We’re 4 days away from being able to pre-order the new iPhone and my gadget lust is at code orange. Jules and I are still rocking 3Gs so spending on this upgrade is easily rationalized :). There are a lot of groundbreaking innovations on the device, but what I’m most excited about is the camera. To date, believe it or not, I’ve taken 1275 photos with the 2 megapixel camera on my trusty 3G. An unexpected side effect of having a “good enough” camera as part of a device that’s with me wherever I go is that I use all the time – mostly as a memory and inspiration tool. If I want to remember something, or I see something that inspires me, I snap a photo. Over time it just became a habit and I’ve found it so useful that I’d never buy a phone without a camera again.
The volume of pictures I’ve taken on my 3G shows that Apple definitely crossed the usefulness threshold (for users like me at least) with their first stab at putting a camera in a phone. The image quality is lacking, though, and there’s no real manual control and it performs horribly in low light. Apple did a heck of a lot to correct those issues with the 3GS, and even caught the attention of photographers with the improved sensor, an increase in resolution, low light performance and tap-to-focus. (side note: If you haven’t heard about Chase Jarvis‘s new book “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You” check it out…awesome iPhone photography)
And with this release, Apple’s shown that they’re still listening and has put even more useful features into the camera:
- Video recording in HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio and in-camera video editing with iMovie – I’m skeptical about what using this will be like, but how can you say this isn’t cool?
- 5-megapixel still camera – instead of uselessly increasing megapixels they’ve focused on putting in a kick-ass low light sensor, which will make much more difference to image quality.
- The new front-facing camera – finally I can take a picture of Jules and I when we’re out and about that I don’t have to re-take 3 times because all I got was the sky or “just” my stomach.
- Tap to focus video or still images – awesome for isolating your subject and blurring the background – this is the feature that made photographers go banana sandwich when the 3G came out.
- LED flash – huge – this sucker even stays on to light your subjects when you’re shooting video.
- Photo and video geotagging -neat if you care about this sort of thing, which I do because iPhoto’s sorting by place is awesome.
The New Camera + App
OK, so I’ve told you all that so that I can now tell you about this. Now that the iPhone camera is 17 new kinds of awesome, you’re going to start looking for apps, right? Only natural. Along with the “Best Camera” app, I’d recommend this one – Camera+. What’s different about this app is that it gives you lots of control and a much closer experience to an actual DSLR that the pros use. Plus the lightbox, zoom and custom filters are sweet and you can do some really cool “post-production” type of work directly on your phone. For $2.99, it makes the whole experience of using the camera way more than $2.99 cooler…check the video, you’ll see what I mean. If you end up buying it and loving it, you can thank Lisa and TapTapTap for their hard work.