Are the Apple iPad air 2 / iPhone 6 genuine photographic tools? Nokia 1020 Raw Samples and iPad AIR 2 jpg. samples.

 

iPAD SAMPLES TO DOWNLOAD

PLEASE NOTE - ALL .JPG IMAGES MADE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD IN THIS POST ARE ©SOUNDIMAGEPLUS AND MUST NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, BE SHARED OR USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN TO VIEW AND ASSESS PRIVATELY AND INDIVIDUALLY.

My wife Ann and I seem to be collecting iPads. Currently we have three, which we use for various work and leisure purposes. I've just got the iPad Air 2 with 128GB of space and a cellular connection which is for work. e.g. Controlling cameras via wi-fi, uploading images anywhere, editing via snapseed etc. Since the camera on it is much the same specs. as an iPhone 6 and supposedly very similar* (See below). I thought I'd have a look at what it can do. And despite the general view that it looks a bit strange taking pictures with an iPad, it does have the advantage of that incredible screen, which as you imagine is very good indeed for framing and composition.

* Going into this camera comparison, I pretty much had my mind made up that the iPhone 6 would out perform the iPad Air 2 in almost every area. As it turns out, I was wrong. iPad photographers can finally rejoice as you truly do have something great (sic) in your hands. Not only can it keep pace with the iPhone 6 in almost every area, some folks may prefer the images it produces if you favor cooler tones. That being said, those that prefer warmer tones will most likely find the iPhone 6 images to be more to their liking. SOURCE http://www.imore.com/ipad-air-2-vs-iphone-6-camera-comparison

I am of course somewhat spoiled by my Nokia Lumia 1020 camera phone and I've yet to see any other smartphone camera images that come close to the quality I can get with it. (And yes that does include the Panasonic CM1, which looks more and more like an overpriced toy the more pictures I see taken with it. But then samples from the usual suspect tech. review sites are generally awful and i'll wait to see some pictures taken by somebody who knows what they are doing before making a final judgement)

If you're expecting results something close to a dedicated camera from the iPad (and presumably the new iPhone), then you can forget that straight away. The levels of noise present in ISO 25 images are about the same as my Sony A7s at ISO 3200. Dynamic range is almost non-existent and there is a somewhat unpleasant 'smearing' when the images are viewed at 100%. As I said, I'm spoiled by my Nokia, which after I downsize the files produces results that could easily be passed off as m4/3 or even APS-C sensor created files. 

The iPad does however, after some editing, produce a decent panoramic image, though as you can see from the full-size sample in the downloads, shadows do block out almost completely. 

So will I use it much? Well not really. It's useful to have and for photographing gear and other general photography it will have a place. But to be honest I still prefer the images from my Blackberry Q10, which produces more more 'photographic' results and I've worked up a preset in Iridient Developer which makes the files from that phone look really good. 

This is not the first time I've been unimpressed by Apple camera technology. Several of my relatives use iPhones and I've looked at their pictures and thought that they weren't actually that good. When the Leica T came out some reviewers made the observation that it looked like a camera Apple might make. Well, from the results I've seen from Apple cameras, we should be thankful that it was in fact made by Leica!! 

It's interesting that with a few notable exceptions, smartphone camera tech. seems to still be in the dark ages somewhat. I thought after the release of the Nokia 1020 things would improve dramatically, but it seems that's not the case yet. And for social media applications, I guess it doesn't matter, but just as DSLR's aren't disappearing any time soon, the notion that smartphones will take over photography is another myth. The Nokia 1020 may be a serious alternative to a dedicated camera, but it does seem it's pretty much out there on it's own in terms of quality of results. 

And though photography isn't all about technical quality, it does depend on how far you are prepared to compromise. With my Nokia I really don't have to compromise much, if at all, but using the iPad / iPhone I would. No chance to upsize files here, unless I was prepared to get the filters out and while the Apple cameras are capable of a certain level of print reproduction, they are primarily designed for internet sharing. 

It remains to be seen whether other phone cameras / camera phones / smartphones etc. develop to the standard of the Nokia 1020 and certainly that camera has been out for awhile without encountering any serious competition. I have no idea what the sales figures are like or whether people consider other features, operating system and size as more important in a phone. However, just so you can an idea of what that is like, I'm making some raw files available for download so you can see what they are like. I believe that there are only two smartphone cameras that provide raw files and certainly with the Nokia those .DNG files provide the opportunity to get pretty decent dynamic range. Anyway, as indicated, you can see for yourself.

NOKIA LUMIA 1020 RAW SAMPLES TO DOWNLOAD

PLEASE NOTE - ALL IMAGES MADE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD IN THIS POST ARE ©SOUNDIMAGEPLUS AND MUST NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, BE SHARED OR USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN TO VIEW AND ASSESS PRIVATELY AND INDIVIDUALLY.

N.B. First image in each pair is at ISO 100, second at ISO 1600.