On Tuesday, Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6Plus, and Apple “fan boys”(I’m one of them) jumped for joy worldwide. Apple is one the very few companies that can drag their feet developing technology (to get it just right) and not lose its fan base, even if it takes years to do what other companies have already been doing (larger screens come to mind). Apple products are sexy, there is no doubt about that. Every time Apple releases a new product or upgrade, I’m always drooling as I stare at my computer screen calculating my expenses to see if I can afford their newest offering and honestly, the iPhone 6 is no different.
I’ve already admitted that I’m a “fan boy,” my business and personal life rely on Apple products. The iPhone, iPod, iMac, and iPad help me run my business and keep in touch with my friends and family, but as a photographer, I’m left wanting more from Apple. Actually, I’m always left wanting more; see while I love my DSLR, sometimes I just don’t want to lug it around. Not only is it heavy, but I use my gear to make a living and honestly, when I’m on vacation or walking around town, the last thing I want to do is be reminded of work (I love my job to pieces, but we all need a break).
I just want the camera in my phone to kick ass and take names, and every year I hope it’s Apple (one of the most innovative companies in the world) who can give me that, and again I’m left wanting more. Sure, for the average person the camera in the new iPhone 6 (Plus) is perfect for snapping photos of your kids at the playground, selfies will look beautiful, and the creative in all of us can show the world our visions thanks to the iPhone camera. But, for me, a professional photographer who loves to create the best images possible, I love the iPhone 6 camera and don’t love it at the same time.
What I Love About the iPhone 6 Camera
The new Apple designed image signal processor enables Focus Pixels, allowing for better and faster autofocus when you are previewing an image. This feature sounds great for allowing you to catch focus quickly and hopefully, will provide less out of focus images, (a problem I have run into many times with my outdated iPhone 4).
Improved Face Detection
The iPhone 6 can now detect faces for group shots both near and far in the frame, allowing for everyone in your group selfie to be in focus!
Optical Images Stabilization
With the help of the new A8 chip, gyroscope and M8 motion coprocessor, the iPhone 6 can reduce camera shake. This is great for dark situations or if you just have shaky hands. This is something I was always wanted in the iPhone!
I’m not going to lie; I’ve always wanted the ability to make timelapse videos with my phone. I just think timelapse videos are cool! Honestly, it seems like a fluff feature to sell to average consumers, but I still think it’s really cool to have the feature in a phone.
What The iPhone 6 Camera Is Missing For Me
The Control of Settings
I know with the iPhone 6 you can use exposure control to adjust your scene by 4 stops either way, that’s pretty impressive, but still I want more! I want to be able to control my ISO, aperture, and if possible, my shutter. It drives me nuts that when using my iPhone 4 and (soon to be iPhone 6Plus), I have little control over my settings. I just have to hope that Apple has packed enough technology into the iPhone to allow for essentially a point and shoot to make a good image. As a professional photographer, that’s an uneasy feeling even if I’m just shooting for fun.
You also can’t tell me none working pros would not like the same. Photography is so popular right now. Many people own DSRL’s and mirrorless cameras and know how to use them, so I guarantee everyone would like to control their settings to some degree. I know it’s probably not realistic to ask for complete control, but maybe just the aperture to control my depth of field, pretty please?
RAW and JPEG
I want the ability to shoot in RAW. I’m a working pro and everyday the images I create are shot in RAW, not JPEG. Sure JPEGs get the job done for the average person, but Apple, honestly you’re supposed to lead the pack, innovate, excite, and push the envelope. For crying out loud, the basic kit DSLR I can buy at Costco for $600 shoots RAW, why can’t my phone do the same yet?
I want both RAW and JPEG. I want RAW for when I see a scene that calls for a lot of dynamic range that I’m going to edit later in Lightroom and JPEG for when I want to take a quick snapshot and post it on Instagram.
I also don’t want to hear that the average person would not enjoy having the option to create images in RAW. RAW capabilities in the iPhone would allow everyone the power to create beautiful images with lots of dynamic range. Apple could use RAW as a way to create the most powerful editing software in the world on a smartphone.
Could you image how awesome it would be if the images you take on your iPhone were shot in RAW, then easily edited in some new software Apple could develop and ultimately saved as a JPEG? Selfies would look amazing, washed out blue skies would actually be blue, and everyone’s Instagram feed would look beautiful (minus all the selfies and food pics, of course). Just imagine the possibilities!
The new iPhone 6 camera has me excited, but still feeling empty. I love the new features, but I’m still saddened by Apple for not really pushing the envelope. I know I’m asking for features the average person does not need, but Apple can sell any feature new or old with their great marketing. I honestly believe if they added advance professional features to the iPhone 6, the average consumer would eat it up.
Truth be known, I will still buy the iPhone 6Plus, but not for the camera, I will be buying it because I’m due for an upgrade from my iPhone 4. I guess, in the end, as a photographer, I need to be reminded that the iPhone is just that, a phone with a pretty awesome camera that appeals to the masses, but not to the professional photographer who always wants the ability to have full control of their camera.
What features would’ve you like to see in the iPhone 6 camera?
[Images via Screencaps on Apple.com]