I rely so much on stills camera app developer Mike Hardaker's 645 Pro that it takes pride of place next to Filmic Pro on the dock of both my production iPhones. 645 Pro is my go-to for stills when I want to take a little time and need high quality TIFF images I can edit later in DxO Optics Pro using its iPhone profiles and film simulation package DxO FilmPack.
The other day my iPhone's App Store apps notified me 645 Pro was ready to be updated. I had 645 Pro Mk II and Mk III was waiting in the wings. As an existing user the new version was free but the new app purchase price is trivial given what you get.
And what do you get with 645 Pro Mk II? Some welcome additions that make great use of Apple recently opening up many of their iOS core features to canny developers.
Top Five New Features of 645 Pro Mk III
Here is my top five list of the new features in 645 Pro Mk III, and my thanks to Mr Hardaker for his help and documentation at his product page and blog:
1. Manual focus peaking
I often rely on manual focus peaking on other cameras that have it – such as my beloved Panasonic GH4 – especially when the tonal separation or lighting of my subject is challenging. Having manual focus peaking now on my iPhone means less stress when shooting in high ambient light that makes it hard see exactly what is on screen. Sharpness is mine even on my iPhones now!
2. Choose fast shutter speeds in S mode
Although I default to fully manual (M) mode when I can get it on whatever camera I am using, I often find myself in situations where action in front of the camera is happening fast and needs to be frozen with a high shutter speed. Now we have that option on our iPhones. Select the S on the 645 Pro Mk III mode dial then click the plus or minus symbols to choose a faster shutter speed rather than letting it be chosen for you.
3. No more blown-out highlights if we don't want them
Blown-out highlights can be a pain especially when shooting to export as large, high-quality TIFFs for editing. Once over-exposed, high exposure value details can't be restored like they can with raw files from non-iPhone cameras. Exposure compensation in 645 Pro Mk III works in a similar way to the same feature on DSLRs and top-end mirrorless (DSLM) cameras now.
4. Bracket exposure when lighting is tricky
Sometimes, especially in scenes involving deepest shadow through to brightest white lit by sunlight for example, it can be hard to know how to obtain the very best exposure. Exposure bracketing gives you choice now 645 Pro Mk III permits bracketing of plus or minus 3 EVs – exposure values – automatically.
5. Reduce noise via ISO priority
It is likely that the image sensor in your iPhone will not be as large as the one in your favourite DLSR or DLSM. Sensor noise when shooting under available light or available darkness can be more obvious and lead to disappointing results that conventional image editing software cannot always fix well enough. Now you have more control over noise in 645 Pro Mk III by choosing ISO mode and clicking the onscreen plus or minus buttons to select lower ISOs. Noise, be gone.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I have yet to explore all of the new features in 645 Pro Mk III but these five top features have already come in handy.
Mike Hardaker's other camera app that I have on both production iPhones is Pure Shot and, according to comments on his blog entry for 645 Pro Mk III, that app will be updated with the same iOS 8-enabled feature set soon too.
iPhone photography just keeps getting better and better!
645 PRO Mk III By Michael Hardaker
645 PRO Mk III has been designed, from the ground up, for professional and serious amateur photographers. So it works the way a camera works—and it’s the most powerful camera app we’ve ever seen!
You have instant access to everything that can be controlled on an iOS camera.
That means fully manual exposure control, as well as semi-automatic Shutter Priority and ISO Priority, together with fully automatic exposure with a choice of spot or matrix metering. Automatic and semi-automatic modes also include ±3 Ev. exposure compensation, while the on-screen meter lets you judge your manual exposures to perfection.
It means the choice of AWB or a selection of white balance presets—and even the ability to create and save a completely custom white balance.
And it means manual focus override—just swipe your finger up and down the viewfinder to control the lens position. And you even get focus-peaking to help you identify what will be in perfect focus!
And you have all the information you need, all the time, including real-time exposure metering, real-time ISO and shutter-speed readings, Ev, real-time GPS data and a choice of histograms. And many aspects of the interface can be customized, so you can—for example—configure the Shutter Release button to behave the way you want.
645 PRO Mk III—TOP-QUALITY OUTPUT
645 PRO Mk III combines the ultimate in lifelike “film look” output with the ability to save completely unprocessed image data at the highest quality possible.
Its gorgeous Film Modes are inspired by classic film stock as used by top photographers from the 1960s through to the present day—and if you want to edit them, and save custom, personalized films, you can. Meanwhile its unprocessed images are just that—ready for later post-processing or to be used “as is” for reportage.
Whether you shoot Film Mode, unprocessed or both, you have the choice to save in HI-Quality JPEG, MAX-Quality JPEG, or—for top image fidelity—TIFF.
And you have the option to shoot in one of seven formats, from square 6×6 to panoramic 6×17, all inspired by classic Medium Format cameras. Also inspired by film, you can add one of 21 Photo Filters, all with fully-adjustable densities.
You'll get photographs from your iPhone like you never imagined!
Drawing its inspiration from the obsession with quality embodied by top-end Medium Format film and digital cameras, 645 PRO Mk III exists purely to help you use your iPhone as a tool for composing, taking, saving and sharing the finest possible photographs.
Learn more about 645 PRO Mk III on iTunes
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)