Neil Cybart has some fascinating thoughts on the role of cameras in the modern age:
_Interpretation. _While there is still plenty of innovation left with how we use cameras to communicate with others, the camera's most exciting role will be utilizing software to help us interact with and navigate the world. The camera will become an input device for software to interpret clues in various settings at home, the office, or school. The camera essentially becomes a pair of intelligent eyes that goes beyond simple image capture.
Mobile cameras are outgrowing “taking pictures”. They're becoming a completely new input method for what's around us.
LinX Imaging is the latest in Apple acquisitions, as reported by MacRumors:
Apple has purchased Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for approximately $20 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. LinX specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices and it's possible that Apple will use the company's technology in upcoming iOS devices.
Reading through what LinX Imaging had developed, there's lots of interesting possibilities for the future of iPhone cameras.
The simple truth is that Apple thinks portable cameras can still aspire to higher degrees of quality and convenience, edging towards SLR-like photos without the complexity, cost, and additional hardware of SLR cameras. The iPhone's camera is one of the features that is improved every year, and it sounds like we're going to see notable breakthroughs over the next iPhone iterations.
In the past seven years, each new advancement in iPhone camera technology has made dramatic improvements to image quality. The iPhone 6 is no different. Besides being faster to shoot and easier to focus, the images taken with the iPhone 6 camera show greater detail and are significantly better in low-light.
In this follow-up post to my iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 comparisons, I present an 8 iPhone comparison from all iPhone versions taken with Camera+ including, the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and the new iPhone 6 in a variety of situations to test the camera’s capabilities.
Great compilation. Check out the lowlight and backlit galleries to really get the differences.
Cool findings by Studio Neat, makers of Frameographer:
What Apple means by “dynamically selected intervals” is they are doubling the speed of the time-lapse and taking half as many pictures per second as the recording duration doubles. Sounds complex, but it's actually very simple.
Make sure to check out the table with numbers and the videos. In typical Apple fashion, the default solution is clever and simple, leaving room for third-party apps to offer more.
Polymo is a new camera app for the iPhone and iPod touch that launched earlier this month with a focus on letting you organize your photos with tags. The developers pitch it as a “better place for photos on iOS” thanks to the app's clean design, simple gestures, and elegant interface. Unfortunately, I don’t think Polymo is a replacement for the Camera Roll, but don’t dismiss it straight away; there are still appealing aspects of Polymo that may make it useful for you.
Stewart Wolpin, writing at Mashable:
Back in Apple's dark ages — during Steve Jobs' interregnum in the mid-1990s — the company experimented with some strange products. Everyone remembers the ill-fated Newton PDA, for instance, which was considered ahead of its time. Less memorable was the QuickTake 100, the first mass market color consumer digital camera.
First unveiled at the Tokyo MacWorld Expo on February 17, 1994, the QuickTake 100 went on sale 20 years ago from yesterday — June 20, 1994. It was priced at $749 and initiated the age of consumer digital photography.
The Apple QuickTake 100 was one of the first digital cameras, a market that, in a curious turn of events, has shrunk because of smartphones.
See also: Shrine of Apple's QuickTake 100 page (and video embedded below).
Writing at AnandTech, Joshua Ho details the manual camera controls that iOS 8 will add for third-party developers:
For the longest time, iOS had almost no camera controls at all. There would be a toggle for HDR, a toggle to switch to the front-facing camera, and a toggle to switch to video recording mode. The only other tool that was accessible would be the AE/AF lock. This meant that you had to hope that the exposure and focus would be correct, because there was no direct method of adjusting these things. Anyone that paid attention to the WWDC 2014 keynote would’ve heard maybe a few sentences about manual camera controls. Despite the short mention in the keynote, this is a massive departure from the previously all-auto experience.
From Apple's description:
The AVFoundation framework makes it easier than ever for users to take great photos. Your app can take direct control over the camera focus, white balance, and exposure settings. Your app can also use bracketed exposure captures to automatically capture images with different exposure settings.
This means that, for developers, it'll be easier than ever to build alternative, (possibly) pro-oriented camera apps without writing those controls manually as they will be exposed in the official APIs. It's a big change.
Combined with the ability to delete photos from the Camera Roll and save edits back to the original files, Apple is making third-party camera apps first-class citizens of iPhone photography, which should result in better photos, more available storage, and a more fluid experience.
“We wanted to create a complementary camera app to Camera+ for users who wanted a simple, one-touch app for shooting and sharing on the go”, Lisa Bettany tells me over email. Lisa is the co-founder of Camera+, the popular camera app by Tap Tap Tap that, since 2009, has amassed over 12 million downloads and become a fixture of the App Store’s Top Charts, which can be rare for a paid app with additional In-App Purchases. Today, Tap Tap Tap is launching MagiCam, which, unlike Camera+, does away with professional editing tools and focuses on simple filters and quick sharing.
I've written about the problem with organizing screenshots in the iOS Camera Roll before, as it's one of the long-standing limitations/design decisions of iOS that I find most antiquated and counter-intuitive.
From my iOS 8 Wishes article:
Give screenshots their own album. Years ago, the consensus used to be that only geeks took screenshots of their devices, but the rising trend of people sharing screenshots of message conversations and Instagram pages now says otherwise. For this reason, I find it surprising that Apple still insists on grouping photos and screenshots together – they're separate media types and there should be an option to exclude screenshots from the main view and iCloud backups.
Screenshotter is a free iPhone app developed by the Cluster team that's been released today and that shows a glimpse of a good idea that I hope Apple will offer as a built-in feature in iOS 8.