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Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?

  
 
Dave Sanders
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


RoamingScott wrote:
When I say a "pocketable camera" i mean something with classic camera controls, not necessarily a slab of glass that happens to take good photos. There's no doubt that the new pro iphones are catching up with the GR line, and are doing way more behind the scene to the files than even the Ricoh is.

I wish the IQ and sensor of the X100V could be put in a GR size body. That would be the ultimate pocket cam for me.


While I'm inclined to agree, that would be an incredible tool...but my X100V is sporting a matching brass thumb rest, soft release, and hardware on my leather strap. It looks so sharp...No way I want to hide it away in my pocket



Sep 22, 2022 at 12:21 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


DaveFP wrote:
Yep -

I have a daughter with an exceedingly good "eye" that can run circles around, as you put it, "big-rig" wannabes with nothing more than her phone.

That kind of "eye" is a birthright; never to be found at B&H.

Billy was right - content is king.



This has always been discouragingly true; for me, it is my aunt who can do that. Her ability to pick up any photographic device and take a beautiful photo is impressive, though in her case it has been honed by a lifetime of studying and making art. I will add that, when she went through a period of being interested in expressing her artistic vision through photos rather than painting or sculpture, she took a course, learned how to use a camera and a dark room and produced, by far, the best photographic work of her life.

There's no B&H for talent, you're unfortunately right, but there's also no substitute for talent AND the right tool. When it comes to phones, to be honest, I'm just happy that a whole generation or two of young people have fallen in love with still images. Instagram is trying their best to stop that, though.



Sep 22, 2022 at 12:27 PM
Richie S
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I think for me it's the growing number of scenarios when an iphone is good enough. I sold off cameras that were the take on vacation or out with the kids choices for when I wasn't taking a DSLR and lenses. I've kept the big lenses and the Sony for landscapes and wildlife and Leica M for the more creative side, but the rest are now with the iphone. It was better for me to buy a 14 pro max than a GRiii, for example.

I think the rise of the phone camera in terms of capability is the thing that has driven a renewed interest in film though. People want a different experience.



Sep 22, 2022 at 12:43 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Richie S wrote:
I think for me it's the growing number of scenarios when an iphone is good enough. I sold off cameras that were the take on vacation or out with the kids choices for when I wasn't taking a DSLR and lenses. I've kept the big lenses and the Sony for landscapes and wildlife and Leica M for the more creative side, but the rest are now with the iphone. It was better for me to buy a 14 pro max than a GRiii, for example.

I think the rise of the phone camera in terms of capability is the
...Show more

This is an interesting point, and I agree. If I am to look at my own firmly Gen Z daughter (16) and nephew (17) and their friends, they all have high end phones and take photos with them. That's all very 'whatever'; when they want to do something 'cool', it's film. My nephew took a photography course last year in high school, and used his friends as candid portrait subjects. He took some decent photos, but they were B&W, developed in a dark room, and they existed, physically. They're the only photos his friends wanted to get and hang on their walls as mementos. A good lesson from my youth: different is (and will always be) cool

Also, I have nice digital cameras lying around the house at all times. When my daughter's friends are over, one of whom is 'into' photography, I only get the 'that's cool' about my film cameras and my Fuji X100V. And half the time with the Fuji, it's because they think it's a film camera. When I show them the film simulations, they think that's pretty all right haha.



Sep 22, 2022 at 12:50 PM
bjhurley
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Richie S wrote:
I think the rise of the phone camera in terms of capability is the thing that has driven a renewed interest in film though. People want a different experience.


I agree with this, but I don't think it's only driving a renewed interest in film but also a renewed interest in vintage or vintage-style lenses. We've gotten so used to seeing phone photos that anything not shot on a phone stands out from the pack.

Sure, there are apps for the phone such as Focos that try to emulate vintage and "character" lenses but they are still a far cry from the real thing.



Sep 22, 2022 at 12:53 PM
RoamingScott
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I’m not Lenny Kravitz and life isn’t a fashion show

Dave Sanders wrote:
While I'm inclined to agree, that would be an incredible tool...but my X100V is sporting a matching brass thumb rest, soft release, and hardware on my leather strap. It looks so sharp...No way I want to hide it away in my pocket




Sep 22, 2022 at 01:10 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


RoamingScott wrote:
I’m not Lenny Kravitz and life isn’t a fashion show



Ha, may my X100V age as well as Lenny has!



