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National Geographic Photographer Praises iPhone 5s Camera

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson took his iPhone 5s to Scotland and, after taking 4,000 photographs, called the camera on the device "very capable" with pictures that "didn’t look like I was having to settle for second best because it was a mobile phone".

Apple's Phil Schiller tweeted a link to the article this evening, commenting "iPhoneography".

With intense use (I’ve made about 4,000 pictures in the last four days) I’ve discovered that the iPhone 5S is a very capable camera. The color and exposures are amazingly good, the HDR exposure feature does a stunningly good job in touch situations, the panorama feature is nothing short of amazing—seeing a panorama sweeping across the screen in real time is just intoxicating. Best of all it shoots square pictures natively, a real plus for me since I wanted to shoot for Instagram posting.

Once I figured out what the camera could do well I began to forget all the things it couldn’t do at all.
While the iPhone 5s still uses an 8-megapixel camera, it utilizes a sensor that has a 15 percent larger surface area, which means it will produce higher quality photos in low-light conditions. It also has a 5-element lens with an aperture of f/2.2, an improvement over the iPhone 5's f/2.4 aperture and the pixels are larger, at 1.5 microns, for better light absorption. All in all, the iPhone 5s has a 33 percent increase in light sensitivity.

Interested readers can follow Jim Richardson's Instagram page at @jimrichardsonng or #proofscotland from the Instagram iOS app. The full post from National Geographic's Proof blog has more images as well.

Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago
the best camera to have when taking pictures, is the one you have with you.
Rating: 49 Votes
14 months ago

Amazing how great their products are! :)


Im not surprised you said that, considering your username is applefan
Rating: 26 Votes
14 months ago

4,000 photos? Did Apple give him a special edition 128 GB model???


I guess you fail at simple math. If each picture is about 8mb x 4000 = 32000 or 32 gigs. 64 gig iPhone can easily handle...
Rating: 26 Votes
14 months ago
"Oh cool!" I thought "Finally a review by someone who knows something about photography, not another Instagram selfie poster"

Sigh...
Rating: 24 Votes
14 months ago

Im not surprised you said that, considering your username is applefan


Lol yep, I love my apple products.
Rating: 20 Votes
14 months ago
I can't believe a professional said this:

Best of all it shoots square pictures natively, a real plus for me since I wanted to shoot for Instagram posting.


I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. :eek:
Rating: 19 Votes
14 months ago
4,000 photos? Did Apple give him a special edition 128 GB model???
Rating: 16 Votes
14 months ago

It would be really interesting to see where mobile phone photography, and photography in general will be in a decades time. God bless technology!


Panaroma advancements, then 3D? Have no idea if practical but could be interesting.

I guess you fail at simple math. If each picture is about 8mb x 4000 = 32000 or 32 gigs. 64 gig iPhone can easily handle...


All due respect, the "you fail" comments are not only rude, insulting and unnecessary, but as tiresome as "is it snappier?" (don't reprimand me for using "snappier" maflynn (http://forums.macrumors.com/member.php?u=311274), reference use only).

Try this instead:

"Actually, calculating the math results in..."

You'll catch more flies while proving internet anonymity doesn't always turn people into smug ****** (not a bad word, but not taking chances). :)

On point, if that pic is from the new 5S camera, that is impressive.
Rating: 14 Votes
14 months ago
My father is a pro photog as well, and had a similiar experience with the 5s. Its handiness combined with its quality is striking.

He uses it for location scouting and whatnot, then returns with his gear and shoots with the big beast.
Rating: 11 Votes
14 months ago

The white balance of that photo is horrible. It is way too cool and there is too much magenta as well. It also looks about a stop underexposed - where are the highlights?


And yet here you are posting on MR, and he's getting press as a photographer for NG.

My experience is that the people who know just enough about the technical aspects of photography, but have the artistic touch take WAY better pictures than people who know all the tech, but have no touch.
Rating: 11 Votes

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