RitchieCam Update #1

I just released the first “major” RitchieCam app update. For those who don’t know, I created an iOS camera app to simplify and streamline your iPhone photography. The app is free, and is intended to be a useful free tool, yet becoming a RitchieCam Patron unlocks all of the filters and the best app experience.

There are a lot of features that I want to incorporate into the app, but it takes time and work to implement them all, so they will roll out over time. In other words, RitchieCam is just going to get better and better! I just released the first significant update—if you have RitchieCam on your phone and it didn’t automatically update, be sure to manually do it in the App Store now.

One new feature is the volume button—either up or down—as a shutter release. Depending on how you hold your phone, this is a more convenient way to take pictures. Instead of tapping the circle shutter at the bottom, you can press either volume up or volume down to accomplish the same thing. The ability to use the volume buttons to capture photographs was highly requested, so I’m pleased to be able to include it in this update.

Another new feature is additional aspect ratios. Originally, all RitchieCam photos were in iPhone’s standard 4:3 aspect ratio, which is necessary if you want to use the full resolution of the sensor. But if you prefer a different shape, there are now five aspect ratios to choose from: 4:3, 3:2, 5:4, 1:1, & 16:9.

Here are some photos, all captured using the Standard Film filter on RitchieCam, illustrating the different aspect ratios:

4:3 / 3:4

3:2 / 2:3

5:4 / 4:5

1:1

16:9 / 9:16

RitchieCam saves the pictures in Apple’s High Efficiency Image Container (HEIC, also called HEIF) format, which maximizes image quality while simultaneously taking less space on your phone. It’s also necessary for implementing some new features down the road. The downside to HEIC is that it is less universally compatible with non-Apple programs. For those who prefer JPEG over HEIC, you now have that option—tap the Gear icon, and you’ll find the Format toggle about halfway down.

The other improvements are less obvious. RitchieCam will now remember the last Flash and EV settings used (as well as the aspect ratio), which will hopefully improve the user experience for some of you. There are several behind-the-scenes optimizations to improve speed, stability, and quality, which you’re not likely to notice, but micro improvements add up over time, so they’re important to continuously work on.

And that’s the update! Already work has begun on the next one. If the feature you were hoping for isn’t in this one, with any luck you won’t have to wait too long for it, but I do ask for your patience, because these things do take awhile. In the meantime, I hope there’s something in this update that you find helpful to you.

Fujifilm X100V vs iPhone, Part 2: Multnomah Falls

iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Faded Film filter

Part 1: Grand Tetons

Multnomah Falls is an iconic scenic stop along the historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon. Found within the Columbia River Gorge, it is the tallest year-round waterfall in Oregon, and the most visited natural site in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The famous footbridge was constructed in 1915, while the gift-shop at the bottom—originally a lodge—was built in 1925, and both are on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an incredible location to experience, with beauty that rivals what one might find within National Parks.

I recently visited Multnomah Falls, and used my Fujifilm X100V and iPhone 11 to photograph this amazing spot. Unsurprisingly, I had several of my Film Simulation Recipes programmed into my X100V, and I used my RitchieCam camera app on my iPhone. Because there is a lot of mist from the falls, and it was a rainy day (as is common there), having weather-sealed cameras was important—both the X100V (as long as a filter is on the front) and the iPhone can handle getting wet, and both did get wet. Really wet.

While it might seem unnecessary to carry both an X100V and an iPhone, that turned out not to be the case for two reasons: focal-length, and ease of sharing. The X100V has a very useful 34.5mm (equivalent) focal-length lens, while the iPhone 11 has a 26mm (equivalent) camera and 13mm (equivalent) camera (if I had the “Pro” version, it would also include a 52mm camera, but alas I don’t have that model). The X100V was wide-angle enough to capture some good photographs of the falls, but the wider-angle lenses on the iPhone 11 were often better options, and I used it more than the Fujifilm camera at this location. To the second point, I was able to text pictures of the falls to some family and friends immediately—before even getting back to the car—and share with you via social media pictures of the falls within minutes. The X100V pictures were pretty quick and easy to share, too—thanks to the wonderful JPEG output of the camera—but not quite as immediate as the iPhone images.

iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – MetroColor filter

What’s better, X100V or iPhone? For pure image quality, the Fujifilm camera is hands down better, but that only really matters if you are viewing the pictures large. Looking at them on this website or on social media, the quality difference is hard to spot, and even if you can see it, the quality difference is pretty insignificant. If you were viewing 11″ x 14″ prints of the pictures, the quality difference would still be fairly small, although if you compared them side-by-side you could tell without much trouble that the X100V is superior. But if you are viewing 16″ x 20″ prints or larger, the iPhone images just don’t hold up nearly as well as the Fujifilm. So the X100V is definitely the better tool if you might print the pictures large, but the iPhone is a capable tool if you don’t think you’ll be printing large—let’s face it, most pictures don’t get printed large, or even printed at all.

