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Apple takes ‘Shot on iPhone’ to Next Level: What’s the Message?

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So why did Apple go to all that ‘trouble’ to shoot this week’s keynote with an iPhone? And by ‘trouble’ I mean all that lighting and production stuff usually reserved for fancy cameras worth $50-thousand. The truth is, the production setup was no different to a normal professional shoot at Apple HQ.

So it was probably no trouble at all.

I believe Apple wanted a lasting impression after the show. That little ‘oh really’ understated response from the viewer. Apple waited until the very end of the keynote to drop a little credit that eagle-eyed creators pounced upon.

Closing credits gave away Apple’s camera of choice

They wanted to see if you noticed during the presentation that something was different. And you know what? No one did. And that proved the point better than any press release or testimonial by a DP. The iPhone, in good lighting, is a superb video camera. And now it’s even better with the introduction of Apple Log, USB-C for external recording and pro apps like Blackmagic Camera.

WATCH DJURO SEN EXPLAIN ON SKY NEWS HOW THE IPHONE 15 PRO MAX WAS USED TO RECORD APPLE’S EVENT

“We were able to get the same complex shots with iPhone 15 Pro Max,” said documentary film director Brian Oakes. Oakes led the production team with with multiple iPhone 15 Pro Max devices.

“It’s amazing to see that the quality from a device that is so small and so portable can rival a large $20,000 camera.”

COULD YOU TELL?

I was streaming the event in 1080P via YouTube on a 4K Samsung TV but didn’t give a second thought. I do remember thinking I liked the look. It was different, but in a good way. The night setting at Apple Park was new too – so there was no direct comparison to previous events.

When something is shot well on a small device it can be hard to tell the difference when it comes to a more expensive, professional camera. Especially when well lit. The issue comes when you attempt to push the phone’s camera beyond its capabilities. I often quote Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry when advising people on camera choices.

A man’s got to know his limitations”

Dirty Harry – Magnum Force

Apple knows exactly what the iPhone is capable of so you’ll never see a poor result from one of these events. Even the drone was brilliantly executed.

PROFESSIONAL SHOOT

“This year, iPhone 15 Pro Max was supercharged with the ability to record ProRes to an external drive, and Apple Log, our flavour of a format that all of the very high-end digital cameras shoot,” said Jeff Wozniak, who has worked on productions including Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Avatar, and Iron Man 2.

The crew reported nothing out-of-the-ordinary with the keynote shoot. It was just like any other professional gig. The production used Tentacle Sync to synchronise audio for editing later on. Connected via Bluetooth, Tentacle Sync drives timecode and enables all devices on set — including Macs and preview screens — to be synced throughout the production. Beastgrip accessories, including cages and rigs, were also used during the production.  

“There’s cranes, there’s dollies, there’s all the toys that you want as a filmmaker, and everybody’s moving and has their job to do, and it’s just a very exciting and lively environment,” added Oakes.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the first smartphones in the world to support the Academy Colour Encoding System (ACES), a global standard for colour workflows. But the big change that allows long shoots like this is USB-C. iPhone 15 Pro Max can transfer data up to 10Gbps with a compatible USB 3 cable. This supports new workflows like ProRes video recording directly to an external SSD drive, allowing the crew to review footage in near real time and make adjustments on the fly. ProRes Log encoding allows for better dynamic range and better flexibility for colour grading in post-production. 

BLACKMAGIC APP

Apple’s so far resisted adding pro features to the native camera app for video. They have added important settings like PAL/25P recording (something I asked for when in California for an Apple event – so I’m taking the credit). But when it comes to a pro-like experience, Apple has been happy to let companies like Blackmagic Design take the lead. This camera app, covered here on Image Matrix Tech, is so good that Apple used it on the keynote.

“We’ve done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes working with a great third-party developer, Blackmagic Design, that has created an incredible app that allows us to have huge amounts of monitors and crew, and everybody working how they traditionally would,” says  Apple’s Jon Carr, a Pro Workflow video specialist whose credits include Top Gun: Maverick and Terminator: Dark Fate.

THE MESSAGE

The takeaway is simple. The iPhone is two phones in one. For those with zero camera knowledge – you’ll get a great result with the native camera app. For those with expert knowledge – you’ll get a professional result, as long as you shoot to the phones limitations.

The following quote sums it up nicely from Stefan Sonnenfeld, Company 3’s CEO, who coloured the presentation and has worked on projects including Stranger ThingsThe Equaliser 3, and Fast X

“I think what I love about the iPhone is it enables everybody who uses it to have access to incredible amounts of information, and with a really intuitive operating system, so that whether it’s myself or my 7-year-old, anybody can pick it up and pretty much use it right away.”

So well played Apple, the iPhone is still the king when it comes to video.

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Apple

Apple’s Latest Privacy Ad Reminds Me How Much I Miss Safari on Windows

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Apple’s latest privacy campaign got me thinking, remember when Safari used to be on Windows?

