Pragmatic 14: The Worlds Most Popular Camera

24 February, 2014


The iPhone has disrupted the consumer photography industry and is the most popular camera in the world. But is it the best camera? John explores the limitations of using the iPhone as your only camera, drawbacks of a DSLR and how accessories can help.

Transcript available
[MUSIC] >> This is Pragmatic, a weekly discussion show contemplating the practical application of technology. Exploring the real-world trade-offs, we look at how great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives. Nothing is as simple as it seems. This episode of Pragmatic is sponsored by Typeform. Typeform makes it easy to build and share beautifully designed designed online forms combining human creativity with the power of modern cross-device web technology to create new ways of asking questions online. They're uniquely designed to act like actual human conversation, one question at a time without what's coming up next distracting you, and the result is awesome. For a limited time, Typeform is offering a three-month free trial of their new Typeform Pro service. We'll talk about that a little more later on in the show. I'm Ben Alexander and my co-host is John Chidjy. How are you doing, John? I am doing very well, Ben. Thank you for asking. How How you doing? - Doing excellent. - Whoa, that's even, that's awesome. - Guys in the chatroom know that's a lie. - It's been a little bit of a rocky start to the episode today. That's okay. We got going in the end. That's what matters. So thanks as always to our live listeners for tuning in live. Really appreciate it. It's nice to see. And I'm gonna start off with my, what's I've sort of become a little bit of a thing now that I'm doing with the whole cryptic clue on Twitter for what our topic's gonna be each week. And I will point out that for the first time this week, I've been doing this now for three weeks, the first time someone has correctly guessed what the topic was before the episode came live. So one last chance for the live listeners to put in their votes that someone on Twitter has already said what this one is about. So I'll give you a couple of seconds for the lag to kick in. While I'm waiting, iTunes reviews keep flowing in. We've had another five this week. So thanks to Twitter acquaintance, Zach Suchek, who is actually in the chat room. So thank you for that. Nam Oida, Ranvill D, Jed H and Chris Rathjen. Always appreciated very much. So thanks guys very much for the ratings and their reviews in iTunes. Just so you know, Tech Distortion has basically as of last weekend, the page load times are down significantly over WordPress, which is great. Eventually, I'll be migrating my site away. It's currently on Namecheap, but when it expires in the next two, three months, I'm going to move it to a faster host. So that should speed up even more. And yeah, so I've had no real complaints at this point. A few people said they like it, which is great. Thank you. And yeah, there'll be more. Yeah, it is, isn't it? So I've got a long list of things I want to add to it. Lots and lots of things, and I will get to them. However, you'll see them trickle out more slowly now because that did actually take quite a lot of time for me to do that a lot more than I thought it would in any case. So before we talk about the topic, to answer the question, the person that got it right was David Brennan and oddly enough, he's actually also from Brisbane like me. So David Brannan guessed correctly that we are going to be talking something about photography today. So I noticed that Clinton is in the chat room so I suspect he's going to disagree with a lot of what I'm going to talk about today. But before we jump into the topic there specifically, I just want to quickly talk about a survey and this is like our sponsor is a type form built survey. Now I put this together a few days ago and the intention of this survey is with it and there will be a link in the show notes, is the intention is to get some feedback from you guys and the listeners about which shows you liked the most. The reason I'm asking is that whilst download numbers give you a picture of which ones are more and less popular, it's more complicated than that. And I guess I'm curious to see which topics were more enjoyable. I've had a lot of really great feedback, especially about episode two, the battery problem. But I want to know, I suppose, what people think because it's an opportunity for you to guide the direction of the topics on the show. I have a list of another dozen or more actually. I keep adding them every day of topics to cover, which is good. But at the same time, I want to try and cover topics that people are more interested in. So, here's an opportunity for you guys to ask and I can't guarantee, of course, that I'll be able to accommodate everything because if you want me to talk about something that I either know nothing about or have no interest in, then obviously I can't, I probably won't be able to accommodate you but obviously I'll do what I can to try and cover the topics that people vote for. So, here now is your chance to have your say. So, please jump on the link in the show notes. It's a type form survey and feel free to fill that in at your convenience. Yeah, we appreciate it. It is nice to get feedback and slightly scientific about it. Yeah, exactly. So I'm not going to do this very often. This is quite likely a one-off, but at any point, in any case. Okay, so today we are going to talk about photography, but not exactly photography in the sense of, you know, I've got a tripod, I've got a DSLR. What I'm doing is I've been humming and harring over this for many years now. I've gone through the swing of compact cameras and I've also talking about, I've looked at DSLRs before. I've never bitten the bullet. I've looked at these fascinating QX10, QX100, Sony clip-ons for smartphones. And of course, I've been using smartphones now and I was using a smartphone as a camera. It was a Nokia N73 before the iPhone existed. and I was using it, had a 3.2 megapixel camera built into it, which was quite possible. So it's not a new thing. - Those Sonys are the ones that talk about-- - It's like a case that goes around the, uses the iPhone as like a, and turns the iPhone into a camera, right? - Sort of, yeah. But there's two angles I want to talk about this. First of all is the world's most popular camera is the one that people have with them all the time. And it's simply a function of, if you have it with you, you're going to use it if you need to use it. Whereas there's no forethought necessary because I want to take a smartphone with me wherever I go because I need to make phone calls, receive phone calls, play Angry Birds or threes or whatever other game is popular at the time, I guess, I don't know. And you're going to want to have that with you. You might want to check Facebook or Twitter or, you know, and so on, but you know what? It's also a camera so you can take photos with it. And it's a decent camera as well. It's not as bad as it was back with the N73. Anyway, so the point is that if you have a look at Flickr, Flickr has got a list of the most popular cameras in the Flickr community. Now, there's two articles that I'm actually putting up on Tech Distortion today that this podcast, essentially this episode is about. The first one is called the world's most popular camera, which is the name of this episode. But there's also a review of the A2B hand grip, which I'll get to later. First, before I got there, I just wanted to talk about why the iPhone is the most popular phone in the world. Maybe there isn't much to talk about with that, but starting by saying it's a fact, it is. And it's a function of the fact that it is a very popular smartphone and the fact that it's very easy to share photos with it and take photos with it. And the evidence from Flickr speaks for itself. Of course, it's a small piece of the overall market. So there are other ways of sharing photos and there's other services, absolutely. I mean, I would love to see the breakdown numbers from Facebook, which, or Instagram, but I'm reasonably sure that, I think there was a bit of a lag on the Android version of Instapaper or was it Windows Phone. I'm not completely okay with that, but I guarantee you whether or not it's an iPhone or