Camera phone technology has led to the democratization of creativity. And that’s a good thing. People are able to capture high-resolution memories of the experiences, places, and people they love, despite lacking extensive experience and professional equipment.
Every smartphone user can garner their own piece of the earned media pie simply by sharing their content on social media. Gone are the days when you needed million dollar budgets to create the most compelling content; any person, young or old, can compete. But it’s not exactly a competition – rather, an opportunity for all.
On September 10th, Apple announced three new iPhones at its press event. The improved camera capabilities were front and center. The new camera features will only amplify the creation of user-generated content, both for everyday people and for influencers.
All three new iPhone models have a 12-megapixel front-facing camera, which is an increase on the 7-megapixel lens from 2018. On the Pro, there is also an additional rear camera, bringing the total rear-lens count to three lenses, over previous models’ two lenses. What exactly does this mean?
The additional lenses will improve overall photography and the upgraded front-facing camera will allow users to take better selfies. Even if you knock selfie-culture, it’s safe to assume it isn’t going away. Apple is going all-in on the trend with the ability to take a “Slofie” or slow-motion selfie, which is offered on both the iPhone 11 and Pro models.
Better quality selfies benefit more than just users since it enables brands to leverage a larger number of high-quality images from fans and everyday employees.
These improvements are also great for real-time live video streaming, which has grown in popularity with the various live “stories” features on different social media platforms. In China, for example, real-time video shopping has become one of the most popular trends since 2016.
The iPhone 11 Pro takes the new lenses up an additional level. iPhone 11 Pro users will get the following: one standard wide lens, one ultra-wide, and a telephoto lens—all 12-megapixels.
The telephoto lens is the biggest upgrade with the Pro model and gives users a 2x optical zoom in and zoom out and up to 10x digital zoom. These carry over to video with additional zoom capabilities there as well.
The new Ultra-Wide camera lets users capture 4x more scene for more dramatic shots than ever before. Wide-angle shots in photography can be used to capture more of a landscape or for head-to-toe shots of people. The impact this will have on capturing the landscape and travel photos, in particular, is one that Apple itself highlights in the spec description.
These improvements will allow users to take better photos of landscapes and architecture and will enable them to fit more people into a shot. This is a huge win for travel brands and influencers, although there are interesting effects to consider for architecture and home-decor companies as well.
One of the biggest challenges for amateur photographers and equipment is shooting in dark and low-light situations. With the new Night mode and improved image stabilization, it’s easy to imagine the impact on user-generated content. Pictures in dim restaurants or at nighttime music festivals which are either dim or overexposed can now be taken easily.
The new Night mode feature turns on automatically so users can take low-light photos with more natural colors without needing the flash. This is accomplished with the new Wide camera sensor and Apple’s intelligent software. When you click the shutter, the camera will take multiple images that are stabilized with the built-in optical image stabilization.
Food photography is a notoriously tricky arena for amateur photographers and good lighting is often the toughest piece to get right. With Night mode and the automatic image stabilization, it will be easier for influencers and foodies to take high-quality images of meals.
Apple isn’t the only company making improvements to phone cameras. Google Pixel received a lot of fanfare for its camera and nighttime mode last year and a high-quality camera is important for brands to stay competitive. With more consumers using their phones as their primary camera, it’s exciting to see the upgrades rolling out.
For consumers, these changes mean better quality photos without the need to invest in fancy equipment or editing software. This means high-quality images and videos will be more pervasive, particularly on social sharing platforms.
For influencers, this is another tool in their arsenal and could help influencers with smaller followings get more notice and potentially more partnership opportunities with brands.
For companies, the quality of user-generated content has improved and will continue to do so as more people have the ability to take professional-quality photos at any moment in time.
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