I’ve been using Apple products for just over a year now, having been an exclusive PC enthusiast for the past fifteen years. I usually make hardware and gadget purchases after skimming through the technical specifications of a product and then choosing equipment based on best bang for buck and choosing Windows/PC based gear usually made sense. So you can see that I was put off by the typically higher-than-average up front cost of Apple hardware. I was encouraged by Steve Amani (friend) and Vicky (wife) to get a Mac – along with the iPhone 3Gs that I picked up on launch day. Back then I was using the HTC Touch HD (Windows Mobile) phone – one of the best you could get at the time – and it did the job. In terms of bang for buck the HTC Touch HD packed a high resolution 800×640 screen (compared to the 3Gs’ 480×320). The HTC Touch HD also had a faster processor (it needed it!) and a larger camera. I also dropped my superior-on-paper Dell XPS M1330 for the Macbook Pro, and you know what? I haven’t looked back.
I find that with the Apple kit I can be more productive than with the generally lower quality hardware Microsoft’s hardware OEMs put out, like HTC, HP and Dell. The lower screen resolution of the iPhone 3Gs was made up for by the way in which it arranges and displays the pixels it has and it took better pictures with it’s 3mp camera than the Touch HD ever did with it’s 5mp one. I took a step back in spec-sheet land, but a long leap forward in terms of usability-for-the-buck or “What can I accomplish”-per-pound.
So on Sunday I thought I’ve give myself a challenge and see what I could produce within an hour from scratch using only the Macbook Pro (and out of the box software), the iPhone 4 and my favourite compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ7. This is the result:
A little rough around the edges, I’m sure you’ll agree, but not bad for an hour of ‘work’. Both Video & stills were taken using the compact Panasonic Lumix TZ-7 and iPhone 4. Edited in iMovie ‘09 on a Macbook Pro. Total time taken: 1 hour.
I also made the following two movies exclusively on the iPhone 4 device. I am absolutely blown away by iMovie for iOS4 on the iPhone 4. Whilst the iPhone 4 lacks any appreciable optical zoom and the video is noticeably shaky in places, try to appreciate that the lens is only a few millimeters wide on a device that’s almost as thin as a laptop screen and it’s hard not to be impressed.
Filmed, edited and uploaded on iPhone 4. Total time taken: 10 minutes.
Filmed, edited and uploaded on iPhone 4. Total time taken: 5 minutes.
Uploading the footage is a little more tricky. The iPhone 4 has built in facilities to upload to YouTube, MobileMe or to compress the video and send by email or MMS. However the maximum resolution for sharing videos is only 540p. it seems rather lacklustre to have 720p content but be artificially restricted in sharing it, especially as YouTube supports 720p resolution video.
The answer was to use the free PixelPipe application on the iPhone 4. PixelPipe makes it easy to publish video, audio and photos from your device to any of your social network. You have to set up an account with them first as your HD video will be sent to their servers who will then upload it to YouTube for you, effectively bypassing the restrictive resolution limit. PixelPipe is also available as an Android application too if you’re with the other side 🙂