionist as well as easily distractable, and end up with half a dozen projects at a time and then turn around and find that it is morning.


    Did you convert your bathroom into a dark room, as so many other people I know have done?! Didn't all that chemical smell make you want to pass out? Maybe that's why you woke up to discover it was morning! You were actually passed out on the floor!

    Yes, it's easy to spend countless hours on Photoshop. The worst part for me is that staring at the computer monitor for many hours will give me headaches, and my eyes get blurry! Sometimes I have to take Excedrin just to relieve the pain!
    Casey
    Sprint 755p, 700p, 650 - I am not a geek! Really!
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