Sony Xperia 10 iii Stills

VidThreeNorth

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Xperia 10 iii High Dynamic Range Stills (HDR)

For a couple of months now I have been leaving "real cameras" behind in order to force myself to use the Xperia 10 iii. I have carried real cameras daily, for years now, and I do not find doing so is inconvenient. I am still "exploring" the Xperia 10 iii's capabilities. What will I do when I am finished? We'll see.

I have not been covering still photography much, because that is not my main goal for photography. I take stills when I do not have the time to make a video, or when the subject matter is unlikely to be worth the file space, or when I just need a still to document something for future reference. If that latter sounds like "scouting" pictures, actually, even for scouting, sometimes I have taken short, lower quality videos.

But the Xperia 10 iii has more development for stills than for video. The video capabilities are actually very sparse, while the still capabilities are fairly well developed. There is a good chance that I will never get around to trying all the capabilities of the stills functions, but I have tried what I consider the basics.

From what I have tried so far, I like the "HDR" capabilities. I have tried to do some specific testing, but unfortunately, due to the conditions on that day, I count that effort as a failure. I will have to re-do the tests. But at the least, I can post some of the pictures I have taken that I have liked.


"01-0902_0007-rsz1200-C1.JPG"
- Probably set to "HDR Auto" (my usual setting)
- EV = 0
Partial EXIF of original photo:
Created 2021-09-02 13:04:24
F-stop f/2.4
Exposure time 1/275 sec.
ISO speed ISO-50
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 6 mm
Max aperture 2.53
Brightness 6.72
Light source D65
White balance Auto


"02-DSC_0009-rsz1200-C1.JPG"
- HDR ON, EV ~ -1
This is my usual set of settings.
Partial EXIF of original photo:
Created 2021-09-02 13:04:56
F-stop f/2.4
Exposure time 1/441 sec.
ISO speed ISO-50
Exposure bias -0.8 step
Focal length 6 mm
Max aperture 2.52
Brightness 7.4
Light source D65
White balance Manual


"03-DSC_0020-rsz1200-C1.JPG"
- HDR ON, EV ~ -1
Partial EXIF of original photo:
Created 2021-09-02 13:16:58
F-stop f/2.4
Exposure time 1/338 sec.
ISO speed ISO-50
Exposure bias -1.0 step
Focal length 6 mm
Max aperture 2.52
Brightness 8.6
Light source D65
White balance Manual


"04-DSC_0025-rsz1200-C1.JPG"
- HDR ON, EV ~ -1
Partial EXIF of original photo:
Created 2021-09-02 13:17:36
F-stop f/2.4
Exposure time 1/422 sec.
ISO speed ISO-50
Exposure bias -1.0 step
Focal length 6 mm
Max aperture 2.52
Brightness 8.32
Light source D65
White balance Manual

[2021-10-10 21:50 Sony Xperia 10 iii Video is covered in "Sony Xperia 10 iii for Video",
"Sony Xperia 10 iii for Video"]
 

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VidThreeNorth

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Detail Crop (from above):

I was going to wait till I posted a few more before posting a "detail crop". I was hoping to find a nice detail that might be particularly interesting. But there is a practical point for posting a detail crop early. I have comments and unanswered questions about the the still capabilities of this phone's cameras, and particular its HDR mode. Most importantly, how long does it take from the start of the first exposure to the end of the last exposure?

If I take a normal long exposure, say 1/30th second, then any motion in the subject matter or the camera will cause blurring. If the camera has an effective stabilization capable or correcting for the camera motion, the that much of the blurring might not occur. But motion of the subject matter can still create blurring. The cause of this is the fact that whatever is being recorded on a given pixel at the start of the exposure might not be there by the end of the exposure. If this happens during the taking of images in sequence which will be combined into an HDR, then the change in what is being exposed will result in a shifted image, which might be recorded as "doubled" in two different locations in the final image, or some other inconsistency.

If the camera is taking three exposures, say 1/2000 sec, 1/1000 sec and 1/500 sec., then it might be expected it could all be done within 1/250 sec. But it might not be that efficient. Despite the exposures taking less than 1/250 sec in a "perfect" case, there might be delays caused by processing or camera "overhead" that might create gaps between the exposures. It might actually take, say, 1/60 sec., or perhaps even longer.

At this point, I have no information about such "total exposure time".

