Why there's no excuses for bad UFO video/photos anymore - photos of airplanes taken with smartphones.

serpentdebunker

New Member
A common argument in support of the continuously bad UFO footage despite there being 3 billion HD smartphones being carried in nearly everyone's pockets 24/7 is that ''smartphones can't zoom in on things in the sky without them coming out as blobs''.

So I did some searching. This is a very quick compilation I made in about ten minutes of searching;


ufoversusplane.png

All of these photos were taken using smartphone cameras. In the bottom left photo, we can see the airplane is not flying straight overhead, but has surpassed quite a distance from the photographer. We can still make out that it's a plane, and a two engined jet.

Yet none of these UFO videos come anywhere close to being of the same quality.
 

penk

New Member
Doubly frustrating is.... FFS, DONT ZOOM.

All smartphone cameras use 'digital zoom'. That means when you zoom in on soething, all your'e doing is cutting down the image size and scaling up what's left.

I think "ZOOM IN POST" is my new mantra.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Doubly frustrating is.... FFS, DONT ZOOM.

All smartphone cameras use 'digital zoom'. That means when you zoom in on soething, all your'e doing is cutting down the image size and scaling up what's left.

I think "ZOOM IN POST" is my new mantra.
It used to be like that but and increasing number of phones have hybrid systems with different lenses/cameras on the back for different zoom levels, so not always a given anymore.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Doubly frustrating is.... FFS, DONT ZOOM.

All smartphone cameras use 'digital zoom'. That means when you zoom in on soething, all your'e doing is cutting down the image size and scaling up what's left.

I think "ZOOM IN POST" is my new mantra.

On top of the multi-lens case, it is physically possible to extract more data by demosaicing at sub-"pixel" intervals. But, yes, anyone who doesn't know how to make precisely that happen (and I don't on any of my cameras or phones, apart from just shooting raw) shouldn't pretend they're getting more data with a digital zoom. The sneaky manufacturers may already be doing this upscaling anyway, in order to boost their specs, in which case, digital zoom is indeed almost entirely pointless. (It can help diminish problems caused by motion estimation in the encoder where very small motions would be ignored, for example, but that's itsy-bitsy, and possibly a QoI issue anyway.)
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I've heard the same argument repeated again and again to excuse the lack of decent pictures of Bigfoot. "OK, phone cameras are ubiquitous now, but you can't take a decent picture of a wild animal with them."
A quick poke around sites where iphone fans post their pictures seems to refute that.
iPhone-photography-25-of-28.jpg
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I've heard the same argument repeated again and again to excuse the lack of decent pictures of Bigfoot. "OK, phone cameras are ubiquitous now, but you can't take a decent picture of a wild animal with them."
A quick poke around sites where iphone fans post their pictures seems to refute that.
iPhone-photography-25-of-28.jpg

Taking pictures of megafauna at reserve from vehicles on an iPhone is easy. General wildlife photography not so much.

The biggest issue for Bigfoot is camera traps.
 

Murray

New Member
Taking pictures of megafauna at reserve from vehicles on an iPhone is easy. General wildlife photography not so much.

The biggest issue for Bigfoot is camera traps.
And yet plenty of folks manage to get clear pics/vids of wild animals that are trying to eat/kill them, eat/kill other animals,getting hit by cars, breaking into cars,, houses,etc etc etc.

The biggest issue for bigfoot is there is no bigfoot.
 

Murray

New Member
A common argument in support of the continuously bad UFO footage despite there being 3 billion HD smartphones being carried in nearly everyone's pockets 24/7 is that ''smartphones can't zoom in on things in the sky without them coming out as blobs''.

So I did some searching. This is a very quick compilation I made in about ten minutes of searching;


ufoversusplane.png

All of these photos were taken using smartphone cameras. In the bottom left photo, we can see the airplane is not flying straight overhead, but has surpassed quite a distance from the photographer. We can still make out that it's a plane, and a two engined jet.

Yet none of these UFO videos come anywhere close to being of the same quality.
It's especially silly considering ufos are often seen at tree level, not to mention they're allegedly landing on school playgrounds and military bases. Heck, John Lennon saw one right outside his window in nyc on a Friday night. For some reason his Polaroid camera couldn't photograph it. For some other reason, everyone else missed a large ufo flying at apartment height in nyc ar 9pm on a Friday night.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Taking pictures of megafauna at reserve from vehicles on an iPhone is easy. General wildlife photography not so much.
Yeah, I chose a very nice picture of an interesting animal. Less nice pics exist, and equally nice pics which show, say, grizzly bears, mountain lions, cheetahs and similar sized critters out and about their lawful occasions, in which the animal is clearly shown. The point was that is possible to get decent pictures of wildlife with a cell phone -- there is no inherent feature of the phone preventing it -- which would seem obvious but for some reason is denied by many bigfoot fans. A rare animal would show up more rarely, but it would not be impossible to shoot a good phone pic when it did.

Now I am off to look up definition of mega fauna... bigfoot, were it to exist, is pretty big, I wonder if he'd qualify...

