We live in strange and exciting times in which phone camera photos can be compared side-by-side with top-of-the-line DSLR photos without anyone laughing (too hard). Having just gotten his hands on a shiny new iPhone 5, photographer Dustin Curtis decided to test out its camera’s quality by pitting it against his Canon 5D Mark III (with a 50mm lens fixed at f/2.8).
Apple is on stage right now announcing its new iPhone 5, and has just revealed the details of the smartphone’s camera. It’s pretty much the same camera as the one found inside the iPhone 4S, except they made the whole thing “thinner” (the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner than its predecessor). You’ll find a slightly improved backside-illuminated sensor that shoots the same 8-megapixel photos at 3264×2448 resolution, and the same 5-element lens with a f/2.4 aperture.
Love it or hate it, you have to admit that Instagram is making a huge impact on the world of photography, changing the way images are snapped and shared. Among the 80+ million users who have shared 4+ billion photos are many of the world’s most renowned photojournalists. Olivier Laurent over at the British Journal of Photography recently chatted with some of them, asking them about their thoughts on how Instagram is transforming photography as we know it:
Speaking with these photographers, it quickly becomes apparent that Instagram, more than any other social network in past years, has allowed them to form a deeper connection with the general public. For John Stanmeyer, another VII photographer that uses Instagram, it’s all about “communication, communication, communication,” he tells BJP. “In the decades – let’s hope far less – to come, the entire discussion of whether to use this thing called social media will be a moot – archaic – point of view, no different than it was centuries ago when previous commonly used means of information distribution where invented and debated – ‘Should I write on papyrus leaf or this new fangled material called paper, or a typewriter instead of block-type printing presses, etc.’”
[...] “We are no longer looking at content creation as the only means of income and creative expression,” say Peveto and Slaby. “How content is displayed and distributed are critical in reaching broader audiences, finding more creative ways to engage that audience and in inviting them to participate in the process.” And Instagram, they say, help them achieve these goals. “It helps us connect with our audience organically and offers different options for sharing such as creating parallel narratives with larger projects, sharing behind-the-scenes experiences, opening a dialogue with our audience, and cross-platform geo-tagging and mapping integration.”
The New Economics of Photojournalism: The rise of Instagram [BJP]
Would you shoot a wedding professionally with your iPhone and Hipstamatic? If you want to stay in business, probably not. But what if you were asked to do so, and paid for your work?
If you live near West Hartford, Connecticut, this might be an actual gig you can do. There’s a couple there looking for one or two Hipstamatic photographers to document their wedding in mid-September (don’t worry, they also have a primary non-iPhone photographer).
How’s this for a strange camera accessory: the Paparazzo Light is a lighting attachment for iPhones that mimics the look of vintage press camera flashes (yes, the kind the original Lightsaber was made from). The light comes from a 300 Lumen LED that’s powered by two dedicated CR 123 batteries, and three modes offer different brightness settings for photos and videos.
Over the last year or so, as camera phones and “phoneography” have taken off, many have feared and/or expected the death of the digital camera. In many ways this fear has come to fruition — point-and-shoot cameras are becoming a thing of the past — but for another segment of the market, the advent of the camera phone has benefitted companies and consumers alike. Read more…
Want to upgrade the camera on your iPhone for free? SmugMug has launched a new iOS camera app called Camera Awesome that puts a number of fancy features at your fingertips, including separate focus and exposure selection tools, a one-touch “Awesomeize” button, fancy guide lines (e.g. horizon, rule of thirds, golden rule), and effects (textures, filters, and frames).
Here’s some good news for all you iPhoneographers out there: Apple’s upcoming iOS 5.1 update — the rumored release date is March 9th — will feature a new unlock screen that’s designed to make accessing your iPhone (or iPod) camera as easy as unlocking your phone. They’ve decided to include a new fixed camera slider button next to the unlock slider — simply slide this icon up to reveal the camera! Currently, the fastest way to access the camera is to double-tap the home button and then click the camera icon that appears.
(via MacRumors and BGR)
Add-on lenses for cell phones are pretty common nowadays, but usually they’re specifically made for certain models and are incompatible with others. The Macro Cell Lens Band is different — it’s a stretchable band with a macro lens baked right in. Simply slip the band onto your phone, place the lens over your phone’s camera, and voila! Instant macro shots. When you’re not using it, you can also wear it around like a gel bracelet. They cost $15 each over at Photojojo.
Macro Cell Lens Band [Photojojo]
Want to made giant prints of your tiny phone photos? Instead of doing the enlargement purely with Photoshop, Photojojo suggests using a scanner for high-quality enlarging. Simply resample the small photo at 360dpi, print it out on high quality matte paper, and then re-digitize it using a scanner at 360dpi and the print size you want. It’d be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of this technique versus simply resizing in Photoshop and printing that image directly.
DIY: Turn Phone Photos into Mural-Sized Prints! [Photojojo]