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New iPhones, cameras, and non-cat “Mewing”
New iPhone means more photo and video talk, and stress of tech writers.
The launch of a new iPhone is always the cause of concern for anyone who covers the technology beat in any format. It’s the Super Bowl for tech, in that it happens every year and offers a great traffic boost to online publications.
This is very much the case for the last few weeks of working over at AppleInsider.
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In the weeks leading up to Apple’s special event, tech writers of all stripes will have had to deal with the plethora of rumors and “leaks,” both in genuine and trolling forms. Partial prewrites of articles are created and repeatedly rewritten as new information comes in.
All of this in the faint hope that a lot of it could be used as-is when it comes time to publish.
The weeks before are tough, and the immediate time pre and post event are the hardest and most stressful times.
However, there’s no hope of any of it easing off for a few weeks for the Apple specialist press. Once Apple actually announces something, there’s usually a period when writers have to come up with reviews, analysis, comparisons against rival devices, and pretty much any sort of post you can think of.
Eventually, it does let up, but not until October, when Apple announces other things it wants to sell during the holiday season.
Add in the rest of the tech industry doing the same thing, and it is a non-stop headache.
Please think pleasant thoughts for your local tech-based wordsmith.
While I must refer you to AppleInsider for my main thoughts on the topic, I feel I should pick up on something that often surfaces at this time that is somewhat less device-specific.
With the launch of new hardware, especially the iPhones, there’s often people questioning if this year will be the one where the smartphone kills off separate cameras.
The answer is a resounding “no,” but they do have a point.
We know of the saying that the best camera is the one you have with you, and smartphone cameras certainly fit the brief. With advances in resolution, lenses, and computational photography, the smartphone is a cracking camera in its own right.
For most day-to-day photography purposes, you can get a lot done with an iPhone if you know what you’re doing. Be it capturing memories and being in the moment, or the more common snapping a thing to send to someone else on social media or in chat apps, it’s hard to get away from what a smartphone can offer.
Indeed, the smartphone is probably why sales of compact cameras are low compared to ten years ago, because a smartphone effectively IS a compact camera. One that also handles editing and sharing of the image too.
There will almost certainly be a small section of the tech world that proclaims that smartphone cameras are not as good as bigger ones, like DSLRs or mirrorless cameras.
They also have a point too.
A big-boy camera like a DSLR or a mirrorless snapper really finds its superpower when it is being used for extremely specialist use cases. In general use, they’re great, but the convenience of a smartphone wins out in the end.
When you want a specific type of shot, at an exceptionally high level of quality, you may not necessarily be able to get it with a stock smartphone. Extreme zooms, macro shots, and unusual conditions could force the use of a specialist camera setup instead of a more generalised solution.
Then there is control, in that you have a lot more opportunity to tweak and adjust the shot with a camera. You do get a lot of control for an iPhone’s camera with the right apps, but that pales compared to someone with the right camera body, lenses, modifiers, and a clue of what they’re doing.
A professional photographer (or with the new USB-C stuff in the latest iPhone 15 Pro models, videographer) can certainly capture an image or record footage to a high degree with a smartphone, there’s no doubt about that.
But, in the pursuit of perfection, with absolute control over everything and the highest quality, no-compromise, made-for-purpose equipment, that same creative person can produce something even better.
Smartphone cameras are great for everyday life, certainly. They’re also capable of creating professional-grade content, and are more than good enough for most domestic photography tasks.
When you get to the professional level, “good enough” just isn’t good enough.
Sometimes, TikTok tells you to do stupid things for a better social media post. Five Minute Crafts on FaceBook has a lot to answer for.
However, somehow genuine tips appear that sound stupid, but aren’t.
As detailed over at PetaPixel, the art of “Mewing” sounds like a social media “trend,” but it’s actually helpful. If you’re having a photo taken from the side, you can use the technique to get more of a jawline.
In short, all you do is jam your tongue into the roof of your mouth and press, and that makes your face contort slightly into being more jaw-y thn usual.
Sounds stupid by name, on a par with the infamous “duckface”. Really it’s actually not bad, and something to pull out of the bag in the future when it’s needed for a portrait.
Duckface is still bad, by the way.
Some quick-fire links for you from the last week:
Yep, the new iPhone 15 Pro models are overheating, and we don’t really know what’s going on, though it may not be that concerning. (I did this one!)
Starlink has more than 8,000 “space lasers” in the sky. Make your own Austin Powers joke…
EU tells Apple to open itself to competitors, or face governmental gnashing of teeth.
Apple’s now testing displaying bank balances in the iOS 17.1 Wallet app in the UK. Now you have two places to see how broke you are, beyond the bank app…
AirPods can survive in the stomach for nine hours. Just, don’t test this for yourself…
Before you go…
If you’re like me, you probably have a bunch of invites to free classes and workshops in your inbox. You can probably ignore most of them, but I do urge you to try and go to one of them.
This week, Emma (Part of Paper Dragons and my partner) and I went to see Ten:15 Marketing’s workshop on social media in the middle of Swansea. While it was aimed more at beginners, the class still taught me a few things, and reminded me to be more proactive about my own social media usage. Namely to actually do it.
Why I am I bringing this up? It’s a great reason to get out of the house and to go do something productive. You get to meet new people (which from an introverted business prospective counts as in-person networking), and you’re potentially learning something new at the same time.
If you don’t fancy learning something, then just find something to go outside about. The fresh (ish) air will do you and your mind good.