General CameraTweak

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by Menneisyys2, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Menneisyys2, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    I see this excellent, new tweak still hasn't been mentioned in these forums. So let me start a thread on it. I also present my review of the tool. (It's looooong but, as usual, packed with tons of (compatibility etc.) info and tips. If you don't want / have the time to read it, feel free to discuss the tweak itself in this thread.)

    REVIEW: new fully-fledged iPhone / iPod touch Camera app enhancer CameraTweak

    You may have used the excellent third-party AppStore apps Camera+, 645 PRO, SloPro, Better Camcorder or FiLMiC Pro. Or, for that matter, my (iOS 4-only) video enhancer tools for the iPhone 3GS / 4.

    You may have noticed apps in the AppStore all offer their own interface as they are not allowed to directly add additional interface elements, buttons etc. to the stock, built-in Camera app. My previous tweaks don't do this either – they need to be run before starting Camera to set your video recording preferences.

    The $1 (that is, cheap) CameraTweak is the first app that doesn't suffer from these problems. It adds a new icon in the lower button bar of the stock Camera app coming with the app. It's via this icon that you can access most of its advanced features like video resolution, still timed shot etc. setting. As with all powerful tweaks, it's only available on jailbroken iPhone / iPod touch models running iOS5+ (don't even try installing it on the iPad!).

    Basically, it has most of the features the above-mentioned apps offer: timer mode and time lapse mode in stills mode, resolution and frame rate setting in video mode and exposure & white balance locks in both. (See the complete feature list below, in the Cydia screenshots, or on the official Cydia page) It's highly recommended. Below, after the Cydia / GUI shots, I present a long, video-specific compatibility report (the photo tweaks worked just fine).




    (Cydia info pages)

    (The additional controls in stills mode; note that the white balance lock icon is hidden beneath the new icon bar!)
    (The additional controls in video mode; it also has white balance locking)

    1. Test results: the iPhone 4S

    Being the latest still-jailbreakable model (as opposed to the newer but non-jailbreakable iPhone 5), I've very thoroughly tested the latest version of the tweak on the iPhone 4S. This entire section discusses the results. The other two sections discuss the iPhone 3GS and the iPod touch 4.

    1.1 720p 60 fps

    As the iPhone 4S is capable of recording true 60 fps footage in 720p (that is, 1280 * 720; the resolution currently selected in the last screenshot above), I tested it very thoroughly.

    Unfortunately, as with both SloPro and Better Camcorder, this tweak doesn't allow for utilizing the full vertical resolution over anything 30 fps. That is, only use 720p60 (or, again, anything over p30) if you don't mind the significantly worse vertical resolution. (As this mode doesn't use pixel binning, the horizontal resolution isn't halved.)

    1.2 Frame-per-second changes in 1080p modes

    In 1080p, I've thoroughly tested the lower-fps video shooting as well. 1, 15, 20, 24, 25 and, of course, the stock 30 (29.97) fps worked OK. 5 and 10, however, didn't – they recorded a footage with around 0.6 (true) fps.

    Still in 1080p, as you may have already guessed based on my earlier writeups, anything over 30p results in a recording that has no video at all, only audio.

    That is, the only nonstandard framerates you should use in 1080p mode are 1 fps or anything over 14.

    1.3 Lower resolutions

    Lower resolutions (720p, 960*540, 640*480 and 352*288 as opposed to the native 1080p) didn't exhibit resolution problems like halved resolution.

    Note that NONE of these modes were able to record at anything over 30 fps – it seems to be only working at 720p.

    1.4 Non-16:9 video modes

    It seems the aspect ratio icon (the rightmost one in video mode) has absolutely no effect on the recording on the 4S – the phone will record exactly the same 16:9 and 4:3 footage in 960 / 1280 / 1920 and 352 / 640 modes, respectively, as without enabling / touching it, regardless of this setting.

    The only effect I could find was displaying semi-transparent regions on the sides to show what will be cropped out of the edited footage, should you later crop off the two (1920-1440)/2=240-pixel-wide leftmost / rightmost areas during post processing to make your originally 16:9 footage truly 4:3; that is, 1440*1080.

    2. Test results: the iPhone 3G S

    On the 3GS,

    - you can't use higher framerates as 30 fps in the native VGA or the (only available other) 352*288 resolution.

    - as has just been hinted on, only 352*288 and VGA can be used.

    However, other tweaks seem to work OK.

