Archive for Jan 9th, 2014


The Camera on the iPhone 5s

I recently lost the use of a small Leica Delux compact camera. I frequently used the camera to take landscapes; it also had a great macro setting so was ideal for taking close-ups of insects, flowers and the like. I had to find a replacement … as it died. At £500+ when I bought it some years ago it was an expensive loss.

The last time I bought a mobile phone the guy behind the counter started to spout off a list of features as long as your arm. Wo! … all I wanted was something to make a phone call.

Things have moved on.

My new iPhone 5s is more of a camera that makes phone calls … and a lot, lot more. I’ll cover the ‘lot more’ sometime else. We’ll just talk about some of the features of the camera for now.

There are two camera lenses on the phone; one on each side. The main one has an 8 Megapixel chip.  It has an f2.2 aperture backed by quite large 1.5 micron sized cells in the sensor. It has a two tone flash that help emulate true colours. It takes 10 frames per second and has an image stabilisation system as well as an HDR setting enabling detail in contrasting dark and light areas. It does panoramic landscapes, 1080p video and even slow motion video at 120 fps. You can get to within a few centimetres of your subject matter but here’s the clever bit. Purchase an Olloclip and it changes your iphone into a very capable Macro Camera.

Ostensibly this is a clip over lens addition that shortens the focal length so you can get closer to the subject. It comes with a wide angle and a fish eye lens too. For Natural History Photography these would be of limited use but the close up lens is invaluable. There are cheaper versions but I preferred the reviews of the Olloclip.

It comes with a pull draw-bag in which to keep it and clean the lens. It fits quickly and easily within 5 seconds. The only drawback I can see is it renders the flash unusable. However; I have not used flash in macro photography that often.

Here’s some hastily prepared photos along with a shot of the clip on the bag.

Leaf Veins

 Leaf Surface


Match Head

The Olloclip Bag

Olloclip Bag

Water on a Leaf – note the structure of the leaf

Water on a Leaf

The Surface of a Starfish


Olloclip and Bag

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Jan 2014


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