Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Italy with the iPhone 5s

As I previously posted, after auditioning two small DSLRs I decided to carry only my iPhone 5s as my camera in Italy. Susan and I spent 16 days in September 2014 visiting Rome, Volterra, Florence, the Cinque Terre, Siena and the Tuscan countryside around Greve in Chianti.

The 5s photos came out as I expected. Images in daylight were very good: mostly accurate exposure, good color balance, and decent shadow detail. I downloaded and used the Camera+ application on the 5s. It allows you to split the focus target into two, one for focus and the other for exposure. That was helpful in high contrast scenes. Camera+ has other features but I haven't used them much. The Ponte Vecchio and statue shots are examples in good light (morning and evening, respectively).

However, returning home to work on the files in Lightroom reminded me why I shoot JPEG only when there's no other choice. There just isn't much latitude to work with in a JPEG file, compared to RAW. Blown highlights are truly blown, and LR adjustments can lead to odd results. For instance, look closely at the woman's face in the Central Market image. There's no choice but JPEG with the 5s, and it's a drawback.

Low light results were pretty bad, consistent with the tiny sensor in the 5s. The Wine Tasting image is a not-quite-horrible example. There were a couple of night scenes I would have liked to capture with a APS-c box; they were awful on the 5s. 

Ah well. It's small, it's light, and it doubles as a smartphone, so it was a good choice for a trip where photography wasn't top priority and travelling light was. My expectations weren't too high so I wasn't very disappointed, but I hope to carry something better on my next trip. Perhaps by then I'll have found a smaller camera I can live with.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Statue on Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome

Central Market, Rome

Wine Tasting, Volterra

1 comment:

  1. Dean, I think all your shots are great. I can see you are a perfectionist.
    Brenda Anderson