whether or not it's a Galaxy S3, it's going to be a smartphone. And if you look at the list on Flickr, the top four cameras are all iPhones, 5, 4S, 5S, and 4 in that order from most to least popular in the top four. And the fifth most popular is a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, which is a DSLR. So it certainly illustrates the point. But the problem with smartphone cameras, there's several problems. So I want to talk about them in turn. First one is distance shots. And these are the ones that, this is one of the limitations that really, really annoys me is that it's extremely difficult to get a good quality distance photo. They are great for, well, even relatively close up macro shots. They do a reasonable job. But generally speaking, once you go beyond about three or four feet beyond that, it just gets very, very difficult because it's-- well, technically, it's an infinite zoom lens. It does not have any optical zoom capability. It just doesn't. And the reason for that is that, well, like all smartphone cameras, because they're thin and they're light, they simply do not have the physical space to have an optical zoom. You've got no way that you can move the lenses within, it's that they're fixed. So in order to get distance shots, the only camera with, 'cause they've got digital zoom, right? So it's, oh, we'll get into a digital zoom here. But all the digital zoom does is it just takes an area on the CCD, focuses in on that and blows it up digitally, say resampling all the pixels in between. and it looks like a blurry mess. It's so grainy and horrible. - Is there ever a good reason to do that? - If you, I don't think so, except there's one phone out there that I'm aware of, and there may be a few more now since then, but the Nokia Lumia 1020. And yes, I know it's a Windows mobile phone. However, the point is that it has a 43 megapixel CCD in it. So what you end up doing is that if you zoom in on a three megapixel section of that, then there'll be quite a decent resolution, well, be quite a decent definition on that because you've got so many pixels you're capturing. I mean, whether or not, of course, you are, how should I say this? Whether or not that's the way you want to be taking distant shots of the smartphone, because that's just the ability to do it. And yes, it's not as, anyone near as grainy as doing it on an iPhone or a Galaxy S3, let's say. But the problem is you've still got these other issues like blur. So, let's talk about that one next. The problem with blur is that when you push the button down or tap the screen, you are essentially putting a vibration or a subtle movement. And it is subtle, really subtle, but it doesn't have to be much. And what will happen is you will get a very minor blurring effect in that photo. People that do a lot of photography, it'll be obvious, but other people, some people like, oh, can't quite tell what's, it's not quite right, this photo. It's just, it's not as sharp. And most people will just sort of live with it. And some of the, occasionally, I've had a really great shot of the kids and there's been a little bit of blur in it. It really upsets me because it has just such a beautiful pose and it's like the moment's gone. So, blur is a big, big deal. So, the ability to stabilize your smartphone and I've tried taking photos with my, well, photos and video for that matter, with my iPhone, holding it with one hand, usually my right hand because I'm right-handed. But when you do that, sometimes it's really, really hard because you've got to sort of hold in a bit of a pincer sort of grip with your thumb underneath and your index finger on top and maybe your other finger sort of stabilizing the position in the X and the Y axis, I should say. Hang on, X, Y, no, the Z axis. The point is that it's very hard to hold it steady there with one hand, not for any significant period of time. And honestly, the best option is to use your left hand. So, you've got to hold the smartphone with both hands. And that can be a pain in the neck. It really can be painful, but you will get a much steadier shot. But I tell you, watch as your arms get tired. Yeah, your fingers, my hands, they start cramping after a period of time. It is not comfortable. And this is a problem, honestly, that cameras solved a long, long time ago. And that's why DSLRs have got like a hand grip on them. So, that knobby bit at the front with the right-hand side that's got the shutter on it and all that, that's there because it's comfortable to hold. Because if you're going to be holding a camera for any significant period of time, this is not rocket science. They figured this out decades ago. So, having that hand grip is critical and it also helps to reduce blur because you can actually hold it with one hand far more steadily than with a natural grip than you will with a smartphone where you've got just like two edges to hold on to. But it's not just that, it's the issue of optical image stabilization, which is something that again, because of the size of the lenses in a smartphone, you simply cannot put optical stabilization in there, at least not to any level of quality that you can get with a larger lens. And there's a good link on Wikipedia that I recommend you have a look at if you want to look at how they do optical image stabilization. But suffice it to say, even the 1020 doesn't have optical stabilization, pretty sure it doesn't and no other smartphone have I seen that's had optical image stabilization. It's just not going to happen. All right. Next thing is battery life. And the problem with a smartphone is that its battery is physically going to be smaller than the battery you can shove in a DSLR or a compact camera generally. Although admittedly, the compact camera that I was carrying around a few years ago, I still got it. I used it occasionally, waterproof, life-proof one. And I was using that for a while. Its battery is about maybe two-thirds the capacity of my iPhone battery. So it is smaller. But the problem is that when the camera's battery goes flat, you just can't take photos anymore. When a smartphone's battery goes flat, you're stuffed. You can't make a phone call, you can't receive a phone call. What if you needed to make a phone call? You got a flat tire or one of the kids is hurt and you needed to call an ambulance and well, you just can't do that. You're out of luck. So, running out of battery in a smartphone is a much, much bigger deal than running out of battery on a compact camera or a DSLR. The other issue, of course, is the batteries in DSLRs and compacts are replaceable, exchangeable. So you can have a bunch of batteries pre-charged, you literally swap them out, shove them in and away you go. You can do that within a minute or less. So you can't do that with most smartphones. Well, I'm sorry, I'll rephrase that. You can't do that with iPhones. Samsung phones, I believe, some of the Nokia phones, you can, that's for sure. So perhaps that's a limitation that's more unique to, more specific to Apple stuff. And you might say, "Okay, well, I can get a booster and that's a get agile free card." but the booster takes time to charge. So if your phone goes flat, then you got, excuse me, you got the booster handy, you still got to plug it in and wait while it boosts. So anyway, so that's the battery life problem. Remote shutter. And this is one of those things that I realized it's a little bit flimsy and I throw it in because it annoys me, but the truth is there's other ways around this. Let's assume that you've got the problem of holding the iPhone sorted and you want to prop it up against something or put it on a tripod or something 'cause you've got the right attachment to do that. And then you wanna take a family shot, a group shot, and you wanna be in that photo and there's no one else around. Like you want everyone that's in the room to be in the photo. What options have you got? Well, there's no remote shutter. There's no functionality to do that. And the stock standard camera app does not come with any kind of timer. So the thing is that if you are any distance away from the actual camera, any distance at all. And to fit all the people in the group shot, and I see, sorry, Clinton in the chat room just pointed out the headphone cable. If you've got the headstand headphones, and yes, if you do click the up button