In the course of today’s media event that took place at the auditorium of the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Apple announced the release of two new iPhone models and confirmed the release of iOS 7 to the public for September 18.
We won’t cover the event in full, as you will find plenty of sources for this purpose, but we want to share the exciting news that will directly concern iPhone photographers—pros, amateurs and casual shooters with no distinctions.
The iPhone 5s, available in three colors (space grey, gold and silver) introduces the new iSight camera, not just a more powerful picture taking device or better post-processing platform, but a sophisticated hardware/software system that will make taking good photos on the iPhone more comfortable for all users, from beginners to experts. Sporting a new 2.2 aperture lens and a 15% larger active sensor area, the camera will still produce 8 megapixels photos; however, the sensor has been upgraded to 1.5µ pixels. This mainly translates into wider dynamic range and less noise in the final image, for better shooting experience and more polished results.
Thanks to the new A7 and M7 processor combo, apps addicts who love to give their shots a highly personal imprint will benefit from the augmented processing power offered by the iPhone 5s. But this is not all. Performing actions like getting correct exposure and setting the appropriate white balance will be faster and more consistent. Dynamic range mapping of the images taken with the device will allow for more accurate highlights and shadows and the all new autofocus matrix metering based on fifteen points is designed to be on par with advanced DSRL focusing.
The iPhone 5s camera can take multiple pictures and analyze in real time which is the sharpest and best exposed among them, presenting the user with just a few of the best shots from the bunch. Making use of the Burst Mode, capable of taking up to 10 photos per second, shooters will be able to take action shots without having to go through a gazillion so-so or unusable pictures. The Auto Image Stabilization feature combines different properly exposed photos in real time, selecting from each the sharpest parts. This will especially be useful in low light situations, reducing the chance of getting a blurry photo.
Another innovation is the True Tone Flash. The iPhone 5s comes with two separate LEDs, one neutral white and another of a warmer color. The device analyzes in real time the scene and presents the user with the most appropriate choice among over 1,000 available variations for delivering the most natural colors possible. It is worth to note that Apple is the first to implement such a flash system among mobile and camera manufacturers. The new iSight camera is also capable of taking 28 megapixels panoramas and adjust exposure automatically simply when panning through the scene.
On the video front, Apple presented the new Slo-Mo feature. Videos that would normally be captured at 30 frames per second can be slowed down to 120 frames per second. Users can select which parts of the video they want to run at normal speed and which they want slowed down for unique effects.
The lower-priced iPhone 5c, available in five different colors (white, pink, yellow, blue and green), will feature the same A6 processor as the iPhone 5. Its iSight camera will have a 2.4 lens, producing 8 megapixels images. The device will also support HD video recording capabilities. The newest iPhone 5c will replace the old iPhone 5.
Both iPhone 5s and 5c will be on sale starting from September 20 in stores across US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, China, Japan, and Singapore. The colorful iPhone 5c will be also available for pre-order on September 13. Price for the iPhone 5s will be $649 for the 16GB, $749 for the 32GB and $849 for the 64GB model. As anticipated, the iPhone 5c will be more affordable, going from the price of $549 for the 16GB model to $649 for the 32GB one.
If you want to read more on the previously announced iOS 7, you will find our entry here.