Nov 11, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro Max sports world’s best mobile camera

Smartphones
cameras
Joanna England
3 min
Courtesy of Apple Inc
Apple has equipped its latest flagship phone with 12 megapixels, multiple lenses and a LiDAR scanner...

Apple’s latest iPhone 12 – the Pro Max is already being hailed by photographers as the most impressive mobile phone camera released to date. 

Despite criticism that the device is too large, (the Pro Max sports a 6.7-inch, 3.5 million pixel, high-res display which makes it the biggest iPhone released so far) the 5G Pro Max's triple-camera unit has photography and video capabilities that outstrip other new-to-market models.

Released on October 20th, the device features two 12-megapixel cameras (from and back), new Apple ProRAW file formatting and a LiDAR scanner. It has been applauded by reviewers, who say it’s the ability to shoot in low light outstrips the performance of previous iPhone cameras.  

US technology writer and editor-in-chief of The Verge, Nilay Patel has hailed the iPhone 12 Pro Max as featuring, "the best smartphone camera you can get.” 

However, Patel adds that although the images “are generally less noisy” than those shot on the iPhone 12 Pro, improvements are mostly only noticeable in lower-light environments, and virtually indistinguishable in photos taken in brighter conditions.

Equally, Joe Rossignol of Mac Rumours, writes, “Apple's camera improvements this year go a few steps further on the iPhone 12 Pro Max compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. Unique to the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a larger ƒ/2.2 aperture for the telephoto lens, a 47% larger sensor for the wide-angle lens, and what Apple refers to as sensor-shift optical image stabilisation.”

The iPhone 12 Pro Max sports a bigger sensor than the iPhone 12 Pro. The higher ISO also prevents it from switching to night mode so frequently. The Pro Max's night mode also functions with shorter exposures (one second as opposed to three seconds) and this results in better image clarity. 

But despite the advantages of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, there are other smartphone models that offer distinct advantages, depending on the user’s preferences. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

With a 6.9-inch display, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is even bigger than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The camera specs also take some beating, especially if users are primarily interested in shooting video. With its 8K capability, as well as a 48-megapixel, ToF depth-sensing ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 40-megapixel front camera, it takes some beating. Reviews suggest this model falls down on battery life in comparison to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

Google Pixel 5

A less expensive option, the Google Pixel 5 has a good battery life and an excellent front and rear camera that offer 8-megapixels and 16-megapixels respectively. Smaller than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G and the Huawei P40 Pro, it still has 128GB of storage and ultra-wide-angle capability. Released in 2019, it’s not the newest of models, but the software is excellent (the Snapdragon 765G chipset works well with the Android 11 OS for a lag-free camera phone experience) it's water-resistant and has wireless charging.

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei makes great phones. The company was one of the first smartphone manufacturers to offer ground-breaking Leica lenses on their P30 Pro quad-camera model in 2019. The P40 Pro does not disappoint, with a 50-megapixel camera, a 50x zoom, 4K video, ToF depth-sensing and an 18mm ultra-wide-angle lens. Google restrictions on Huawei currently make the brand problematic for users outside China, but politics aside, it's an excellent option for mobile phone photography enthusiasts. 

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Jul 23, 2021

New government strategy to put UK ahead in global innovation

UKGovernment
Innovation
Strategy
Technology
3 min
The government’s Innovation Strategy aims to set out plans to confirm the UK’s position as a leader in innovation and enable advancements in technology

The UK government’s plans to increase private sector investment into elevating the UJ’s position in the global innovation race have been outlined in a new Innovation Strategy developed and launched by the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng. The strategy is part of the government’s “long-term vision” to boost private sector investment in R&D across the UK, enabling tech companies such as mobile networks to create new technologies. 

While the private sector is important in boosting R&D spending, the government says that the UK “is still committed” to increasing annual public investment in Research and Development with the aim of reaching a record US$30.2bn (£22bn). 

What will the Innovation Strategy allow the UK government to do? 

By adopting the Innovation Strategy, the government claims it will be able to achieve several other goals. These include:

  • Ensuring government procurement is proactive and supportive, providing a route to market for innovative new products and services
  • Consulting on how regulation can ensure that the UK is well-placed to extract the best value from innovation
  • Commissioning the Regulatory Horizons Council to consider how best to support innovation through regulation, including looking whether there are a set of high-level guiding principles for regulation that may apply broadly to any sector of innovation
  • Introducing new High Potential Individual and Scale-up visa routes, and revitalise the Innovator route to attract and retain high-skilled, globally mobile innovative talent
  • Undertaking an independent review to assess the landscape of UK organisations undertaking all forms of research, development and innovation
  • Reducing complexity for innovative companies by developing an online finance and innovation hub between Innovate UK and the British Business Bank within the next 12 months
  • Expanding IP education programme for researchers and launch International IP Services to bolster innovative companies’ and researchers’ ability to confidently collaborate, export and invest overseas
  • Publishing of a new action plan on ‘Standards for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, promoting standards that enable innovation to flourish
  • Investing £200mn (US$275mn) through the British Business Bank’s Life Sciences Investment Programme to target the growth-stage funding gap faced by UK life science companies
  • Supporting 30,000 senior managers of small and medium-sized businesses through Help to Grow: Management to boost their business’s performance, resilience, and long-term growth


Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement that “the UK can look back on a proud history of changing the world through innovation. From the industrial revolution to the vaccine development of the past year, the impact on our everyday lives is undeniable.

“That spirit of discovery is still alive in this country today, but we have not always turned our genius for innovation into jobs and companies here in Britain.

“The countries that secure leadership in such transformational technologies will lead the world, enjoying unrivalled growth, security and prosperity for decades to come – and it’s our job to ensure the UK keeps pace with the global innovation race”.

The organisation added that through the long-term plan, it aims to “rekindle our country’s flame of innovation and discovery”, and to aid businesses in taking the “vast opportunities” brought about by innovation.

“If we get this right, we can build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow, and ensure British firms are at the front of the pack to turn world-leading science into new products and services that are successful in international markets”, the organisation concluded. 

To implement the strategy, the government plans to work with universities and research organisations with five projects receiving part of £127mn capital injection through the Strength in Places Fund, which is delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

In addition to the Strength in Places Fund, £25 million of funding for the Connecting Capability Fund will help drive further economic growth through university-business innovation.

 

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