    3. Test results: the iPod touch 4G

    - all resolutions up to 720p can be used – but, of course (the sensor not having more pixels than 720p), not the 1080p.

    - no higher framerates than 30 can be used.
  2. Menneisyys2, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    Menneisyys2 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Today, I (finally) had some time to thoroughly test how the excellent Cydia tweak “CameraTweak” runs on the iPhone 4. (Dedicated, earlier review with thorough iPhone 3G S, 4S and iPod touch 4 tests above, in my original post.)

    As with the earlier-tested models (iPhone 3G S, 4S and iPod touch 4), the still shooting tweaks (one-shot timer mode; making a shot every second after a settable timeout; locking the white balance / setting the exposure independent of the focus point etc.) all worked just fine.

    As with the earlier-tested iDevices, it was the video recording that differences and sometimes unwanted side effects happen. First, let's take a look at the behavior that was easy to predict based on my earlier experiences with directly tweaking the camera:

    - you can't record with more than 30 fps at any resolution (tested with all)

    - lower FPS speeds all worked at the native 720p (haven't tested this with lower resolutions), as opposed to the 4S, which had problems with FPS settings between 2 and 14 in the (native) 1080p mode. (On the 4S, other custom framerates under 30 worked as expected.).

    And for something not (necessarily) spotted by casual users: the disadvantage of setting a higher (anything over 30) framerate at 720p to achieve a much wider field-of-view.

    Let me show you a frame grab shot at the default 720p mode, without any tweaks:


    (as with most images in this article, click it for the original, much bigger one. You will want to do this particularly with shots demonstrating the resolution differences between the different video shooting modes – they're absolutely impossible to assess on a high-compression, low-resolution thumbnail.)

    Now, let's activate any fps over 30 using the framerate setter tweak:


    (Here, I've set it to 50. (It could have been anything over 30, even 31.) Don't forget to tap the “SET” button after setting the framerate! Note that it, generally, doesn't work in Landscape mode; that is, rotate your phone to Portrait mode before trying to tap it! Also note that the shot shows both the focus (top right) and exposure (top left) setters as I've enabled advanced mode by tapping the leftmost icon on the bottom left.)

    Look at what happened to the field-of-view! I haven't moved the iPhone a bit from its earlier position (from where I've taken the default 720p shot):


    Yes – the FoV has become much-much wider, which means fixing one of the biggest problems (namely, the too-narrow FoV in video mode common with all iPhone models starting with iPhone 4) of the iPhone 4.

    However, if you take a closer look at the original image (again: don't forget to click the thumbnail for the original frame grab!), you'll notice the following:

    - while the recorded video has the aspect ratio of 16:9 (physically, it's recorded as a 1280*720 stream), it compresses the original image vertically; this is why the 16:9 resolution chart just fills out the entire frame horizontally, while, vertically, a lot other areas are also shot. This is, however, only the slighter problem:

    - the resolution of the tweaked mode is far inferior to that of the standard 720p – or, for that matter, the VGA (640*480)-resolution mode. Here's a shot of the 720p (showing pretty similar results to my original, iPhone 4 resolution-related article BTW) resolution of the same iPhone, under exactly the same circumstances (lighting etc.):


    And here's the VGA resolution (same iPhone 4, same environment):


    As you can see, even the VGA-resolution footage offers far superior resolution than the “tweaked” 720p mode. In addition, when shooting using VGA resolution, the FoV also becomes much wider than in the native 720p mode. As is, incidentally, the case with the iPhone 4S as well (1080p vs. 720p vs. VGA FoV comparison shots in my dedicated article)

    All in all,

    in any mode, don't ever try increasing the framerate over 30! (Decreasing works, on the other hand, just fine.) As I've just shown you, the much wider FoV also introduces severe problems – most importantly, vastly decreased true resolution.
  3. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    So are other folks using this, do you like it?
  4. cymolia macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2012
    Orange County, FL
  5. Menneisyys2 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Thanks! :)

    BTW, I should add that it's working just great on the iPhone 5.
  6. sumsingwong macrumors 6502a


    Dec 15, 2012
    It' too bad iOS 6 doesn't allow anything greater than 30fps.:(
  7. stephen1108 macrumors 65816

    Sep 30, 2007
    I bought this tweak but later uninstalled it because it was making my camera crash every time I took a pic :( I'm sure a simple Respring would have fixed the issue, but when taking a picture, especially something in the moment, you don't have the luxury of waiting for your phone to get it's act together for you to snap the moment!
  8. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    What phone do you have.

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