on that, it will take the photo. Yeah, that's true, but that's a remote. I'm talking about actually being in the photo and not having the headphone cable in the way. Besides that'll only go about, what, a foot, maybe not even two feet. So I guess that's more what I'm talking about is the ability to trigger a photo when you're in the photo. And the other one, the simple way around that, of course, is a timer. The standard Apple app does not come with a timer. So you have to get an app that supports a timer. But for me, I would rather have a proper remote shutter 'cause then you can take as many photos as you want, trigger them whenever you want. And there's no cable trailing from the phone, there's none of that other mess. So that's another thing that I would like, if possible. Anyway, so I've been hunting for years different products that would hopefully... Sorry, I keep bumping my... I've reconfigured my mic. I just keep bumping it. Apologies. I've been looking for years for products that will actually... And I finally found one that meets most of my criteria. The remote shutter seems to be something that is... You won't find that built into many products at all or as an option on many products. That seems to be a standalone thing. So I've ordered a Mookoo shutter and I will be testing that and reviewing that as the time comes. I'm not ready to put that out there yet. But what I did get was I got something from through DC Kina, which there's a link in the show notes, and it's called the A-Grip B, and it's by a company called A2B, and they're made in Korea, and it is essentially an iPhone camera gripping attachment. You literally unscrew a black dial and that moves a large pressure pad up and down. As it goes down, it allows you to insert the phone into the end and then you can tighten that up again. That pressure pad presses against the back of the phone and holds it firmly in place. So what it does is it's essentially an unpowered attachment. It's a hand grip, but it also has three buttons on the front that allows you to take photos and operate the camera app. The problem... Well, I'll talk about what it does first, then I guess I'll get to the problems. The other thing is it has a built-in booster battery in there and it's enough to give my iPhone 5S a complete charge and then some. And finally, so it's got the buttons, it can charge and it's a grip. And it also finally has a tripod mount at the bottom, so you can then mount it on a tripod. So essentially, it addresses the issue of blur, it addresses the issue of the battery life. However, it doesn't address the issue of the distance shots or of course, the remote shutter. But that's okay because despite what I've looked for, I can't find anything that really solves all of those problems, not for an iPhone. The interesting thing though is with the Nokia 1020, it actually, the Lumia 1020 I should say it actually does have a camera grip attachment that you can get. And that's particularly handy because it's built specifically for that phone. And when you actually have that, it has the hand grip, it has a tripod mount, it has the battery built into it. It looks like a really nice bit of kit to be honest. But the problem that I've got and a lot of people have got is that they don't like Windows Phone for whatever reason, or they don't like the Lumia's or they've already got an iPhone. So I will admit that if I was more interested in the photography than I was about the usability and my personal preferences for a phone, for a smartphone, I would go and get a Lumia 1020. But the truth is that I'm too tied to the iOS ecosystem. And honestly, it's quite an upheaval for me to want to move to a different platform. So I would choose not to at this point anyway. So just about the A to B then is, I guess, it's quite light. It is made out of a smooth plastic and I found that when I use it for a long period of time, when I had sweaty hands, I have sweaty hands, sorry, but I do. And anyway, it actually can get a little bit slippery after a long period of time. But the truth is that that's kind of a, you know, and I know it's an unfair criticism because the reality is if I was trying to hold my phone for the length of time that I was holding this thing, this thing is like two to three times more comfortable. I can hold it in one hand and it is just as steady as if I was using two hands and I don't get a hand cramp holding it. Yeah, it's pretty chunky looking. It is, but it's comfortable. That's the thing. Well, it's good, I think. I mean, it's designed to fit the hand better. Yeah, exactly. And the funny thing is that you don't see too many grips out there. There was another grip that I did come across and it's a Kickstarter project and I don't believe it's currently available yet. They're still working on it. And I want to say that was current and it was actually out there. So there's a link to that in the actual review. So have a look at that if you want. So anyway, so there's that. Okay. So what I've done is I did a whole bunch of tests on this thing with the battery because the battery was a big deal for me because just today I was at cricket and anyway, I was taking a significant amount of video and I was taking a lot of photos. Now I did not test the photos. I didn't test that. I just tested the video. Video stresses the phone's battery, I think, more than the photos do, especially when you consider the fact that for the photo side of things, you could flash on, you may not, depending upon if you take photos in burst mode or not, it was also going to be longer and more difficult for me to test. So I decided to just focus on the video side of it rather than how many, push the button, how many photos can I take? I could be there for hours and that's not the sort of test I was interested in. So I wanted to do the video because I use the iPhone as a camcorder and whether I should or shouldn't, you know, it doesn't matter. I mean, that's what I do because it's available, it's with me and it takes pretty good video. So there's no doubt, I did some tests that this thing extends the battery life significantly. So I've taken the iPhone and I've run it flat and I've used the A to B to charge it from flat. The charging rate is very, very similar to is if you're plugging it into the wall charger. Obviously it's slightly slower, which is what you'd expect to be slightly slower. But honestly, it was pretty comparable. And if anyone's curious about the charging rate from dead flat, it took, and my iPhone 5S, just for the record is now about what, five months old? So obviously brand new battery, your mileage will vary ever so slightly based on the age of the battery. But for the purposes of this test, it's close enough for the average. And of course, it's gonna be a different charging rate if it was a five, 'cause the five had a slightly different size battery in it, I believe, as well for the 4S and the four. And this particular attachment on the A2B fits all of those four models. Now, I don't know if it fits the 5C just because the case design is different. I think the width of the phone on the 5C, it's slightly wider and it's a reasonably snug fit. So the other issue of course is the, in order for the buttons to work, the buttons, the physical buttons for taking the photo, in order for that to work, there's a conductive strip on the front. as a silver strip on the front edge. So when you hold it, your hand in the grip, the inside of your first or second knuckles is touching that conductive strip. There's electrical connection from that inside into the metal band. So the metal band, when you insert the iPhone into the grip and you tighten it up, there's actually a small metal tag in the bottom. There's a photo of it in the review. And that actually comes into physical electrical contact with the band. Now, because the 5C doesn't have that, I had suspected it would simply not work with the 5C. So it works with four out of the five iPhones that have been available in the last three years, which is still pretty good. Okay, so anyway, back to the battery time. So in order to charge it, so from charging the iPhone from a wall charger from dead to fully charged took 98 minutes. So hour 38 minutes and roughly 1% per minute. So charging the iPhone from dead using the A to B all the way up to 100% took 116 minutes, which is 0.9% per