iPhone 5s First Impressions: Camera

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One of the big new features of the iPhone 5s is the updated camera. Oh, but it’s still only has a 8MP sensor you say? True, but Apple has managed to make the sensor larger and increase the size of each individual pixel so more light hits your sensor, meaning your really crappy night shots are going to be slightly less crappy.

Out of the box, the new iPhone 5s camera doesn’t look that special – other than new dual LED flash – but one of the first places you’re going to notice the improvements are on your low-light indoor shots. The wide aperture and larger pixel size allow for better low-light shots around your house, which means your Snapchats are about to be immaculate. Well maybe not immaculate, but there is definitely be a notable improvement.

Controlling the camera hasn’t changed since the last iPhone. Apple still doesn’t let you set separate focal and exposure points, but exposure does get automatically adjusted when you shoot a panorama, making for much more balanced pictures when you’re surveying an area that has some very bright and dark sections.

Burst-mode hasn’t received a lot of attention but it’s already one of my favorite new features. Hold down the shutter button and your iPhone fires off frames like a machine gun. The pictures are all put in one stack for you to go through and select the best ones. Sounds like it’d be great for sports and action stuff, but it could also be really useful when you’re on a trip. Rather than putting up with a blurry snapshot some unwilling stranger captured for you in hurry, you can tell them to hold down burst mode and then choose the one where you’re in focus, or smiling, or not smiling if you’re against that sort of thing.

Lastly, the new Slo-Mo feature is absolutely great. I can’t wait to see all the stupid shit kids film in Slo-Mo and post on the Internet. Actually, in about two months the new crop of Slo-Mo vids of cats and face-slaps will probably be annoying the shit out of everyone, but it’s fun as hell right now, even if it is a bit gimmicky. To film something in Slo-Mo you just swipe over to the setting inside the camera app, film whatever you want, and then you can go back and choose which parts of the video to play at 120FPS. Editing Slo-Mo clips is even easier than in iMovie, so I expect we’ll see some really creative uses of it on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube over the next couple weeks.

Our full review of the iPhone 5s camera is still underway, so check back later this week for our full review of Apple’s best smartphone ever. In the meantime, you can read our other first impressions right here.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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