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Sprint Product Ambassadors: LG G8x 32 Megapixel Front Camera

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Sprint Product Ambassador

Most smartphones have wide-angle lenses.  I've never seen a front-facing camera on a smartphone that wasn't wide-angle.  There are a few reasons for this, but one is to allow more of your friends to fit in the frame for a group selfie. 

 

Another reason is depth of field.  Depth of field describes how much of the near and far areas are in focus at one time.  Wide angle lenses inherently have deep depth of field, so most of the area is in focus all the time, which means that auto-focus doesn't have to work as hard, can be designed simpler, and can work faster.  It also means that you don't get nice blurry backgrounds that are so flattering in portraits, so smartphone manufacturers often include an algorithm that artificially blurs the background to simulate the effect of a shallow depth of field.

 

Wide angle lenses are also sometimes refereed to as being short, while telephoto lenses are referred to as long.  Both short and long lenses introduce optical distortion that exaggerates distances; for instance, a wide angle or short lens can make tree branches look extra long and a tree farther away, while a long lens makes a close branch seem shorter and the tree bigger and closer.  How does this affect portraits?  Well, long lenses can flatter the face, making noses seem a little shorter and smaller, while short lenses can exaggerate facial features making noses, cheekbones, brows etc. seem larger and longer, and eyes more deep-set.  It's one reason why some people feel frustrated that their selfies don't look as glamorous as those selfies from celebrities on Twitter.  Here's a secret; some celebrities have professional photographers using professional cameras with flattering lenses making photos that are post-processed on a computer with Photoshop.

 

Wide-angle distortion is greatly amplified when the camera is closer to its subject.  palm and bamboo.jpgTry it yourself.  Take a photo of a tree with a extremely close to the lens with the camera looking down the branch back toward the tree.  You'll see exactly what I mean.  The branch looks a mile long and the tree two miles away.  In exactly the same way, a wide angle lens (which all front-facing cameras have) will make your nose look almost as long as that tree branch when it is too close to the subject.  

 

Fortunately, you can counteract this distortion by getting a wide angle camera further away from your subject so that everything on the face looks more natural.  Of course, now you have a head that seems small and distant and maybe too much of everything else.  You can always crop it, but now you are throwing pixels away, which means you are throwing out data and resolution.  This is where the LG G8x comes in.

 

The camera has a resolution of 32-megapixels.  This is a ridiculously high number with more resolution that you will ever need.  In fact, it is turned off by default and set to a lower resolution.  Just go into settings, select 32-megapixels, then take your selfies with the camera as far away from your face as possible (you may have to grow longer arms; check with your health insurance to see if this is covered) and then crop tightly.

 

That's the secret to flattering self portraits with a wide-angle.  Shoot from afar, then crop aggressively.  With 32-megapixels you can totally afford to throw away data, and your selfie game will never be the same.