I was starting to plan for a replacement (I'd really love an interchangeable lens DSLR setup) but I've been reluctant, and too cheap, to take the plunge. Then around Christmas time me and the Mrs. upgraded our smartphones to the iPhone 5. I'd heard that the camera built into the iPhone 5 is pretty darned good. I have to admit, compared to the camera that came with our previous iPhones (the iPhone 4) this new model is quite an improvement but I never really tested it in a controlled environment.
A few weeks ago a Facebook friend who does a lot of photography with the iPhone recommended an application called ProCamera. She said it took the already great camera in the iPhone5 and made it better. It cost a paltry $4.00 on the iTunes App Store so I figured I'd give it a try. The other thing I added was a tripod clamp made specifically for the iPhone by Joby. I don't care how good your camera is, without a good tripod you will not be able to take quality closeups. Locking down and steadying the camera is essential.
Well this morning I put all the pieces together - camera, app and tripod - to take a few test shots of some new knives. I have to say, I'm extremely impressed! The iPhone is a far better camera than I ever could have imagined. It easily beats the old Olympus in clarity and color balance on close-up images. Here's some examples (click on the individual image to open it at full resolution):
|Case small Boy Scout knife with orange G-10 scales|
|A.G. Russell Sowbelly with yellow Delrin handle scales|
|Victorinox Electricians Knife|
OK, nothing that would make it into National Geographic, but I'll take it. Looks like the iPhone will be handling the bulk of the photo chores for the foreseeable future.