MacInTouch Amazon link...

Apple Sept. 2019 announcements

Channels
Apple, News
Hmmm, that sounds a lot like...
Apple said:
Compare iPad models

12.9‑inch iPad Pro (2nd generation)

Silver, space gray, and gold
12.9‑inch Retina display with ProMotion technology and True Tone
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A10X Fusion chip
12MP back camera with Auto HDR and 4K video at 30 fps
7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR
Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
Compatible with Smart Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

12.9‑inch iPad Pro (1st generation)

Silver, space gray, and gold
12.9‑inch Retina display
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A9X chip
8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR
Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
Compatible with Smart Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

10.5‑inch iPad Pro

Silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold
10.5‑inch Retina display with ProMotion technology and True Tone
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A10X Fusion chip
12MP back camera with Auto HDR and 4K video at 30 fps
7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR
Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
Compatible with Smart Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

9.7‑inch iPad Pro

Silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold
9.7‑inch Retina display with True Tone
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A9X chip
12MP back camera with Auto HDR and 4K video at 30 fps
5MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR
Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
Compatible with Smart Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad Air 2

Silver, space gray, and gold
9.7‑inch Retina display
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A8X chip
8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad Air (1st generation)

Silver and space gray
9.7‑inch Retina display
A7 chip
5MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad (6th generation)

Silver, space gray, and gold
9.7‑inch Retina display
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A10 Fusion chip
8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR
Compatible with Apple Pencil (1st generation)
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad (5th generation)

Silver, space gray, and gold
9.7‑inch Retina display
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A9 chip
8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad mini 4

Silver, space gray, and gold
7.9‑inch Retina display
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A8 chip
8MP back camera with Auto HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad mini 3

Silver, space gray, and gold
7.9‑inch Retina display
Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
A7 chip
5MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector

iPad mini 2

Silver and space gray
7.9‑inch Retina display
A7 chip
5MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video
1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards
Lightning connector
Indeed, Ric. The difference is that, then, there was no web store, no Amazon, nothing but physical stores that sold lots of different brands. Today, such a model matrix serves as a way for Apple to clean out old inventory and simply kill off the product when the necessary parts are no longer made economically. When I was in sales, we always wanted to have one more thing we could pull out of our briefcase when the primary product was rejected (for whatever reason).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A huge advantage of the iPhone for me is its automatic GPS location stamping
Off, off, off! Received some iPhone images from a friend that were really just innocent landscapes, but possibly landscapes at a a place the friend would have reasons to prefer didn't become known? Downloaded to my Android, they were put in a "places folder" for just that location.
And how do we turn that off, exactly? I wasn't thinking about that, but it could be a huge issue with iPhones (and iCloud, etc.), couldn't it? Yikes! Thanks for bringing that up!
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Going forward, I see "computational photography" pending as a huge revolution.
More computer power in the phone (or a camera) enables more computational photography. But every digital camera since day one has done computational photography, converting images that hit a sensor to digital, then from "raw" sensor data to jpg, or just writing the sensor data to storage in a digital file. I'd bet much of the "speed" of the new A13 chip is used more in facial and object recognition than in UI and UX.
Yes, of course, there's "computation" involved in creating digital image files, but I was actually referring to a specific term of art:
Wikipedia said:
Computational photography
Computational photography refers to digital image capture and processing techniques that use digital computation instead of optical processes. Computational photography can improve the capabilities of a camera, or introduce features that were not possible at all with film based photography, or reduce the cost or size of camera elements. Examples of computational photography include in-camera computation of digital panoramas, high-dynamic-range images, and light field cameras.

... The definition of computational photography has evolved to cover a number of subject areas in computer graphics, computer vision, and applied optics. These areas are given below, organized according to a taxonomy proposed by Shree K. Nayar. Within each area is a list of techniques, and for each technique one or two representative papers or books are cited. Deliberately omitted from the taxonomy are image processing (see also digital image processing) techniques applied to traditionally captured images in order to produce better images.
Also, as I mentioned before, sensor read-out speed is a critical factor in modern photography, and my sense is that Apple is at the leading edge in this area — managing 60fps capture at 4K, for example, in the iPhone 11.

