a27 August 2013

Human camera review


Although Human camera is on the market for quite a few years (first prototypes are dated 4.4 million years back) I don't think there is a proper review so I decided to write one myself.

Technical specs

Let's start with some technical specs:
  • dual-lens (lenses are identical)
  • shutter speed of 1/30 (fixed)
  • aperture f/2.8 - f/14.9
  • focal length - 23 mm (equivalent of 50 mm for 35 mm film)
  • image stabilization
  • ultra fast burst mode (18 to 30 frames per second depending on the model)
  • built-in memory of 2.5 petabytes
The specs aren't impressive maybe (especially the shutter speed is rather disappointing - I would love to be able to use faster shutter speeds as well as to capture long exposures) but if you're into street photography or photojournalism you will find them enough for your needs as they offer very realistic perspective. Specs also usually meet my needs in landscape photography but there are cases when I would prefer a bit wider angle.

Human camera comes with a pair of identical lenses what offers some great 3D opportunities. However, mine came with one of the lenses a bit destroyed (it has some huge issues with focusing that can't be repaired) so I'm not sure how this experience looks and feels for others.

The build quality is quite impressive as well as is weather sealing (if you want to protect it further there are thousands of housing and cloths to choose from).

Auto-Focus

Auto-focus is fast and accurate although many examples of the camera and lenses have noticeable front- or back-focus. However, these can be easily fixed by buying additional correcting filters: screw-in filters you put directly on the lens (so called contact lenses) or glasses system (holder comes with a variety of lenses to choose from).

Image quality
Colour reproduction and white balance are both fantastic. So far I haven't seen a camera with better of either these two. Colours are very natural although sometimes you would prefer more saturation and contrast. White balance is correct most of the time.

By default Human camera runs in HDR-mode. Although static dynamic range is rather low and it's about only 6 EV (not impressive at all), Human camera has a great feature to adjust exposure automatically when moved what results in a dynamic range of about 20 EV! It's huge.

Sharpness is very good in the middle of the frame but it decreases quite much towards the edges of the frame even at aperture of f/14. No fix exists for this issue.

Low light capabilities are rather disappointing as in low-light camera goes to a monochrome mode (with some weird blue cast that's very hard to correct) and also has problems properly exposing the scene so most of the images will turn out heavily underexposed. Good thing is they are virtually free of noise (both colour and luma). Also dynamic range in low light situations is rather bad. For instance if you have a bright source in a frame almost all details in shadows are lost.

Camera comes with a lot of memory to save your pictures - probably more than you will ever need because it can store as much as 2.5 petabytes of data. As a comparison you would need to run your television for more than 300 years non-stop to run out of space. That's quite a lot. I noticed a few problems though:
  • you cannot easily print your images - there is no USB connection
  • images sometimes slightly change over time. It looks like a serious bug in a firmware of a camera but so far there is no easy fix for that
Summary
 
So summing up. Human camera is quite a good choice. Lens specifications, dynamic range make it great for daily life shooting, street photography and alike but in many uses (wild-life, astrophotography) it might be not enough due to limitations of lens and sensor.

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