Epicurina Highlights

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HTC Salsa for Food Blogging



That's me looking at the virtual shutter button on my mobile phone. HTC Salsa enables switching of camera source through clicking upon the icon at the top left corner of the screen. The photo are then processed using Almond tone and High Contrast filter available under its native photo editing application. (Btw, do I look menacing enough?)

As I mentioned in my previous article, starting from the late July 2011 food photos displayed in Epicurina blog are shot using HTC Salsa, with occasional uses of Canon EOS 550D, practically retires my old trusted Canon AS 400.

While quality-wise HTC Salsa falls short even compared with my old Canon AS 400 pocket digicam, it boasts the feature not available even on Canon EOS 550D with its very good photo-taking; mobility and connectivity, which gives way to the mobile journalism.

With the ability to do simple touch-ups right on the phone itself and upload it right away to the Internet, this is a big plus compared with having to download your picture from the conventional digital camera to the PC, resize them, adjust the colouring, watermark it, then upload it. It's just much faster done with mobile phones.

Since on most blogging activities, i.e.: uploading the photo for your blog, which requires only about 520px wide picture, then the level of details and existence of artefacts is still acceptable.

HTC Salsa's auto focus feature do helps a lot, and with its touch-based capable operation, you can choose the area where to focus your lens into, creating a nice depth and focus blurring: something that usually available only on higher camera models.

Its high light sensitivity up to ISO 800, also enables photographing under a low light, which is a common situation for food-mojo, or mofojo: mobile food journalists. Its quality however often plunged down below the acceptable standard, but you can still play with it to have a nice artwork.

While HTC Salsa also provide its own light source, its direct light and non adjustable intensity usually wiped out all of the delicate details in the food, which usually are taken at a very close range. It also shift the white balance into yellowish tone, and is unrepairable.

The biggest issue with taking picture using HTC Salsa however, as well as with other mobile phones, is in finding a way to stabilize it. With its lightweight, thin body, and pointy sides, there are no big enough surface to hold it against regular stabilizers available on your table in restaurants. If a pocket camera might be stabilized using glasspod, bottlepod, or even headpod, you can only rely on your hand's balance and stability to avoid shaking.

Post processing photos using HTC Salsa

Using its own image enhancement application, HTC Salsa are usually able to adds the much needed image adjustment with a touch of a button.

If you are also using watermarks or signature on your photos, you can also try this wonderful Android application Add Watermark Free, available from Android Market. It enables you to add texts overlay, and image overlay, to the photos taken with HTC Salsa's camera. It is also usable for other mobile phones running Android. Its limitation lies only on the size of image outputs which restricted to 800px on the long side, while the commercial version allows you to save them in their original resolution.

Creating your blog entry using HTC Salsa

And if you are using Blogger platform like Epicurina does, you might want to try out Bloggeroid, also available free from Android Market. At only 101 Kb application size, it's the lightest weight blogger client at the moment, capable to post blog entries with picture attachment. It also supports multiple blogs running on the same platform.

Should you find screen-touching individual letters on your HTC Salsa's on-screen keyboard too demanding for a longer blog entry like this one you're currently reading, you will be impressed by Swype BETA swiping text entries capability, which available free from Swype's website. It quickly closes the gap between HTC and Samsung phones who natively uses the application on their newer Android phones. It does however requires a big space, about 11 MB which resides on the phone's internal memory, which is a very valuable real estate on HTC Salsa's tiny 128 MB internal memory -- which about 50 MB of them are already used by the operating system. However from blog writing standpoint, it's worth every bites occupied.

Why I use HTC Salsa instead of an iPhone?

If in the US you can get iPhone 4s for a decent $199 for its 16GB models (Apple Store), the same unit costs about $ 1,000 in Indonesia (Versacom). Though you're freed from the mandatory 2 years data plan like in US, it's still a very big spending for a phone. 

Android on the other hand, has similar features available at a more reasonable cost, like this HTC Salsa which is one of their middle level phone at $375; even much less when I have it during its promo sales. While it's not the best, but certainly it's good enough. 

As of food photos quality, take a look at some samples below and decide for yourself. All are taken with HTC Salsa:



For more interesting Indonesian food photos, visit our Indonesian Food Photos at Picasa -- they're almost free, as long as you're following our Epicurina licensing guidelines. (byms)
posted from Bloggeroid

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