The biggest issue for Bigfoot is camera traps.
That also.


The biggest issue for bigfoot is there is no bigfoot.
Sadly, yeah. I will hold out hope for his more remote Himalayan counterpart, just because why not?! But North America is now too full of cameras, hunters, and road-kill-producing roads for ol' bigfoot to seem a good bet, existence-wise.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I would add a slight caveat to this discussion.

There is still the problem of what the intended design of a phone camera is in the first place. I would argue it's the same intended design of cameras such as an '80s point and shoot, a '70s Polaroid or a '60s era Brownie. They're all designed first and foremost to take pictures of people and things relatively close to the operator as easily as possible. Not to say they can't be employed as shown above, but it takes some doing and planning.

Case in point, a CalFire OV-10 Bronco and Grumman S-2T, flew over me an hour ago. They were at 5300' according to FlightAware and I was at 1200', so 4100' above me. The S-2T has cruise speed of ~150mph. So, 2 white slow-moving aircraft clearly visible right above me.

I took out my iPhone 11 pointed it to the sky and got nothing. I tried for the S-2, as its slightly larger. Couldn't see it on the screen. Snap a picture that I thought was pointing at it and switched to video before it passed over. Nothing, maybe a white speck, but could have been anything.

It looks like they're working a fire and I just heard an S-2 fly over again, so I'll keep trying, now that I'm aware they're going back and forth.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
There is still the problem of what the intended design of a phone camera is in the first place. I would argue it's the same intended design of cameras such as an '80s point and shoot, a '70s Polaroid or a '60s era Brownie. They're all designed first and foremost to take pictures of people and things relatively close to the operator as easily as possible.

Which is why none of these exist:
Best photo stitching apps for android
List of the best apps

Pixlr
Snapseed
Panorama 360
VSCO
Instagram
Camera MX
Bimostitch
PanoStitch
DMD Panorama
Photaf Panorama Pro
Content from External Source
-- https://en.softonic.com/top/photo-stitching-apps-for-android
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
They're all designed first and foremost to take pictures of people and things relatively close to the operator as easily as possible.
Worst of it, they have autofocus. I can set a "real" camera to focus at ∞, and then your speck of an airplane will be visible once I examine the picture later, but an autofocus may try to focus at different distances on a blue or overcast sky and have the airplane out of focus when you push the button.

I hope digital zoom would have the benefit of not compressing away details in the part of the picture that's of interest to the photographer; not all digital photographs are recorded losslessly.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Worst of it, they have autofocus. I can set a "real" camera to focus at ∞, and then your speck of an airplane will be visible once I examine the picture later, but an autofocus may try to focus at different distances on a blue or overcast sky and have the airplane out of focus when you push the button.

I hope digital zoom would have the benefit of not compressing away details in the part of the picture that's of interest to the photographer; not all digital photographs are recorded losslessly.

The "trick" in optics is to stop down your objective as far as you can, say F/16 or so. This way you can get almost infinite focal range. Of course, the downside is that you need lots more light. But anyone who has played with this on their SLR knows what I mean.

On phones, you can't do that as the sensor needs much more light as to compared to SLR. That is because it has smaller pixels, reducing the detectivity. So that's why always focus is needed on phones cams. Surely in time this is technically all improved (large sensors).
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
the smartphone sensor is 4mm wide, I believe that's less than a SLR 50mm lens aperture at 5.6?
Phones have a focal length of around 4mm, with a large aperture, so around 2mm for F/2.4. Your SLR example has an aperture of about 10mm. More light per unit area but also you have large pixels, say 10micron. In phones they are 1micron..
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
The "trick" in optics is to stop down your objective as far as you can, say F/16 or so. This way you can get almost infinite focal range. Of course, the downside is that you need lots more light. But anyone who has played with this on their SLR knows what I mean.

On phones, you can't do that as the sensor needs much more light as to compared to SLR. That is because it has smaller pixels, reducing the detectivity. So that's why always focus is needed on phones cams. Surely in time this is technically all improved (large sensors).
It also depends on 2 things focal length and distance to subject.

When I shoot 2x macro at 65mm I get a DoF of a ~1-2 mm even at f/13-16

If you shoot landscapes at 18mm and f/11 your infinity focus will likely encompass your entire subject.

https://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof
https://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof-macro
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
Whilst I do agree with the premise of the OP, I feel they are overstating that photos of objects in the sky should be more perceptible.
I took a couple of shots the other day, realme pro 5, https://www.gsmarena.com/realme_5_pro-9801.php Not the best phone but prolly a typical phone camera with non optical zoom

Taken with default settings
The first is a plane coming in to land, height ~500 meters
The second is a plane at typical cruising height ~10km (its at the left side of the contrail)
I also tried the 48MP pictures, and at cruising height, you also can't really make out whats there.

