iPhone 6(S)(+) iPhone camera questions

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Texas_Toast, May 24, 2019.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #1
    Hi all. Okay, this is going to sound really strange...

    I have an iPhone 6S Plus that I use exclusively as stelth camera. (I have never used a cell-phone before, have no SIM card, and have no clue or desire to learn about or use mobile...)

    I'm not sure what OS I have, but it must be whatever came with the phone that I bought maybe 3 years ago.

    Love how I can take pictures nearly anywhere without people knowing.

    On to my questions...

    Because my goal is to be able to slip my phone out of my pocket, pull up, aim, tap, "get the shot" and slip my phone back into my pocket, I do NOT want to have to piss around with two fingers or two hands.

    I find it a horrible Ui design how I have to "pinch" in order to get the zoom control to appear, AND how this zoom control is right next to the menu where you select whether you you want to shoot a video, picture, etc.

    Often I seem to "miss the shot" because of this awkward design.

    Q1.) Is there a way to hack this design, or use a shortcut or something, so when I pull up my phone to shoot, all I need is my right thumb?

    Q2.) If not, are there other apps out there which will allow me to control the Zoom, Brightness, and Shutter all with my thumb?

    Hope that makes sense?!

    Thanks!
     
  2. maerz001, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019

    maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

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    #2
    There is no hack possible. Maybe another photo app.

    Brightness and focus lock is already one finger gesture.

    Zoom u can actually do in post processing as its digital anyway. So u don’t gain quality if u zoom on your phone

    The X models offer one finger 2x optical zoom.

    Btw a mobile works just like a landline phone without the line;)
     
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #3
    The iPhone was not meant to be a covert imaging device.
     
  4. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #4
    Know of any apps where I can control basic camera functions like zoom, brightness, etc just with my thumb?


    But it is ZOOM that I care about.


    How can that be?

    You only have ___ number of pixels, so if you use the lens to zoom in, then those pixels are being used more intelligently to capture the subject you want.


    Except that landlines don't have that "I'm part of *idiot* cellphone culture" feel... ;)
     
  5. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

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    #5
    Cos with digital zoom the lens doesn’t zoom. The software just crops the picture.
    Haven’t u seen that u loose quality compared to an optical zoom?

    That’s why modern smartphone cameras come with multiple lenses.


    Are u sure that the “hidden cam culture” is doing any better?
     
  6. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #6
    Hmmm...


    Nope. Just started using my iPhone as a camera a few months back. Still a "babe in the woods"! Plus, I just snap away and haven't had a chance to look at anything (under a microscope) that I have taken really.

    I guess that is good to know in some sense.


    I see.


    What do you mean?

    I know that I *love* my iPhone for taking the kinds of pictures that I often take. It helps me to capture people and things that I could not as easily do with a DSLR. (It probably also increase my life expectancy!)

    But being someone who used to be a pretty serious amateur photographer when I had time, there is obviously no comparison - nor will there ever be - between a camera and a smart phone.

    In fact, I am a photography snob, and don't even consider 35mm to be a real camera - although that is a dated view.

    With camera in hand, I always shoot fully manual, and so I can do a world more with a 35mm than with a phone, except that being a photojournalist and capturing "life in the raw" can be trickier with a camera, thus my iPhoen is a nice complement to my camera.

    I just wish the idiots at Apple had better designers, and didn't put the damn zoom slide right next to the menu bar where it is easy to phat-finger the zoom and end up shooting a video versus getting the zoom right. (And when you are "pulling up, shoot, put phone away" these types of mistakes happen often.)

    My life would be so much easier if I could do everything with my thumb.

    Some kid I was talking to said there are other apps out there which would meet this need, but he didn't specificy which camera apps would apply.
     
  7. ApfelKuchen, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019

    ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #7
    You think people don't know you're taking photos with that iPhone? Do you take those photos with the phone held to your ear, or pointing at the ground while you tap on the screen? I'd wager the vast majority of smartphone users recognize a smartphone held for photography. Since nearly everyone (but you) uses a smartphone, they're all clued-in. If your subjects don't seem to respond to you as if you're taking a photo, it may be due to the fact that smartphone photography is so ubiquitous that they don't care.

    Speaking as someone who's been a "serious" photographer with "serious" cameras for around 50 years... Of course people change their behavior in the presence of a big, serious camera. They always have. The less serious the camera seems, the less likely they are to self-consciously pose/respond to the camera's presence. Even back when we were taking candids as high school yearbook staff members, our subjects were more likely to notice me with my Nikon F than my fellow staff member with his smaller Leica M2 (a very serious piece of hardware, of course, but what did the masses know?). That was a key feature of Henri Cartier-Bresson's technique. iPhone or Leica... not much difference, really, when it comes to how people respond when you point one in their direction (and the technical quality of the negatives that came from early Leicas wasn't exactly embraced by the magazine editors of the day).

