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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014
Selfie Bible: cameraphones that show promise
Rajiv Makhni, Hindustan Times
May 24, 2014
First Published: 10:33 IST(24/5/2014)
Last Updated: 12:53 IST(25/5/2014)
Techilicious columnist Rajiv Makhni

In the second part of the Selfie Bible, it’s time to hit the ground running as there is so much ground to cover.

The Controversy
I’m going to kick things off by acknowledging that last week’s column and part one of this Selfie Bible generated great controversy. Eventually, Twitter and Facebook started off a huge debate about how creative photography was being killed off by the ubiquity and easy accessibility of cameraphones.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/5/25052014_HTBrunch_pg18e.jpgHow the very fact that everyone now has a camera in their pocket, ready to fire at any time, is resulting in brain-dead images all over the world. While that wasn’t the purpose of the column, I do agree with some parts of that thought, and, this is something I will explore in a future column.

Read: Selfie bible: how to take the best selfies in the world

The Other Contenders
The second huge reaction was about some of the typical smartphones that have a rabid fan following but didn’t make it to my list. Let me explore those here but do keep in mind that the criterion is that the phone should have a significant technological leap forward to take better selfies.

First off is the iPhone 5S (I was super fire-flamed for not having it in my list). This phone does have a great camera, good optics, a true-tone flash and does a fantastic job in semi dark shots, But all of those are reserved for the back camera. The front camera (1.2 megapixel) is pretty much a Face Time optimised camera and doesn’t pull off good selfies at all. You will have to use add-on apps (check below) to get a good selfie.

Then, there is the Nokia 1020, arguably the best camera phone in the world and yes, it can pull off fantastic selfies as you can turn the camera around and shoot at will and then crop down to the best selfie part with no loss of quality due to its amazing megapixel count.

The HTC One (M8) too is super selfie friendly with a 5.0-megapixel wide-angle front camera so that more of you and other selfie narcissists can fit into one picture.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/5/25052014_HTBrunch_pg18f.jpgThere are also standalone cameras (notoriously bad for selfies) that fit the ‘professional selfie’ profile and the one that stands out is the Samsung NX Mini with a 180-degree flip-around screen, interchangeable lenses and WiFi enabled to get that selfie onto your social networks with some nice face-touch up-software.

The ultimate selfie wearable device could well be the Narrative Clip, a small clip-on camera that automatically shoots two pictures every minute and creates a Lifeblog of all that you did.

Read: Tech rumours that might just come true

Apps that do the trick
There are thousands of these that claim the perfect selfie features. Some that stand out are Selfie Studio, which uses the front screen as a flash and adds special effects and colours through smart use of the screen backlight. Frontback that takes a picture with the front and back camera simultaneously to give you the ultimate dual selfie.

Perfect 365, which is literally the first augmented-reality selfie app to hide skin imperfections, make you look thinner, add make-up and change your hairstyle or the colour of your eyes. In fact, it’s scary what all it can do. FaceSnap uses room scanning technology to tell you where to take the perfect selfie by analysing light conditions and recognising you and clicking the selfie handsfree.

CamMe which has a live photobooth feature, fun shots and a guide that hand-holds you on how to get Selfies that truly shine (it’ll tell you what to do with your hands and hold a posture). MomentCam which will transform your selfie into a surprisingly accurate cartoon character with extra add-ons.

Aviary, which can whiten your teeth, generate awesome memes but its forte is adding actors and celebrities into your selfies like you actually had your arms around them. I could go on – but then some of the best fun you can have is discovering the madness as well as the innovation that is creeping into selfie enhancement apps.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/5/25052014_HTBrunch_pg18d.jpgTips to take a good selfie

* There are far more bad selfies than good ones and that is a universal fact. Taking a selfie doesn’t mean that you forget  the basic 101 of photography. So let’s keep this simple.

* Shoot it in good light No harsh light behind you for sure, know your face angles, hold absolutely still when you press the shutter button.

* Don’t pout or suck your cheeks in It’s obvious and makes you look duck faced.

* Take more than one shot  Don’t be boring, don’t be serious, have a reason to take a selfie.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/5/25052014_HTBrunch_pg18c.jpg* Do something interesting  Don’t stick your tongue out or make strange faces for EVERY selfie, take it in an interesting area or background.

* Be creative  This is the most important one. After taking the selfie, add some fun elements and filters by using a good after-selfie app.

* The world of selfies is growing at an alarming rate. New derivatives of thematic selfies are the next big thing with photo-bombing selfies, most awkward place to take a selfie, before-and after-sex selfies, Scotch-Tape-your-face selfies and even identify-what-part-of-my-body- is-in-this-close-up selfie!! It’s a mad, mad, mad world of selfies – be part of it with the right tools, equipment and weapons.

(The series is now concluded)

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, May 25

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