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Fixed apertures on phones #photography

I usually take photos either with my Nikon D3200 or my old Fujifilm S5600 but now I have a new phone I’ve been trying out the camera. I can set the white balance, ISO and shutter speed just like on my cameras, but the aperture is fixed. Essentially, it is fixed wide open. A wide open aperture is great for portraits and selfies but not quite so good for landscapes. The pictures will never be as sharp as a DSLR but I’ve been getting some interesting pictures because the LG G5 has two lenses. There is a normal one and a wide panoramic type lens. I tried the panoramic lens in our town hall and it made brought out the grandeur of the main hall, but with a little distortion. Cameras with fixed apertures can still take great photos, though.

fixed apertures

Fixed apertures

Fixed apertures are really wide and this one is wider still and so you can see the distortion much more easily. It is almost like a fish-eye lens. The image is also slightly blurred which can be a good thing when you’re doing portraits, it blurs imperfections. We tend to quickly look at images and make a judgement about them. This hall looks quite grand and a nice place to go, end of. You’re not looking to see if you can recognise any of the people in the photo.

fixed apertures

No flash

This image of the stage is very light and I shot this on auto. Fixed apertures on phone cameras are so wide (around f/2) they let in lots of light and so there is no need for a flash in a setting like this. You can see the distortion again and even using the narrower lens, the distortion would still be there, but less pronounced on the edges of the image. I have difficulty seeing the focus points but they are in the centre of the image and that is where you get the better focus. So when you’re doing selfies, get your subject as central as you can in the frame. This wide setting would probably be good for large groups of people. Notice when you’re doing selfies that holding the camera too close can make your nose look huge and if your ears are on the edge of the frame they might look a little distorted!

Hydes pool aerial view

Drone photography

This image was taken from a drone by Ryan Brookes and again we have some distortion but it is still a great picture. Cameras on drones, like phones and dashcams, have a fixed aperture and they are fixed really wide. Ryan took several shots to get this and then joined them together to get a vertical panoramic image of Hydes pool and the playground. I take photographs around Hydes Pool a lot and so it was interesting to see an aerial shot.

Despite the distortion you can still get good images with cameras that have fixed apertures and you can also shoot video with them. I shoot lots of video with my dashcam then edit with Windows Movie Maker. I even speed up some of the video of the ones shot while I’ve been driving.

You can see video clips on my Facebook page. If you would like to subscribe to this blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates.

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