    Although you prefer to think the iPhone's not a camera... of course it is. It takes photos. It has a lens, image sensor, view screen, exposure system, image storage... Perhaps if you thought of it as a proper camera you'd find you can do even more with it than you do. As a photographer, don't you hate it when people say, "Boy, your camera takes great pictures?" Your skills at composing the shot are what count, right?

    But then, plenty of people also say that a smartphone isn't a computer. People get too caught up in how it differs from the stereotype of "camera" or "computer," obsessing over particular missing features or capabilities, and ignoring the fact that in every fundamental way they are cameras and computers.

    Why are you ditzing around with the camera's screen-based controls at all? It has a wide angle lens with deep depth-of-field, autofocus, and auto exposure. You can trigger the shot with either the screen-mounted shutter button, or the volume-up button. If you hold the shutter button, it shoots in burst mode - you could begin shooting before you even raise the camera into position. Just grab and go, like the old days of pre-set manual exposures and setting the lens to a hyperfocal distance.

    And for what it's worth, since I always have my iPhone with me, in recent years the vast majority of my successful photos have been taken with the iPhone, not my "good" camera. It's the camera I have with me, every waking hour. Opportunity! Unusual weather or lighting conditions? Click! A flock of turkeys crossing Main St. at rush hour? Click click! No, "Damn, I should have brought my camera!"

    I do a lot of hiking with outing clubs. From a standpoint of social dynamics, doing the Ansel Adams thing with big camera and tripod just doesn't work - I can't make them wait for me to catch up every time I stop, setup, and take a shot. So, it's (relatively) grab-and-go. More shots taken, more good shots to choose from. Does the technical quality compare to a large-sensor camera? No, but "publication" these days is on a digital screen, not the cover of Life magazine, National Geo, or as a 16x20 on a gallery wall. Subject, composition, light, shadow, color... the images speak very well, even if they lack a perfect Oxbridge accent.
     
  8. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #8
    So how do you really feel, @ApfelKuchen?! :D


    It's a hell of a lot less obvious than taking them with a 35mm DSLR dangling from my face!!


    Often, I hold it at waste level tilted slight up so it might look like I am texting. (Certainly never at face level.)


    I'm sure people paying attention can see what I am doing. But then again, I can think of numerous situations where I could reach out and touch someone and I have taken several photos and they were none the wiser...


    All valid points. Back in the day when I used to shoot more, I used a Nikon D1X and a Mamiya RZ67, so yes, those would get different reactions.

    But you're assuming some thing that aren't correct... I am not taking portrait photos. Also, I am not going out of my way to photograph people. I am doing photojournalism and "street photography", even though I will be the first one to admit that I am NOT (yet) a professional journalist. And, thus, that is why I need something more like a Leica than a D1X...


    Valid argument. I guess I am old school, and I don't consider something without a physical lens to be a true "camera". (I had a hard enough time accepting that a "camera" could exist without film!)


    Spoken like a true photographer, yes!


    Yes, I suppose so.


    Well, this is because of my ignorance of iPhones. As I mentioned above, I *thought* that when you zoomed in, you'd get a better picture like you would with a lens camera. I had no clue that you aren't really zooming in.

    So maybe that is the biggest thing I get out of this thread - is learning more about my "equipment" and also learning better "techniques" to use my new equipment.

    If I am understanding what you say, then there probably isn't any benefit of zooming in. And I'm not sure with my iPhone 6S Plus, but on a newer iPhone, the quality is probably good enough, that I could zoom in and crop later in say Photoshop and not lose any detail - at least in most situations.


    That is what I discovered when my old Nikon DSLR (not my D1X) died last Fall... I realized that I had a new iPhone that was still in the box after nearly 4 years, and that it would probably take as good of pictures as my Nikon D70, *plus* I could always have it in my front pocket when I needed it. (And as mentioned, in *many* situations, it would be much less obtrusive than my 35mm.)

    So, yes, I admit it, while I HATE cell-phone culture, I think the device itself is very cool, and I feel like I have been taken to the next level as street photographer.


    You are 110% correct.

    My only stumbling block is to make sure I bring my phone with me, since I am not tethered to it like everyone else.