Sep 22, 2022 at 02:03 PM
tzhang4284
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Dave Sanders wrote:
I dunno, 48mp sensors have been around in phones for a few years; their output is 'impressive for a phone' but still shows a definitive lack of fine detail, poor colour, tonal transitions, etc., even at web resolutions. They suffer from the 'smeary sharp' look that has befallen small sensors for more than a decade. I haven't seen anything from the new iteration in the iPhone that makes me think that has changed much. But, horses for courses, the photos look great viewed on a phone or on social media...even a TV.


Sensor size is larger and better processing today vs a few years ago makes a difference. I shared a link earlier in the thread and I thought the DNG file looked pretty good once processed. I think a full frame camera + high quality lens is better still but anything less, I'm not sure is worth buying at this point.



Sep 22, 2022 at 07:43 PM
Charlie N
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I use an Iphone 12 pro max* well, it's my wife's phone

we do photos and video, we actually run a somewhat successful youtube channel with the phone only however I did do the initial building with the A7iv. It's a good side gig, and can pay for all my gear habits

if you put effort into your craft, it can work. I think the biggest drawback is that once it's on your phone, you play with some sliders, and done, that's not a lot of effort to creating something visually engaging. For many key shots, I'll bring the photo into an adobe like editor in gimp and modify the image, and do so on a regular basis.

for me personally, I get great satisfaction using my camera, and on outings SO LONG as it's small and light, and I can easily round up a pair of lenses under 1KG, so I take it along often. If I leave home the camera for any reason, I have no reservations using my phone, the iphone 13 pro, it's quite nice.

downside is the the wide and telephoto lenses and sensor are vastly inferior to the main camera. HDR video is stupid convenient, and works so good on the iphones, however I do prefer the extra effort of the big sensor myself.



Sep 22, 2022 at 11:33 PM
VetraLens
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


Little late to this thread, so I apologize if this has been said already, but I figured I'd share my own experience. IMO, with the right hardware and apps, a smartphone can replace your camera for a vast majority of photography.

I recently went on an extended bicycle tour, and took my A7RIII and three lenses. I also had my smartphone, an LG V50. Its camera setup is one of those three lens/sensor jobs, so you get a standard/wide (27mm), UWA (16mm) and what they refer to as "telephoto" but is apparently 52mm. The point is, these are true optical FOVs and not done via digital zoom or stitching. The LG also offers very intuitive full manual control and shoots DNGs.

The first time I edited one of the raws in Lightroom Mobile I was astounded. The files were quite flexible, giving as much latitude as a Canon CR2 circa the 5DII. Yes, it's not much compared to a modern Sony sensor, but it was still shocking to see how much I could get away with in post. It got to the point where I was reaching for my A7RIII less and less, because using the phone was so much easier and the results were great. And especially since the photos were going to end up on the phone for posting to social media anyway.

Of course, when quality really mattered, or I wanted more reach, I still used the Sony. But after the trip I found that any time I was in one of those typical "I wish I had a smaller camera" situations where photography isn't the main focus but might come up in some semi-serious capacity, I was still happy just using the phone. I would say that going forward, the only situations I'd lug around a full kit are when I expect to shoot something that I hope to print, or will need to take full advantage of Sony's ability to push and pull files. And of course, there are situations when I won't need to do those but I simply want to actually use a camera, because I do enjoy the act of it (I think that's something that gets overlooked in these types of questions).



Sep 23, 2022 at 12:37 AM
 


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philip_pj
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


'Can an iphone work?'

Well, maybe. Perhaps someone can post their phone images, so others can see what the level of quality is? Seeing might just be believing. There is a phone image thread somewhere, but no luck in the first five pages.



Sep 23, 2022 at 01:05 AM
j4nu
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I posted this already, but in this video:


There's a direct comparison between A7IV + 24GM against Iphone 14Pro main camera (24mm) with (jpeg/heic) and without (raw) fake bokeh...
To me, it's surprising how close the IPhone got.



Sep 23, 2022 at 01:46 AM
Charlie N
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


wordfool wrote:
It also goes to show that subject and composition always trump the technical stuff that so many "big-rig" hobbyists seem to obsess over. After all, great photographers half a century ago had no fancy gear, or even accurate focus half the time, just an ability to spot and capture great scenes that conveyed emotion and energy.

A phone is technically all you need these days if you have a good eye and want to do similar, but TBH I find the biggest hinderance with phones is their limited focal length and relatively sluggish performance, which has caused me to miss
...Show more

You have 13, 25, and 72mm with the iPhone 14, it can get sluggish in low light because it’s doing its stacking and calculations

The focal range it’s better than most single camera and lens setups.