But the new iPhones' massive amount of processing power and custom AI/image acceleration hardware is being employed in computational photography, too, in very brief time spans:
Apple said:
iPhone 11 Pro
... When you tap the shutter, the camera takes multiple images while optical image stabilization steadies the lens. Then the camera software goes to work. It aligns images to correct for movement. It discards the sections with too much blur and fuses sharper ones. It adjusts contrast so everything stays in balance. It fine-tunes colors so they look natural. Then it intelligently de-noises and enhances details to produce the final image.
 


Two things:

1. It is pretty likely that Apple would like to sell more watches.
...
2. The gap between the Series 4 and 5 isn't very large..... (Also a add-on effect is that the gap between 5 and 3 (also 2 or 1) is bigger than 3 vs. 4 – so an easier upsell.
Good points; certainly makes sense from a business point of view - and like I've said before, Apple's not about giving you what you want, it's all about telling you what you want.
 


(No comment on segmenting the line-up into baseline vs premium models differentiated only by the camera module and surface finishes.)
Actually, there is one other huge difference that accounts for most of the cost differential: the OLED screens on the "Pro" models, touted as the highest resolution screens available on any smartphone…
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Actually, there is one other huge difference that accounts for most of the cost differential: the OLED screens on the "Pro" models, touted as the highest resolution screens available on any smartphone…
So Apple's charging 43% more to get a 52mm "telephoto" lens with this as an added benefit?
Apple Support said:
About the Super Retina display on your iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes. This is also expected behavior and can include “image persistence” or “burn-in,” where the display shows a faint remnant of an image even after a new image appears on the screen. This can occur in more extreme cases such as when the same high contrast image is continuously displayed for prolonged periods of time.
 


So Apple's charging 43% more to get a 52mm "telephoto" lens with this as an added benefit?
Apple Support said:
About the Super Retina display on your iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes. This is also expected behavior and can include “image persistence” or “burn-in,” where the display shows a faint remnant of an image even after a new image appears on the screen. This can occur in more extreme cases such as when the same high contrast image is continuously displayed for prolonged periods of time.
AMOLED / OLED screens have been used on Android phones and in television for some years. TVs that are tuned to a network that persists a "bug" in the same place will burn-in. Probably going to be happening as OLEDs are used in computer monitors where UI elements may be as persistent as those network "bugs" on TV shows.

There are techniques to reduce burn-in likelihood on phones; this article covers them, but its title is more than a bit optimistic.
Make Use Of said:
AMOLED Burn-In Can Be Avoided! And It’s Easy!
AMOLED burn-in on screens and displays can’t be repaired, but you can slow it down and reduce its visibility by using a few simple tricks, which can also massively increase battery life. If you see a persistent image etched into your screen and own an Android device, iPhone X, or iPhone XS, your device may have screen burn-in.
I've had a variety of OLED Android phones from Samsung, Google, and LG. None of them have had noticeable burn-in by the time I am forced by battery death or lured by features to move on.
 


Those of us who want to use the lenses in the new iPhones to their theoretical limits will have to work hard to keep the external lenses scratch-free and clean! A case with a cutout is a must, as any additional material between the lenses and the subject are sure to distort / degrade the image.

All photography includes opportunities for optical trickery, and the latest iPhones are no different. However, I wonder to what extent the multiple overlays and “deep fusion” result in images that are programmed vs. “real” — in other words, we get to see what we expect to see via an algorithm vs. what the sensor actually recorded.

Overcoming parallax error and other issues associated with stitching images together from multiple exposures and multiple cameras is a neat achievement, if Apple's finest actually achieved that. So far, all we’ve got was handpicked images taken under ideal conditions. Time and testing will tell.

But I don’t expect miracles. There is a reason that lenses on quality cameras are typically large and feature a lot of glass. Yes, low light performance is one potential factor, but the folk at DXOmark proved long ago that many lenses out there are quite limited re: real resolution vs. the claimed specs for a given camera.

While I would prefer a phone with a Qualcomm radio, my current phone may not last through the likely introductory date next year, now that Apple and Qualcomm seem to have made up. So, my choice is either to go old-school and buy a refurbished phone, bite the bullet and buy a current model, or hope my old phone will continue to hold together despite Apple disabling its battery health monitoring, etc. (DIY replacement will do that.)

