Amazon Fire: Photographer’s Delight or a Shopping Vortex?



Amazon and the Fire Phone ignited the smartphone world with its six camera setup. But is it for the cellphone photographers? Or a giant thumbs up for consumerism?

Confirming rumours that the e-commerce giant was entering into the mobile market, Amazon launched Fire on 18 June. What really stands out with the hardware and feature heavy phone, is the six cameras it uses. Aside from the 13MP rear f/2 and 2.1MP front camera, the Fire also has four cameras on the front corners, for what the company calls ‘dynamic perspective’.

Dynamic Perspective
This enables the camera to display a 3D-like interface to give more depth and can respond & change perspectives based on movements of the users!

Lower powered with infra red LEDs (to work in complete darkness), the corner cameras work with the center front facing camera. They can track the users eye movements to give, potentially, far better gesture control than currently available. According to the Verge, “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos likened it to the move from flat artwork to artwork with geometric perspective which began in the 14th century.”

Dynamic Perspective

Dynamic Perspective

Firefly Technology
With the Fire you can use the phone’s camera to scan any of 70 million products and find them available on the Amazon store. It can also be used to identify numbers, email ids, movies, music and TV shows.

The advantage for photographers is that the phone also comes with a Firefly button that directly activates the camera. No need to swipe your home screen anymore.

The Firefly Button

The Firefly Button

Fire OS 3.5
This maybe the biggest reason not to buy the Fire. While the Amazon OS is based off Android, it is heavily modified. You won’t be able to use apps from the Google Play store and need to use Amazon instead which has far fewer apps than both Google and iPhone.

Unlimited Storage
All Fire users will get unlimited free cloud storage for full resolutions images and videos through Amazon Cloud Drive.

Besides, these highlights, the camera features modes for HDR, Continuous Shooting, Panorama and a Lenticular mode to combine multiple images. Aside, from the ‘Dynamic Perspective’ tech, which seems a bit gimmicky, at the moment, the phone doesn’t have any significant new feature for photographers. However, the hardware easily holds up against the flagships of other manufacturers. And at USD 649 (approx. Rs. 39,000) it costs about the same as them too.

Tags: iphone, Android, Kindle, Smartphone, 13MP, Amazon Fire, Firefly technology, Dynamic Perspective, Fire OS 3.5