As many of you know, the iPhone 3Gs will be available soon. This looks like a promising new tool for the photography industry in many ways. I’m not going to go in to too much detail about the specs of the phone, but there are a few that are pretty cool!
The iPhone 3Gs has a new and improved camera, which Scott Bourne over at Photofocus praises highly. Now, I’m not as excited about the new camera, but it is a pretty slick device, and I can see why Mr. Bourne has a lot to say about it. It has autofocus, auto white balance, and auto exposure (well, the last one had that too), but the tap autofocus is an addition, and I’m sure avid iPhone camera users like Chase Jarvis will appreciate that. The video is another nice addition, shooting 30fps, 640X480 VGA. These are all pretty neat features, but it seems to me that they are just that for the industry. Now, I’m not saying their not useful. I take reference photographs all the time with my iPhone, and often come back to shoot them with my “big rig.” What I am saying is that they are really cool features, but I’ll be honest, I’m never going to use a 3-megapixel image to a submission to a magazine. I’ll put it on my Flickr (which needs updating in a bad way) and I’ll text it to friends, editors (for reference), but never as a serious submission. I’m not implying that that’s what Scott Bourne is saying, because he’s not, but there is quite a bit of hype going around online about the new features from some very big photogs, and I just don’t want folks to think that this is all they need. Make it a tool that you use to compliment your work, assist your work, push your work, and showcase your work.
I just think there are way more useful features of the phone for photogs out there, such as the tethered Internet surfing capabilities you can achieve with the iPhone 3Gs hooked up via bluetooth or USB to your computer. I know people have been talking about this for a long time, and I believe there to be some kind of hack out there to do this already (I’m not much in to “hacking” my equipment that I pay for with hard-earned money), but this is a great asset to the photography industry, and pretty much anyone in general. I can’t tell you how many times I have been going down the road needing to send some information that was on my computer, not my phone, via e-mail to an editor or client. Or, when I am somewhere where there is no Internet, and I don’t feel like browsing on a 3.5-inch screen.
Another great feature would be the copy/paste function, as well as the MMS support for photos and video. It seems to me that I am on a more mobile relationship with my editors and clients than I used to be, and it would be great to just text an editor a reference photograph from the iPhone and get some feedback. The copy/paste function has just been a long time coming, period. The compass is ideal in certain situations, and the extra storage is much needed. I never really thought I would fill up the 8GB given prior, but I did, and now I’m surprised that I even thought that in the first place.
What a great tool we do indeed have at our fingertips. Apple has done nothing but support this industry, and for those of you that know me, I praise Apple like crazy. I’m not as technical as others are, so I accept any bing in specs, any missing information for this software that will be updated in two days because of all the ranting and raving about why Apple did not put this in for me and the 22 other people that need it. I just know that it works for me, and I’ll keep on using it.
On another note, Joe McNally has a new Web site and blog, so go check it out and soak up his knowledge of being a photog for several decades for some of the top names in the communications industry!