The second point that I do not know about is whether the "stabilization" calculations are being used. I think they are. Except for test images (the colour chart photos), all the stills I have take have been hand held. I have done this deliberately with the Xperia 10 iii because this is really the biggest advantage this camera might have compared to my other small cameras. Most of my small cameras, like the Panasonic GF3, only have stabilized lenses. Oddly, the cameras that do not have sensor-shift capability have no stabilization at all. That includes my a6400. This is despite the fact that digital stabilization has been around for years.

Again, there is no mention of the HDR function using stabilization, but looking at the results, and knowing that I am not that steady, I have some reason to think that perhaps the HDR merging does use the camera motion stabilizing calculations that the video uses. Keeping in mind that all my stills have been taken in the middle of fairly clear sky days, I am still surprised that mostly they have turned out quite lacking in errors that result from motion.

The third thing I can say is that I am surprised that I fairly consistently get better results when I under expose about 1 stop. Yes, I have taken a few that actually benefited by increasing exposure, but mostly, (maybe around 90% of what I have taken so far) have turned out better with under exposure. I thought that HDR would reduce the need for that?


"DSC_0009.JPG" [not posted, see previous comment]
"02-DSC_0009-rsz1200-C1.JPG"
- HDR ON, EV ~ -1
This is my usual set of settings.
Partial EXIF of original photo:
Created 2021-09-02 13:04:56
Dimensions 3264 x 2448
Bit depth 24
Resolution unit 2
Color representation sRGB
Camera model: XQ-BT52
F-stop f/2.4
Exposure time 1/441 sec.
ISO speed ISO-50
Exposure bias -0.8 step
Focal length 6 mm
Max aperture 2.52
Brightness 7.4
Light source D65
White balance Manual

"05-DSC_0009-Crop1500-C1.JPG"
Crop from 1600,1500
Dimensions: 1500 x 900

My first attempt at this crop was 1600 wide by 900 high, which is what I have been using as a "standard" size lately. But this time, a "C1" compression (least compressed) slightly exceeded 2,000,000 bytes (the limit for uploads), which is the first time this occurred. So I decided to crop it further down to 1500 x 900. I like the variety of textures in this crop.

A Pond of Surprises

The green patches on the water look like water lilies from a distance, but in fact, they seem to be clumps of small plants. The dark reddish brown in the water might at first look like the water is murky, but again, the opposite is more likely the case. What you are seeing is the bed of the pond, which is mostly a mud bottom. Standing over it, I could see small stones and debris occasionally breaking up the brown dirt. And the black shadows of the green clumps floating on top give a mottled texture. Within the water was small aquatic life swimming. I think these were tadpoles or other amphibians -- not fish. There are fish in the nearby creek, but these ponds are humanly maintained and "semi-artificial". Water entering and leaving them is through ducts that seem to be designed to make it difficult for animals to move from one area to another.

[2021-10-12 23:10 added following:]
About The "Aquatic Life"

I mentioned that there was small aquatic life that I could see swimming in the pond which was probably tadpoles. It did not occur to me to look for them in the picture. Looking more closely, I realized that in fact there are a few in the picture. In fact, they are in the detail crop, so we already have a chance to see them.

Coordinates for three of them are at (X,Y):
(490,338)
(501,335)
(514,334)

The sizes and configurations of these three "dark spots" and their pattern look similar enough to what I saw swimming in this general area of the pond. If this were a video, I am confident that they would be moving, which would be the final proof.
 

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VidThreeNorth

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There was a firmware update for the Xperia 10 iii around November (build number "62.0.A.3.131 release-keys". I thought I posted I posted information about it, but I cannot find it now, so I will continue this comment "here":

Xperia 10 iii Charging:

I have actually found a significant change in the operation of the Xperia 10 iii after the latest firmware upgrade. I am not sure how to see this change.

Previous Charging Operation

First, I have a handful of old USB chargers that I have been using for just about everything. They are not wonderful chargers, but I do not see the point in changing to newer chargers all the time. USB chargers have NOT been truly universal. There have been issues in the past, and when I find an issue or two that is/are significant, that is when I change to a newer charger.

I have been using an LG "Travel Adapter" model "MCS-02WR" (or maybe "MC8-02WR" -- it is hard to read). It takes 100 - 240 V, 50/60 Hz, 0.2A and outputs 5.0 V, 0.85A. The serial number is "RB441200910" and it was made in China by SUNLIN. I do not remember how I got it. I have had quite a few LG phones, and it might have come in any one of them.

