Archive

Posts Tagged ‘g1 camera’

G1 + Android As Microscope

October 12th, 2009 No comments

So after reading this article in Technology Review, I started wondering whether there was an easy way to use the T-Mobile G1 as a remote microscope. I wanted to be able to build something and use it, along with my G1, to take some extremely close-up photos, which I could then send quickly and easily over email.

The catch is this: I wanted to do this with only stuff I could find around my home. There seems to already be a lot of buzz about remote microscopy, to the point at which companies are actually selling (expensive!) microscope adapters for your camera phone. I didn’t want any of these–if someone is cobbling together a cellphone microscope, I’m assuming they don’t have $375 to spend on a lens. If they did, they could probably buy…a microscope.

So I started to think about what around the house would contain a lens with enough magnification to produce useful images. I wasn’t trying to look at blood cells and whatnot just yet–I just wanted something which could be used for looking at materials, things of forensic interest, cuts and other little traumas, etc.

The solution I arrived at was using the lens from a CD player. These lenses are everywhere–you could even grab one from an old optical drive. They’re generally easy to get at (I plucked mine out of the CD player with needle-nose pliers), and they provide good magnification.

The rest of the build was equally simple–I just took the back off of my G1 and taped the lens over the aperature for the G1’s camera.

Here are some of the resulting photos:

Human hairs imaged by the G1 microscope

Human hairs imaged by the G1 microscope

A 12 point letter 'e'

A 12 point letter 'e'

A small cut on my thumb...gross, yes?

A small cut on my thumb...gross, yes?

The metallic end of a USB cable

The metallic end of a USB cable

A millimeter ruler...anyone know how to use this to calculate magnification?

A millimeter ruler...anyone know how to use this to calculate magnification?

Next step would be to incorporate a second lens to get higher magnification, since at the moment this is really more of a glorified loupe than an actual microscope.

Please share your thoughts!

The Best Technology 2005 Had to Offer: The G1’s Camera

January 14th, 2009 No comments

At 3.2 megapixels, the G1’s camera certainly doesn’t set any records–the Samsung Omnia gets 5 megapixels, and apparently 10mp models are on the way. However, 3.2mp is not half bad for a phone which doesn’t cater to the avid photographer. Besides, I remember when 3.2mp was the state of the art for digital cameras. My Nikon Coolpix 3100 still takes great pictures, dammit!

So far, I’ve found the quality of the G1’s photos to be excellent. Since the phone has no flash, the shutter slows down a lot in low-light conditions, but the colors stay true and there’s almost no grain. Outdoors or with good light, the camera performs even better.

Using the G1's camera

Using the G1's camera

Getting photos from the G1 to a computer is relatively easy as well–since the pictures are stored on the microSD card, you just have to connect the USB cord to your computer, mount the phone by going to the Notifications screen, and navigate to the resulting removable drive on your operating system of choice. Photos are in the “dcim” folder, just like with a digital camera.

My one gripe with the phone is that the photos are saved as 72 dpi by default–too low for a good quality print. Changing the resolution to a more realistic 300 dpi in Photoshop, however, still yields a 6.8′ by 5.1′ image–certainly big enough for a good 4 X 6 print. Thus far, my images average 357kb, certainly small enough to email or send using MMS.