I sure do.

After shaky start Safari became a genuine choice on Windows. It was my preferred browser on both Mac and Windows for about five years. It launched in 2007 then discontinued on PCs in 2012 just as Chrome was really taking off. It was such a shame as using the same browser on different platforms is a far more secure way to operate online. I have to do that with Chrome now.

“We think Windows users are going to be really impressed when they see how fast and intuitive web browsing can be with Safari”, said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

“Hundreds of millions of Windows users already use iTunes, and we look forward to turning them on to Safari’s superior browsing experience too”.

Apple Introduces Safari for Windows in 2007

Today, Google Chrome dominates the browser market with a 65% share followed by Safari at 18%. Obviously Safari is massive on Apple devices but with Chrome being cross-platform it has a sizeable install base of 30% on iPhones for example.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

Apple’s new privacy ad – embedded above – is essentially telling Internet users they are always being watched if they aren’t on Safari. And it’s a valid claim. Despite common beginnings, not all browsers are equal when it comes to privacy.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

The video is a modern take on Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ with security cameras (representing Internet trackers) taking the place of the birds.

Essentially data companies can track you across multiple websites if your browser isn’t locked down. Your location information can be collected without your permission and while handy, web extensions can also violate your privacy.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

Even private browsing modes don’t actually delivery on privacy promises, giving the user a false sense of security.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple

Apple wants Internet users to know that Safari prevents cross-site tracking, helps protect your location data, has privacy-preserving web extensions and state-of-the-art Private Browsing mode, with real protections.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

In 2005 Safari was the first browser to start blocking third party cookies then in 2019 it became the first browser to block all third party cookies. Safari also hides your IP address from known trackers. The great thing about Intelligent Tracking Prevention – it’s on by default.  

SLIDE TO SEE SETTINGS FOR PRIVACY

Safari was also the first browser to introduce a Private Browsing mode in 2005. Private Browsing doesn’t save the web pages you visited, the searches you’ve made, or your AutoFill information.

There’s a great blogpost on WebKit.org that takes you through all the aspects of Private Browsing. Click here to check it out.

When it comes to secure browsing for me, I use Safari Private Browsing with Express VPN for maximum privacy.

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How to Use Apple Intelligence Outside the United States

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We have an update about the availability of Apple Intelligence for users outside the United States. Or more accurately, those “non-American” speakers.

Remember Apple stated at WWDC, “Apple Intelligence is free for users, and will be available in beta as part of iOS 18iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia this spring in U.S. English.”

That’s U.S. ENGLISH if you want Apple Intelligence to work on your device.

Of course this setting is easily changed but it wasn’t until today that we received confirmation that Apple Intelligence will work for Australians (or anyone else) selecting U.S. English outside the U.S.A.

Apple could have decided to geo-block access even after the user changed languages, but that concern was dismissed today. Anyone who changes their language to U.S. English in general settings and Siri will be able to join in the Apple Intelligence fun.

As an Australian English user, I showed how easy it is to change language settings to U.S. English during Sunday’s tech segment with Tim Gilbert on Sky News Weekend Edition.

DJURO SEN TALKS APPLE INTELLIGENCE WITH TIM GILBERT ON SKY NEW WEEKEND EDITION

The above TV segment was broadcast live before Apple confirmed ANYONE with a device switched to U.S. English will be able to access Apple Intelligence.

Some features, software platforms, and additional languages will arrive next year. Apple Intelligence will be available on iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later, with Siri and device language set to U.S. English.

Clearly it means giving up some local language support but if I can get early access to Apple Intelligence, I’m OK with that.

I am desperate to get a smarter version of Siri but we could be waiting until next year to see the full benefits of Apple Intelligence.

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WWDC 2024: Canon and Blackmagic Design to Help Push Apple Vision Pro Sales

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Content is king and that’s why Apple needs Canon and Blackmagic Design cameras to capture high quality spatial and immersive video to wow potential buyers of Vision Pro headsets. We’ve been able to shoot Vision Pro spatial video for some time on the iPhone but soon professionals and expert amateurs will be able to capture better quality images, specifically for Apple’s premium device.

At WWDC Apple announced that Vision Pro will soon be selling in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K. More markets means more content.

At a RRP of A$5,999, the Vision Pro needs to blow you away. Fortunately there will be more ways to gather stunning content thanks to Canon and Blackmagic Design. One for the enthusiasts and the other for pros only.

CANON RF-S7.8mm F4 STM DUAL lens for EOS R7

The lens shown by Apple in its keynote is the Canon RF-S7.8mm F4 STM DUAL lens for its popular APS-C R7 camera. It’s under development specifically for Apple Vision Pro spatial content. The new DUAL lens will be available between September and December this year.

