Sunday, March 31, 2013

iPhone 5 camera - yay!

I'm very happy with the camera on my new iPhone 5, having put up with the blurry inadequacies of the 3GS for so long. It's sharp, the resolution's terrific, it copes well with low light and high contrast, and the panorama function is great fun. This particular effect needs a steady hand and I'm still working on that, but when it comes off, it's very satisfying, especially since my old faithful Olympus DSLR doesn't have a wide angle lens. It doesn't feel gimmicky at all. Of course, it's highly portable, and no problem for other people to use if I need a selfie: not the case with the big camera, which seems to scare them. I can see me using the phone photos for work, all 8MB of them.
There was a National Geographic photographer, Michael Melford, along on the Hump Ridge Track, putting together a photo essay for the magazine about Fiordland - 8000 pictures, he reckoned he would be taking over three weeks, of which the magazine would use perhaps 14 - and, outside his work, he loves taking photos with his iPhone 5, especially playing around with the Camera+ app afterwards. He reckons cameras like this are going to put snappers like him out of business before too long, they've got so good and are so easy to use.
He's a brilliant photographer - look at the wonderful images on his website - and you'll agree it'll be a great loss if, as much because of magazine budgets as digital developments, that happens. He's old-school, up in the dark to catch the stars and the dawn, late to dinner because he's busy in the Golden Hour, carting around a massive pack all day with his gear in it, including serious tripods (he didn't take a single photo without using a tripod - 10-second exposures require that, of course). Interestingly, he declares that the sun is not his friend: good to remember on a dull day when the obvious, cliche photos aren't possible, and you've left the camera at home. As long as you have your iPhone 5 with you, that is - which, duh.

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