minute. So, a little bit longer, but not significantly longer. So I was at an extra, oh dear, two, six, eight, an extra 18, that's an extra 18 minutes. - That's good in a pinch. - Yeah, well, that's right, exactly. And plus, remember, of course, that that's if you would let your iPhone go flat. So the other test that I did is, okay, well, how long would it take? Okay, I'll get to this. I'm getting ahead of myself. So if I'm using, I did all my tests using 1080p video, but I also did a sub test using 720p just to get an idea of how long you could record with the battery. So if you have a fully charged iPhone, you're not using the grip at all, you can get 154 minutes of recording before it goes flat. So in other words, it consumes about 0.65% per minute battery. Now, if you've got a fully charged iPhone and a fully charged grip and you're boosting the battery continuously, what it'll do is it will basically drain that booster battery first. So your iPhone will continue to stay at 100%. And then after the booster battery dies, then your iPhone will lose its charge naturally as it's consumed. So it goes from 154 minutes up to 354 minutes. So, that rate, overall rate of loss is actually 0.3% per minute of overall charge. I mean, that's a percentage relative to two different discharge rates, two different, sorry, discharge energy volumes, right? So, you got two different amounts of milliamp hours in each battery. So, is a percentage meaningful or not? I don't know, probably not. But it is illustrative of the fact that you get an extra 200 minutes of recording, which is not insignificant. However, this is all well and good and sanitary and lovely. However, the other piece of this is what good is extra battery if I don't have extra space? I'm looking at these numbers here. So I've done a nice little table that summarizes it pretty succinctly. This currently, and this is one of those things that I'm aware that a lot of people are annoyed about, is that there's still only a 64 gig as the maximum memory size you can get on an iPhone. I do not, I don't, I hate, I'm trying to find the right word that doesn't come across badly, but it's frustrating. I mean, really, 64 gig, come on. It's not that expensive anymore, Apple. It's certainly not that as expensive as you're charging. - I'm just trying to premium, yeah. - Yeah, I know. Well, I did. Does that make me a sucker? No, maybe it does. Anyway, don't answer that. So there's three sizes, right? There's 16 gig, 32 gig, 64 gig. So in each of those models, if I'm recording 1080p video or 720p video, how much can I actually record in terms of space? And I didn't put it in gigabytes, I converted back into minutes. So basically, if I have a 16 gig iPhone and I'm recording in 1080p, it's 104 minutes. So in other words, the amount of time that it takes to flatten, it's just, you're not going to, let's see, 'cause hang on, the fully charged iPhone 2 did a recording time, maximum recording time iPhone no grip is 154 minutes, but I'm going to run out of space at 104 minutes. I'm never going to get there. So the grip has no point. - And that's assuming that you're not all loaded up with apps and media already, right? - Well, that's exactly right. And that's the maximum possible storage space. So that is a clean iPhone, just the stock standard apps, all the spaces being used for video recording. Don't know too many people where that is actually the case. So, admittedly, having the battery is great in a pinch, but for a 16 gig iPhone user, there's no point. So we go up to the 32 gig model, it goes up to 207 minutes. Okay, well, that's a more realistic situation. And of course, you go to the 64 gig model, you'll get 441 minutes in terms of space. So the only people that it really makes sense for is the 32 and the 64. And even with the 32, again, probably not a real world scenario. People are going to have apps on there. They're going to have their music on there, and they're not going to have the full amount of space available. So it really only makes a difference if you're on the 64 gig model. So one of the other things that I did is part of this little exercise, was I had a look into the split of the different models. But before I go into that, I was thinking perhaps you might want to talk a little bit about Typeform. Sure, we can do that. Typeform is a fresh solution to the big problem of gathering data on your website. Forms are a key component of doing business online, but up until now, they've met a lot of work to design, configure and administer. And the results have usually been pretty unflattering. There are other form builders out there that take care of some of the problems. They make it easier to get something basic up, but creating something great is still really hard. Typeform is the only form builder that allows you to get unlimited responses for free. As many questions as you want, as many answers as you get, Typeform doesn't limit your interaction. Typeforms are beautifully designed and have cross-platform compatibility baked in. They're tailored to look and work differently on desktops, on smartphones, and on tablets. Design is about how it works, and Typeforms are built to really work, regardless of the device. Platform itself is a joy to use, both as a customer creating a Typeform and a user interacting with one. The UI is sexy, clean, and fast, and designing even complex series of questions is made simple through their dashboard. UX is focused on asking and answering one question at a time, so it doesn't feel overwhelming and nobody gets lost. Typeform champions good user experience and design. This helps you create a space in which users will be more willing to answer and more likely to give honest answers. From customer feedback and surveys, contest and landing pages, event organization, in the classroom, Typeform lets your imagination fly. People are using Typeforms in a huge variety of ways. To make interactive stories, holiday cards, team presentations, avatar creation, list goes on and on. For a limited time, Typeform is offering a three month free trial of their new Typeform Pro service. Just sign up at and upgrade to the Pro plan from the dashboard. Make sure to use the coupon code FiatLux to get your free three months. I'll say thank you to Typeform for sponsoring the show and for making it easier for people to get to know each other better. It's awesome. I just want to add about Typeform that the survey that is being done for that I talked about earlier in the show, that was done using Typeform. And it's my first time using it. And I have to say that it was easily hands down the nicest platform I've ever used for building a survey. I mean, it really is. It is very, very nicely done. So I definitely recommend having a go at it. Give it a shot. Oh, yeah. I'm working on some stuff to kind of roll out for other shows and just in general on the site, using it beyond surveys, kind of pushing to use it for more interaction, replace contact forms, that sort of thing. And you know, this is actually got in touch with them through Sam, Sam Hutchings on Twitter who saw the Survey Monkey survey I put up for, well, it was one, I don't know if it was the one we did for this or it was another one I kind of did off the cuff. And I'd used them before and they're the one we're talking about, these other survey, other form builders. And it works, but kind of that's it. It just doesn't really feel like it's grown. And I kind of got bit when I went to go export stuff. So when Sam said, "Hey, why don't you use this?" And I checked it out and it really did work well. So that's why we got in touch with them. Anyways, we actually do use it. Yeah, absolutely. So, no, it's good stuff. Give it a shot, guys. So, as I was saying, I wanted to have a look into just how much of a niche problem that I'm obsessing over with the battery problem. And that is, oh, it's so funny. Anyway, nevermind that. Did some research and found that, so Apple doesn't release the breakdown, okay? This is the problem, right? They don't release a breakdown of which model sells the most, the 16, the 32 or the 64. But every now and then, someone does a survey and obviously, the survey is never going to be the actual numbers. It's just going to be an estimate and it's likely to be out by as much as 20% plus or minus. So, anyway, when the iPhone 5 was