Tak­ing photos now a snap

Ap­ple iPhone 8 Plus fea­tures pro­duce some stun­ning re­sults

The Daily Examiner - - LIFE - MARK FURLER

THE tech­nol­ogy be­hind Ap­ple iPhone 8 Plus pho­tog­ra­phy is mind bog­gling.

The A11 Bionic chip is ca­pa­ble of 600 bil­lion (yep that’s bil­lion, not mil­lion) pro­cesses a sec­ond.

In por­trait mode, the re­sults are stun­ning – and quite un­be­liev­able.

The new fa­cial land­mark­ing fea­ture al­lows you to take a por­trait photo with dif­fer­ent ef­fects and then edit the photo af­ter you have taken it – chang­ing it to a nat­u­ral light, stu­dio light, con­tour light, stage light or stage light mono.

I took a por­trait of my fa­ther un­der flu­o­res­cent light­ing in a build­ing. He has wiry, white hair.

The cam­era was able to blur the back­ground per­fectly and then when I added the stage light ef­fect, it cre­ated a per­fect deep etch of my fa­ther’s face against a deep black back­ground.

For a graphic artist to deep etch the hair, it would have taken for­ever. This hap­pened in sec­onds.

I did the same with a se­ries of pho­to­graphs of an oblig­ing pel­i­can in day­light. Again, stun­ning re­sults you would be happy with from a DSLR. As the pel­i­can took off, the cam­era, which has im­proved fo­cus speed, was able to cap­ture a sharp im­age, even while I was still in por­trait mode.

Like many top of the range phones, the iPhone 8 Plus has two cam­eras – one wide an­gle and one tele­photo – still at 2x op­ti­cal zoom.

The wide an­gle cam­era has an im­proved ƒ/1.8 six-el­e­ment lens, op­ti­cal im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion, and a larger, faster 12MP sen­sor. The tele­photo is an ƒ/2.8 lens.

In com­par­i­son, Sam­sung’s Note 8 also shoots in­cred­i­ble por­trait photos with a Bokeh (blurred) ef­fect. But the post edit­ing op­tions are not as fancy as the iPhone 8 Plus.

I did another photo shoot with my teenage son and a friend. Both of them deemed the out­comes to be In­sta­gram­wor­thy. High praise in­deed.

The nat­u­ral light op­tion is nor­mally very good, but if you are look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle more stark, con­tour light­ing adds more dra­matic shad­ows with high­lights and low­lights.

Stage light mono pro­duces some beau­ti­ful black and white im­ages.

Video ca­pa­bil­ity has also been im­proved with full HD at 240 frames per sec­ond, 4K in 60 FPS, and faster com­pres­sion to up­load videos more quickly. The flash sys­tem is also im­proved with slow sync flash mean­ing true tones and less “hotspots” in your pics.

When it comes to the screen dis­play, the iPhone 8 Plus is more re­al­is­tic in colour pre­sen­ta­tion than some of the lat­est An­droids, which tend to be more vivid. It also ad­justs bet­ter for your light set­tings.

Play­ing games and lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, you cer­tainly no­tice the im­prove­ments in the sound ca­pac­ity of the phone which has 25% louder speak­ers. Cou­pled with Ap­ple’s Air­pods, it re­mains my favourite de­vice for lis­ten­ing to mu­sic.

One of the coolest fea­tures of the iPhone 8 is aug­mented re­al­ity.

We checked out an AR Ikea cat­a­logue which al­lowed you to browse through their on­line cat­a­logue and then place fur­ni­ture in your home (on the screen) to see what it would look like. It’s a pretty cool party trick. Us­ing the In­sight Heart app, you can go even fur­ther, watch­ing – and hear­ing a beat­ing heart as it hov­ers above you.

You can pinch the heart, zoom in and even go in­side the beat­ing heart while learn­ing about dif­fer­ent ab­nor­mal­i­ties. Again, it has to be seen to be be­lieved.

So the ques­tion ev­ery­one asks is should I buy the iPhone 8 or wait for the iPhone X.

Apart from the all-new 5.8 inch su­per retina screen and the fa­cial recog­ni­tions, the 8 Plus has all the fea­tures of the X and keeps the home but­ton.

And at $350 cheaper than the X, price is cer­tainly a con­sid­er­a­tion. That said, I’ll be look­ing for­ward to check­ing out Ap­ple’s X fac­tor.

MIND-BOG­GLING: Por­trait mode in Ap­ple’s iPhone 8 Plus al­lows you to use dif­fer­ent ef­fects and pro­duces spec­tac­u­lar im­ages.

PHOTO: MARK FURLER

Por­trait ef­fect also works won­ders with wildlife.

PHOTOS: MARK FURLER

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED An aug­mented re­al­ity heart.

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