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Friday, Apr 26, 2013 1:00am
Apple debuts one-minute iPhone ad: 'Photos Every Day'
A new TV ad for Apple's iPhone has debuted, a departure from the recent short "showcase" ads that highlighted apps -- instead spending a full minute extolling the virtues of the iPhone's use as a camera through gorgeous vignettes of people taking pictures. As pointed out at the end of the spot, "every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera." In addition to seeing people taking pictures, the ad also subtly highlights the ease-of-use in editing and sharing pictures, and harks back to some earlier Apple ads.

The beginning of the ad (seen below) shows people using the iPhone as a video, rather than still-image, camera: hikers chasing each other through a field, skateboarders capturing their moves. This is followed by several quick scenes of people stopping what they are doing (or, in the case of a jogger, not stopping) to capture a beautiful view or a bit of everyday color. The technique of "pinch to zoom" to crop photos is glimpsed, along with a brief shot of someone scrolling through a collection of pictures.

People are seen photographing the sky, videotaping snow from a high-rise building (where it often "falls up" due to wind drafts) and the iPhone being held aloft at a concert. A traveller pauses at a station to make a video of the sea of passengers around him; three "foodies" take pictures of their dish for sharing on social networks; a coach tapes a gymnast rehearsing a routine; friends clown around for a self-portrait during a sleepover.

Since its introduction, and particularly since the debut of the iPhone 4 in 2010, the iPhone and other smartphones have increasingly replaced "point and shoot" cameras for casual picture-taking, since users have the phones with them most of the time. Apple and other companies have devoted large-scale engineering efforts to creating higher-quality cameras that can handle wider varieties of photographic image types while still decreasing both the size and weight of the actual camera unit.

The iPhone 5, widely regarded as the best quality phone cameras in the consumer space, features an 8MP, fixed F2.4 aperture lens six elements, a back-illuminated sensor, digital image stabilization, face detection, an HDR mode, shiftable focus and exposure, geo tagging and the panorama feature can produce images as large as 28MB. The next iPhone is rumored to up the specs to a 12-megapixel processor with superior hardware (rather than software) processing for the HDR mode.

A few seconds in the ad are devoted also to showing users taking advantage of the "panorama" feature of the iPhone 5, sweeping slowly from left to right to capture a wider scope of a landscape; the iPhone 5 automatically handles the stitching and creates a high-resolution file suitable for printing out at large sizes. Towards the end, people are seen taking pictures of jellyfish in an aquarium, shooting a developed x-ray picture to share with colleagues, and a series of people having their picture taken on their own iPhones by passer-by, friends, strangers or through the awkward fun of a self-held self-portrait.

In a memorable shot in the finale of the ad, a young girl in pink bunny pajamas is seen simply looking at the photos and enjoying them. The ad concludes with silohuettes dancing at sunset being videotaped by the iPhone. The commercial returns to the format of some previous iPhone ads where a single feature would be highlighted and illustrated in various ways, and is accompanied by a simple, elegant piano piece, as is often favored for Apple's TV spots. The commercial is free of voice over until the final seconds, or any loud noises of the type employed by most TV ads to capture attention.