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SoZoom to zoom!

If there’s one thing that can be said about my Nokia Lumia 1020 it’s that it is yellow. Very yellow. And what a beauty it is too! But unlike your average super-model, this baby is more brains than beauty, and with the gigantic 41MP camera sensor nestled underneath the aluminium (not plastic, tech media twerps) camera island, this thing can really impress.

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Much has been written about how well the Lumia 1020 can take a good snap, so I’m not going to go over all of that. However, bright sparks in the app dev world, namely Volevi Fotografia, have created a rather interesting and fun app called SoZoom which allows you to crank up your bragging rights all the way to 11. Click the photos for more resolution goodness:

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Cellphone cameras have always been a bit: “should I need to take a quick snap, it’ll do a pretty good job, but really, I might need to bring along my point-and-shoot.” However, since I first played with a Nokia N8, and then owned a Nokia 808 PureView, that notion of using another device to take pictures with instead of the phone in my pocket, basically evaporated. And so while my fancy $250 Panasonic Lumix camera sits in my sock drawer whistling sad tunes and carving tally marks into the wood to pass the time, my Lumia 1020 is happily doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to photo and image work.

Photo credit: @bjorknas
Photo credit: @bjorknas

Then along comes an app that makes it even more interesting to use: a quick way to zoom in on a tiny area of a photo and to have that spot displayed clearly in the actual picture! Superb! Not that the end result will make you want to print these slightly weird pictures and frame them in your living room, but they sure do make you want to grab the pic and throw it up on Twitter and Facebook for all to see. In the world of mobile tech, the ‘pissing match’ has become a jostle over specs, and whose quad-core is bigger than the next guy’s quad-core, who’s got the most RAM, or who can last the longest (battery life!) 😉

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Photo credit: @NokiaNewsEire
Photo credit: @NokiaNewsEire

So you can’t really blame Nokia owners for wanting to show off a bit. They have come to the party hungry, thirsty and slightly beaten up after the last few years of being kept outside in the rough street, while iPhone and Samsung owners have been doing tequila shots together and jumping from garage roofs into swimming pools full of gorgeous people in skimpy swimwear (all while classic 80s pop plays really loudly). It’s a chance at last for us to push past the smug frat boys and the judgey mean girlfriends and hold up our Nokias and say nice an’ loud, “Yeah! See that! See that?! Only on a Nokia, people! Only on a Nokia!

And at last, with renewed respect for the former global leader in mobile, Nokia are allowed to stay at the party and get wasted. Weird Science style.

 

I had no idea this plane was there at the time!
I had no idea this plane was there at the time!

I must be thinking about my weekend plans a little too much again. Anyway, the app is free from the Windows Phone Store, but if you can cough up a measly $0.99 you can create more interesting SoZooms, by changing the size and colour of the ‘zoom’. You can also zoom in more than once and have multiple zoom-circles, although this might be a bit much for some!

 

What was the number of that fence company again? Oh yes.
What was the number of that fence company again? Oh yes.

Of course, it’s all novelty. As one mobile tech commentator put it recently, it makes the 1020 look like “a one trick pony”. Leg-pulling aside, it isn’t the app that will change the way you take pictures, but it might be the app that changes how you prove to your scoffing, unbelieving iPhone mates that your camera is actually better than theirs. Said ‘pissing match’ ensues.

 

Oh so that's where we parked the truck!
Oh so that’s where we parked the truck!

The other thing that makes this more novelty rather than utility, is the fact that most of the SoZoom photos I have seen up on Twitter have been of very small areas, usually very distant areas, to prove the point that the 1020 can pick up the tiniest detail, far, far away. All well and good, and quite impressive to a point, but when you actually look at the zoomed section on its own, it wouldn’t be something you’d want to have cropped out of the original – the detail is usually not that good, and it’s always a bit fuzzy. Yes, you can see where you parked the car, or read a phone number or sign, but these are not the kinds of crops that the Nokia Lumia 1020 (or 1520) was built for. ‘Reframing’, the way you can reframe a full-resolution picture to a smaller crop and not lose any (well, much) detail, is what these phones’ cameras are meant for, and to be honest, I much prefer to shoot first, crop later, knowing that the end result will look good enough for Facebook, Twitter or even an email attachment to friends or relatives.

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But for a bit of fun, SoZoom is absolutely brilliant and works like a charm. Photos are saved in your Saved Photos album for sharing at a later date, or you can share directly from the app as soon as you’ve done the zooming deed.

 You can pick up SoZoom from the Store, or scan the QR code using the Search button on your Lumia.

ddd

Get SoZooming! 🙂

 The blurb from the Store:

Introducing Sozoom by Volevi, *Now saves HD size photo, adjust zoom level and balloon size* reinvent how you share the supersize image taken with your Nokia Lumia 1020 & 1520 to the social network. Simply add the small or big “Zoom Balloon” to let your friends see how closer you are with your Lumia 1020 & 1520.

– Before start, photo must be taken with the Nokia Camera app with JPG (X MP + XX MP) settings.

– The gallery page will scan for Hi Resolution photos, this may take a while, and will jump to the latest photo after the load is finished.

– Add the balloon, touch anywhere in the picture to select the zoom position, then drag the balloon anywhere, change the balloon color from the menu in the app bar.

– 2 zoom bars, zoom level adjustment and zoom balloon size adjustment.

– If you drop the balloon underneath the zoom bar, “hide the zoombar” menu is in the appbar.

– Share to the social network, make your friends go wow.

TRIAL Version: 1 Free Small Zoom Balloon.

New in 1.9.0.4:
– Improved multiple balloons saving.

New in 1.9.0.3:
– Better handling of portrait photos.
– New photo loading algorithm, solves the no-photo problem for some devices.
– Report error in the photo selection page appbar (requires internet connection), report back to us if photo’s not being loaded.

New in 1.8.9.3:
– Zoom level adjustment
– Zoom balloon size adjustment
– Hide the zoom bar with the hide button
– Save HD size Sozoom photo (1600px).

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