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photography

2011 pocket camera vs. 2017 iPhone 8 Plus

While working on some photos this weekend, I noticed that I’d taken two nearly-identical photos of the Enola Gay at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center—nearly identical, but separated by four years:

Click once for larger, then click the icon in the upper right of the pop-up for largest vesrion.

The left image was taken in 2014 with a 2011 Pansonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 pocket camera (specifications); the right image was taken in 2018 with my 2017 iPhone 8 Plus. (Interesting to note that I didn’t bring my DSLR on either trip…the best camera is the one you have with you, right?)

Neither of the above images has been edited, beyond whatever algorithms the cameras use when saving the photo. Frankly, I was amazed at just how much better the iPhone 8 Plus photo is compared to the one from the Lumix: The Lumix photo is skewed heavily blue, edges aren’t well defined, and detail in shadow areas is obscured. The iPhone’s image is perhaps just a bit towards the yellow end of the spectrum, but it’s miles better than that of the Lumix.

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iOS App: OSnap! Pro for time lapse and animation movies

A while back, I created a time lapse movie of a lava lamp warming up. I’d wanted to use my iPhone for this, as time lapse is a built-in feature, but the iPhone implements it in an odd way: The iPhone will vary the time intervals between pictures as your recording time increases. This keeps all time lapse movies to a similar duration (20 to 40 seconds), but it means you can’t shoot a constant-rate time lapse movie.

I solved the problem for the lava lamp movie by using OSnap! Pro, a $3.99 iOS app (for both iPhone and iPad). I’ve wanted to write more about this app for a while (I’ll be calling it OSnap from here on out), and a recent snowstorm in central Oregon gave me the perfect chance to test the app again before writing about it…

Ah, if only it went so quickly in reality! Making this movie was a breeze with OSnap! Pro; read on to see what makes OSnap so good (and to see a lame-but-short stop-motion animation movie, too).

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A visual guide to iPhone screen resolution over time

While I was working on some iPhone 6 lock and home screens, I paused for a few minutes to put together this visual guide to the iPhone’s changing screen resolution over the years (click to zoom):

Both the inline and zoomed image above are smaller than 100% scale, of course. But if you’d prefer, you can check out the massive full-size version. Be forewarned, this is a 3628×2188 pixel photo, and it’s 1.7MB in size.

For the curious, the original photo was taken at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, at roughly this spot, looking north-ish.

When viewed in this comparative manner, the iPhone Six Plus’ resolution really stands out—there are a ton of pixels on that gorgeous screen!

Digital cameras, now and not quite now…

As a follow-up to my Cameras, then and now… story, here’s what’s happened with digital camera evolution in our household over the last three years.

As noted in the other writeup, our current digital camera is the Canon PowerShot SD400, a marvel of features and compactness that we bought this past July. It replaced a Canon PowerShot S30, which I purchased in January of 2002. So just how far have consumer digital cameras come in three years? Probably a lot farther than this article will demonstrate, as I’ll only be speaking to the differences in the two cameras we own. But even there, the changes are pretty dramatic, starting with (of course), the size:

s30 vs. sd400

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