released, Wells Fargo organized a survey to be done of prospective buyers and asked them which models amongst other things they were going to buy. And the data that they collected and published, there's a link in the show notes on a site called ValueWalk, and it was published in September of 2012. I imagine that the breakdown is similar. What it was then is probably very similar to now. There may be a shift towards the more storage. I would expect as time goes on, people will instinctively go for a little bit more storage, but the numbers and ratios will be still relatively the same, I would think, give or take a few percent. So, 16 gig model was the most popular at 48%, 32 gig model was the second most popular, pretty relatively close behind at 35%. I'm willing to bet that they are essentially the same kind of figure. So, you got a budget conscious at 16 gig model and you've got the people that have got a little bit of extra money to spend but then they want a little bit extra space. And then the remainder is taken up by the 64 gig model, which according to the statistics that were, you know, the survey they did was 17%. In reality, somewhere between, I would say 15 to 20% is probably reasonable enough. So certainly what we're looking at is less than a fifth to run with that. So less than a fifth of the iPhones out in the wild are going to have this issue where they're going to need a supplemental battery if they want to take an extensive video. So is it a problem? I mean, well, it is for me, but honestly, is it a big problem for anyone else? Maybe not so much. But it also depends on the kind of video that you're taking. So one of the other videos tests that I did was 720p because why would I do 720p? Well, on the 5s, you've got 120 frames per second. I believe on the 5 and the 4s, I think you could do 60 frames a second from memory, I think. I don't think so. Well, there was a hack you could do at one point that I could get 60 frames a second. But yeah, anyway. It could be. It could be. But my point is that on the 5s, that's what I've got to test with. So I guess I could have stolen my wife's iPhone, but I didn't do that. And I say my wife's iPhone, that was my iPhone, but there you go. Anyhow, lucky her, gets my hand-me-downs. She still likes it though. That's the good thing. Right. Anyway, so 720p video. So it did the same thing. It's all on the same table just to make it easy. - You're right. - I was wrong? - I was wrong. You're right. There is this Coaches Eye app. Apparently it records at 60 FPS. Okay. You can app for it. Yep. So the thing is, the reason I say 720p is when it's going, when they're using the CCD to do capture video, the issue with taking 1080p is the size of the frame. So 1920 by 1080 and taking that entire full frame, it can only extract the data and refresh it at a certain speed. So the more data you take, the longer it's going to take to grab that data. Therefore, it's restricted to to 30 frames per second, of course, being the de facto standard. In film, of course, it's 24 frames a second. If it's PAL-C cam, it's 25 frames per second. If it's NTSC, it's 30 frames per second. And the joke is, of course, it's for no particular reason other than that's the frequency of that they had for the AC electricity over in North America, is 60 Hertz. Whereas over here is 50 Hertz, right? So the original television sets were all synchronized to the grid because everything was powered by the grid, wasn't it? So everything synchronized to the grid at 50 Hertz. That was the way they used to do all their stuff. Anyway, it's a long story. Bottom line is that, yes, 30 frames per second, 1080p, that's the speed it can go. But on the 5S, if you record a much smaller area, then you end up in a place where you can actually record at 120 frames per second. And that's that super slow-mo feature that I'll promo, and say, "Oh, this is so cool." Anyway, the bottom line is that when you're taking a 720p video, the size of the video is much higher because you're pulling out four times the amount of frames and the actual frame size at 720p is smaller. And so as a result, what happens, you can't, as you know, the 720p video at 120 frames per second is larger than the 1080p is at 30 frames a second for the same duration of time. And I guess that kind of makes sense. So as a result, what you end up with is that instead of being able to take 104 minutes worth of video on a 16 gig, you can only take 65 minutes of video on a 16 gig model. And then you go up to the 32 gig, it's down from 207, it's down 134 minutes. And on the 64 gig, it's down from 441 minutes down to 273 minutes. So yeah, this is the other way of thinking about it. So suddenly it's even, well, in many respects, it's even less relevant because if you look at the 64 gig at 273 minutes, you're almost, well, you ain't quite, you're still only getting 154 minutes worth of time out of it, but you'd miss out on what is that, about 120, I guess it's still a fair bit, isn't it? So I guess the 64 gig model, that's the message. If you've got a 64 gig model and you record a lot of video, then I think getting a battery pack is worth it. So in my case, in my application, and for about 20% of the iPhone users out there, it may make sense, but if you've got a smaller phone, perhaps it doesn't. So- - I would bet that the Venn diagram of people with, people recording lots of video and the people with the 64 gig phones, there's a lot of overlap there. - Well, absolutely. - 'Cause otherwise you're just gonna, you're gonna be a world of hurt so quickly. It just, yeah. I imagine, I mean, obviously it's not the majority, but I imagine that there's actually a pretty significant amount of people that are. - Yeah, absolutely. So I've gone on singing the praises this particular product. It costs about 50, it's just under $50. So it's about $48, I think it is US. And honestly, that's pretty good considering what it does. And for me, it ticks a few of the boxes. And further on, I'm going to investigate some telephoto lenses, clip-on lenses like the Olloclip. I'm looking into that. And there's a few other ones out there. And I'm going to look into that as well, as I said about the shutter. So I'll end up having a handful of extra things to extend the usefulness of my smartphone. However, I've sung the praises of this thing, but the truth is that there are some things wrong with it. You know, there's things wrong with everything. So I think it's only fair for me to point these things out. So the first big problem is the buttons, the actual push buttons on this thing don't actually always work. And I don't think it's a design problem necessarily. Or, okay, it is and it isn't. So the problem is that your fingers, in order for that to work, need to have a conductive path from your body's potential to the actual touchscreen. In order for that to happen, you need to have a conductive path between your body and the screen basically. Normally that conductive path is straight through your fingertips, but obviously if these buttons are replacing the fingertips, then how do you do that? So what do you do is you have, as I said, the conductive strip on the front, then there's the little metal tab that physically touches the metal rim on the iPhone. And then the buttons themselves have got a conductive rubber on them and that conductive rubber as you contact the screen completes the circuit. And that's all well and good until you change your grip slightly. So I found that after a while using the phone, I pushed the button and it wasn't actually registering and the reason was I'd arched my fingers slightly as I was just re-gripping the phone as you do, just because you do. And honestly, it was really annoying because then I'm like, oh, okay, now I've got to make sure that my fingers are flat so that I'm actually the insides of my fingers are touching that metal bar at the front so that when I push the button down, it actually can... that was a little bit annoying. It's not because there's anything wrong necessarily with the concept of what they're doing. But having just that vertical bar at the front, that's very narrow. It's only about two or three millimeters wide. So it's quite narrow. Even though it runs the full height of this grip, it would have been better to have had a conductive plate or several strips that were interconnected such that