Austin Mann has published a review of the new iPad Pro for photographers. Mann, a professional photographer, is in Iceland shooting 100-megapixel images with a Hasselblad H6D-100c that generates 216MB RAW files that are a great test of Apple’s new hardware. Mann demonstrates how well the iPad Pro handles those images by zooming in and out and panning around with little lag in a video demo of Adobe Lightroom CC.
Beyond the sheer performance of the hardware though, Mann has been impressed with the versatility and portability of the device. As he explains:
I was working with Mavic Pro 2 in the black volcanic deserts of south Iceland. While sitting in the car (in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere), I decided to offload my images and review them.
I pulled out the iPad Pro and a card reader, and within only a few moments I was reviewing them on screen. Next thing I knew I was editing them with the Pencil in Lightroom CC and then I shared one with my wife—all within just a few moments.
It’s really easy to sit just about anywhere (even with a steering wheel in your face) and not just use it, but use it to its full extent. Another cool feature in this scenario is eSIM. Because the iPad Pro is connected to cellular, even in the middle of nowhere Iceland, I could quickly share the images without even thinking about my connection, WiFi, hotspots, etc. Time wasn’t mission critical on this shoot, but in a scenario where time is of the essence, this kind of workflow could be a game-changer.
That’s a sort of power the iPad Pro brings to bear that can’t be measured in chip speeds or other specs. It’s a flexibility that allows photographers and other creative professionals to work in more contexts and with greater efficiency. It’s hard to quantify but just as important.
Be sure to check out Mann’s review for more on his iPad Pro photography workflow and his beautiful photos of Iceland.
In addition to the early slate of iPhone reviews from the press, it's become tradition in recent years for each iPhone to be graded as a camera by professional photographer Austin Mann. I especially enjoyed Mann's review this year of the iPhone XS camera system. He writes:
Most of the time my expectations for camera upgrades on “S” years aren’t so high, but after shooting with the iPhone XS for a week, I can confidently say it’s a huge camera upgrade. There’s a lot of little improvements, but Smart HDR definitely takes the cake. This is a feature and technology that improves virtually everything you capture with your iPhone camera. I think you’ll be really thrilled when you experience the results yourself.
As I shared in last week's issue of MacStories Weekly for Club MacStories, the iPhone XS and XR announcements caught me by surprise in that I expected there to be more change in the devices compared to last year's iPhone X. I've ordered a XS Max, but the primary reason for my upgrade was the additional screen real estate compared to my X; bigger display aside, September's keynote didn't provide much of a compelling reason for me to purchase a new phone this year. However, Mann's review and that of John Gruber have helped provide much-needed additional detail on the camera upgrades in the XS, which sound impressively significant.
One of the standout lines in Mann's review for me comes near the beginning, where he says, "iPhone XS captures what your eyes see." It's hard to find higher praise than that.
On paper, the differences between Apple’s iPhone cameras can be hard to discern year-to-year. That’s why I find photographer Austin Mann’s iPhone camera reviews so valuable. Every year, Mann puts Apple’s cameras through their paces while traveling around the world. In September, Mann took the iPhone 8 Plus to India. He’s back, this time from Guatemala, with a review of the iPhone X’s cameras.
Mann was particularly impressed with the iPhone X’s telephoto lens:
When we got the telephoto lens in the 7 Plus, it was a huge upgrade but the telephoto quality was noticeably less than the wide lens, especially in low light. This created a shooting conundrum… often wishing to zoom in but not wanting to sacrifice quality. Apple closed that gap this year by investing heavily into improving the telephoto lens.
The iPhone’s screen gets high marks too:
This probably the most amazing display I’ve ever seen. Colors pop, blacks are true black and contrast feels just right. I actually found it more rewarding to shoot & share because of how amazing the screen is.
During his tests, Mann also discovered that the iPhone X’s slow-sync flash has been substantially improved:
One of my favorite things about the iPhone 8 Plus review was the slow sync flash comparison against the 7 Plus so I decided to take the iPhone X to the streets for a similar test. While I set out to see the difference in slow shutter effects, what I actually found was the iPhone 7 was easily 2 seconds slower in focusing/firing when shooting moving objects in low light…
The technical differences between the lenses in an iPhone 8 Plus and X may seem small on paper. Austin Mann does an excellent job demonstrating the added flexibility those differences afford users in everyday situations. Be sure to check out his post for examples of what the iPhone X’s camera can do.
I consider the iPhone a computer with a camera more than a computer that makes phone calls. Therefore, Austin Mann's annual iPhone camera review is my favorite of the bunch. I've been linking them for the past couple of years, and I find Austin's approach always fascinating and well-presented.
This time, Austin has outdone himself. To properly test the iPhone 7 Plus' camera with optical zoom, they've flown to Rwanda in collaboration with Nat Geo Travel and Nat Geo Adventure to track gorillas and take close-up pictures, timelapses, test wide-color gamut photos, and more.
As many of you know, in the past I've created this review in Iceland twice, Patagonia and Switzerland, but this year I wanted to really change things up. With indicators pointing toward possibilities of optical zoom I asked myself: where's the best place in the world to test optical zoom? Africa of course.
So this year, in collaboration with Nat Geo Travel + Nat Geo Adventure we’ve set out to get you the answers. I'm writing you from deep in the Nyungwe rain forest in southwest Rwanda… we've been tracking gorillas in the north, boating Lake Kivu in the west and running through tea plantations in the south… all with the iPhone 7 Plus in hand.
I've had a blast playing with the wide spectrum of new features and tech but as always, our mission is to find out the answer to one question:
How does all this new tech make my pictures (and videos) better than before?
The result is beautiful. The video "review" is a mini-documentary/short film about tracking down mountain gorillas, and it's 9 minutes long. Seeing how they found the gorillas brought a big smile on my face, and you can notice how the zoom interface of the iPhone 7 Plus was useful for that purpose.
Watch it below, and go check out Austin's photos and summary of the experience here.
For the past few years, Austin Mann's iPhone camera reviews have been at the top of my list of articles I want to read whenever a new iPhone is released. This year, Austin went to Switzerland to test the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, with some impressive results.
Today, he posted a behind the scenes video that is possibly even more fascinating than the photos themselves as you can see how everything was made and, more importantly, where. Pretty amazing to see what Austin and his team go through to make their reviews possible. The video is 17 minutes long, but worth watching until the end.
Each year, Austin Mann puts together the camera-focused iPhone review I want to read. This year is no different, and I was curious to see what he'd create this time given the camera improvements to the iPhone 6s.
I liked this bit about Live Photos:
I really appreciate the deeper story each of these tells — the sound of the cowbell, the flying dust under the drone, the steam rising from my Swiss hot chocolate. We take pictures to tell stories and share experiences with those around us, and Live Photos helps us do that in a way we simply haven't before.
What I love about Live Photos is its ability to accomplish this, completely behind the scenes. Some of these Live Photos in this gallery were completely unintentional, which is the best part about it.
His entire review is full of videos, comparisons with the iPhone 6 Plus, and technical explanations than aren't hard to understand and are well-illustrated. Recommended.
For longer than I can remember now, Apple has plucked photos taken by iPhone users from the vast sea of images posted online and featured them on billboards, in print advertising, and online. Today, the company announced that through February 7th, it’s running a Shot on iPhone Challenge. Apple says that:
A panel of judges will review worldwide submissions and select 10 winning photos, to be announced in February. The winning photos will be featured on billboards in select cities, Apple retail stores and online.
Apple’s announcement also introduces the contest’s 11 judges, 6 of whom are from Apple and 5 of whom are outsiders with backgrounds in photography. The Apple team includes Phil Schiller, members of his marketing team, and others who work on Apple’s photo software. The rest of the judges include former White House photographer Pete Souza, travel photographer Austin Mann, who we recently interviewed for Club MacStories, Annet de Graaf, a travel photographer and author of iPhone photography books, Luisa Dörr who shot TIME magazine’s special Firsts issue entirely on an iPhone, and Chen Man, a visual artist and creator of photography-based social apps.
If you’d like to submit your iPhone photos, here’s what to do:
Post your best photo taken on iPhone to Instagram or Twitter with the #ShotOniPhone hashtag to participate in the the Shot on iPhone Challenge. Weibo users can participate as well using #ShotOniPhone#. In the image caption, note which model was used. Alternatively, you can also submit the photo in its highest resolution to email@example.com with the file format ‘firstname_lastname_iphonemodel.’ Photos can be straight from the camera, edited through Apple’s editing tools in the Photos app or with third-party software. Submissions for photos begins at 12:01 a.m. PST on January 22 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on February 7. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate, and this challenge is not open to Apple employees or their immediate families.
I’ve always enjoyed Apple’s Shot on iPhone ad campaigns. It will be fun to see which shots its judges pick from what I can only imagine will be a huge number of submissions.
The initial reviews of Apple’s new iPad Pros are out. There is a general consensus that the hardware is impressive, but many reviewers conclude that limitations of iOS are holding the device back. Here are highlights from some of the reviews:
Laptop Magazine sums up what many reviewers discovered about the iPad Pro’s hardware:
The iPad Pro is the quintessential tablet for power users and creative pros. It's so fast that I imagine the likes of Qualcomm and Intel are getting nervous. This tablet wiped the floor with premium Windows laptops and 2-in-1s, in both benchmarks and real-world tests. The iPad Pro's display, sound and battery life are also top-notch, and the improved Apple Pencil is more comfortable and easier to store.
John Gruber, writing for Daring Fireball says:
“No one buys an iPad because of CPU benchmarks”, I wrote last year. I don’t think that’s true any more. I think there are people who will and should buy the new iPad Pro because of its performance. At the hands-on area after last week’s event, Apple was showing Adobe Lightroom editing 50 megapixel RAW images from a Hasselblad camera. The photos were by Austin Mann, who was there, and helpfully demoed the software, showing what a real pro photographer would do in real life with real images. The experience was completely fluid and instantaneous.
The new OS X and iOS jive better now than ever before. Both platforms are packed with new features and I’ve only touched on the aspects that are especially significant for photographers. I’m personally most excited about iCloud’s ability to give us access to our image archive at all times and AirDrop between Mac and iPhone.
Photographer Austin Mann (you may have heard of him before) has shared a good collection of tips and tricks for taking pictures and managing files on iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite. I'm trying iCloud Photo Library as my main photo management solution, and I'm positively (and surprisingly) impressed so far.