NYC Fire Engine

iPhone 5 Camera – Test Drive in NYC

One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years. – Tom Wolfe

Beautiful weather this past weekend in New York City. I was going to bring my DSLR with me, but I really didn’t feel like lugging the big camera bag with all the lenses. I decided to rely entirely on my new iPhone 5. I don’t even remember the last time I relied entirely on a camera phone or even a point-and-shoot. First, I have to mention that I absolutely love my new iPhone, especially  since I upgraded from a much older model (3GS). Big improvement! The new iPhone also has a better camera: 8 megapixels, better low light performance, etc. I didn’t even miss my Canon that much, believe it or not.

I’m pretty impressed with the quality of the photos. I’m happy to share a few shots and let you know what I liked and didn’t like about using it. I just have to mention that the new features, panorama and HDR, are pretty impressive and so easy to use.

Here are the things that I liked about shooting with the iPhone.

1. Weight and size - It’s very light and easy to carry around. It’s also less invasive, you can take better candid photos without even looking touristy.

2. Focusing - Autofocus and the option to tap the screen to focus are both very efficient and produce great sharp results.

3. Panorama function - So easy to use. Apple really did a good job. I have used other panorama apps in the past but they’re nowhere near as easy to use. The results are just spectacular. Take a look at the photo below. I was able to capture it in one shot. No post-processing required. I did adjust the saturation and the contrast a little bit in Lightroom, but that’s about it.

4. HDR function - I would says this is just okay. I was not that impressed, as I’m not a big HDR fan. It does a decent job, but I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite feature. However, it does help when you have a high contrast situation.

5. Video - This is pretty cool. I almost never take any videos but I decided to try it out this time since it had pretty good reviews. This is definitely worth trying and you’ll be so amazed.

Here are a few things that I wasn’t crazy about.

1. Zoom - Obviously this is a digital zoom only and zooming into a shot affects the quality of the picture.

2. Aperture control - You can’t control the aperture. I was not able to increase the aperture to blur the background, therefore everything is in focus.

3. Auto-enhance - I was not impressed with this function. I prefer to make small adjustments in Lightroom if necessary, and I would skip this function in the future.

Overall, I have to admit, I was really impressed with the results. Do I prefer the iPhone camera versus my regular camera? Definitely not. But it does come in handy when you don’t feel like having a big camera around. Give yourself a project. Just force yourself to go somewhere and only take pictures with your iPhone or any camera phone. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. And why not share some of the shots with the Balcony?

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