Mem­o­ries, not just pho­tos

Life’s mo­ments are pre­cious, es­pe­cially those in­volv­ing fam­ily. Cap­ture them.

The Western Star - - GAMES & GADGETS - MARK FURLER Mark.Furler@news­re­gional­me­

iPhone XS Max Re­view

THIS time a year ago, I had just got my hands on the lat­est iPhone X and was show­ing off por­trait mode to my mum and dad.

I took a photo of my fa­ther, with his beam­ing smile, in a poorly lit church.

In an in­stant, us­ing the stage light edit set­ting, I had cre­ated a beau­ti­ful deep-etched photo of my dad’s face with a solid black back­ground – some­thing that years ago would have taken a graphic artist ages to etch.

I showed the photo to Mum and Dad, who were suitably im­pressed.

Lit­tle did we know that we would be us­ing that same photo in Dad’s fu­neral ser­vice af­ter he passed away fol­low­ing a short bat­tle with can­cer ear­lier this year. The point is life’s mo­ments are pre­cious, es­pe­cially those in­volv­ing fam­ily.

It’s through that lens I look at the value of a good cam­era – whether it be a DSLR or the lat­est smart­phone cam­eras.

Much has been writ­ten about the gob­s­mack­ing price of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. With prices start­ing at $1799 for the 6.5-inch Max to $2369 for the 512GB ver­sion, many will be won­der­ing whether it’s worth the up­grade. If you’re up­grad­ing from last year’s phone, the an­swer is no.

If you are up­grad­ing from the 6 or 7 model or ear­lier, the an­swer de­pends on how much you value new tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion.

At first look, the iPhone XS Max is a beau­ti­ful phone. Its fin­ish, screen res­o­lu­tion, pro­cess­ing power and graph­ics ca­pa­bil­ity are in­cred­i­ble.

Watch­ing HDR con­tent on the 458 pix­els per inch OLED screen, to­gether with its much more im­pres­sive speak­ers, is a mini cinema ex­pe­ri­ence.

The A12 Bionic chip and next gen­er­a­tion neu­ral en­gine com­bine beau­ti­fully in ap­pli­ca­tions rang­ing from aug­mented re­al­ity to mo­bile gam­ing.

But for me, the cam­era is al­ways the main con­sid­er­a­tion in a phone.

And this com­bi­na­tion is one of the best on the mar­ket, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to ad­just­ing back­ground blur af­ter pho­tos are taken.

While this is not new – Sam­sung and Huawei led the way – the user ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­just­ing F stops us­ing a slid­ing scale is ar­guably su­pe­rior.

Af­ter you have taken your photo in por­trait mode, you can slide from F1.4 to F16, watch­ing the blur of the back­ground change as you do.

You can also still change the ef­fect to through nat­u­ral light, stu­dio light, con­tour light, stage light to stage light mono.

The ad­vanced bokeh and depth con­trol cre­ates some re­ally beau­ti­ful fam­ily pho­tos, some­thing you would nor­mally only achieve with an DSLR cam­era.

While the new iPhone XS mod­els come with a big price tag, when you con­sider what is un­der the hood, there will be plenty will­ing to fork out for one of the best mo­bile tech­nol­ogy pack­ages around.

The bot­tom line, though, is mem­o­ries are price­less. Spend more time with the ones you love, not the tech­nol­ogy to cap­ture them.

Pho­tos: Mark Furler

LIFE IN FO­CUS: The iPhone XS Max phone is put to the test.

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