The original iPhone camera may have been something of a dud, but Apple has worked really hard over the years to transform the iPhone into a best in class camera phone. So with the iPhone 6s, Apple upped the ante yet again, both on the hardware and software side of the equation.
In addition to delivering 4K video recording, better low light performance, and a 12 megapixel sensor, the new iPhones also have an interesting new feature Apple is calling Live Photos. As the name subtly implies, Live Photos enable users to tap on a photo and see a short video sequence (3 seconds in duration) that was taken a few seconds before and after the actual photo was snapped. All in all it’s a great way to have seemingly static photos come to life.
While it’s a safe bet that consumers will have a lot of fun with the new feature, what do professional photographers make of it? Is it more of a gimmicky feature or something that might actually be useful in the field?
To help answer that question, TIME asked a number of professional photographers to weigh in on the question.
Photographer Austin Mann, whose own work has been featured iPhone 6 ads, believes Live Photos carry a lot of potential.
“Telling stories is about creating deeper connection between subject and audience,” Austin Mann said. “The more information our camera (or device) captures, the deeper, more intimate those connections can be. Live Photos is a great example of how the iPhone pioneers a new way to capture even more information, enabling us as storytellers to really take our viewers into the experience.”
Olly Lang, a mobile photography consultant, told TIME that the Live Photos feature may actually be useful as “a sort of mobile proof” amidst charges that photos may have been staged or doctored. An interesting point, to be sure.
As a final point, it’s worth mentioning once more that Live Photos will take up twice the amount of space as regular photos. Which is to say, 16GB iPhone 6s owners might want to turn the feature off as it comes turned on by default.