Yesterday, I noticed that NVIDIA had updated their Tegra Note 7 stylus-enabled tablet, but I wanted to get some hands-on time with my own unit before posting about it here. In a nutshell, this update gets always-on HDR (AOHDR) which increases the image quality without requiring multiple shots. Video-stabilization has been added and various tweaks and default settings that should translate in higher image quality.
More remotely from user features, the firmware update bumps Android 4.2.2 to Android 4.3. We’ve reported about Android 4.3 during the Nexus 7 2 launch, and it brings a lot of features but here are what I think is important: OpenGL ES 3.0, restricted profiles, Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi Location.
As always, there are various fixes, security updates and optimizations, but more importantly, NVIDIA made it possible to transfer apps (and data files) from the internal storage to a data card.
I took some test photos with AOHDR using an animated Tomy Solar Toy with a very strong backlight. The Tomy head is animated by a small electric engine. AOHDR works as planned (making the dark area clearer and more legible), and there is no visible motion ghosting typically associated with using multi-shots HDR (there are ways to correct that, but most cameras on the market get ghosting).
Now, keep in mind that we are still talking about a low-end camera in a very affordable tablet, so while this is technically interesting, I still want to see all of this running on a high-end camera module. I’m not sure when this will happen, but that’s where computational photography will show its true colors. What I can say is that we stand at the “prehistoric” times of computational photography.