I’d also prefer a phone with the option of a fingerprint reader to replace or supplement the face recognition system. But that may not see the light of day before 2020 or even 2021, if ever.

I consider 5G pretty useless for the time being, due to minimal coverage. The required network buildout will be enormous and expensive. I see noticeable benefits in crowded venues, such as lecture halls, conferences, or trade shows, not so much for everyday use. Few ISPs or cell providers ever deliver anything near the advertised speeds used to sign up customers.
 


But the new iPhones' massive amount of processing power and custom AI/image acceleration hardware is being employed in computational photography, too, in very brief time spans.
Taking nothing away from the acknowledged superior speed of Apple's A13 chip, much of that sounds like what's been written about the Google Pixel 3, hampered as it is by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and "only" 4 GB RAM.
DPReview said:
Our favorite gear, rewarded: DPReview Awards 2018
Winner: Google Pixel 3
Every year brings new innovation in the camera industry, and this year was particularly busy with new entrants in the mirrorless and full-frame camera markets, and stellar new optics. Despite this competitive landscape, we unanimously picked the Google Pixel 3 for our 'Innovation of the Year' award.
It's also interesting that Google's $399 Pixel 3a with a less-capable Snapdragon 670 and also only 4 GB of RAM is considered the Pixel 3's photographic equal. The Pixel 3 will shoot 4K video at 30fps, not 60.
George, you, of all people, know that's not completely true... :-)
Speaking of lured by features, the Sony RX100 VII in Ric's link above is a powerful lure, thanks to reviews of its much-improved auto focus. Then, I'm far from mastering what's possible with the RX100 VI from last year that I carry nearly everywhere.

But in some comparisons to a smartphone, Sony RX100 VI is explicitly:
  • not waterproof
  • not dustproof
  • not sandproof
  • not magnet-proof
  • fragile (though Sony uses euphemisms)
The darn thing is as dense as would be expected from a tiny package made of metal, plastic, and the amount of glass to zoom out to 200mm....

If it's pocketable, you're Captain Kangaroo. Cargo pants and jackets, yes; jeans and slacks, no. I wear mine in a Zing bag on my belt, hardly a fashion statement.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
If it's pocketable, you're Captain Kangaroo. Cargo pants and jackets, yes; jeans and slacks, no. I wear mine in a Zing bag on my belt, hardly a fashion statement.
Not much bigger than the RX100 III, which fits in a shirt pocket (though it's bulky) and easily in a front pants pocket (if the pants aren't too tight). A jacket is ideal, though, and cargo pants might work, too, if you don't bump into anything. Good points about not being waterproof or as mechanically robust, though. (And battery life might be better for an iPhone?)
 


AMOLED / OLED screens have been used on Android phones and in television for some years. TVs that are tuned to a network that persists a "bug" in the same place will burn-in.
My 10-year-old plasma display has a feature to prevent this: when the same image has been on the screen for a period of time (a minute), it moves the image around by a pixel or two, invisible to anyone just glancing at the screen but typically sufficient for most cases (which would be paused video games).

I'm not really sure how this problem could occur on a phone, but the fix could easily be implemented by Apple.

This could be a problem on a watch that is on all the time, if someone were to make such a thing :-)
 


Those of us who want to use the lenses in the new iPhones to their theoretical limits will have to work hard to keep the external lenses scratch-free and clean! A case with a cutout is a must, as any additional material between the lenses and the subject are sure to distort / degrade the image.
Does anyone make a case with a lens cover?

I assume Apple figures that scratches will generate "characteristic noise" that can automatically be removed in preprocessing.
 



RX100 III, which fits in a shirt pocket
They're surprisingly similar in weight, given the optical zoom in the RX100 Mark III is 70mm and the Mark VI 200mm.

RX 100 III:
approx. 10.2 oz (290 g) (Battery and Memory Card are included)

RX 100 VI:
approx. 10.7 oz (301 g) (Battery and Memory Card are included)

iPhone 11 Pro Max:
reported to be 7.97 oz (226 g)

And battery life might be better for an iPhone?
I've run a battery down, once on the RX100. But, hallejulah, they're not glued in, and change quickly.

The RX100 VI batteries are small. I bought three, and if I'm going out to take pictures, carry all. The plug-in charger will also power the camera. I used it that way last week in a project to capture family photo albums to digital. My previous small camera, a Lumix, was restricted to charging from the wire, while not operating.
 


Every iPhone I've ever used has been cursed by a camera lens that records too-wide a field of view. I was eager to replace my iPhone 7 Plus (no face recognition, decreasing battery life) with the Xr replacement, thinking its second camera would be the "mild" telephoto (52 mm equivalent is pretty damn "mild"), but instead, they add a second ultra-wide lens. I don't spend a lot of time taking pictures of the sky at night, although I guess now I could do so to find the constellations. Don't people take far more pictures of people they know than pictures of places that they could more easily obtain from an enormous number of online sources? The absence of that portrait lens and true optical background blur in the least expensive iPhone 11 is a huge mistake, I think.
What's "wide", and what's "normal" or "telephoto" or "too wide", is more than a matter of personal preference or semantics — it's cultural, and the perception of those values has shifted, thanks to iPhone popularization of photography, especially selfies and group shots. Once upon a time, 50mm (effective 35mm focal length) was "normal", 35mm was "wide" and 85mm and up was "tele." But now it's more like 28mm is "normal" and 58mm really is more of a portrait lens for the kind of photography that iPhones are best at. And for superwide, 18mm (effective) and even wider is no longer an expensive optic, with its style of extreme perspective creating a whole new genre of popular photography.
 



I assume Apple figures that scratches will generate "characteristic noise" that can automatically be removed in preprocessing.
The algorithms may be able to “work around” scratches, much like the 35mm negative scanner I use, but with a important caveat: the lenses in these cameras are tiny and not in the same location.

Any optical imperfection is going to affect these individual lenses more than a similarly sized scratch on a much larger lens like for a 35mm DSLR. Simply put, more of the light will get scattered / blocked rather than put on the right sensor pixels.

Whether that can be fixed in software is debatable. My film scanner detects scratches to the negative using a separate IR sensor, then allows software to blur the scratch out of existence. However, that interpolation is not perfect - the software may very well erase an important detail in the process. But it’s a compromise I’m willing to make, rather than hand-detail every scratch out of existence.

The “mad science” behind the iPhone camera system is impressive. I look forward to independent labs verifying whether the built-in lenses actually manage to resolve 12MP, even under ideal circumstances; or how they deal with common lens issues like distortion, chromatic aberration, and so on.

I doubt many folk attempt to use a phone camera for high-resolution photography. Rather, the smartphone cameras are impressive tools for the small platforms they are built into, offering quick access to reliably memorializing events even under difficult lighting conditions.

It’s the prime reason that far more pictures are taken now with smartphones than actual cameras: lots of people have smartphones and most everyone is attached to their digital babysitter on a near constant basis.
 



I'm as cynical and uninspired about Apple as the next old-timer, but I don't have any particular outrage about the new iPhone models.

Apple has always had a single lens on their "standard" iPhones, with a 2x lens only available on Plus models [prior to the iPhone X], which at the time were the "deluxe" models. It is true that the deluxe model now costs $300 more instead of $100 more, but for that you also get an OLED screen (which, sure, is susceptible to burn-in like all OLED screens, but... black is black, which I'll take every day of the week), and what sounds like excellent battery life and sturdier case construction.

With the new phones, Apple has added a 0.5x [ultra-wide] lens to all models, but they haven't taken away anything from what they already offered forever. I know some people would prefer a 2x lens instead on the "standard" iPhone, but other people (myself included) would rather have the 0.5x. Those who want both have that option, for a premium price, and if they go for it, they also get an OLED screen, better battery life, and better case materials.

I can see people being unhappy that at the "standard" price point, Apple has given them something but not the thing they wanted. But... the worst that's happened is you now have to pay more for a 2x lens than you used to; but that was just as true last year, too, and this year's models are clearly better. And if you really want a 2x lens on the cheap [in a big phone], an 8 Plus is still waiting for you.
 


Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera
One of the very first things I do with any device is review the Location Services settings. The potential issues with revealing dates and locations around photos are pretty obvious, and now we have facial recognition issues to consider, too. If an app allows disabling face detection, I always do so.

I also try to check the general metadata attached to files before sending to third parties, especially if in a business context, whether it's JPEG EXIF info or general document properties on PDFs or other files.

Many times over the years, I've used the "Properties" command on a third party PDF or MS Office file (for example, to identify an embedded font) and been presented with sensitive information about the third party.

In one case, I learned that two companies were in merger talks because someone neglected to clear a previous file name from the metadata of a file that was used as a template for a project with me. In another case, I learned that large portions of a file someone was trying to pass off as their own work actually originated elsewhere.

Check your metadata!
 



Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera
As one who likes to do geotagging, I do let the camera record location. However, when I don't want the actual location used (private home, secret meeting, etc.), I edit the location in the Mac Photos app to reset the location to a landmark in the area. For example, I will move the location for pictures inside a home to a nearby park.
 


... Apple's so-called "telephoto" camera appears to be just 52mm (equivalent) vs. 13mm and 26mm (equivalent) focal lengths for the other two cameras. (The iPhone 7 has a 28mm equivalent camera with the iPhone SE at 29mm.)
Just to clarify for non-photographers, a 52mm (equivalent) lens is considered to be a standard lens. A 85mm short telephoto lens might be used as a portrait lens in a studio. 135mm to 200mm would be considered a mid telephoto. (These numbers are, of course, all referenced to 35mm cameras.) So Apple's "telephoto" lens is only considered telephoto in comparison to their ridiculously wide-angled other lenses.
 


So Apple's "telephoto" lens is only considered telephoto in comparison to their ridiculously wide-angled other lenses.
One thing that's not been mentioned about cell phone "telephoto": Oppo, Huawei, possibly others, offer phones with "periscope" telephoto. Still tiny modules, they sit vertically and use a prism to direct light into the periscope.

[Here are some related links.... —MacInTouch]
 


Just to clarify for non-photographers, a 52mm (equivalent) lens is considered to be a standard lens. A 85mm short telephoto lens might be used as a portrait lens in a studio. 135mm to 200mm would be considered a mid telephoto. (These numbers are, of course, all referenced to 35mm cameras.) So Apple's "telephoto" lens is only considered telephoto in comparison to their ridiculously wide-angled other lenses.
Wouldn't longer telephoto lenses need to stick out of the phone?

Or, take a right angle bend inside the phone, as is done in an Oppo phone and in some Sony cameras. If we can't have a headphone jack then use the space for something beneficial.
 




Off, off, off! Received some iPhone images from a friend that were really just innocent landscapes, but possibly landscapes at a a place the friend would have reasons to prefer didn't become known? Downloaded to my Android, they were put in a "places folder" for just that location. It's darn hard to have any privacy in today's world, and Apple's been very happy to keep track of your travels over time.
I love geo-tags, especially when looking for a certain picture. I always know where I took it, but much less likely when. If you have a problem with it, then just turn it off: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera > Never.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A bunch of specs and prices for comparison, for what they're worth:
The Verge said:
How the iPhone 11 compares to the best Android devices
Apple’s new iPhones are here, with the new iPhone 11 set to replace last year’s XR model, and the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models that succeed the XS and XS Max as more premium options. But how do they compare to the best Android phones on the market, like the Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3, and OnePlus 7 Pro?

...Of course, there’s plenty more to the picture than just raw specs... but the numbers still do make a bit of a difference when you’re deciding what deserves a spot in your bag or pocket. Here’s how the new iPhones stack up...
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Some perspective on changes in smartphone/camera technology:
Reuters said:
Apple's new iPhones shift smartphone camera battleground to AI

... The technology industry’s battleground for smartphone cameras has moved inside the phone, where sophisticated artificial intelligence software and special chips play a major role in how a phone’s photos look.

“Cameras and displays sell phones,” said Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester.

Apple added a third lens to the iPhone 11 Pro model, matching the three-camera setup of rivals like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co, already a feature on their flagship models.

