Posts Tagged: smartphone

Testing Nikon D850 -> Phone via Snapbridge

Sakura in Kensington Gardens from April 2018

Tues. 08.28.18 – Photo above is from my Nikon D850’s memory card from early April in Kensington Gardens. I used Snapbridge to transfer the photo via wifi to my phone, did a wee bit of editing on the phone, and am now posting it to this blog.

Currently Snapbridge only sees the first 20 photos on the card. Right now I have hundreds of photos on the card between April and August of 2018. I need to figure out how to see all the photos on the camer’s card and transfer the ones I want, aka the new bird photos I took today.

The $/£/€ 1,000 Smartphone: Oh Hells No!

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.

Please forgive any awkward writing, as I wrote it quickly in the Patreon editor in a snit about all the super expensive flagship camera phones.


Olympus Pen - Lagging Behind

Tues. 01.30.18 – Yesterday, I enacted out a strategy that I have been considering for nearly two years: I bought a small mirrorless micro four-thirds camera with interchangeable lenses that is not much wider than my camera phone in its wallet case.

Two years ago, when the top of the line flagship smart / camera phones were approximately $/£/€ 800 when purchased new and unlocked, I looked around and saw the the cameras on these expensive so-called tech wonders were only OK. Meh – certainly not worth $800.

The years of great leap forwards in terms of technology for camera phones are not necessarily over, but the companies that design and manufacture said smartphones do seem to be more interested in increasing their market cap than giving me the photographer a kick-ass camera phone.

In May of 2010, Roland and I were invited to a private meeting in San Francisco to help Nokia envision the smartphone of 2015. I asked for a mashup of a smart phone and a mirrorless camera system with interchangeable lenses.

Samsung released one poorly done mashup in the mid-2010s and it garnered more complaints than users. Since then it appears that no other tech company cares to try. This makes me sad.

I want good lenses, a good sensor, and good algorithms to power my camera phone. The newest versions of this or last year’s flagships have focused on algorithm and have taken out the photographer’s prized manual settings (I am looking at you, Pixel2).

My current $500 Microsoft Lumia 950, as of July 2016, is still performing better than the Pixel2 in a few blogger’s comparisons (Steve L’s post if you are interested) when the algorithmic magic is examined closely and photos compared at 1:1 crop. I have to fight the Lumia’s software’s choices on low light. Why would I spend $1,000 to fight a camera that wanted to make its own decisions about how low light should be rendered?

Most of all, I guess I am now officially Middle Aged, as the very idea of $1000 for a flagship smartphone makes me want to yell and shake my fist. Even with the best components that is over $750 pure profit for the tech giants. No.

Why should I when a vast array of tech companies are releasing more than sufficient Android smartphones for $200-400?

Thus, my new strategy: Buy a good small to tiny mirrorless camera system with wifi and interchangeable lenses on sale with rebates and then get a small sufficient Android when the Lumia 950 dies – all for less than a flagship smartphone.

Then go take photos with a darned good small camera that will fit in a corner of my purse and do all communicating and internet functions on a phone I can root and hack all for less than $1,000 in total.

Yesterday, I implemented the first part of this strategy when I bought the Olympus Pen E-LP8 camera and two lenses (14-42mm and 40-150mm) on sale with rebates for a total of a bit less than $700. My Lumia 950 is doing just fine right now, but when it is not, I will take recommendations for a nice little hackable Android phone.

My future is my now, for less than $1,000.


Photo of a dad and his two daughters off across the sand for a beach day taken at noon today at the Huntington Beach State Park with my new Olympus Pen E-LP8 using the 14-42mm lens. I am very happy with the quality and color of the photo, I did crop it in Lightroom and do a few adjustments.

Just When One Makes a Big Pronouncement On the Camera Phone Front…

Just when one goes and makes a big pronouncement on the camera phone front, ASUS goes and makes a January 2016 release that makes the camera phone space interesting again.

Hello, ASUS Zenfone Zoom, you may be the size of a wheelbarrow, but that Hoya lens system of yours with optical zoom is intriguing. I will wait for Gavin to take lots of photos and write his review before I wonder much farther…

Mobile: What is the best / most beautiful / most innovative / most creative use of a mobile phone recently?

