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iPhone 5 camera: what’s in it for photographers

The much-anticipated iPhone 5 was finally revealed last night at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters, and while the main headline is the 6th-generation smartphone’s slimmer figure (18% thinner and 20% lighter than iPhone 4S), there are some key improvements to the iPhone 5 camera – resolution and video capabilities being key among them – that should appeal to photographers everywhere.

The iPhone 5 camera retains the 8-megapixel sensor size announced last year in the 4S, but unlike its predecessor the iPhone 5 camera resolution jumps to 3,264 x 2,448 on a retina display.

Apple says the iPhone 5 camera lens has also been enhanced with a fast f/2.4 aperture to improve its capability for low-light photography. What’s more, they’ve added a new dynamic low-light mode that boosts the iPhone 5 camera’s aperture by two stops when it detects low light.

Other enhancements include a new A6 chip with an enhanced image signal processor that Apple claims makes the iPhone 5 camera 40% faster than the 4S.

Another key improvement over the 4S is a new panorama mode in which the iPhone 5 camera can record 28-megapixel images. This is achieved with a simple sweeping motion while taking a picture, much like the panorama modes in many of the high-end digital compact cameras on the market; however, the iPhone 5 camera tells you how fast to move the camera, and built-in software aims to compensate for too much movement in your motion.

Improvements in stabilisation have also been added to video recording, and the iPhone 5 offers full HD (1080p) video capability at up to 30 frames per second with audio. You can also shoot still images while recording movies.

Users will also find face detection for up to 10 faces on the iPhone 5 camera, which it recognises both in video and stills.

The front-facing FaceTime HD camera on the iPhone 5 now records video at 720p at up to 30 frames per second, and shoots 1.2-megapixel photos.

Apple claims it also offers improved sound, with a new beam-forming direction microphone included among the smartphone’s three microphones.

Other iPhone 5 camera features to note include a new Shared Photo Streams facility for sharing images via the web or Apple’s iCloud, geotagging photos and videos, an LED flash, and an autofocus function with the ability to tap to focus whether shooting still images or recording video.

For more on the iPhone 5, our friends over at Tap! have put together a fully interactive HD edition, the Complete Guide to iPhone 5, for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users.

How to clean a camera lens

Cleaning your photographic equipment is essential, especially when it comes to lenses. In this photography tutorial we’ll show you in just four simple steps how to clean a camera lens so you can enjoy blemish-free photos.

A lens is the one piece of gear that can cost you more than your camera, so it’s worth keeping it well-maintained so that it continues to create fine images for a lifetime. Learning how to clean a camera lens properly will ensure that you get the best optical quality, and help to avoid spots and smears on your images.

You’ll need a blower brush, a microfibre cloth and some lens-cleaning fluid, all of which you can buy from camera shops. While the exposed glass elements are the most important parts of the lens when it comes to optical quality,
it’s also worth giving the casing a good clean.

Some lenses are weather-sealed, but avoid using your cloth dampened with water. If there’s dirt that’s hard to remove, be careful if you’re using liquid-based cleaners, as the electronics inside your lens are extremely sensitive.

Step-by-step how to clean a camera lens

01 Remove the filter
A good way to protect the front element of your lens is with a standard UV filter such as the Hoya UV(0). Before cleaning, remove any filter you’ve been using. If you haven’t removed the filter for a while you may find this difficult, in which case use a cloth to get a better grip.

02 Blast away dust
Dust on the lens can be a real issue, so use a blower brush to remove any loose dust or grit around the front element. Repeat the process for the rear element. You’ll need to extend a zoom lens to either its narrowest or widest focal length to make the glass accessible.

03 Get rid of moisture with a microfibre cloth
As residue left by rain or general moisture may still remain, rub both the front and rear elements in a circular motion with a microfibre cloth. Dry cleaning will shift most dirt, but oil and grease left by fingers can leave a thin film across the glass.

04 Lens-cleaning fluid
To help remove greasy stains, use lens-cleaning fluid. Tip a small amount on to a microfibre cloth, then rub in a circular motion to remove the last of the dirt. When you’ve finished, repeat the cleaning process for your filters, then reconnect your filters and lens caps.

Canon EOS 1100D - Entry level DSLR

The world of digital photography has three clearly defined segments. If you need to capture and store important moments of your life, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, than point-and-shoot's are for you. If you love shooting all kind of subjects but not very keen to explore complex techniques, the prosumer zoom's are for you. But if you're keen about the details and want flexibility while shooting a complex subject. You need a DSLR. A DSLR or Digital Single lens reflex camera comes wilh interchangeable lens body so you can choose a lens according the kind of shot required. Earlier a DSLR was meant for the professionals only, till some manufacturers launched some basic models in this category. EOS 1000D was the first effort from Canon in this segment and 1100D is a revised version.

Compared to its predecessor, the EOS 1100D is larger by two megapixels, has a faster processor, more colour sensitivity, high-definition video with a slightly Taster continuous shooting capability.

EOS 1100D fits pretty well in hand and is quite handy in most shooting environments. The illustrative mode lets you know about each settings in large fonts, very helpful for the novice user. The image quality has not improved dramatically in comparison to 1000D. The exposure and colour balance are quite acurate even in difficult lighting conditions. Low light shooting is handled quite nicely. The picture quality remained brilliant upto ISO 1600, at ISO 3200, we found the images a bit grainy but acceptable.

The 11OOD was spectacular in action photography. We used this intelligent autofocus mode while shooting some Hying birds, and the AT Servo mode performed superbly. Of course it can't match the quality of cameras like ID mark IV or 5D Mark II but for its price, 11 00D is a decent performer. Continuous shooting speed is decent while in jpeg mode but suffers a bit in RAW.

Video quality is good. EOS 11 00D offers true high-definition quality, not HD. But the picture is smooth and stable.

How To Shoot Pets

Camera set-up

Pets are unpredictable at the best of times, so you'll need to set your camera up so you can work fast and react quickly. Here are our tips on how to set your camera up...

Just like people portraits, animals also benefit from a shallow depth-of-field to isolate them from their background. An 18-55mm kit lens that comes with a DSLR is great as a starting point, but these don't offer a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster that's needed blow the background out of focus significantly. The good news is that there's a selection of affordable prime lenses out there for a range of systems, including the excellent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

For shallow depth-of-field portraits, set your camera to Aperture priority and open the lens up as wide as possible - ideally to f/1.8 if you're using one of the lenses above, but f/3.5-5.6 will do a reasonable job if you're using a 18-55mm kit lens.


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