    I started leaving it sitting on top of my wallet - as I'd never leave my place without my wallet and keys. That seems to work, although I have a bad habit of leaving my iPhone in my laptop bag when I go to work. But I am learning that even if I walk across the street to FedEx, *always* have my camera - I mean iPhone - with me!


    Yes, I agree. And since my "street photography" is mainly for a website that I am working on, the quality doesn't need to be much at all. (Although, with a camera I 8always* shot RAW so that if I ever wanted to frame a 16 X 20 or larger, I'd have the choice. I'm sure an iPhone will be coming to do that soon enough?!)

    Thanks for the pro-photographer "pep-talk"!! :apple::apple::apple:
     
  9. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Hey, I've written a few books in my day. I tend to go long-form. Tweeting? Forgetaboutit!

    As to the whole digital zoom thing? I'd guess you haven't been following the photographic literature over the years. More than a few serious photographers treated the advent of digital zoom as a sort of fraud. Digital zoom was introduced many years ago as a feature of digital point-and-shoot cameras, as a way to give zoom-happy casual photographers a bigger zoom at a lower price (say, a 3x physical zoom lens plus a 5x digital zoom = 15x total zoom). As you've recently learned, digital zoom is equivalent to a darkroom enlargement.

    I may use digital zoom while composing a shot to check a detail before zooming back out. Otherwise, I save my "zooming" until I'm cropping the photo afterwards.
     
  10. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

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    #10
    @Texas:
    Iphones can shoot in RAW
    https://www.imore.com/how-shoot-raw-photos-your-iphone-or-ipad

    If you didn’t see the difference you probably are fine with what u have. But a used 7plus for about $300 has also 2xoptical zoom one finger UI :)

    Regarding your hate about cell phones. Probably u missed that most people use smartphones much less as a phone and more for all the other functions it offers. What for u is now the camera is for others maybe a gps tracker, navigation, music player or reader for books or web...
    What’s so clever about being forced to a fixed location to make calls to people who also have to be at that exact moment at the place u try to call them?
    I mean yes there was the invention of answering machines. But in the end it’s just easier to be flexible
     
  11. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #11
    I'm old-school as well, so more power to you!


    Yep, I learned something. (Not sure why I would thing you'd have physical zoom in an iPhone, but that just shows you my mindset.


    So is the resolution on an iPhone 6S Plus good enough that I don't need to zoom?

    Will I lose any quality zoom in using the iPhone versus in post-productio?

    Another benefit of zooming that hasn't been discussed is that, in theory, my photos re ready to go as is.

    As a general rule, I frown upon having to do lots of photo manipulation in Photoshop as that is a sign of sloppy (or unknowing) photography...
    --- Post Merged, May 26, 2019 ---
    How do I know which iOS I have?


    What do you mean by "one finger UI"?

    Can I zoom using just my thumb?

    If so, why would an iPhone 7 Plus be any different than my iPhone 6S Plus - I thought it's the iOS and apps that would dictate how you zoom and not the physical camera?


    What I knew in the 1990s and see even more today is that the average American cannot cross the street, drive a car or wipe their as without being on their smartphone. It is a pathelogical illness - it's that simple.

    And ironically, now there are A LOT of mental health professionals that agree with observations I made 20 years ago.

    For 99% of humans, cellphones are like n illiceit drug - you can't just do one hit.

    Unlike 99% of humans, I happen to have self-control, so using my iPhone as a camera hasn't had any negative impacts on me.


    Why is it so necessary to have to get in touch with people *instantly* and wait sometimes?

    It amazes me how society has functioned - and survived quite well - without real-time communication.

    The need to have to be connected to people 24/7 is the result of poor planning, immense insecurity and loneliness, and narcissim.


    I haven't needed a cell phone in nearly 50 years, and I have accomplished as much and enjoyed life as much as anyone with a smartphone and/or social media.

    It's a free world, rationalize things all you want, but the fact remains that people have taken an otherwise nice invention (i.e. the smartphone) and turned it into a pathelogical behavior.
     
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #12
    If I digitally zoom when I take the shot, I'm locked into that lower quality. I'd rather crop in post-production, as it preserves the option to reconsider the original crop.

    If the goal is to have the final composition when you click the shutter, then by all means, digitally zoom when you take the shot. I expect to edit/post-produce most shots, even when I've framed them perfectly, so if it's clear I will need to crop, I don't waste time doing it while shooting.

    We'll have to agree to disagree about "photo manipulation in Photoshop." From my perspective, image editing is the "digital darkroom" (whether the tools built into Apple's Photos app, Photoshop, or any other image editing tool). From the beginnings of photography, the darkroom (both chemical and digital) has often been the difference between good and excellent photos.

