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Apple iPhone 5s: One photographer's first impressions

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Dean Holland compares iPhone 5 (left) to the iPhone 5S (right).

Our friend and Connect contributor Dean Holland of TakeBetterPhotos.com.au has been shooting with Apple's new iPhone 5s over the weekend, putting through its paces to see how the camera performs in various lighting conditions, and also how it stacks up to the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, and even a compact camera.

He was impressed with the speed of the iPhone 5s: 

"Compared to the iPhone 5, the camera on the 5s flies," Holland writes. "The new burst mode discreetly shoots 10 full-quality pictures per second for 100 seconds, and it works very well. Too well. If you pick up the phone the wrong way, you can take 999 photos before you know what's happened. I did. Luckily, the Photos app lets you delete any or all of them together. HDR photos are now almost instant, with no 'Saving HDR' message. Just like any dedicated camera, the only thing you need to wait for is focus, and that takes the same amount of time as on the 5."

The iPhone 5s now offers burst mode to help capture action. iPhone 5S, 1/20 sec, f/2.2, ISO 320.

Holland also enjoyed the new slow motion video feature and found the latest model of the phone does offer better low-light performance. He saw less of the purple fringing that made iPhone 5 users cringe, and found improvements to the panorama mode account for changes between dark and light areas across a scene.

Holland offers plenty of examples to back his claims and some interesting comparison shots on his website.

Comments

Total comments: 12
wansai
By wansai (11 months ago)

that girl jumping is an awesome shot. unfortunately the IQ is horrendous even from such a small thumbnail. probably better as a black and white but you lose tose colour streaks.

0 upvotes
Dean Holland
By Dean Holland (11 months ago)

Did you click-through to the original image in the full article? I posted the full orginal of that one. It'll let you assess the actual quality. I think the version here on Connect has been re-jpegged. A DLSR would certainly do better. The original is far from perfect, but it's someone jumping at EV5... with a phone!

1 upvote
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (11 months ago)

Ever tried shooting with a camera?

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Well, actually, at least when it comes to panos, the 5s is WAAAAY better than most P&S cameras out there. Even than many mirrorless / DSLR's, for that matter, assuming you prefer shooting auto and don't want to stitch manually in post.

1 upvote
klopus
By klopus (11 months ago)

@Sam, ever tried making living selling your photos (with any kind of cameras)? Article author is a known pro and probably can teach a thing or two about using all kinds of cameras.

0 upvotes
Terry Breedlove
By Terry Breedlove (10 months ago)

It is a phone,a phone is always with you and that is the point. Sure a DSLR will take better pictures but do you always have you DSLR with you. No of course not. Some people really need to get a clue.

0 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (11 months ago)

Hmmm it may have captured the action through hopes and prayers than one of the burst shots will work but the IQ is subpar beyond the average output of a P&S cam which is more capable.

1 upvote
Dean Holland
By Dean Holland (11 months ago)

And the P&S will have a proper a zoom too! I found IQ to be on par with an average P&S - but below what you get with a high-end P&S, and especially with raw. Many P&S will do at least 10+ fps now too.
The 'hope and pray' part forms a large part of my business model as people photographer! It just surprised me that I could get usable shots of someone jumping at 1/20s by letting it pick the sharpest (apex of the jump). Normally I'd try to brute-force it with 1/1000s on an SLR.

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

"found improvements to the panorama mode account for changes between dark and light areas across a scene. "

Yeah, variable exposure works great - much better than any previous third-party AppStore app.

I've published a full writeup on all these questions, comparing the 5s' variable exposure to those of the best AppStore pano apps and the built-in pano mode of the iPhone 5. (The latter doesn't support variable exposure, regrettably.) It's here at the DPReview forums:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52215421

2 upvotes
Dean Holland
By Dean Holland (11 months ago)

Great comparison - thanks for sharing it!
Have you tried shooting in ProHDR and then stitching in AutoStitch? It rarely looks good in urban areas where the contrast can be super-high, but I love it for rural landscapes.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Nope, not yet - so far, I've only stitched its own (non-HDR) shots in AutoStitch. Will definitely give it a try.

(BTW, I've been using "Top Camera" for in-camera HDR stitching - while, of course, not as good, stitching-wise, than the semi-HDR mode of the stock Camera app, I've found it the best for handheld shots' stitching, keeper ratio-wise. Some comparisons of Top Camera to the iPhone 5's stock Camera HDR differences are at http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/exposure-compensation-and-bracketing-bible (my iOS Exposure Compensation and Bracketing bible) , in section " 2.1 The stock Camera client")

2 upvotes
Dean Holland
By Dean Holland (11 months ago)

Great tip, thanks.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 12
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