But Apple also played catch-up inside the phone, with some features such as “night mode,” a setting designed to make low-light photos look better. Apple will add that mode to its new phones when they ship on Sept. 20, but Huawei and Alphabet Inc’s Google Pixel have had similar features since last year.

In making photos look better, Apple is trying to gain an advantage by way of the custom chip that powers its phone. During the iPhone 11 Pro launch, executives spent more time talking its processor - dubbed the A13 Bionic - than the specs of the newly added lens.

A special portion of that chip called the “neural engine,” which is reserved for artificial intelligence tasks, aims to help the iPhone take better, sharper pictures in challenging lighting situations.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I can see people being unhappy that at the "standard" price point, Apple has given them something but not the thing they wanted. But... the worst that's happened is you now have to pay more for a 2x lens than you used to; but that was just as true last year, too, and this year's models are clearly better. And if you really want a 2x lens on the cheap [in a big phone], an 8 Plus is still waiting for you.
There's another alternative for people who don't want to schlep around quite such a huge phone, don't want to pay luxury prices, and would like to have a 50+mm "telephoto" lens... but this probably won't last long:
Plus, you get the bonus of the vaunted OLED display....

Other options:
More info:
DPReview said:
Apple iPhone X review

Key Photographic / Video Specifications
  • Dual 12MP sensors
  • 28/56mm equivalent focal lengths
  • F1.8/2.4 aperture
  • On-sensor phase detection
  • Quad-LED flash
  • DNG Raw capture and manual control with 3rd party apps
  • 4K video at 60 fps
  • 1080p 120/240fps slow-motion video
  • 7MP front-facing 'TrueDepth' camera with F2.2 aperture
Other Specifications
  • 5.8-inch, 2436x1125 OLED
  • Apple A11 Fusion chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64/256GB storage
DPReview said:
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: specs

Rear camera effective pixels (Primary) 12 megapixels
Rear camera focal length (Primary) 28 mm
Rear camera aperture (Primary) 1.8
Rear camera effective pixels (Secondary) 12 megapixels
Rear camera focal length (Secondary) 56 mm
Rear camera aperture (Secondary) 2.8
...
LCD size 5.5″
LCD dots 1080 x 1920
LCD DPI 401
Display type LED-backlit IPS LCD
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
My experience has been that iPhones often take amazingly good photographs, but I've had two serious issues with iPhone photography:
  1. Uncontrollable algorithms that radically favor low ISO over faster shutter speeds, frequently resulting in blur that ruins otherwise-good shots.
And I'm apparently not alone....
DPReview said:
Apple iPhone X review
Low light shooting exhibits some interesting problems. Autofocus performance, which is impressive during the day, can miss with disappointing regularity as light levels drop. Also, the shutter speed will too readily drag all the way down to 1/4 sec, and though the iPhone is supposed to detect movement and boost the ISO and shutter speed to avoid handshake or subject blur, this doesn't happen reliably.
Apple has had a very long time to address this problem but has chosen not to.
 


I’m willing to believe that the results I can get with my iPhone camera, compared to my dSLR, are to some extent due to ID-10-T errors. Using apps other than the Camera app helps me somewhat, given Camera’s punchy-contrast tendencies. But the fixed wide angle lens is not useful for most of what I am serious about shooting. I use my iPhone the way probably most people do, taking mostly closeup shots that only need to be good enough for social media. I am regularly frustrated by its inadequacy for situations that need a zoom lens.

My first dSLR, acquired in 2006, was a 6-megapixel Pentax (*istD S2) with the standard 18–55 lens. A friend who reviewed gear for a well-known tech site very kindly gave it to me after she had reviewed it: I could not have afforded to buy one at that point. I shot tons with that camera until spring 2010, when I was able to buy a K-x that came with two lenses. My current go-to dSLR is a K3 II with an 18-270.

Pretty much anything I shot with that 6MP camera is better than what I have been able to get with an iPhone or iPad. I attribute the difference to the lenses, including a used 35–80 Pentax F series lens that I bought on eBay for a mere $10. Being able to shoot RAW is another factor in favor of my “real” cameras. There is certainly a niche for my iPhone, but when I am out exploring along the NYC rivers, I want my “real” camera. I got a bit excited upon hearing that one of the new iPhones has a zoom, but 52mm? The tiny bit of excitement has been snuffed out. My iPhone 7 is still fine for making my cats look good on Instagram.
 


