Here are some long exposure photos from beaches around San Diego. What do you notice? Yes, they are more or less “Instagram flavored”, with filter effects applied. But most of all, they are cellphone photos – made with an iOS app called “Slow Shutter Cam” (Website, iTunes).
Now this only proves (once more) that the camera doesn’t really matter all that much (in reality it’s not that easy of course, but that would be a bit off-topic for this off-topic post;-) but my main point is a different one. If you’re interested read on below the gallery (it’s getting a bit technical).
The app costs 99 cents. What is needed of course is some sort of camera stabilization like a tripod, gorillapod, etc. (for these photos, I simply “leaned” the phone on my tripod’s ballhead at an angled position).
What’s more interesting though is what is not needed, and what doesn’t need to be dealt with: fiddling with exposure compensation, calculating correct exposure times when using ND filters, a cable release and/or programmable remote for exposures > 30 seconds, ND filters and their color casts, waiting for long exposure noise reduction… what did I forget?
The app records the images and blends them in real-time (I think it does that by using the phone’s continuous/burst shooting mode, it’s not a “true” long exposure). You can see the long exposure commencing on the display. You can set an amount of motion blur, and exposure times up to 60 seconds (that’s one stop more than the normal DSLR allows). Yes, you can make a sixty second long exposure in broad daylight without a pitch-black 15-stop ND filter, and you don’t need to worry about whether it will by correctly or under- or overexposed. Or, you can use a bulb mode where you simply press the “shutter” once to start, and again to stop “recording”.
Think about mirrorless cameras for a second. Or the (pathetic) attempts we’ve seen at “Android powered” cameras from Samsung and Nikon. How can it be that mirrorless cameras are unable to do this stuff? And why does a 99 cent app for the iPhone ridicule all the mirrorless retro styled toys?
It seems that “traditional” camera makers are completely trapped in their old-school camera-think. Give software developers a platform that is flexible, and enables them to simply do stuff with it, and things will happen that blow your mind, and make you question the status quo a lot…Thanks for reading! You can stay up to date with my blogposts and subscribe via email (the subscription form opens in a new browser window/tab). It's easy as pie! :-)
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