you couldn't arch your fingers and accidentally not touch them. What's the throw on those buttons like? Is it like a real light tap or? No, they're spring loaded. They're reasonably, I'll say they're spring loaded. I think it's like it could be a heavy rubber gasket style whereby you push down and you will get that deformation or return back. And so it's not, I say it's spring loaded. I mean, I'm not sure that there are actually metal springs in there. There could be, but I haven't pulled it apart. But it takes a reasonable amount of force to actually push that button down. And it has a reasonable throw of, you know, it's for example, compare and contrast that with the actual button on the side of the 5S. That button would travel when you push it in at most half a millimeter, these things, they'll go in, you know, three millimeters, maybe four. - It's a pretty satisfying mechanic. - It's definitely, yeah, it is, it is actually. And that is nice, but it also adds a little bit more lag. But you know, it's really the fact that I wouldn't care, I don't care about that so much. It's more the fact that it's not 100% reliable. So there will be that one time out of 20 or so that it doesn't work, and then you'll be there and you're like, oh, I missed something, great. - So if you had gloves on or something, this would not-- - Oh, it wouldn't work, no. It's both amazing and crazy to me that this is all happening through capacitive touch. Yeah, but you know why they had to do capacitive touch? Because resistive can't track more than one point. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe I should do a show about that at some point. Yeah, I want to dive into that more. I mean, just thinking about it, like, okay, this makes sense, but just hadn't really considered that that's actually what's going on here. That's the cost trade-off, right? There's all sorts of other technologies. There's SOAR, for example, as well as resistive, as well as capacitive, and there's a couple, there's infrared, there's a few different ones. But in any case, so back to the A to B, and just file that one away for a future topic, maybe. The long-term marking on your iPhone is inevitable. And I mean, I guess that's nitpicky as well, because you could say that any old case that you've got, you clip it on and off and on and off and on and off, inevitably, eventually, you're gonna get marks on your phone. So if you're the sort of person that is paranoid about getting any kind of mark, scratch, dent, bump, or anything on your device, well then you're gonna have it in some kind of bulletproof casing that's waterproof and everything proof and you probably never use your phone 'cause let's face it, if you use it, you might scratch it. But in any case, just be aware that that metal tab is already leaving a very small mark on the edge of my iPhone at the front. And that's okay. It's not a big deal. I accept the fact that wear and tear is normal and you're never going to get around it. So that's fine, but just be aware of it. Obviously it won't work if you've got a case on. And this is a big deal for some people, but I've been using my 5S naked as it were, since I got it. And honestly, I haven't had any issues with it. Mind you, that's what you say until you drop it face first on a concrete. And then you say, "Oh, gee, I wish I had a case on that." So check back with me in another two year and a half, and I'll let you know how that strategy's worked out. 5S's don't seem to have nearly the scratching issue that the, well, actually, even this new 5, the replacement 5 I have, it seems like they sorted out a lot of the minor things and scratches. But yeah, drop it on concrete. Yeah, exactly. Anyway. But it beats having the OtterBox on it. Yeah. Well, the problem I've got is that I have this problem with weight, with carrying around heavy things. And the case will add weight. And if you have like a battery case, then that's great for the solving the battery problem. There I'll go again. But the problem is that that's then on all the time. So you're always carrying that around. And what if I don't want to? What if I just want to take it on a long trip? Well, that means I've got to take it in and out of the case. - I don't mind the weight as much as the bulk. Like I want it to slip in the jeans pockets and that's it. - Well, if you look at the Mophie Juice Pack Airs, they're quite thin, but the problem I've got with that again is it's, it is slightly thicker and it is slightly heavier, But you're stuck with it all the time. - Yeah. And that's what's clever about this is like, you throw this in the glove compartment or you have in your bag. I mean, it kind of kills two birds with one stone. - Exactly. And the great thing about this one is that it attaches to the phone very, very quickly. And it does a lot less damage to the phone than putting on and off a case does because believe me, I've done that. So I did that with the rubber, the bumper case on my 4S. I went through two of those damn things. They didn't even last nine months. I think I've talked about that one before, that the rubber cracked on the outside and it literally, one of them snapped in half. It's not designed for that. It's designed, you put it on, you leave it on. But what if you've got an accessory that you wanna use? Well, it's stiff, you're out of luck. So anyway, all right. As I said before, it's slippery when it's sweaty and that's annoying, but then again, I suppose, I guess the issue is that, you know, wipe your hands, I guess. But the other big issue with this one, and it's a silly thing, and that is the wrist strap. See, most cameras that I've used have a wrist strap, and this grip also intelligently has a wrist strap. But the one that comes with it, I basically, I'm taking it off because it's too short. You put your hand in there and your wrist in there. I mean, I don't have massive hands, but they're also not tiny. sort of average-ish size, I think, for someone of a Caucasian descent in this day and age, it's just average-ish hands. In terms of like if you're into piano, I can spend nine keys with my hand comfortably enough. I'd get the 10th key, but it's really not pleasant. So the point is that that's pretty average, right? I'm not like Rachmaninoff, I can't spend 13 keys. I'm testing here on the keyboard. I can do octave and a half. There you go. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I hate you. Anyway, the point is that I can't get my hand in there through the damn wrist strap without like some kind of, you know, I've got to fold my thumb slightly towards the center of my hand to get it on. And I guess that's great because it's not going to come off again in a hurry. But then when you reposition your wrist to hold the grip, it literally starts cutting off the blood flow into my wrist because it's just too tight. If you then move your hand up the grip towards the top where the actual wrist strap is anchored, then that's great. It doesn't do that, but then you can't work the buttons. Big file on the wrist strap, I'm afraid. So I'm going to take that off and I'm just not using it. It's getting in the way and I will most likely take the wrist strap off of one of my cameras I'm not using and put that on instead. It's not necessarily a criticism, but it's just a point. This thing doesn't come with a charging cable for your device. It comes with a charging cable for itself, which is a USB to what looks like a mini or micro USB. I lose track of all that because I hate that standard. That's a micro. The micro. Yeah. So, I mean, God. So, that comes with that cable. It's so sad that I know that just by looking at it. No, it's okay. It's not sad. It's just something I just haven't focused enough attention on. So, I don't... Anyway, it's okay. The point is you have to bring your own cable. Now, when you bring your own cable, I used for the sake of testing, I used the one that came with it. And same with the charger as well. I used exactly the same charger for the wall and lightning cable that came with the 5S 'cause I figured that's the most genuine test. However, the cable, the charging cable is about what? Two foot long, something like that? So this thing, when you plug it in from the top of the actual A to B grip, and then you plug it in through the hole in the side charge it. Oh dear. The whole thing, basically, the