Past Performance:

In general it has been ok. In recent years I have run into a problem that seems to have been caused by my Condo management. In order to reduce power consumption, they have decided to reduce the mains power during the day. This is actually a bad idea for the very reason that it caused me problems. Overnight, I could charge phones using this charger without problems. But if I left a phone in during the day, sometimes I found the charging would reverse and the phone would discharge instead. This is bad for the battery -- not terrible, but it does cause the battery to "age" more than just regular usage. But as I said, I have other chargers, and I did my best to make sure this one was not in use during the day unless I was there to check its operation. Keep in mind that this is NOT an error. Using a phone as a power source through USB for other devices is anticipated, and it is up to you to know what you have plugged in and which way the current is supposed to go.

Anyway, after the last firmware upgrade, I plugged in the Xperia 10 iii with the phone OFF, so it will charge "quickly", but I noticed that though the charge system started up, it did not charge. The charging light turned off and the animation did not indicate charging. This despite the battery showing around 76%. I thought about it, and tried again with the same results. At that point, I suspected that a change in the firmware was stopping the charging operation. I checked some boxes and found a charger from my Z5c and plugged that in, and everything worked properly with the charging operating normally.

I have since tried a "Digipower" charger designed to charge Sony camera batteries, and that works properly. So I have not proof that "most" chargers will work, but at least these two are working. But it is possible that the new firmware might cause problems for some people using non-Sony chargers. I expect that this is a Volt or Watt level problem, but I am only guessing. Hopefully, I will not find out more. Why do I not want to know more? Because the main reason I would have to find out more is if I run into more problems.

Android 11 Charging Problem Continued: [updated 2022-04-21]

After the last Android 11 upgrade, for a while, I could charge while the phone was OFF (to charge faster), but at some point the problem where the phone would only charge while it was ON started to reoccur again. As I mentioned before, this is not a big problem for most people because most people leave there phones ON while charging anyway. It continued like this until Apr 21, 2022 on which day (today) I upgraded to Android 12. I do not know what the charging is going to be like with Android 12. I'll have to report about this later.
 
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VidThreeNorth

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Android 12 on the Sony Xperia 10 iii

Today, (Apr 21, 2022) I received and installed my Android 12 upgrade. There are some small visual differences in the interface, but nothing major so far. Apparently there is a "privacy" upgrade which allows the phone to make less precise reports of its location. I have not tried this yet. I can comment that Sony's "Imaging Edge" application that links the phone with Alpha cameras requires the camera location to be reported to the phone. As far as I am concerned, this is objectionable and it was the reason I refused to use the App in the first place. I will give this a try now and see how it goes. I actually tried the App yesterday before I installed Android 12 in order to see if I found differences using it with Android 12. This was interesting because I could not get my a6400 to work with the App. I did get the camera and phone to "link up", but I still have not successfully used the phone app to operate the camera and get a picture. Since I decided to go ahead with the Android 12 upgrade, hopefully that will solve the remaining problems.

The version I have installed right now is "62.1.A.0.550 release-keys".
 
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VidThreeNorth

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This set of Spring pictures was taken with Android 12. I made minor re-adjustments as noted. The out of camera files were fine, but I was being just a bit fussy. I do not intend to post detail crops this time. All are resized down to 1600 (height or width, whichever is the "long side"). I resize to 1600 because I can usually get away with C1 compression (highest detail), which makes them consistent for evaluation, but in this case, detail was higher than typical, so I had to reduce detail levels to C2 and even C3, so I would say that the Xperia 10 iii did well.

I believe I had "HDR Auto" for all of these -- it is how I usually use it now, unless I am specifically conducting evaluations. So it is not surprising that the adjustments mainly added just a bit of contrast.

A Note About Lenses:

In this group, the first two are taken on the "telephoto" lens (54mm equivalent) and the last two are taken on the "normal/wide" lens (27mm equivalent). As I have written before, I consider roughly 40mm - 65mm to be "normal" view. 35mm and wider is "wide angle" to me.


"DSC_0082.JPG"
A sure sign of early Spring, nonsensical traffic accidents. Possibly caused by allergic sneezing while driving?
SmartFix
Brightness
Overall 28
Shadows 5
Highlights = -5
Focus 28
Black 2

"DSC_0084.JPG"
Fresh dandelions.
SmartFix
Brightness
Overall 23
Shadows 5
Highlights = -20
Saturation = 40 (recommended 0)
Focus 22
Black 6

"DSC_0097.JPG"
SmartFix
Brightness
Overall 18
Shadows -20
Highlights = 10
Saturation = 8
Focus 24
Black 16

"DSC_0103.JPG"
The tree in the video frame I posted before.
SmartFix
Brightness
Overall 14 (28 recommended)
Shadows 0
Highlights = 10
Saturation 10 (0 recommended)
Focus 42
Black 6
White 10
 

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