Some snaps and observations.
When my second AppleTV refused to update over-the-air to AppleTV OS 4.4.1, and as I did not have a micro USB cable to do it over iTunes, I decided to take it to the Genius Bar at the local Apple Store and let the geniuses have at it. While they milled about, humming and hawing, I got to taking a few snaps in the melée that is the Burlingame store.
Once you learn to keep your finger away from the lens, the 4S is a more than decent snapper. Shutter lag is minimal, I have learned how to switch the flash to On-Off-Auto with the screen touch control and face detection shows a green rectangle to tell you what is being focused on. A touch changes the area of choice if that is wrong. Inter-snap delay is very short and there is no meaningful shutter lag. You can bang away at up to two pictures a second with ease.
Because the focal length of the lens (35mm FFE) is a very short 4.28mm, everything is mostly sharp all the time, though the f/2.4 fixed aperture does make touch focus useful for closer subjects.
On the way to the store we first encountered the parrot man in the street:
Parrot man. 4S, 1/120, f/2.4, flash, ISO 125.
A bit of lens flare is visible here around the red cap, though it may be from thumbprints on the lens as much as anything. Something to look out for – or to exploit for certain subjects. Nothing quite like a good greasy thumb to give you that ethereal look!
Nothing wrong with the definition in the above picture:
Parrot Man – detail.
Down the road our son Winston had to have a snap of the ghoul on the local restaurant’s wall – this is completely unretouched:
Ghoul. Picture by Winston Hofler, aged 9. 4S, 1/120, f/2.4, ISO 125.
Where Winnie saw a ghoul, I saw a ghoulish business which thinks nothing of stealing from Americans daily:
Bankster ghouls. 4S, 1/120,f/2.4, ISO 80.
Once in the Apple Store, pups were everywhere to be seen while water damaged keyboards and dropped iPhones were being attended to.
Pup at the Genius Bar. 4S, 1/20, f/2.4, ISO 125.
Another pup. 4S, 1/20, f/2.4, ISO 125.
Apple likes to get ‘em young, and there was a plenitude of snap opportunities in the kids’ play area:
Trying the iMac. 4S, 1/20, f/2.4, ISO 100.
In the next snap, I zoomed in using the un-pinch gesture to see what the quality would be like. The answer is that whereas most of the above will print well at 13″ x 19″, this one starts to break up at 8″ x 10″.
Intent. 4S, 1/20, f/2.4, ISO 100.
Don’t be fooled by those blurred backgrounds. These were done in Photoshop CS5 using the Magic Outliner, Refine Edges and Filter->Lens Blur. But then you wouldn’t know that unless I told you! You can see just what a great job Adobe has done in coding this technology in the close-up of the Parrot Man’s whiskers and the young blonde girl’s hair, above. It takes seconds to do and you can bet this code will be in-camera before too long.
The Auto White Balance in the iPhone 4S beats the pants off that in the Panny G1 and G3.
The funky handling of the 4S takes some getting used to, the screen is awful in bright daylight and the camera is better than 99.9% of photographers out there, most of whom seem to contribute to the fora at DP Review. The remaining 0.1% of us actually take pictures.
That AppleTV? Turned out to be a dud so Apple replaced it, no questions asked, doing the software upgrade on the replacement for me in the store. Can’t grumble – time wasted being more than repaid by some great picture opportunities. And because everyone thinks you are futzing with your phone, no one takes any notice. That’s worth a lot. Now I can enjoy wireless Mirroring from the iPhone 4S, when it’s not being used to take snaps or make calls.