cable is so long, it flops down and it just gets in the way of everything. What you really need is you need a small loop cable that's about maybe four inches long at most. And it's like, well, they didn't provide it probably because of licensing issues, cost issues, certainly. I mean, imagine if you have to throw in a cable, you have to throw in two cables, right? I mean, if it's a four or a 4S, it's going to be a 30 pin connector. And if it's a five or a 5S, it's going to have to be a lightning connector. So, it's not just as simple as here throwing the cable. So I guess I kind of forgive them for that. But one of the ways you would want to use it and the design certainly allows you to do this, to charge it while you're using it, which is the way I've been using it, to prevent my iPhone from going flat, or even dropping below a hundred percent, when I'm taking a lot of video, that is completely unwieldy. Because the looper cable is so huge, It just it snags on things and it gets in the way, gets in the shot as well. So I have to see if I can find a short cable that is about that long. Maybe I'll be a third party cable 'cause I know Apple doesn't make one. And I haven't gone too far down that road yet. - Monoprice. - Yeah, monoprice, exactly. - It looks like this could use a design revision basically in general. - Yeah. - Just like good start, but seems pretty clear just looking at it like they didn't think all of this all the way through. - Exactly. I just want to finish the last thing on the list that's annoying, and that is the power button on the front. The thing is that this is an unpowered device. Anyone see an unpowered device? What it means, it doesn't need power to function. So you don't need to have charge in this thing to use the buttons. It's all done through conducting through your fingers, right? And obviously it's a tripod mount and it's a hand grip. So I mean, what exactly is there to power? Nothing. But when you push the power button, it's disingenuous you push the power button and it's a power button symbol. So, you think, oh, that's turning it on. No, it's not turning it on. All it does is it checks the battery level. Why not a picture of a battery? It's not a power button. So, you push the button and the LEDs turn on and they show you the charge level. That's it. And the other thing about those damn LEDs that is really annoying is that you plug the thing into charge and it lights up three LEDs solid and the top one flashes. And that top one flashing indicates that it's charging. When it gets fully charged, do you think the LEDs turn off? No, no, no, no, no, no. It just sits there blinking in your face and it just keeps on doing it indefinitely. I left it on there overnight. Next morning, still blinking. In order to test the level of charge, you're charging this bloody thing, you have to unplug it and then you got to push the power button on the front and wait for the LEDs to light up and tell you how charged it is. So that was just a little teeny tiny bit annoying. Thinking about Johnny Ive talking about indicators, indicating things and when they're not, they shouldn't be there. Yeah, pretty much. Anyway, so look, honestly, though, for all of its little faults, it's a lovely bit of kit that I really like, and I haven't found very many things out there like it. It seems to be one of those very rare devices. For whatever reason, I don't understand why it's not as popular. It could be, I think, more popular. I think it should be more popular. And I wish I understood, honestly, why these things were, you know, I want this products like this to be more successful because I think that it's a great idea. And I think that longer term, there should be more of a more design evolution. And like you say, it needs another design revision. I really honestly, truly hope that there is. And if there is, I would buy it. But I'd like them to have addressed at least some of the issues that I pointed out about it. So, yeah, these kind of, you know, excess, you know, like semi smart accessories, I guess, I guess is no real good term for it. They can, they can add a lot. I mean, you're changing the shape, right? You're changing the the body, the case, you're changing the mechanicals. And yeah, it's kind of a, it's a great playground. I mean, you could, you could do a lot of really cool stuff. I'm thinking of just about, I mean, about my father in law, every time we have a family get togethers and outcomes, the Nikon, And it's a great camera, but it really does suffer from the amount of setup and bulk that kind of prevents it from being used all the time. And something like this would kind of solve the problem probably about 80% of the time. We're all sitting together for a family photo. We don't need big telephoto lens, you know? And it's not getting blown up to get printed out on something really huge either. So it's not like you, you know, it's just overkill. If you're happy with the fact that you can live with a timer and a photo app that actually supports a timer, you don't need the remote shutter, then this plus tripod equals as many group shots, family shots, whatever you like. We go bushwalking in our family semi-regularly or North America term, hiking, right, whatever. We go out and about and we have a horrible shortage of family shots because where we go is we go places where there aren't other people and we're just out in the bush and we can never get the entire family in because the camera that I take with me now is my iPhone because it takes really good photos, but it had no tripod mount. So for ages I was thinking, "Well, I'll just get a tripod mount case," because you can get cases with tripod mounts on them. But the problem with that was I could never find a case that I would ever want to leave on my phone. So, I'm back to the whole problem of taking it on and off every damn time I need to use it on a tripod. And these cases are not designed to be quick remove and quick insert. So, what do you do? Well, this A to B grip is an idea that works. You simply spin a dial, insert it, and then spin the dial back again to tighten it up and you're done. It's quick on, quick off. It has less marking than a case would. It's not destroying the grip in the process because if you do have a case, you'll destroy the case if you keep inserting and removing it because they're not designed for that. So ultimately, I think it's a fantastic solution. But in any case, one of the other interesting points with this whole discussion is why on earth aren't I using a DSLR? And I guess the problem is that a DSLR is a completely separate device that you have to manage. And I guess that you could argue, well, you say, "I have to manage. I have to take my smartphone with me anyway." If that's a given, that's great. But if I take my phone with me, if something happens to my phone, well, I'm out of luck in a whole bunch of ways. So, I'm going to take a lot more care of that. Whereas if I've got a DSLR, the only thing I can do is take photos. And the evidence out there in the real world suggests that DSLRs and compact cameras are simply not the most popular cameras in the world. Maybe they were for a while, but they certainly aren't anymore. They will always give you a better result because they have no restriction, much less restriction on all of these issues. They have the space and size and bulk to give you a longer battery life, optical image stabilization. All of them come with tripod mounts built into them. They've got timer functions built into them. They've got all of these things, all these refinements, they've got all this space in them to have much bigger optics. optics and you're never going to beat the image quality of a DSLR. Specialized equipment. Yeah, exactly. But the point is, though, that people don't care about that. The vast majority of people don't care about this. They don't. All they want is something that is already on them and the picture quality is acceptable. So, for me, the equation is for 200 bucks, I can get a telephoto lens, a remote camera shutter, and an A to B grip, which addresses all of these shortcomings of the smartphone pretty much, it doesn't quite get me to the level of a DSLR, but it gets me probably 80%, 75, 80% of the way there for what I want to do. If I lose any of those devices, those accessories, that's not the end of the