Eight years ago, I conducted a survey on the creative use of mobile devices by creative professionals, which became the research base for my Masters thesis: Moleskine to Mobile.

But that was 8 whole years ago, which in mobile or technology time was practically before the dawn of Mammals. In the last few years, it seems many people have settled into the mobile version of humdrum suburbia: iPhone photos uploaded to Instagram, sharing updates to Facebook, making a video of one’s favorite pet/child/drunkfriend and uploading it to YouTube, or just letting others do it while one watches, etc.

Much like any supposed boring suburbia, there has got to be something interesting going on behind the facade of your mobile’s casing…

People! What is the best and/or most interesting, innovative, beautiful, creative use of a mobile that you have done, seen, heard of, have a link to in the last few months or year? Even if what you think is not really that interesting, but you haven’t told anyone else you are doing it, let me know.

Yes, you, photographer, artist, DJ, musician, banker, teacher, couch potato, maker, creator, builder, I am talking to you. Don’t be shy. If it isn’t you, then tell me about your creative friend. If it is you, share what you have been up to with your mobile. Doesn’t matter if it is a smartphone, feature phone, or super basic phone…

2014 – Let me know. Post the link to your or someone you know of’s creative/innovative activity with there mobile phone. Comment here or tweet a link to me @msjen.


Nokia Connects has a fun program / award called MVC – Most Valued Connector (which really should be Most Valued Creative), wherein a group of us nominate folks who are doing cool and amazing things with their Nokia Lumia mobile phones or helping folks connect in some way thereof.

On top of wanting to see what y’all have been up to with any mobile phones, if you or a friend is doing some cool, creative stuffs with their Nokia Lumia phone, please send me the link so that I can recommend them for a nomination.

Y’all rock!

The Nokia N97, More than One Year Later

I have tried to write this blog post at least 4 times over the last 5 months, and have several very different drafts littering my “To Blog” folder. I started this April when I was able to directly upload photos and blog to this Movable Type blog using the Nokia N97‘s web browser and not a mobile app. Go little N97 go! I was so happy.
Then in early May, another attempt at writing this post, as I was about to retire the the Nokia N97 in favor of my new Nokia N86 and I wanted to write about after nearly a year since its release, the N97 had really changed my mind about it and that I did like it, really like it. But I was very busy with work and didn’t have the time to spend to write a quality post beyond, “Hey, the N97 isn’t that bad after all.”
Then came late May and early June, I had a some down time of which to think & write, and then the great N97 inspired blogger meltdown of June 2010 occurred: Dan, Micky & Jay, and then the big boom: Ricky & Rita. I watched over a period of 3 weeks in astonishment and wrote two whole drafts in response to their blog posts that did not leave my “To Blog” folder.
I was astonished for a variety of reasons, but mostly if one was going to meltdown about the N97 as a icon for Nokia’s failures of the last three years, why not point a finger that the two phones that were much greater actual failures at being flagship devices: The N96 and N85. But those two posts didn’t leave the draft folder, as I couldn’t really sum up without anger what I wanted to say, as I wasn’t angry at the bloggers in question but more the overall techno-cultural situation that has lead all of us to a place where we get frustrated with our relationships with a piece of plastic/metal/silicon&rareearths.
By late June, early July, I realized that I really had two blog posts in my head and in draft forms in my folder: One on how I do actually like the Nokia N97 and another on our evolving relationships with brands, devices, and blogging. Work was once again intense and I had even less time and creative energy to write two long posts about mobile devices and our relationships thereof. I did change the title of the draft post from “Nokia N97: Nearly One Year Later” to “Nokia N97: One Year Later”.
For the last two months, I have two to do items in my notebook, my Google Tasks, and on my whiteboard: Blog: Nokia N97, More than a Year Later; Blog: Brands: Fans, Relationship, or Cult? Have either of these gotten written? No. I have designed & launched 2 websites, I have coded like mad on another one, I have done various other bits of client consulting stuff in internet promotion & social media. I have taken lots of photos and worked on developing my personal mobile application. I even upgraded my computer to Mac OS X Snow Leopard and my “To Blog” folder now lives on an external hard drive and isn’t even on my desktop any more.
Let this be a lesson. Of what, I will let you all decide.
I popped my sim chip back into the Nokia N97 the other day, and other than photos being a bit washed out, I was very happy all day long. For the rest of the week, I flipped back and forth between the N97 and my N86. I love the N97’s form factor. I love the touchscreen that tilts up to reveal a whole Qwerty keyboard. I love the solid thwack of the marvelously engineered mechanism that opens and reveals the keyboard, I love this in the most primal, inner five year old with new Christmas presents sort of way. Do it in public in SoCal and you get a crowd, “Oooh, what phone is that?”
Maybe I have been lucky to not have the memory and crashing problems that have greatly frustrated others with the Nokia N97. Due to the lack of Lifeblog and official Sports Tracker for the N97, I was not running multiple processes that drew heavily on memory or battery. The only time I had memory problems was early on with my Gmail, so I just put my email in the E: drive and not the system drive. Basically in my six plus months of full time plus the trial usage before that, the Nokia N97 was very good to me.
I understand having a good blog meltdown over a device, a brand, or the like. My own frustration over Nokia dropping Lifeblog in 2008 was my moment of “Nokia, I am so over you.” But much like a really good fiery fight, in autumn of 2008 I expressed my anger in a series of blog posts, tracked down the last PM on the project and gave him a piece of my mind (Sorry, Danny, I am so sorry.), then nursed my grudge for a bit, but I was not going to give up Nokia’s camera phones as they are still the best.
After my anger subsided, I did something that I had been meaning to do for sometime: teach myself to program in Python and Python for S60 so that I could write my own mobile apps rather than grouse about the lack of what I wanted on the marketplace.
All of this to say, Nokia N97, I like you. You are cute, you worked for me, and we had a lot of fun together. Thanks, you rock.


