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Apple adds new photography features with updated iPhone 4S

Completely my own work, a photo of my iPhone.

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Apple iphone 4s with 8 megapixel camara


Apple has announced its latest iPhone 4S device, which will come with a new eight-megapixel camera, as well as new photo sharing features
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Apple’s iPhone 4S, which will be released in the US and the UK on 14 October, features the firm’s dual-core A5 processor, a new voice-activated assistant, as well as 1080p video recording capabilities.

But, the greatest improvement for photographers is the inclusion of an all-new eight-megapixel imaging sensor. “The sensor has 60% more pixels so you can take amazing high quality photos with more detail than ever,” claims Apple. The backside illuminated CMOS sensor is said to offer increased performances in low-light conditions.

The lens has also been redesigned. It now includes five glass elements, offering an aperture of up to f/2.4. Coupled with “Apple-designed image signal processor in the A5 dual-core chip, [it] makes the camera one of the fastest on any phone,” claims Apple. “With iPhone 4S, the Camera app launches much faster and the shot to shot capability is twice as fast [compared with the iPhone 4].

Apple has also updated its Photos application, which now allows users to crop, rotate, enhance their images, as well as remove red-eye.

But, says BJP’s technical expert Richard Kilpatrick, one defining new feature could have a greater impact on the photographic market as a whole. “The announcement of a simple app speaks volumes about Apple’s perception of the photographic market,” says Kilpatrick. “Cards, a free application that will be available for existing iPhones as well as the new 4S models, will allow the creation and sending of personalised greeting cards from iOS.”

He adds: “This announcement saw stock in two US greeting card providers fall, despite Apple having offered the service via iPhoto for some time alongside the well known photobooks.” Shares in American Greetings Corporation and Hallmark fell yesterday, minutes after Cards was unveiled, forcing Hallmark to issue a press statement arguing that the app “affirmed what Hallmark [already] knows – that greeting cards are a powerful, emotional way for people to connect with each other,” according to Eileen Gaffen, a Hallmark spokeswoman.

However, Kilpatrick believes the Cards app could democratise a service that has been available for more than a decade now. “Consumers want physical prints – and this is one step closer to the physical postcard that can truly say ‘Wish you were here’ wherever you are, as long as you have a signal,” he tells BJP. “Unlike current services which will turn an image into a postcard, these are one-off, effectively instant from the creators’ point-of-view.”

The feature could also impact photographers who rely on stock sales and postcard licenses for a living.

Kilpatrick adds: “We’ve been here before, however – in the mid 1950s, as worldwide travel increased in popularity, Polaroid introduced adhesive cardboard mounts called ‘Postcarders’. 25 cards for 95¢ works out at around $10 in 2011 – or 40¢ per card, compared to Apple’s pricing which includes the photograph and the postage for $2.99 within the US, and $4.99 worldwide.”

The Cards app will be released on 12 October, coinciding with the availability of iOS5. The iPhone 4S will be available in the UK and the US on 14 October.

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Author: Olivier Laurent, with Richard Kilpatrick

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