Wednesday, 26 October 2011

iPhone cameras compared

Camera+ has published an excellent set of compare/contrast images using all versions of the iPhone as well as a Canon S95 and a Canon 5D Mark II.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

MacBook Pro range upgraded

The 13" MacBook Pro now comes with 2.4GHz and 2.8GHz processors, up from 2.3GHz and 2.7GHz. The standard hard drive sizes have been increased from 320GB and 500GB to 500GB and 750GB.

The 15" models have been given 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz processors, replacing the 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz processors in previous models. The graphics cards have also been updated — the 2.2GHz gets an AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB GDDR5, and the 2.4GHz version gets an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB GDDR5.

The 'base' 17" MacBook Pro has a 2.4GHz processor, 750GB hard drive and an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB GDDR5.

Prices remain unchanged, starting at £999, although if you're visiting the US you could pick up a shiny 13" MacBook Pro for £250 less.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

iPhone 4S - First Impressions

My 64GB iPhone 4S arrived yesterday morning.

Transferring the O2 microSIM and the 28GB of information that had previously resided on my iPhone 4 proceeded without a hitch. I still get a kick out of how easily I can transfer so much data from one machine to another.

Can't comment on iCloud, because I haven't made the switch to Lion, but MobileMe is working fine for syncing my calendars, etc.

Operations are significantly quicker, registering more as 'smoothness' than 'speed'.

My first attempts at using Siri were promising, but a 'live demo' to some colleagues ended in a mixture of hilarity and profanity. However, I did create a couple of texts and reminders on my drive home that I would have otherwise not been able to.

The camera is significantly better than the (far from rubbish) one on the iPhone 4. Compact camera manufacturers must be wondering how long it is before sales hit terminal decline.

I think the speaker/amplifier may have been upgraded (or the one in my iPhone 4 was defective). The sounds seem louder, richer and clearer... my alarm this morning made me jump!

Otherwise, everything is comfortably familiar. No new case to purchase, the same beautiful build quality, the same beautiful screen.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


type.method reports: [edited]

Your mission is simple: achieve pleasant and readable text by distributing the space between letters. Typographers call this activity kerning. Your solution will be compared to typographer's solution, and you will be given a score depending on how close you nailed it.

via kottke

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Best review of the iPhone 4S

If you're pondering whether to acquire Apple's latest iPhone, Daring Fireball has published a full, fair and succinct review.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

How the iPhone changed the way I do photography

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Over-extended metaphors aside, as every photographer knows, the best camera you own is the one that you have with you. And the funny thing about phones is that (with the apparent exception of my mother) most people carry them around pretty much all the time.

I never learned to love the 3G's 2MP output, but I did learn how to exploit the camera's few strengths (good metering, nice colors and acceptable detail in decent light) and to use its 'distinctive' characteristics creatively.

For me though, what really transformed the iPhone into a serious photographic tool was not the hardware, which until the iPhone 4 was poor compared to most compact cameras, but the huge ecosystem of applications which sprung up around it. In the years since the iTunes app store was launched, the impact of both the iPhone as hardware and the idea of 'apps' on consumer level digital imaging has been profound.

With a range of carefully-chosen apps installed, my iPhone can create moody black and white images, atmospheric lomo-esque shots and fake Polaroids. Of the thousands of photography apps available for the iPhone, Hipstamatic is one of the most popular, and fun.

The iPhone has made me more open-minded. I don't get out with my DSLR as much these days as I'd like to, but when I do, this new open-mindedness extends to my more 'serious' photography as well. I'm less liable to get hung up on the technical risks of attempting a certain shot, and more likely just to go for it, and see what happens.

My iPhone has also proved invaluable for keeping in touch with friends and family back home in England, and I'm not just talking about phonecalls. Services like Instagram allow me to share photographs I've taken on my various wanderings around America. Friends follow my Instagram stream, and I follow theirs. It's no substitute for a conversation, but it is nice, nonetheless, and helps narrow the 5,000-mile gap a little.

At a major tradeshow last year I got talking to a fellow journalist who was using his iPhone 4 exclusively to illustrate his online coverage of the event. His reason? He likes the images it takes, the quality is fine for the web, and it's much less bulky than his normal DSLR. My initial reaction was that there was no way I could - or would - use my iPhone in the same way, but the conversation made me think. Why not?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

iPhone 4S

The latest iPhone gets Siri (voice control), a faster processor, a better camera & 1080p video. And up to 64GB of RAM.

Available from 14 October, from £499.

For more info, including videos, click here.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Amazon releases lighter, smaller, faster Kindle

- 30% lighter than before, less than 170 grams
- 18% smaller body, same 6" screen size - fits in your pocket
- Most advanced E Ink display, reads like paper
- Built-in Wi-Fi - Get books in 60 seconds
- 10% faster page turns for seamless reading

For more information, click here.