Thursday, January 9, 2014

Anamorphic Photography comes to iPhone 5

Moondog Labs has just gotten the funding it needs to start making these new anamorphic lens adaptors for the iPhone. What you get from this lens is stunning, just like watching widescreen TV. The lens itself increase the horizontal view of your iPhone by roughly 33 percent. Vertical view doesn't change one bit though. 

Image Squeeze

Before you run out to place your order, there are a few things which you need to remember about using the Moondog Lens adapter. Here is two of them,
  • Increases video aspect ratio from 16:9 to 2.4:1 (with software de-squeeze)
  • Increases still image aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 (with software de-squeeze)
What the heck is the de-squeeze? Well, it's a technique where the lens compresses the image into a distorted image that looks like this.

This image is what you actually see though I would have preferred another form of illustration, that is a fat guy in the picture being made tall and thin after compression, but we have no such luck here. The de-squeeze option means the image will be expanded to this after processing.

Unfortunately for you, Moondog hasn't gotten around to produce an app for you to expand or decompress the image but are working on it. According to their Kickstarter pitch, here is the low down on the software needed to decompress the image.
There are many free or paid software packages available to de-squeeze video or still images created with an anamorphic lens – for example Final Cut Pro or Handbrake for video, and Adobe Photoshop or GIMP for still images.  For the best workflow, we are working with FiLMiC Pro to incorporate a 1.33x anamorphic de-squeeze in their first quarter 2014 release for full in-app compatibility with the Anamorphic Adapter.
I have no idea if this will be a free app. If it is, good for you, but if its not, you gotta buy the app from FiLMiC Pro.

Video Shooters to Benefit Most

Stretching videos to full breath is probably the greatest single attraction, for still photographers the use is probably limited to 16:9 aspect ratio shooting. Cinemascope movies have for the longest time been anamorphic, while still photography remains 4:3 or 3:4 aspect ratio.

16:9 still image photography is much less appreciated in our time. It is weighed down by two factors.
  1. It is not Instagram friendly for sharing
  2. Composition is more difficult on a wide aspect ratio
Mobile devices though capable of wide screen display, wide screen subject matter and details are often lost in the vista wide views. To fully appreciate a wide screen photo, you need a very large LCD display.

There are a number of panorama sharing sites on mobile, that said, you don't need any special lens to achieve this. Apple's own panorama shooting mode can do with a few twist and turns of the body.


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