The human eye can make out details much better than a typical camera (even a stand alone) on my old one
https://www.sony.com/en-ae/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-hx90v
I found I needed to do an optical zoom of between 10-20x before the photos would show the same details my eyes could see

IMG20220522184837.jpgIMG20220523114910.jpg
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Whilst I do agree with the premise of the OP, I feel they are overstating that photos of objects in the sky should be more perceptible.
I took a couple of shots the other day, realme pro 5, https://www.gsmarena.com/realme_5_pro-9801.php Not the best phone but prolly a typical phone camera with non optical zoom

Taken with default settings
The first is a plane coming in to land, height ~500 meters
The second is a plane at typical cruising height ~10km (its at the left side of the contrail)
I also tried the 48MP pictures, and at cruising height, you also can't really make out whats there.

The human eye can make out details much better than a typical camera (even a stand alone) on my old one
https://www.sony.com/en-ae/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-hx90v
I found I needed to do an optical zoom of between 10-20x before the photos would show the same details my eyes could see

IMG20220522184837.jpgIMG20220523114910.jpg

The issue is not that very distant objects should be showable on smartphones, it's that prior to smartphones there were numerous "ambiguous" UFO photos taken on old cameras and also numerous accounts of huge UFOs where the person just didn't have a camera, and it was reasonable because no-one carried cameras everywhere they went.

So we had in the past photos where if the person had a smartphone the object would be much clearer and the odd motion could be recorded on video and also descriptions of objects that would be undeniable even on a smartphone camera, yet curiously when everyone has a better camera with them all the time, this type of UFO photo/account mostly vanished, i.e. UFOs retreated just as we got better / more ubiquitous tech.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
yet curiously when everyone has a better camera with them all the time, this type of UFO photo/account mostly vanished, i.e. UFOs retreated just as we got better / more ubiquitous tech.
That accords with my impression, but is there data? Certainly we are not seeing the pics, but have the verbal reports of close encounters actually declined (or just become easier to discount on the grounds of "Where's the picture, then?")
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
That accords with my impression, but is there data? Certainly we are not seeing the pics, but have the verbal reports of close encounters actually declined (or just become easier to discount on the grounds of "Where's the picture, then?")
Yeah I don't have the data either for the stories think it would be hard to quantify.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/uxhsi8/please_stop_being_outright_dismissive_of_regular/

There's an interesting thread here on the UFOs subreddit, a few "reports" on here and these days they all seemed to be phrased around implying or directly saying there is no way they could have got a photo/video.

Usually,

either one/some/all of
  • Over in seconds
  • At night
  • Driving at the time
or
  • Historical (pre "good" or any camera phones) but would have been amazing had I been able to get a picture
Interestingly some historical ones make excuses for why people don't get photos these days

some examples of the stories from the thread (sic):

"I agree. Four of us saw two craft (not dots of light) racing each other about 200 feet above our heads. So fast that by the time you could say 'What the f..?', they were gone. No time to reach for your phone."

"I've had similar sightings. No time to do anything except drop your jaw and try to pick it back up. I've also noticed that they can pick up when people start focusing on them."

"The first sighting a solo sighting of what I thought was astar, then a helicopter until it zoomed accross the entire horizon and did a 90 degree turn without slowing down or stopping. I was also driving at the time so idk how tf I was supposed to get a camera out in time to record that shit."

"The second sighting was the same while driving home, also at night but that time there were two passengers that saw it. No chance to snap anything. I turned a corner, noticed a stationary star in my periphery and felt it just blast off in an instant the moment it entered my fiekd of view. I thought shooting star? No it was different? When the people in the car started freaking out and yelling. While I was focusing on checking the pedestrian crossing during the turn to make sure I wasn't gonna run over anyone they noticed "the weird star"."

"Thank you for this. I’ll use this opportunity to mention my experience as I’ve only ever told my wife about it. I saw a UFO in Mesa, AZ when I was going to college back in 2007.

It was a cloudy night. I was just finishing my shift at work (retail). As I stepped outside the building I said ‘night to the security guard. I take two steps away from him and he yells out “hey look.” I look up and a reddish/Orange ball appears in the clouds. Lowers in altitude a little to be below the cloud line and fully visible, then moves right back up into the cloud and disappears.

The entire thing too maybe 3 seconds for me. Security guard probably got 4 seconds.

I know what I saw. It wasn’t my imagination and it wasn’t a helicopter. The ball/sphere was reddish orange. The way the colors looks it appeared to be spinning like a top. Not super fast but enough where you can see the color differentiation between red and orange move around the sphere."

I wonder if there is some older pre 2000 UFO report archive anywhere..
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I wonder if there is some older pre 2000 UFO report archive anywhere..
I think if you go to MUFON they have a historical database you can search, but you have to be a member.

Want to revisit or to research a past sighting? Access MUFON’s database via our Case Management System (CMS) to learn if there have been any updates to your favorites. For detailed reporting on the most famous UFO cases in history, access everyone’s favorite archive to learn more about sightings you may only have heard about. One thing is for certain, you’ll discover reported sightings you did not know about previously. Stop back often for as soon as there is news or an update, you’ll find it here.
Content from External Source
https://mufon.com/research/

I suppose it would be limited to what they have collected.
 
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