updated 12:40 am EDT, Wed September 18, 2013
Showcases new camera system, 120fps 720p video capabilities
As reported earlier, pre-release iPhone 5s units were used exclusively by fashion house Burberry to document the company's latest fashion show, which took place in a special pavillion in London's Hyde Park. The pre-release iPhone 5s, which was also used to create teasers, promotional photos and shoot backstage images and videos, was an unusual cross-promotion with the luxery outerwear maker, which put on its "Prorsum Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014" show and posted the 720p video to YouTube.
Apple has over the past few months promoted the iPhone 5 camera as the most popular camera model in the world -- a remarkable achievement give the ubiquity of point-and-shoot, lightweight "mirrorless" 4/3 cameras, travel superzooms and vast improvements in DSLRs that can also double as full-fledged, commercial-grade video cameras. The iPhone camera in particular has been the most popular camera used on photo-sharing sites such as Flickr for several years now, with each succeeding model generally offering a revamped and improved camera.
For the iPhone 5s, it might be said that Apple chose to ignore just going up in camera specs, and instead to expand the camera's capabilities in other ways. Though the rumor mill expected the installation of a 12-megapixel camera, the company instead kept the camera at 8MP but made the sensor larger and used larger pixels within the sensor, arguing that the changes (along with tweaks like an upgrade to a ƒ2.2 aperture) would make for better pictures than simply upgrading to a higher-megapixel count.
A number of the changes have even professional photographers intrigued. While still hobbled by the lack of a built-in optical zoom, the camera is now capable of a remarkable amount of pre-and post-processing of pictures, up to 120fps slow-motion video that can be seamlessly incorporated at any point desired in a video, precision autofocus matrix metering, and a dual-color "True Tone" LED flash unit that detects available light and automatically mixes the two colors to help get correct skin tones and proper color.
The new camera app lets users apply effects live over images or video before taking the picture, can shoot in a new "square" format and handles burst photography stylishly, optionally merging elements of pictures that are in focus or facially-recognized to make the whole more consistent, compensating for bright "ends" in seamless panoramas and even helpfully suggesting the best shots out of a sequence for users to share or touch up later.
The full show is available in a video on YouTube, as well as a highlights reel (seen below), showing off the quality of the presentation (which used a mix of indoor and natural lighting) and in some places the smoothness of the slow-motion. The actual show runs for about 15 minutes and was entirely shot on the iPhone 5s, the first time a cameraphone has been trusted to handle documenting a major public event. Sir Jonathan Ive, the iPhone 5s hardware and software design lead, was spotted in attendance.
"This collaboration celebrates our relationship and shared foundation in design and craftsmanship," said Burberry chief Christopher Bailey. "We have a mutual passion for creating beautiful products and unlocking emotive experiences through technology, which has made it intensely exciting to explore the capabilities of iPhone 5s. We're inspired by what this could mean for the future as we continue to explore the merging of physical and digital experiences."