Tuesday, 19 May 2015


McTavish, the Scottish Wildcat

While I was testing the Samsung NX1, I was also playing around with another camera... My iPhone!

Earlier this year I treated myself to my first smart phone ever, boy... it takes some getting used to, and I still haven't fully set it up, but I am having great fun with it. The reason I wanted a smart phone was for the camera. I have missed on so many occasions over the past few years little things that happen around the Centre, and found myself saying... "I wish I had my camera with me". So I thought it would be nice to always have a camera in my pocket, but didn't want to carry an extra thing around all the time.

The other keepers all have iPhones, and I saw the photos they were taking, and thought they were plenty good enough for simple record shots of things, so took the plunge. I decided on an iPhone 5s, simply because I already use macs for my photography work, so thought it would be easier to set up and use etc. Expensive, but I have not been disappointed... In fact I have been amazed at the quality of photos it is capable of, keeping in mind it i still only a phone with a little lens and sensor in it!

Above is McTavish, and the first animal photo I took with the phone. 

As mentioned above, the main reason for the camera on the phone was for simple record shots like above. Plenty good enough for the files, and saves carrying my DSLR around and all the editing involved with all that. 

But I really have been amazed at the quality it is capable of, for a phone. Of course it can't compete with a DSLR or even a pocket camera... but for a phone!... Come on, it's pretty good :-)

Above is one of a harvest mouse on a daffodil I took little while back, and is one of my favourites so far with the phone.

This is Dale, the red squirrel... you have to get pretty close to the animals to get anything , but luckily most of our animals allow me to get that close.

And another animal one here. This time one of our water voles on the feeding island.

I imagine most of you will already know this, but I was surprised to see the phone could also take panoramas. It takes a while to get used to panning the phone smoothly, but I am looking forward to playing around with this in the future.

Of course the main thing about a camera phone (so Daisy and Meg keep telling me) is to take selfies! So here is one of me with Clyde. The front facing camera is nowhere near as good as the main one on the back, but still passable for things like this and web use.

After I got my phone, I bought a pack of three lenses for it through Amazon. A wide angle, fisheye and macro all for jut over £5 the lot! I thought they would probably be pretty rubbish, but for a fiver if they gave me half an hours fun trying them out then all would be good.

So are they any good?.. Well, the wide angle above, is pretty poor. The quality is not great, and to be honest it doesn't really make thee view that much wider than with out the lens. Not only that but it even captures the edge of the lens within the picture. I can't see me using this at all.

Above is a lego Eskimo, taken through the macro lens. I don't know about you, but I think this is pretty amazing for a phone and a cheap lens! In reality I probably won't use any of the lenses much, if at all. If I have time to find, and clip on on to the camera... I probably have time to get my Nikon, but I was very impressed with the macro lens and may play around with this in the future too.

And finally the fisheye lens. It does exactly what you would expect it too. It shows the lens on the edges, so could only be used for quirky fun things, and the quality is not amazing, but certainly better than the wide angle. And it could be used to create some fun, circular pictures.

Before putting them away I thought... can these lenses also be used not he front facing camera?...

Turns out they can :-)

It is also pretty good at videoing, and I really like the slo motion video capture you can do on it. If you want to see some that I have shot, take a look on my youtube linked in the tabs above, and when I have enough I may do a little compilation slo-mo of the animals the Centre and share it on this blog.

Anyway. I am going to set up an instagram account, and then hope to share the photos I take with my phone there. As soon as it is live, I will put a link in the tabs above, so keep an eye open for that if you wish to follow.

Thanks for looking :-)

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