    There's something to be said for images that do come fresh from the camera with no need for further work. However, there's a long list of reasons one may plan, from the start, to modify what the camera captured, in order to reach the desired result. After all, the camera's exposure system is hardly perfect. It makes split-second decisions that are often deserving of reconsideration, and it's incapable of reading my mind. Why should I be locked into those results?

    Finally, to get the version of iOS... Settings > General > About.
     
  13. maerz001, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019

    maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

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    #13
    “What do you mean by "one finger UI"?

    Can I zoom using just my thumb?

    If so, why would an iPhone 7 Plus be any different than my iPhone 6S Plus - I thought it's the iOS and apps that would dictate how you zoom and not the physical camera?”

    The 7plus has a second lens. So there the software user interface UI lets u interact with your thumb or one finger to select the zoom level.

    https://www.imore.com/camera-tests-zoom-iphone-7-vs-iphone-7-plus

    U can try in an Apple store. The 8plus and X added optical image stabilizer. The XS super HDR. So it goes on. The new 11 in September will have probably an additional super wide angle lens.

    Most questions to the Operating system u’ll find faster just by web search...
     
  14. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #14
    Pardon the newbie digital zoom question, but what do yu mean by "locked into that lower quality"?

    From what was said earlier, my understanding is that with digital zoom, is that all you are gaining is cropping up front instead of doing it in post-production? Am I understanding that correctly or not?

    (With physical zoom you should be getting a better quality picture, because while the film or CCD quality/resolution doesn't change, the optics are getting you closer to the subject in the larger scene.)


    Fair enough.


    I see what you are saying.


    Yes, I guess that is true. I have just been of the mindset that you need to make the extra effort to get the shot right up front. This probably comes from me starting to get into medium and large format landscape photography right before my photography hobby got put on hold for about a decade.

    While Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna, Brett Weston, and the like certainly played around in the darkroom, it seems to me that they put alot of emphasis on planning each shot. (To do large format, you have to plan!)


    Okay, thanks.
     
  15. ApfelKuchen, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019

    ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #15
    I absolutely agree - you have to make the extra effort to get the shot right up front. The initial setup and shot is the foundation; you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

    However, the final result may require more than can be accomplished in-camera. It may be necessary to shoot in anticipation of how the shot will be manipulated afterwards in order to get the pre-visualized result. That was Adams' approach. He knew what he'd have to do in the darkroom at the time he setup the shot.

    Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna, Brett Weston, and the like would disagree with the term "played around" in the darkroom. The darkroom was a planned, integral part of their shot-making. I can speak with greater authority about Adams, because his series of books "The Camera," "The Negative," and "The Print" were seminal to my approach to photography (and my technique in audio/music recording, which was my first career after school). He might have written a single volume incorporating his entire craft, but felt each aspect required co-equal emphasis.

    The dynamic range of his subject matter (brightest white to deepest shadow) was often greater than a single exposure setting could capture. So if there was a brilliantly sun-lit, snow-covered peak surrounded by shadowy forest, how could he encompass it all? The initial exposure had to make sure there was detail in the highlights (no blown-out highlights, in digital terms) and still sufficient exposure of the shadowed areas to allow later enhancement in the darkroom.

    Recording an orchestral concert to analog (and later, digital) tape seemed so directly analogous to Adams' photographic technique that I was able to jump from one field to the other with barely a beat. I even suspect music informed Adams' approach to photography. Prior to his photographic career he'd been a classically-trained pianist. I think his approach to light and shadow was directly related to musicians' use of fortississimo and pianississimo.

    Movie-making is another example. Principle photography is just one part of a process that encompasses careful pre-production planning, photography, and post-production. While "we'll fix it in post" can be used to cover shortcomings from pre-production and principle photography, post is essential even when the preceding stages went perfectly (not that they ever do).
     
  16. alpi123 macrumors 6502a

    alpi123

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    #16
    Why do I find this thread rather weird...
     
  17. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #17
    Maybe not the right website to do so, but if I start any photography related threads somewhere else on macRumors, I hope you'll join in. Haven't had a conversation like this in ages, and I appreciate your wisdom on photography!


    Yes, you make good points that I hadn't considered. (I meant to read "The Camera", "The Negative" and "The Print", but never got to them before my photography chapter got closed for the last decade. You've inspired me to try and get to those while I still have time!)


    Makes sense.


    I see your points now.

    Thanks!! :apple:
     

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