iphone5 review – verizon LTE rocks

I finally switched from Android to the apple iPhone5 with iOS6, and I am loving it. I was eyeing the iphone 4s for a while but it’s internet speed was just so ridiculously slow compared to a state of the art android phones that it was out of the question. Well that concern has been lifted with the iPhone5, I got 30Mbit down and 10Mbit upload on Verizon the other day. Of course that means I burn through my shared 6G dataplan quickly if I don’t watch it, i.e. uploading 150 birthday party photos in one swoop to facebook 🙂

Battery life is excellent, especially compared to my my HTC G2 and my wifes myTouch. This morning I intentially let the iphone run to 1% after not charging it for 1 day and 8 hours, with 8 hours talktime. A friend of mine had issues with short battery life and identified the google voice application as the culprit. I have not been using that so I am fine, even with intense facebook / email / web browsing. Maybe because at home as well as at work I am close to a wifi network, unless I want to leverage the LTE speeds for downloading or uploading large amounts of data in a short time. 

The maps problems I have not run into yet, maybe living in California makes that easier to be accurate. 

Siri is excellent, I use it all the time from dictating SMS’s while in the car to starting music, navigation, initiating FaceTime… facetime is fun, like skype but better quality and easier to get going. Also it does not use the voice network, so it does not interrupt data on the verizon network.

Video recording and picture taking is awesome, I so hated it on my G2 that by the time I got the photo app going and pressed the button to the time that the shutter action actually got executed, the subject already walked away.  Or all the mafunctioning moments.  On the iphone it’s so perfect and so immediate, that I am actually able to use it happily rather than just try and hate.  

And the screen is fantastic too, colors are true, unlike the Samsung S3 that I had toyed with before the iphone5 came out – I am surprised that not more people seem to care, but when I tried it in the t-mobile store, photo and video on the S3 had way wrong colors, even watching a movie on netflix would be affected. I guess the specs are great but the color representation makes it look broken to my eyes.

And the apps are just awesome, and they are the same I am having on my ipad already, without extra effort they just got synced on and work. 

Airplay of my music to the living-room stereo while making breakfast in the kitchen is another highlight of how I enjoy it. 


So what do I not like? 

Email notification does not seem as immediate as I am used to from Android. I miss swype as a keyboard method, but not as much as I thought I would, since the predictive correction method is actually highly effective on the iPhone). I slightly but not really miss USB mounting the phone SD card as a usb drive. Since I use itunes on a macbook I am actually happy about the ease with which I get to carry my recent music with me via syncing rather than having to manage files or deal with the offline/online google music stuff.

Really trying hard to think here, but I guess one downside to the great games and apps is that my kids constantly ask for it 🙂


My Photo Store

I have been posting my photos to flickr for a while, and enjoy the wide audience that they get.

One has been featured in Schmaps city guide at http://www.schmap.com/ and now I take it a step further and start offering a few that I am especially in fond of in form of products (cups, canvas prints, posters) at http://my.qoop.com/store/7006611294200106 – anybody here that has successfully marketed their photos that way before? It’s a first-time for me and I am curious if I should invest into some google adwords 🙂

While looking for what other people advertise under searchwords that I was interested in, I found this hilarious squirrel-tries-to-attack-birdfeeder video on http://www.squirrelstuff.com/ – you gotta check it out, too funny!

The quest for my next digital camera purchase decision – spoiled by the beauty of my ex: the Canon G3

The beginning – Fuji Finepix 1400

This was my entry ticket to the world of digital photography, I loved it and collected tons of really good shots in all categories except low-light. Fantastic landscapes, portraits, macro flower and insect pictures… When technology moved on and I finally had a budget to spend, I spent a lot of time researching and found that the Canon G3 was going to be the best bang for the buck.

The happy days – Canon G3

I used to have a Canon G3 and loved it – vario-angle LCD would allow me to shoot over the heads of crowds, or close to the turf
without having to lie in the dirt. Crisp and clear pictures to the pixel allowed me to crop subimages of amazing quality. I was in love, but unfortunately lost the camera to some thug smashing my car window in Moraga of all places, and grabbed it out of the car. I wanted to buy the G7 but since Canon ruined the product line by getting rid of the vario-angle LCD and the RAW mode (raw reintroduced on G9 but still fixed LCD), so I figured I might as well go with a power shot sd550.

Some examples why the live-view and vario-angle LCD are important to me:
Take a look at these, I did them with live preview to make sure the focus was on the right thing, but without the variolense:

Squirrel eye to eye

I have lots more at home that are done with the G3 and the varioangle that are not possible without:
1. waves crashing – right at the waterlevel
2. turf of a bicycle trail
3. police action against protesters when the iraq war started, shooting high overhead to see whats going on in spite of a crowd in front of me
4. water coming down a small canal, similar to 1. – basically a photo of what you would normally not get to see and which looks very interesting.
The lame days – Canon PowerShot SD550

Way inferior to what the G3, the only advantage was not bulging out my pants pockets the way I did with the g3… the image quality was just not allowing much cropping/postprocessing – lots of megapixels, but once you look at the pixel level it was blurry and grainy.

Now that the LCD cracked, I am ready to buy something that gets me back to where I was with the G3…

Whats next? Nikon D40…

I have a hard time deciding what to do next though, go DSLR with the Nikon D40 seemed like the next logical step price/performance wise within my budget, but like traditional SLR it does not have liveview / vario angle LCD and all the high end cameras that have it are way over my budget…

The PowerShot S5 IS seems to be close to what the G3 was, but as far as I can tell from the reviews, I can expect the picture quality and battery live to be disappointing in comparison.

The upcoming rebel Xsi has the live view feature, but still a fixed LCD…

So far I lean towards either borrowing a PowerShot S5 IS or G9 somewhere and test if it is good enough for me, or do the same with the D40 and see if I can live with having to press my eye against the camera each time I want to snap a picture… any volunteers in the SF bay area?

Update: I got the Nikon D40 and so far I am in love, will post more later… See some examples on my Flickr photo blog http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmichaelwill/