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Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?

  
 
virtualrain
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


After 12 years of using pro-grade cameras including the last 6 with Sony RIi/RIII, primarily for travel photography, I’m starting to re-evaluate things. Im just starting to get back to travelling after a couple years at home and I’m wondering now if I can do a lot of my travel photography with an iPhone and save packing my camera and trio of voightlander lenses around. The top iPhone seems like a very capable camera setup. But I’m not fully educated on it’s biggest weaknesses.

Has anyone else considered this?

I would keep my Sony kit for at least a while as I don’t want to do anything rash, and I would probably keep the body and 100-400 for any future wildlife trips. But I might just try travelling without my kit most of the time and see what I can accomplish with an iPhone.

Can an iPhone fill this roll? What can I expect from those who’ve dabbled with this?



Sep 17, 2022 at 02:09 AM
lxphoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I've carried an iPhone together with Sony (A7, A7ii, then A7C) for years.

iPhone is like a camera stuck in AUTO mode. It's better than nothing, but ...

You have no control over exposure settings.

It doesn't produce RAW files, and sometimes the JPEGs (HEIC) are awful, especially in low-light, so forget about post-processing.

The ergonomics are horrible.

The flash is very low-powered, can't bounce.

It runs out of battery during a long day way before the camera does.

It doesn't shoot in normal 3:2 aspect ratio.

It takes an extra second to go into shooting mode, not as good as instant On/Off on the real camera.

It lacks a mode dial and memory pre-sets, so you waste time fiddling with the screen.

Sometimes you'll get a decent photo, but it's hit-and-miss.



Edited on Sep 17, 2022 at 02:41 AM · View previous versions



Sep 17, 2022 at 02:24 AM
virtualrain
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?




lxphoto wrote:
I've carried an iPhone together with Sony (A7, A7ii, then A7C) for years.

iPhone is like a camera stuck in AUTO mode. It's better than nothing, but ...

You have no control over exposure settings.

It doesn't produce RAW files, and sometimes the JPEGs (HEIC) are awful, especially in low-light, so forget about post-processing.

The ergonomics are horrible.

The flash is very low-powered, can't bounce.

It runs out of battery during a long day way before the camera does.

Sometimes you'll get a decent photo, but it's hit-and-miss.



I believe the latest iPhones are a lot more controllable than that, particularly with the right apps. I believe you can also shoot RAW now. But I might be mistaken. Battery life is also pretty good on mine…. I use my iPhone with Google Maps to navigate my “walking tours”while travelling and it has plenty of battery. I don’t use flash now so that’s a non issue.



Sep 17, 2022 at 02:40 AM
lxphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


virtualrain wrote:
I believe the latest iPhones are a lot more controllable than that, particularly with the right apps. I believe you can also shoot RAW now. But I might be mistaken. Battery life is also pretty good on mine…. I use my iPhone with Google Maps to navigate my “walking tours”while travelling and it has plenty of battery. I don’t use flash now so that’s a non issue.


Which app and where do I find this RAW mode?



Sep 17, 2022 at 02:43 AM
virtualrain
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?




lxphoto wrote:
Which app and where do I find this RAW mode?


Apple has a native ProRAW format option in the latest phones now.



Sep 17, 2022 at 03:50 AM
KarmaKramer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I feel for your purposes an iPhone (a newer version) would do just fine. I wouldnt want to schlep cameras and lenses around either while vacationing.

virtualrain wrote:
After 12 years of using pro-grade cameras including the last 6 with Sony RIi/RIII, primarily for travel photography, I’m starting to re-evaluate things. Im just starting to get back to travelling after a couple years at home and I’m wondering now if I can do a lot of my travel photography with an iPhone and save packing my camera and trio of voightlander lenses around. The top iPhone seems like a very capable camera setup. But I’m not fully educated on it’s biggest weaknesses.

Has anyone else considered this?

I would keep my Sony kit for at least a while
...Show more



Sep 17, 2022 at 06:44 AM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Settings > camera > formats

lxphoto wrote:
Which app and where do I find this RAW mode?




Sep 17, 2022 at 06:47 AM
TheEmfinger
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


You can do a lot with an iPhone, but it can’t replace a big sensor camera yet. They just are not there. The stock camera app on the iPhone with the stock processing produces some good images sometimes, but goes way too strong on the noise reduction smearing followed by sharpening. It’s the thing I hate so much about the iPhone camera. Night mode can do some really nice things to get a useable image in the dark, but Apple makes a lot of choice for you on how it looks.

Apple introduced the ProRAW format a few years back in the stock camera app that is basically a pre edited raw, but contains all of the data behind the scenes you can adjust. These result in like 25MB files on my 13Pro and around 60-80MB files on the new 14 pro. I don’t want a lot of these on my phone taking space. To fix a lot of issues, you can pick up a third party app like Halide, which offers a ton of improvements with waveforms, iso adjustment, manual focus dials, shutter speed and such. They can also use compressed, regular RAW, or Apple ProRAW. Plus they can capture depth data to store for editing. If you want, you can adjust depth data and edit the distances using an app like Focos.


https://halide.cam/

https://focos.me/

Edited on Sep 17, 2022 at 07:18 AM · View previous versions



Sep 17, 2022 at 07:04 AM
johnvanr
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


iPhone pixels are not camera pixels: https://bythom.com/newsviews/start-saying-goodbye-to.html




Sep 17, 2022 at 07:07 AM
hasenbein
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


It depends on the photographer - whether he has a "photographic eye" or not, and whether he strives to make really good photos with good composition, lighting etc.

When I look through typical photo forums, frankly, for most people an iPhone suffices, because their images are basically just snaps.



Sep 17, 2022 at 07:14 AM
 


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DaveFP
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


lxphoto wrote:
I've carried an iPhone together with Sony (A7, A7ii, then A7C) for years.

iPhone is like a camera stuck in AUTO mode. It's better than nothing, but ...

You have no control over exposure settings.

It doesn't produce RAW files, and sometimes the JPEGs (HEIC) are awful, especially in low-light, so forget about post-processing.

The ergonomics are horrible.

The flash is very low-powered, can't bounce.

It runs out of battery during a long day way before the camera does.

It doesn't shoot in normal 3:2 aspect ratio.

It takes an extra second to go into shooting mode, not as good as instant On/Off on the real camera.

It
...Show more

A number of your contentions here are just plain wrong....






Sep 17, 2022 at 07:22 AM
DaveFP
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


virtualrain wrote:
Apple has a native ProRAW format option in the latest phones now.


... and other apps have provided DNGs for years now.




Sep 17, 2022 at 07:24 AM
kimknapp
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


The iPhone is fine, but there may be better alternatives out there, like Sony's high end phone, Samsung, One, etc.


Sep 17, 2022 at 07:25 AM
InFocus2014
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I shoot the iPhone 13 Pro Max and A1.

What I like about the iPhone (and Samsung, etc) is the Computational Photography. Through integrating multiple images, it takes a tiny 8 stop dynamic range sensor and expands to something even greater than FF cameras by compositing the shots.

What I do not like is the overly "pushed" and processed looking photographs... particularly the horrible sharpening (even worse, the terrible bokeh simulation). I would never consider replacing a FF camera with an iPhone, as I am really picky about image quality.

I do use the iPhone a lot for utility purposes and taking quick shots that will only be posted to social media, where images are rendered small and nobody really cares about IQ. It is certainly convenient to always have a camera on me and always 'get the shot'. A mediocre quality shot is certainly better than no shot.

Each iteration of smartphone (Apple, Samsung, Sony, etc) seems to improve IQ (a good example is the new Sony smartphone). I expect that at some time in the future I may actually start using my smartphone for more of my photography... but not, today.



Sep 17, 2022 at 07:48 AM
Mister-Mr
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


.

edit : Here's a quote from the future here on FM.. " After 3 tries, I got a well centered copy of my Iphone "
.

.
virtualrain wrote:
Has anyone else considered this?




Sep 17, 2022 at 08:25 AM
akashyap
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Traveling & photography are 2 of my 3 favorite hobbies. I have started getting better phone pictures, but they just don't have the special sauce, regardless of how good the lighting and composition is. After losing myself in a new city, I love continuing to lose myself behind an EVF, and preferably with a manual focus lens. Traveling with my camera and lenses is a huge reason I slug it out on a corporate 9-5 that's not related to photography or creativity (well sort of), so the idea of leaving my camera at home is blasphemy.

Just my 2 cents. I'm still early in my photography career though, just 4-5 years in.




Sep 17, 2022 at 08:44 AM
pjmsj21
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I am a big fan of using a good recent model phone/camera for family photos and casual travel out and about photos. In fact I make it a point to rarely take my A7RIII out of the bag for family and many/most travel photos. Some of my very best photos have been taken with my phone. Phones and using them for photos allow most people to be relatively comfortable in front of the camera. I think there is way too much emphasis on the technical quality of a photo and less on the subject, light, emotion.


Sep 17, 2022 at 09:52 AM
3catsinky
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I am in the same boat as you, traveling again, but don't really want take a heavy kit. I am considering, getting an RX10IV or V, in addition to my phone.


Sep 17, 2022 at 10:11 AM
Tarekith
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Check out the Halide camera app for the iPhone, it really opens up a lot of possibilities you don’t get with the stock camera app.

Will it replace a proper FF camera? Maybe in some situations. I’ve stopped carrying my A7C with me most of the time when I go biking or backpacking. Having something lighter and smaller that also more rugged and waterproof just makes things so much easier for me. The A7C still gives me more natural and realistically sharper photos, but shooting ProRAW on the iPhone 13 Pro gets pretty damn close most of the time.

I still prefer the act of shooting with my A7C, but I no longer thumb my nose at what the iPhone can do either.



Sep 17, 2022 at 10:25 AM
patotts
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


The best camera is the one you have with you. It is as simple as that.

My iPhone 14 Pro Max is on order, I take my phone everywhere. I don't do photography trips or outings. I live my family life and travels, and sometimes bring my camera rig.

Camera phones will get better and better, not by mechanics but because they are built by software companies so artificial intelligence and machine learning will advance much faster than hardware at this point.



Sep 17, 2022 at 10:37 AM
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