There’s no reason why both the X100V and the iPhone (or other cellphone camera) can’t both live together in peace and harmony. They’re different photographic tools that have different advantages and disadvantages, and they can both serve purposes within your photography. Film Simulation Recipes make the Fujifilm workflow more streamlined and the process more enjoyable. RitchieCam does the same thing for your iPhone photography. One tool might be better in a certain circumstance, and the other might be better in another circumstance, and perhaps both might be useful in a circumstance like Multnomah Falls.

Do you like the Fujifilm X100V pictures better, the iPhone pictures better, some of each, or none at all? Which Film Simulation Recipe that I used do you prefer? Which RitchieCam filter did the best? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Fujifilm X100V – New Recipe Coming Soon
Fujifilm X100V – New Recipe Coming Soon
Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 1 recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Vintage Kodak filter
Fujifilm X100V – Vintage Vibes recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
Fujifilm X100V – Kodak High Definition Plus 200 recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Faded Film filter
Fujifilm X100V – Vintage Vibes recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter

Download the Fuji X Weekly App here:

Download the RitchieCam App here:

Fujifilm X100V vs iPhone, Part 1: Grand Tetons

Sun Behind The Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Elite Chrome 200
Sun Behind Tetons & River – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Color Negative Low”

I recently visited the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This iconic mountain range sits just north of the tourist town of Jackson Hole. If you’ve never been, this is a “bucket list” kind of place that you should absolutely try to see in person if you can. My visit was a quick weekend getaway, and not surprisingly the weather didn’t really cooperate. Still, I wanted to get in some photography, and so I did.

Reviewing the pictures, I noticed that I captured some similar images with my Fujifilm X100V using various Film Simulation Recipes and my iPhone 11 with the RitchieCam app using various filters. For those who don’t know, I created an iPhone camera app called RitchieCam, which you can learn more about by clicking here. I thought comparing the X100V and iPhone pictures would make an interesting article.

What I don’t want to do is view massive crops side-by-side. The Fujifilm X100V and the iPhone are much different tools, so this will be a very general overview without pixel-peeping.

Technically speaking, the X100V is far superior, and it isn’t even close. For technical image quality, the X100V is the camera to grab, but the iPhone, with its tiny little sensor, is surprisingly good, all things considered. The advantage of the iPhone is that you have it with you all of the time, and you can quickly and easily share the pictures captured with it across the world (especially if you used the RitchieCam app). Convenience and speed are the reasons to choose the iPhone over the X100V, but the X100V is pretty compact and quick, too. For printing or viewing large, the X100V is the right tool. For quick sharing, the iPhone is the right tool. Here’s the great news: you don’t have to choose—use both, or use the one that you happen to have with you.

This is the first in a series of articles where I’ll compare photographs captured with the Fujifilm X100V using Film Simulation Recipes and the iPhone using the RitchieCam app. Below are photographs captured with these cameras at the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Let me know in the comments which pictures you like best!

Fujifilm X100V

Snake River Overlook Morning – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell
OneSkee – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Retro Gold Low Contrast
Mountains & Frozen Land – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Elite Chrome 200”
Pinky Rose – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodachrome 64
Cold Nights – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Upcoming Recipe
Night Statue – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Upcoming Recipe
Tetons in March – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Upcoming Recipe
Snake River Overlook Monochrome – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400

iPhone + RitchieCam

Morning at Snake River Overlook – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Analog Gold”
OneSkee Snow – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Instant Color 1”
Sunset Behind the Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Color Negative Low”
Railroad – Jackson Hole, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Analog Gold”
CocoLove – Jackson Hole, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Night Negative”
Cowboy Bar – Jackson Hole, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Night Negative”
Tetons in Winter – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Color Negative”
Snake River & Tetons – Grand Tetons NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Dramatic B&W”

Part 2: Multnomah Falls

Download the Fuji X Weekly App here:

Download the RitchieCam App here:

Introducing RitchieCam!

Surprise! I just released an iPhone camera app. I call it RitchieCam, and it’s available in the App Store right now for free!

What is RitchieCam? It’s an easy-to-use streamlined camera intended to bring one-step photography to the iPhone. You’ll find 17 analog-inspired filters so that you don’t have to edit your mobile pictures if you don’t want to. I think you will appreciate the app, yet it is intended for anyone and everyone with an iPhone, and not just photographers. You can read all about it at ritchiecam.com.

This is a project I’ve been secretly working on for nearly a year. While I always thought it would be difficult and complicated, I had no idea just how much so! I’m extremely happy with how it turned out, yet I hope that this is just the beginning, as there are several new features and improvements already in the works, and even more on my wish-list. I’m very proud of RitchieCam, and I hope that you find it fun and useful. I personally have enjoyed using it over the last several weeks, including on a road trip to Moab, Utah.

RitchieCam is free! Or, really, it’s a “freemium” app, and for $9.99 (USD +Tax annually) you can unlock all of the filters and features.

Some pictures I captured with RitchieCam on that Moab road trip:

Standard Film
Faded Film
Instant Color 3
Analog Gold
Night Negative