The RF-S7.8mm F4 STM DUAL lens features a field angle that is similar to a person’s field of view and it’s equipped with a high-speed autofocus mechanism.

If you can’t wait for the Apple specific lens then try the one below.

CANON RF-S 3.9mm F3.5 STM DUAL FISHEYE

The lens above is the (soon-to-be-released) RF-S 3.9mm F3.5 STM DUAL FISHEYE. It’s an APS-C (VR) lens and joins the RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE in the EOS mirrorless lineup.  

The lens will only be compatible with the EOS R7 camera at launch. The recording angle is 144-degrees but it results in a natural, forward-facing view of the world. It’s also the first 3D lens with Autofocus (AF) from Canon, with a One Shot Autofocus (AF). This helps a lot. You’ll also find a rear mounted filter holder for both screw-on and gelatin filters.  

The RF-S 3.9mm F3.5 STM DUAL FISHEYE is priced at A$1,999 RRP and should be available late June.

I’ve shot immersive 180 degree videos with Canon’s super-fast dual fisheye lens and although impressive, I really didn’t have anywhere to show them off. Although I tried my best in the Sky News segment below.

The Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye lens was the world’s first lens for digital interchangeable lens cameras enabling 180° VR shooting to a single sensor. Using a Canon R5 you could record 8K 30p. Resolution is extremely important when it comes to video on VR/AR headsets. The higher the better.

Apple Vision Pro’s ultra-high-resolution display system uses micro-OLED technology to squeeze 23 million pixels into two displays. Each one is the size of a postage stamp, delivering more pixels than a 4K TV to each eye.

That’s where Blackmagic Design’s URSA Cine Immersive camera system is set to reach new standards in immersive video quality on the Apple Vision Pro.

BLACKMAGIC URSA CINE IMMERSIVE

“We are thrilled to announce the first-ever commercial camera system and post-production software that supports Apple Immersive Video, giving professional filmmakers the tools to create remarkable stories with this powerful new format pioneered by Apple,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO.

“Built on the new URSA Cine platform, URSA Cine Immersive features a fixed, custom, stereoscopic 3D lens system with dual 8K image sensors that can capture 16 stops of dynamic range.”

Blackmagic URSA Cine Immersive uses a fixed, custom lens system pre-installed on the body, which is designed specifically for Apple Immersive Video. The sensor delivers a jaw-dropping 8160 x 7200 resolution per eye with pixel level synchronisation.

The custom lens system is designed specifically for URSA Cine’s large format image sensor with extremely accurate positional data that’s read and stored at time of manufacturing. This immersive lens data — which is mapped, calibrated and stored per eye — then travels through post production in the Blackmagic RAW file itself.

Cinematographers can shoot 90fps stereoscopic 3D immersive cinema content to a single file.

The camera comes with 8TB of high performance network storage built in. It records directly to the included Blackmagic Media Module, and can be synced to Blackmagic Cloud and DaVinci Resolve media bins in real time. This gives over 2 hours of Blackmagic RAW in 8K stereoscopic 3D immersive.

DaVinci Resolve with Apple Immersive video support for Apple Vision Pro will be released later this year. Blackmagic customers will be able to edit Apple Immersive Video shot on the URSA Cine Immersive camera. A new immersive video viewer will let editors pan, tilt and roll clips for viewing on 2D monitors or on Apple Vision Pro for an even more immersive editing experience.

Transitions rendered by Apple Vision Pro will also be able to be bypassed using FCP XML metadata, giving editors clean master files. Export presets will enable quick output into a package which can be viewed directly on Apple Vision Pro.

Blackmagic URSA Cine Immersive Features

  • Dual custom lens system for shooting Apple Immersive Video for Apple Vision Pro.
  • 8K stereoscopic 3D immersive image capture.
  • 8160 x 7200 resolution per eye with pixel level synchronisation.
  • Massive 16 stops of dynamic range.
  • Lightweight, robust camera body with industry standard connections.
  • Generation 5 Colour Science with new film curve.
  • Dual 90 fps capture to a single Blackmagic RAW file.
  • Includes high performance Blackmagic Media Module 8TB for recording.
  • High speed Wi-Fi, 10G Ethernet or mobile data for network connections.
  • Optional Blackmagic URSA Cine EVF.
  • Includes DaVinci Resolve Studio for post production.

DaVinci Resolve Immersive Features

  • Support for monitoring on Apple Vision Pro from the DaVinci Resolve timeline.
  • Ability to edit Blackmagic RAW Immersive video shot on Blackmagic URSA Cine Immersive.
  • Immersive video viewer for pan, tilt and roll.
  • Automatic recognition of Apple Immersive Video (left and right eye) for dual file stereo immersive content.
  • Option to bypass transitions rendered by Apple Vision Pro.
  • Export and deliver native files for viewing on Apple Vision Pro.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic URSA Cine Immersive and the update to DaVinci Resolve will be available later this year.

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