Sep 23, 2022 at 06:36 AM
LBJ2
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


j4nu wrote:
I posted this already, but in this video:
There's a direct comparison between A7IV + 24GM against Iphone 14Pro main camera (24mm) with (jpeg/heic) and without (raw) fake bokeh...
To me, it's surprising how close the IPhone got.


Good video and contribution to this thread. This Sony Artisan presents a pretty good/practical side by side comparison even presenting iPhone 14 RAW file editing capabilities. Good tip about using JPEG portrait mode too as opposed to RAW.



Sep 23, 2022 at 06:51 AM
N4865G
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


I have had great results with Google Pixel 6 pro so far. Including low light. Computational photography has gone a big way over the last few years and we starting to see results not far behind what we can get with mirrorless cameras.
Whenever I am to shoot something ad hoc with 'typical' walk-around focal range of 24mm I would use my Google Pixel with great success, for longer focal ranges I would still revert to my 70-200f2.8 II or the 100-400. There is no defying the laws of physics/optics. You need proper amount of glass to get close to your subject.
Of course, for indoor sport photography which is the primary genre of my shooting I am down to my A9 and 135GM or 70-200GM.

Dom



Sep 23, 2022 at 07:07 AM
fotografur
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


A quick shot of my wife on an iPhone 13. These phones are more than plenty for everyday.




  iPhone 13    iPhone 13 back dual wide camera 5.1mm f/1.6 lens    5mm    f/1.6    1/120s    125 ISO    0.0 EV  




Sep 23, 2022 at 08:04 AM
Howie4life
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


To each his own and we all have different expectations of the images we capture. Looking at images from the phone at 1:1 usually reveals a dramatic difference. Not a big deal now, or we you are mostly consuming your images from a mobile device. But at some point in the future technology may change how we do this and my goal is to have images of my family stand the test of time as best as possible. With videos, it is usually pretty obvious to me when something is shot with a phone.


Sep 23, 2022 at 10:32 AM
jeffbuzz
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


My Samsung phone is technically capable of capturing excellent quality stills and video. It saves raw (dng) and has fully manual exposure options. My biggest impediment using a phone is the physical ergonomics. Holding a flat, featureless brick and pushing virtual buttons is a totally disconnected experience. It takes so much effort for me to manipulate the phone I end up missing most of what I try to shoot. Forget using it for action. My phone has some ridiculously fast burst mode that is supposed to work by sliding or swiping the shutter button. I have only successfully gotten that to work a couple times and never when I needed it. Shot 1000 frames of my feet on several occasions.

Is a phone a good camera if it's the only one you have with you? Definitely. But I'll carry a compact camera like my RX100 rather than planning to shoot anything important with my phone. Even the diminutive size of the RX100 is much, much easier for me to deal with compared to a phone. Plus it tracks and bursts like my a9.

Everyone has different approaches and expectations. I just would not plan to shoot anything of importance using a phone.

Another concern: security. Lots of people talk about the appeal of shooting with their phone while traveling. I assume your phones are like mine and are basically you wallet, bank, mailbox and personal assistant rolled into one. I would not walk around as a tourist waving my wallet around in my hand all day. So I sure as heck would not walk around waiving my precious phone in the air all day. You are begging to get it swiped.



Sep 23, 2022 at 03:13 PM
rockygag
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


For all practical purposes, my phone killed my need for a point and shoot small zoom range camera.
No way to replace the Sony RX100IV, 20 FPS, fast autofocus, kills for Lacrosse, still the images go to FB.
In the studio, give me the GFX50R with the 80 1.7 The only things better are a bigger Fuji or a Phase One.
Back when I was playing with film, NOTHING looks like the 4X5 I was shooting with a converted custom built Polaroid.

As has been mentioned before, Horses for Courses.

YMMV

Dave



Sep 23, 2022 at 04:20 PM
photonoclast
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · Re-evaluating my photography… can an iPhone work?


philip_pj wrote:
'Can an iphone work?'

Well, maybe. Perhaps someone can post their phone images, so others can see what the level of quality is? Seeing might just be believing. There is a phone image thread somewhere, but no luck in the first five pages.


I'll bite.
One of the common applications for me is shooting through airplane windows (when they are clean enough). The images can be quite good. Just don't pixel peep, the files from my now-dated iPhone XS Max always look a bit smeared, but as a full-sized image they do the job. I am actually hoping folks will post more from the 14 Pro Max, to see how far they have come.







Sep 24, 2022 at 09:51 AM
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