The Best Devices and Apps For Fireworks Photography
The Best Devices And Apps For Photographing Fireworks
By: Gemma Baines
Fireworks are precisely the kind of magnificent spectacle that many of us would like to capture for posterity and share with our friends. At the same time, they’re also incredibly hard to photograph. Not only are those wonderful, burning cascades incredibly fast-moving - they also take place at night, which confuses our light-hungry lenses no end. The human eye sees in a resolution of roughly 324 megapixels, and comes equipped with some rather wonderful light-sensitivity software. By contrast, even the most sophisticated professional camera on the market can only ‘see’ in a resolution of around 50 megapixels, and struggles to cope in low-light conditions. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that our phone and tablet snaps rarely live up to our expectations when it comes to fireworks. As we’ve already covered, there are various tricks you can use to improve your firework photos. However,you can also put yourself ahead of the game by using the best technology available to you. Following is a list of a few devices and apps you can use in order to improve your firework photography:
Tablet - Huawei Mediapad
Given their rather unwieldy nature, tablets are somewhat left behind when it comes to photography. However, most are equipped with cameras, and tablet manufacturers are continually coming up with ways in which to make their tablet cameras more appealing to consumers. There is a tablet out there which wipes the floor with many phones when it comes to photo quality - but it’s from a relatively unknown brand. Huawei are a brand to watch, if the quality of their tablets are anything to go by. Their Mediapads are designed with creative projects and pursuits in mind, and they’ve gone all out to make them easy for artists to use. More to the point, they’re equipped with rear cameras which have a 13MP resolution. Even their front cameras run at 5MP - which is a lot more than the rear cameras of many phones. The lenses are of excellent quality, and the photographic software range is impressive - allowing the photographer a greater degree of control over the shot than many digital brands offer. However, they don’t come cheap, so be sure to have your Mediapad insured if you’re planning on taking it out to a dark, muddy and crowded firework display!
Phone - Samsung Galaxy S6
The front runners in the ‘best camera phone’ category all come pretty close, so other factors pertaining to personal preference may have to come into play here when choosing. For the sake of full disclosure, the best camera phones on the market are: the iPhone 6 Plus, the Nexus 6P, the Samsung Galaxy S6, the LG G4, and the OnePlus 2. All of these have much to recommend them and there is not, in all honesty, a major difference in performance between them. For my money, the Samsung Galaxy S6 has the edge, however. There are lots of phone cameras out there with greater megapixel resolution (the HTC One M9 has an impressive 20MP). However, the Galaxy S6 manages to pack an awful lot in with its 16MP. It has optical image stabilization (a great help when shooting in low light conditions), and gives a consistently sharp image in conditions which other cameras would find extremely trying. Importantly, the S6 also reproduces colors very well - something which many of its competitors struggle with.
Apps - Camera Zoom FX (Android), Camera51 (iOS)
There are a lot of great photo editing apps out there, but to improve your initial shot you’d be hard pressed to find an Android app better than Camera Zoom FX. This app allows you a degree of fine control over your photography which is missing from much of the inbuilt software. Stabilization, exposure levels, HDR, white balance and various other factors can all be toggled within the app. If necessary, you can also overlay your viewfinder with helpful things like artificial horizons to help you take a stable shot. It also lets you edit your photos once taken. If you’re an iPhone user, then Camera 51 (available for both iPhone and Android) is a good choice. It will give you a lot of help with lining up shots and can advise you on the best way to make what you’re photographing come out well.
As you can see, with a little bit of knowledge and the right equipment, fireworks photography doesn't have to be a daunting task and can turn into a fun and awesome hobby.