Mobilefor.Us: Cell Phones for the Rest of Us

Mobilefor.Us: Cell Phones for the Rest of Us

Sun 07.11.10 – Ever since I wrote my master’s thesis on how Creative Professionals used their Mobile Phones, I remain very curious how folks are using their phones. The tech and mobile blogs and blogosphere very much reward bloggers for writing on either the newest/latest/greatest or on the most detailed, esoteric atomic bits about the latest and greatest, all the while most of the folks around us seem to be muddling along with the mobile or cell phone that they bought from their wireless carrier for cheap.
When folks in my daily life find out that I love to take photos with my mobile phone and then moblog them to this blog, I frequently find the person I am talking to puts themselves down, discounts their own technology skills and knowledge, then confesses that they don’t know how to get the photos they take with their phone off the phone.
A year ago, I decided that it would be fun to start a video blog that would, magazine style, ask a wide variety of folks the same five questions about their phones, plus a few sub-questions are asked in each interview, plus whatever other bits folks want to talk about their mobile phones:
1) Who are you, what phone do you have, where did you get it, and do you have a data plan?
2) What do you like about your mobile / cell phone?
3) What have you taught yourself to do on your mobile?
4) What don’t you like about your mobile?
5) Either What do you wish you knew how to do on your mobile or what do you wish your phone did differently?
This idea has evolved and as of this evening, I formally announce the launch of Mobilefor.Us: Cell Phones for the Rest of Us.
Mobilefor.Us will be an online space that will seek to inform, share, and disseminate knowledge and confidence in using one’s mobile phone regardless if you have the free phone from your carrier with no data plan or if you have the latest & greatest mobile with unlimited data or somewhere in between.
Please come join us at Mobilefor.Us.

Conversation with Al, Jeb, & Ms. Jen #2 – On the Nokia N86 & N900 amongst other bits

Fri. 10.09.09 – Here is the second in what appears to be an ongoing series of conversations with Al Pavangkanan and Jeb Brilliant, while we are at the Tuttle Club LA (really Long Beach) because I get curious and feel the need to ask Al and Jeb lots of questions with the video capture running. Lucky for me they are gracious, opinionated, and funny.
Wherein we discuss:
1. The Nokia N86
2. Why white mobile devices are Sexy.
3. The Nokia N900 and the Nokia Booklet
4. Laughter
5. Software licenses: should they be attached to one phone IMEI, one sim chip, or one email?
6. Joikuspot & Mifi
7. Back to the Nokia N900: mobile devices that are stand alone and don’t need a PC, particularly a PC, to sync. Plus rant from Jeb and Ms. Jen about PCs. Then a rant by Ms. Jen about bad marketing & copywriting.