world. That's 200 bucks. If I have a problem with my DSLR, assuming I get a 500-pixel photo lens, but let's assume I did, if I drop that, damage that, lose that, well, that's a lot of money gone. Whereas if these accessories go, it's not as as much of an expense. And I buy my phone, if I don't buy my phones outright, I buy them on a contract. It costs me essentially nothing up front to get it on a contract. Monthly hurts, sure, but the reality is that my iPhone, I got that on a monthly contract. It cost me nothing up front. As far as I know, you can't buy a DSLR that way. - Well, I think it's kind of a different job to be done. Like, if you get a DSLR, it's because you wanna like engage in the craft, right? You want to play around and learn and tweak experiment and try things and that's all good. It's just a different job than, "Hey, we're here right now and we're gonna take this photo and it's in my, you know, I have this magical device in my pocket." Absolutely. And the bottom line is, I'm saying that the smartphone is the most popular camera in the world because it is always with you. It's in your pocket, you have to keep it charged for all sorts of other reasons. So you're far better off putting money into accessories and extending its usability, rather than putting even more money into a a standalone device because yes, that standalone device is going to take better pictures. Yes, it is. But it's also going to be a pain in the ass to deal with, nowhere near as convenient as your smartphone. Can't be and never will be as easy to use or as managed. It's not going to be. They've tried the whole, here's a camera with a smartphone operating system in it. How well did that work out? Because photographers want to take photos and the photographers are always going to use them and there'll always be people out there that want to do that. And that's fine. It's a car truck thing, right? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. But there are things you can add to your smartphone to make it a better camera. And I highly recommend looking into the options. And honestly, I think that more people should consider it. And that's pretty much all I have. I'm going to get one of these things or at least something like it. Yeah. Well, let me know what you think. My big mutant hands. I just can't deal with it. It's just it is a problem. It is problematic. Like, I have a hard time Stephen gripping the phone right for taking good photos. Sounds silly, but... No, it's tiring. It's very tiring. Weird clutch. And it's just not great. It's that hand grip. Yeah. And it's something that, you know, having, having a baby, like all of a sudden, you know, you were talking about the Lumia at the beginning. Like, yeah, for the first time, I was really actually considering, yeah, maybe I will just jump off to get this great smartphone camera thing. I didn't do it. But the first time I honestly considered it. So something like this or similar devices that if they could you just ramp up the quality of what I've got now a little bit, it'd be worth it. 50 bucks. Want to wrap it up? Yeah. Oh, wait, wait. Did you, um, did you say you took a look at the Sony, the QX? I did. Yes, it is. I read an article on tech distortion a while back about that, actually. What do you think of that? Problem I have with it is that the actual lenses themselves. Okay, it was a loss of quality in terms of what it captured for video. Insofar as it didn't capture full HD, it only captured, I think, from memory was 1440 by 1080. Okay. And I wasn't prepared to live with a reduction in megapixel, well, in video megapixel quality. It also had issues with battery life, because this thing was, you know, it had its own battery. So, you had to then, it was essentially like buying a DSLR, a cheap DSLR that would clip onto your smartphone. Right. The most attractive use for it I could think of was using it as a, with the iPhone as your remote viewfinder, and then you could take some really weird angle shots, I guess. But honestly, it was, in my evaluation anyway, it was not worth it. Because the one you really want, the QX100, was getting up to the price of a DSLR anyway. Yeah, it is getting closer, isn't it? Yeah. And at that point, it was just like, well, why wouldn't you get a DSLR? If you're going to put that sort of money in, why not? I think the right strategy is to have a friend or family member with a DSLR. Yeah. Every time you want to take really nice quality photos, I can borrow it. Yeah. I guess. I don't want to show you 100% serious when you say that because, you know. I'm kind of serious, right? Like, I don't want to... All right. All right. Well, I mean, if you're going... I'd like to take a really, really nice photo or I need to for a gig or something. I've been thinking about getting a DSLR for years and I haven't. That tells me something. That's where I am, mate. I'm at the same place. I keep thinking, "I'll just get DSLR." I've talked about this with Clinton at length previously. He's had DSLRs and he's like, "I'll say this one here." It's tempting. It's really tempting. but I just I can't get past the fact that it's so inconvenient. Now, the time before smartphones, it wouldn't have been, you know, the smartphones with cameras built into them have changed the game, you know, and DSLRs are forever stuck with their problems, you know, and honestly, to me, It's another thing I have to learn and has to have the bandwidth for it, I think. Well, it's, what you've got to do with a DSLR, You've got to give up a lot of the stuff you're used to, the usability, the fact that the smartphone is always with you. You've got to give all that up and maintain an additional device and as you say, learn how to use another device and have a different workflow for getting photos off of it. All of that has to become worse than what you currently have with your smartphone. And what you're giving up for all of that extra BS is better quality. And that's the trade-off. And if that trade-off is not worth it, then you shouldn't do it. You should stick with a smartphone. And that's exactly where I've never got past that impasse. - This makes you think of, I know we're going along, but there's a great series on Vimeo. If you go on like the Apple TV Vimeo app, it's usually featured. And it's, they have a number of different little, what do you call it? Little shows they do about photography or videography using iPhones, using, you know, kind of consumer level equipment and using DSLRs or camcorders don't even really seem to exist anymore. But reminds me of some of the stuff we did at the web shop years and years ago. You know, things like this, what we've talked about today, like a little bit of hacking, maybe a little bit of carpentry and metal work. Like we made some pretty cool little rigs that solved all kinds of problems. You know, we had our own little like monopods and kind of ghetto steady cams. And this series they do talks a lot about that kind of stuff. I mean, you know, a little bit of a tool and a little bit of education goes a long way, I think. - Absolutely right. - If you want to talk more about this, you can find John on Twitter @JohnChidjee. It's the same on, and you should check out John's site, If you'd like to send an email, you can send it to I'm Ben Alexander. You can reach me on Twitter @fiatluxfm. You can follow @PragmaticShow on Twitter or @Pragmatic on to see show announcements and other related materials. Final thank you to our sponsor, Typeform, for sponsoring this episode. Make sure you check 'em out. Thanks for listening, everyone. Thanks, John. - Thank you, Ben. (upbeat music) [Music] (upbeat music) [Music] [BLANK_AUDIO]
Duration 1 hour, 6 minutes and 3 seconds Direct Download
Episode Sponsor:
Typeform: Typeform makes it easy to build and share beautifully designed online forms, combining human creativity with the power of modern, cross-device web technology to create new ways of asking questions online. Visit and use the Coupon Code fiatlux to upgrade to the PRO plan and get three months free.

Show Notes

TechDistortion Companion Articles:

Related Links:

Premium supporters have access to ad-free, early released episodes with a full back-catalogues of previous episodes


Ben Alexander

Ben Alexander

Ben created and runs and Fiat Lux

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.