The iPhone 5 has now been in the hands of users long enough to develop fully informed impressions. We reached out to several prominent mobile photographers to ask for their thoughts on the newest iPhone, and to share some of their favorite initial images from the device.
Star Rush: The leap from iPhone 3S to iPhone 5
Mobile photographer Star Rush had a great opportunity to test her new iPhone 5 at the Madonna concert in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, Oct. 5. She’d just gotten the device that afternoon.
“I upgraded from the 3GS to the 5, so the leap was huge,” Rush explained. “I love the iPhone 5's hand-feel, weight, thinness, and what seems like a tactile feel of the much thinner screen, since I use a full-screen shutter with ProCamera. I'm impressed with how images look on its screen and the speed with which apps process in post-editing.”
Concert photography can test the limits of even professional-level DSLRs, but Madge proved a perfect subject for Rush to test Apple’s latest.
“I'm happy with how the 5 (and I) responded to the fluctuations in lighting condition and rapidly moving subjects on a stage 8 feet away,” Rush said. You can see more of Madonna, and Rush’s other work, on her Instagram feed at @starrush360.
Mike Hill: Concerned about color accuracy
“When first using my new iPhone 5, I noticed a kind of yellowish, oversaturated look on the screen, but thought it might just be my eyes adjusting to the new resolution,” Hill said.
Hill’s since exchanged his phone for a new one, but is still seeing the same issue.
“The camera, however, works great and processes photos at about twice the speed of the 4S,” Hill said. “[Photos] also seem slightly sharper even though it's still only 8 megapixels. I really like it, but not enough to keep it if I can't get one with a more accurate screen color on my next return.”
Anthony Danielle: Bigger screen, better headphone jack placement
"The bigger screen makes editing easier," said Anthony Danielle, who goes by @takinyerphoto on Instagram.
The New York mobile photographer and co-founder of the Mobile Media Lab is also finding the iPhone 5 faster than his 4S. But sometimes it's the little things that make us happy: the new placement of the headphone jack was "awesome news" for Danielle.
"No longer do I have to hold the headphone cord out of the view of the camera while walking through the streets," he explained.
Misho Baranovic: "Everything is faster"
Australian mobile photographer Misho Baranovic (Instagram: @mishobaranovic) had taken more than 2,000 photographs with his new iPhone in just a week in a half when we reached out to him last week.
"While the photo quality is very similar to the iPhone 4S, it is the speed of the new iPhone 5 that continues to impress me,” Baranovic told us. “Everything feels faster, including app load times, the shooting process, detailed editing and, most importantly, online sharing and viewing of images, making it that much easier to create relevant and timely images to share with the world. As for other features, the panorama is a bit of fun, the low-light boost is algorithm trickery and the bigger screen gives more room for developers to add buttons."
Chris Ozer: Faster capture, better low-light capability
New York mobile photographer Chris Ozer, @chrisozer on Instagram, is loving the faster capture speed of his new iPhone 5, and finds that the white balance, auto-metering and low light functions are improved over his iPhone 4's capabilities.
"This was a big upgrade for me," Ozer said. "Before the 5, every time I borrowed a friend's iPhone 4S I was very impressed with the difference in quality between the two cameras. After using the 5 for a couple of weeks now, I would say I have about the same feeling with the 5 as I did when borrowing the 4S. The camera is much improved over the 4 — but not noticeably improved over the 4S."
Ozer's wishlist for improvements include a better shallow depth of field and better flare handling, as well as more accurate macro focusing.
"As an example, I shoot a lot of raindrops on glass shots," Ozer explained. "These shots are really difficult to get in focus and I probably waste too much of my life trying to get them to work."
Dustin Vaughn-Luma: Apps perform better
“The camera on the iPhone 5 is nothing short of exceptional,” said Dustin Vaughn-Luma, a San Francisco Bay area mobile photographer (Instagram: @dvl).
Vaughn-Luma made the jump from the iPhone 4 to the 5, and is excited by its faster speed, greater detail and low light shooting capabilities.
“The A6 chip not only allows me to load and use apps faster than I was able to on my 4, it allows me to process my photos much quicker,” said Vaughn-Luma, who found powerful editing apps like Filterstorm so slow and crash-prone on his iPhone 4 that they were nearly unusable. “With the A6 chip, I am able to use every app I own.”
The upgrade to an 8 MP camera means Vaughn-Luma is creating larger images than ever before, up to 4062 x 5416 pixels and 22MP using Filterstorm. He’s also noticed improved white balancing and better blacks in his recent images from the iPhone 5, and says he’s seeing crisper shots with less noise in low light conditions.
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