Friday, October 14, 2011
Apple iPhone 4S Experience and Video Test
Where did everybody go? The Apple iPhone 4S launch day did not have the crowds, lines and chaos like last year. My early morning trip discovered a vast empty wasteland at the AT&T store. I walked in and was immediately helped by a salesperson to my long awaited Apple iPhone 4S. No line, no wait and no chaos.
The record one million Apple iPhone 4S online preorders may have sucked all the potential Apple mobs from retail stores including the local Apple Store. My failed online preorder at the Apple website forced my iPhone 4S purchase at AT&T. My pleasant AT&T store experience was in stark contrast to last year's 3 hour and 45 minute wait at the Apple Store for the previous iPhone 4 release.
What is all the buzz about? The new Apple iPhone 4S with the new iOS 5 operating system has over 200 new features. The new iPhone 4S has the new dual core A5 processor like the iPad 2. For photographers, the new iPhone 4S sports a 8 megapixel camera with a f/2.4 lens. On top of that, the dual core A5 chip with iOS 5 enables an amazing camera one half second recycle rate. I know it is not 10 fps but for all those Facebook photographers, it is a welcome new feature. For HD DSLR purists, the new iPhone 4S features 1080p video with built in image stabilization.
There are more Apple employees than customers on launch day. Apple prepared this year for the onslaught of questions of all the new iPhone 4S features like the virtual assistant "Siri". I even looked around the corner of the Apple Store for a waiting hidden crowd but I just saw vast emptiness. The Apple store went through the early morning crowd of at least 100 people very quickly. Kudos!
Now for the good stuff. I manage to capture some quick images and video clips with the new Apple iPhone 4S today. I wanted to try the new f/2.4 lens and the 8 megapixel resolution for still pictures. Completely handheld for all the shots, I wanted to test the new built in "image stabilization" feature for 1080p video as well.
The Apple iPhone 4S 8 megapixel camera verdict on image quality is quite amazing to say the least. The color, sharpness and resolution are all there in my test shots. I was expecting soft, excessive color fringing on highlights and not so great phone pictures. The Apple iPhone 4S still images are equal to or better than budget point and shoot digital cameras. You will be impressed.
As for my Apple iPhone 4S video verdict, I give a thumbs up on 1080p video quality but a disappointing thumbs down on the new "image stabilization" feature. I was expecting stabilization like in my Canon ELPH 300 HS point and shoot but all I got was a very minimal stabilizing effect on my Apple iPhone 4S video capture. I already ordered a $20 Apple iPhone 4S tripod mount to solve this problem.
Despite the lack of considerable in camera stabilization for video, the 1080p video quality is breathtaking. The 1080p video above was shot completely handheld with the Apple iPhone 4S at 30fps and edited with Apple iMovie'09. I used Quicktime to compress a 600mb h264 video file for Youtube. I apologize for the shakiness but as soon as my iPhone 4S tripod mount comes in, I will shoot a better video.
You can view more pictures and videos for yourself in my Apple iPhone 4S Experience and Video Test Gallery. You can be the judge whether the new Apple iPhone 4S is worth your coin. The 1080p video and 8 megapixel images got me sold.
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