Will any of the non-lens-related photograph improvements in the iPhone 11 be available on the iPhone XS? What about the improved HDR or Night Mode?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Will any of the non-lens-related photograph improvements in the iPhone 11 be available on the iPhone XS? What about the improved HDR or Night Mode?
That's a great question, which I have, too (and what about the iPhone X, iPhone Xr, etc.). I searched for an answer (e.g. in Apple's iOS 13 features list and the show video) but haven't found one yet.
 


Off, off, off! Received some iPhone images from a friend that were really just innocent landscapes, but possibly landscapes at a a place the friend would have reasons to prefer didn't become known? Downloaded to my Android, they were put in a "places folder" for just that location. It's darn hard to have any privacy in today's world, and Apple's been very happy to keep track of your travels over time.
If you didn't turn off location services for photos in settings prior to taking a photo, you can still strip the metadata on the iPhone using an EXIF app. I'm using viewEXIF, but there a probably others.
 


Apple TV+: one-year free trial with iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AppleTV purchase. $4.99 x12 = $59.88. That times 100,000,000 would be about $6B in "free" service. There have been rumors that Apple was going to spend $6B on AppleTV development (content buys). I'm kind of curious whether a chunk of that is "buying" their own content from themselves.
The 'spend" on content could still be separate. However, it seems they do intend to do lots of "buying" of the context with the 1-year trial. Goldman Sachs expects the stock to dip on the massive 'buy' when a number of folks don't follow the money shuffle. (I won't be surprised if there is some tax shelter property to this, too.)
CNBC said:
Goldman Sachs just dramatically cut its outlook for Apple, predicts 26% downside
  • Goldman Sachs cut its price target for Apple's stock to $165 a share from $187, making the firm's expectation for Apple the lowest of the major Wall Street banks, according to TipRanks.com.
  • The firm predicts a 26% downside for the stock because of a "material negative impact" on earnings for the accounting method the iPhone maker will use for an Apple TV+ trial, Goldman analyst Rod Hall said in a note.
  • "Effectively, Apple's method of accounting moves revenue from hardware to Services even though customers do not perceive themselves to be paying for TV+," Hall said.
Big picture, though, it is telling of market herd mentality when there could be a double-digit percent swing on a stock largely just because folks can't read the balance sheet and are more interested in pulling the trigger fast.

Also, while Apple may put aside the $60 to cover AppleTV+ , if you don't claim the 1-year service in several months (3), then that liability disappears (the deal is off). Also, there's only one free trial deal in a family plan, so there will be a number of these trials never claimed. If folks aren't using the service, then Apple shouldn't be assigning money out of the pot to pay for it....

The 1-year free trial will create 'noise' in the context of evaluating whether AppleTV+ is doing OK organically or is primarily just surviving out of no-option bundle. Apple has taken lots of the risk to Apple out of their AppleTV+ bet.

P.S. in the pre-2008 era, Goldman both sold "high rated" loan derivatives to some clients while selling protection from those derivatives from another group. I'd bet a small sum there is another part of Goldman not planning on some massive tactical 'short' of Apple.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... Apple has had a very long time to address this problem but has chosen not to.
As a test, I took a photo of a still garden at dusk with an iPhone 7 and the latest iOS, intentionally underexposing via the Camera exposure control slider to get a faster shutter speed. Apple's algorithm chose an exposure time of 1/6 second at ISO 100. Despite the optical image stabilization in the camera, that speed is so slow, the photo is unusably blurry. This isn't a smart algorithm; in fact, it seems really perverse to me. Only third-party apps offer better settings and more control.

Another photo, taken about the same time, highlighted a pink and blue sky – this got a 1/30 sec. exposure at ISO 25. Despite the low ISO and reasonable shutter speed, details of the landscape are unattractive at full size with quite a bit of JPEG compression artifacts contributing to loss of detail. But this photo is at least usable at smaller sizes rather than being a blur (only because there was more light available). Again, only third-party apps offer raw/DNG for better quality.
 


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts