Frequently Asked Questions
Here you have some of the most frequently asked questions about Camera FV-5. If you need custom support, please write me.
- How to turn the shutter sound off?
- Why is touch focus not working on my device?
- Is the front-facing camera supported?
- Why photos take so long to process?
- Why pictures come out blurry?
- Why feature X have no effect?
- Why Camera FV-5 claims to be so advanced and features no scene modes/funny filters?
- Why the long exposure photos have a maximum resolution of 1 or 2 megapixels?
- Why I'm getting the message «Not enough memory: cannot save the picture!» when saving in PNG format?
- Why long exposure photos come out green? / Why I get the message «Not enough memory to create the exposure. Try lowering the resolution.»?
- Is the aperture (F/number) adjustable?
- Why I get unrealistic colors with automatic white balance? The white balance doesn't work!
- Why long exposure photographs come out in black and white or little color?
- Why no manual focus in Camera FV-5?
- I get a message saying «The licence could not be verified.» but I have bought the Pro app
Touch-focus is not supported by Android 2.x OS directly, and every manufacturer implements touch-focus feature in an undocumented, different way; some others directly don't expose such functionality to applications; while others don't bundle that functionality in the camera driver. Camera FV-5 packs customized support for some Motorola, HTC and Nvidia camera drivers. Other phones, like some Samsung phones, are also supported. Unfortunately, there's little to do from the application side when there is no standard way to access touch-focus, and manufacturers don't cooperate with information about their specific implementations. If not supported, touch-focus mode falls back to AF mode. However, you can still help, read last question.
Touch focus is officially supported by Android OS 4+, and does so Camera FV-5, too. Therefore, touch focus should work on almost all devices running Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) onwards. However, some manufacturers, although providing touch focus on their stock camera applications, do not extended that support to third party applications.
- PNG format: bigger file sizes take longer to write to the memory card.
- Ultimately, picture resolution also affect processing time, although you should be shooting at the highest resolution when possible.
- Exposure time: exposure times longer than 1/30th of a second have a high risk of producing blurred pictures, because during the exposure there's enough time for you to move the camera. Try changing program mode, specially switching to speed priority, and selecting Short. Other parameters can also help reducing exposure time, like raising ISO.
- Focus mode: be sure that the subject you want to capture is in focus. If you are shooting a far landscape, consider using Infinity focus mode, a worry-free quick solution in these cases.
Unfortunately every different Android device is a complete different world, even more regarding the camera hardware. Much effort has been done to address differences in hardware, but still there is no guarantee that feature X works. However, only some critical functions depend on hardware differences, mostly touch-focus, focus mode and flash, and to some extent light metering mode.However, you can help me address your problem if you send me your camera parameters. These are shown via Preferences > About Camera FV-5 > Show camera information. The camera parameters are shown and automatically copied into the clipboard. Then you can paste the parameters into an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The information must be sent manually because that way you ensure that no private information is sent (you can read what you are going to send me). These are your camera hardware internal parameters, the DNA of the camera present on your device. Knowing these parameters greately help me address your particular camera hardware, and inherently makes Camera FV-5 better support your hardware in future software revisions.
Scene modes are nothing more than names for setting presets. If you really understand what do you want to shoot, you need no scene modes. The parameters are there: "sports scene" can be achieved using shutter speed priority mode and short exposure time, for example. Some scene modes just set the parameters the camera maker believe that are the best for that situation, but may not be the ones you really need. If you really need scene modes, you have plenty of offerings already.
Funny filters can be applied in post-processing. Don't ruin your memories with fun filters, seriously. You may change your mind later about the effect, but it is too late, the original photograph is lost forever. Think in shooting the best raw material, you will have infinite possibilities of post-processing later. Furthermore, post-processing techniques get better with the time, so if you keep your source photograph, you can always improve the photo, something you cannot do if you take the photo with the filter built-in. Again, if you really need fun filters, you already have plenty of applications for that purpose.
In Android there is no support as of now for long exposures (longer than half of a second). Therefore, Camera FV-5 capture the sensor live view feed directly and perform the exposure by software. The problem is that, given that the application need the sensor feed, it is limited to the maximum resolution the camera driver provides live view feed. That maximum resolution is often bigger than the screen resolution of your phone, but still, no phone provides full resolution sensor feeds to applications. On most phones, the maximum feed resolution is 1 MP, while on newer phones is 2 MP. There is no other way to achieve true long exposures without camera driver support.
Android enforces a 32 MB memory limit per application, regardless of the total memory available on your device. On older devices, the per application limit was 16 or 24 MB. That is very stupid, as it complicates the processing of photos with such a low memory limit. There exist applications to increase that limit, but they require root permissions. The application have little to do in that matter, since PNG saving requires around 20 MB of memory for a 5 MP picture, or around 32 MB for 8 MP. Android 4.0 increases the per application memory limit, leaving enough space for PNG lossless compression, but as of Android 2.x, the memory limit is fixed, unless you have root privileges on your device. In case you have your device rooted, the free application VM Heap Tool on the Play Store lets you change the per application memory limit. Other users have reported than 48 MB is enough (that is the default per application memory limit of Android 4.0). Please note that I have no relation to that application, and I therefore take no responsibility of it.
See last question. The Android per application memory limitation also applies to long exposures. If not enough memory is available to the application, the error message «Not enough memory to create the exposure. Try lowering the resolution.» is shown, or, on older versions, the picture came out green (uninitialized). If the solution proposed on the last question is not applicable, the only solution is to lower the resolution of long exposure photos. On Camera FV-5 1.15 onwards, go to Preferences > General camera settings > Long exposure resolution and lower the resolution. By default, the largest resolution for long exposure photos is selected.
No, the aperture is not adjustable, because mobile camera modules have a fixed aperture. The aperture of the lens depends approximately on the diameter of the lens. Conventional cameras with adjustable aperture have blades that close or open to reduce or increase the amount of light reaching the sensor, respectively. Those blades usually have the look of the virtual shutter icon button that used on the app, but ironically, mobile phones doesn’t have such blades, nor any kind of device that is able to close the diameter of the aperture. Therefore, the aperture is inherently fixed on those camera modules, and therefore, no application will be able to control the aperture. The aperture (F-number) shown is queried to the camera driver, and it is also the maximum aperture, as, given the diameter of the lens, cannot be larger, without building the lens differently.
This changes with the new compact cameras running Android OS. They are normal cameras, and as such, have real zoom lenses and real aperture blades. Camera FV-5 is still working to make the application compatible with those cameras and to be able to control all its hardware features.
The white balance algorithm exists to compensate the color biasing of different illuminants. The color of the objects you see is composed of the intrinsic color the object has, plus the color temperature of the light is reaching the object. Warmer light sources, like warm fluorescents produce warmer colors, while the light of the sun is colder (produces color tints towards the blue/purple). Therefore, the white balance algorithm is there to correct those color casts (nobody expects a photo of a computer screen completely blue, or an scene inside an incandescent bulb reddish). The problem comes if you mix different sources of lights with different color temperatures. The white balance algorithm will compensate the dominant light source, and the object illuminated by the other will produce unrealistic colors. Therefore, this problem is likely to happen with mixed lighting, which is not the most common case. A very illustrative example is shown here: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/white-balance.htm at the end of the article, under the heading “In mixed lighting”. If you want to compensate another light source than the one the camera has chosen, you can tap on the AWB icon at the bottom of the viewfinder and select the light type you want to compensate.
The way the long exposure is implemented right now uses algorithms that loose the colors when you expose many seconds (chromatic channels are somewhat quickly saturated, giving the sense of lack of color). Although that phenomenon happens also in normal DSLR cameras when exposing for a long time (picture burning), the current used algorithm is more prone to loose color due to chromatic saturation. I have to review and improve the algorithms in future updates. However, the next big thing will come with the next major version of Camera FV-5, that will feature exposure stacking. In short, it will let you take full resolution shots with very long exposures based in many shorter ones. For now, try to stick with lower exposure times (2'' or less).
Manual focus is not controllable by third party application. The camera driver does it internally, but doesn’t expose that feature to be controlled by an app. I wish manufacturers could change that, then, I would be the first to support it in the app, even if it is done differently by different manufacturers. Anyway, you can move the focus point to the nearest point by selecting the (macro) focus mode, or to the infinity (the farthest point) by selecting (infinity) focus mode. By using the macro focus mode, and not triggering the focus, you can achieve quite nice bokeh effects.
You need Internet connection the first time you use the application, because the license verification tests against Google Play that you have actually bought the application. You just need to do it once, that is, once the application is verified, you can use it forever without any license checks and without requiring Internet connection. Therefore, be sure to have a proper network connection to let the application verify the license once.
If the problem still persists, try reinstalling the application. Google Play remembers that you have bought the application and you can download it again without paying twice. Furthermore, you are allowed to install the application in all your devices that you own, given that you use the same account in all of them.