Is the dream camera attached to a phone?

The race to the top of phone camera summit

Today we’re talking phone camera tech because October was a busy month for tech companies. If any of this sounds too technical, don’t worry, it’ll all make sense with upcoming newsletters. For now, all you need to know is that the gap between phones and digital cameras is rapidly shrinking. And the credit for that is shared by both Apple and the Android gang. The heated competition between the two sides has meant that Android phone makers have been aggressively adding megapixels while Apple has slowly upgraded the processing abilities behind those sensors.  

And it’s not just the phones that are getting upgrades. There are advances in phone accessories, photography and video apps.  

The Alice Camera by Photogram AI is the latest attempt to take the phone camera to the next level. It’s basically a wireless adapter for some popular camera lenses. Why do you need one? So that you can shoot, edit and publish from the same device; be it attaching a large telephoto lens to shoot distant wildlife or landscapes, or getting that shallow depth of field (bokeh) right that everyone seems to be obsessed with. What makes this attempt different from the likes of Ulanzi’s DOF Adapter is that it claims to work well with and without a smartphone physically attached to the adapter. But that’s something we’ll have to wait to see once they get down to manufacturing the camera in the second half of 2021. For now, they’ve opened their beta tester program for people that want early access to the camera and want to contribute to its development.  

The deadline to sign up is 15th Nov 2020 and you’ll have to pay a lot to get in, unless you’re a student. Watch this video to find out more: 

Canon is hot on the heals of the Alice Camera with their just-uncovered patent on a smartphone camera attachment for multiple lenses.

Watch out for the “iPhone 12 vs every other camera ” comparison videos

People are comparing the latest top-dog smartphone’s camera to everything. Including the $3,500 (body only, lenses and accessories cost extra) mirrorless camera to beat—Sony A7s III, because that’s become a ritual for every time there is a new iPhone on the block. This time, the iPhone 12 is getting even closer to the Mirrorless cameras with the insanely fast processor combined with better camera hardware and software. These upgrades give it a boost in capturing photos/videos in low light and with better colours. Cinematographers were just starting to get their hands on this camera and already pitting it against the cinema cameras that start at twice its price. We’ve watched the comparison videos for you, and in short, it’s a mess. We’re not getting one device to win in every category of photo and video ability. But we do have some great options for making great videos in the range of$100-$10,000! 

Check out the iPhone vs A7s III showdowns here: 

Photography: 

Videography: 

 (warning: includes a rant about file transfer at the end) 

If you don’t have an iPhone, there is a app for its features

One of iPhone 12 Pro’s most awaited feature is the ability to shoot RAW photos and HDR video in the default camera app. RAW and HDR capture more detail and allow more flexibility in editing. While it’s a new feature for iPhone’s default camera app, it’s a feature that app makers like Filmic Pro have been including for years. So, if you want to try out shooting RAW (uncompressed) photos on your iOS or Android phone, try Filmic Pro’s Firstlight app. And then use an app like Snapseed to edit it on the phone. No fuss of transferring files or buying/cracking Photoshop.  

Here’s a quick start guide: 

Update on the In Old News Fellowship

Applications are now closed for the In Old News Fellowship. Fellows will be announced on the first week of November.

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