Apple iOS iPhone 5 News, , , , , , , — September 13, 2012 14:43 — 4 Comments

Apple’s iPhone 5 – what filmmakers need to know

apple, iphone 5, launch, camera, pixels, filmmaking

Apple iPhone 5 unveiled – and we can’t wait to get our hands on one

Crisper, faster, lighter, perfectly formed and expensive – but will the new iPhone 5 impress mobile filmmakers waiting to take the genre to the next level?


Apple CEO Tim Cook described the new iPhone 5  as ‘beautiful’ and judging by the pictures and videos coming out of Cupertino on Wednesday at the launch of the new device, few will take him to task on that call.

But what’s the iPhone 5 got for filmmakers and photographers in comparison to its predecessors the 4s and iPhone 4?

On hearing the news that the iPhone 5 camera is still 8mp, we were disappointed – we were expecting at least a couple of mega-pixels more, even hoping for a 12mp camera after seeing what the Nokia N8 can do with 12mps.

But Apple says that performance will be improved by a new A6 processor – and the iPhone 5 will also feature low-light performance and a new panorama mode.

The new camera is completely redesigned with ‘incredible optical performance, yet amazingly it’s 25% smaller than the camera in iPhone 4S’, said an Apple spokesperson.

The new iSight camera in iPhone 5 features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images. The new panorama feature lets you capture ‘jaw-dropping’ panorama images of up to 28 mega-pixels by simply moving the camera across a scene in one smooth motion.

So far so good and the new video features include improved stabilization, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos as you record.

The most noticeable change in the new iPhone 5 is its larger, 4-inch screen.

The guys at Mashable got their hands on one at the launch and says: “The display area isn’t any wider than the previous one, but instead extends length-wise to a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Its resolution is 1,136 x 640 pixels – that’s not quite high-def, but it still has the same pixel density – what Apple calls a retina display. The taller screen allows for five rows of apps (plus the permanent row on the bottom), and Apple says its colors are better, too.”

Sir Jony Ive has also come up trumps with the design of the new iPhone 5, remember this is the first iPhone not to have any input from the late Steve Jobs, but the Englishman doesn’t disappoint.

Apple claims that the iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, with an all-new 7.6 mm anodized aluminum body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays that is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than iPhone 4S.

The other major change to the new iPhone 5 that is going to affect many of us is the new  ‘Lightning’ dock connector. It’s an eight-pin connector (rumours were that it was a nine-pin, so close), which obviously means it’s much smaller than the 30-pin connector that has been a feature of Apple’s devices for the past 10 years.

By reducing the dock by 80%  Apple have been able to cram in more to the iPhone 5 without going to Galaxy SIII-size proportions. It’s reversible so you can instantly connect to your accessories any side up – and Apple also claims data will flow faster.

The downside is obvious. It makes all those accessories we’ve been using obsolete in a flash. However, the Lightning-to-30-pin adapter is also available to connect iPhone 5 to legacy 30-pin accessories and you can buy it from Apple (KERCHING) for around $30 (£25), so microphones and projectors and other gizmos you have been using  will still be compatible with the new device.

Along with all smartphones, recording audio has always been a problem, because the mics are, well, small and filmmakers have had to rely on external mics to do the job properly. With the iPhone 5 this may still be the case but this new device promises new enhanced audio features including a new beam-forming, directional microphone system for higher quality sound, while background noise fades away with new noise canceling technology.

The iPhone 5 also  includes support for cellular wideband audio for crisper word clarity and more natural sounding speech. Wideband audio will be supported by over 20 carriers worldwide at launch.

There is also the new Apple EarPods headphones featuring a breakthrough design for a more natural fit (hurray!) and increased durability, and, it is claimed, and sound quality typically reserved for higher-end earphones.

Finally, the new iPhone 5 should be available later this month, possibly 21 September, but we are not sure if that release date is United States only. And if you own an iPhone from before September 2010 (so the iPhone 3G, 3GS, or 4), you should be able to get a free upgrade from your carrier if you are locked into a monthly plan.

Best check with your mobile phone company and weigh up the options, which with the new faster, lighter, more powerful iPhone 5 should be a no-brainer, especially if you are a smart movie maker.

Also, we would love to start seeing footage shot with the new iPhone 5 – so please send in your films, you can upload them to our Vimeo group.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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