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MacRumors
Nov 16, 2011, 01:36 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/16/what-camera-to-buy-annie-leibovitz-recommends-the-iphone/)


When friends ask famed photographer Annie Leibovitz what camera they should buy, she suggests the iPhone. Appearing on NBC's new Rock Center news program, Leibovitz suggested the iPhone because it is "the snapshot camera of today", saying it is "accessible and easy".

Link to video (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#45314750)

It appears Leibovitz is a firm believer in the theory that the best camera in the world is the one you have with you.

Article Link: What Camera to Buy? Annie Leibovitz Recommends the iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/16/what-camera-to-buy-annie-leibovitz-recommends-the-iphone/)



WassHammoud
Nov 16, 2011, 01:41 PM
That's so true. I have my Canon SLR which takes great photos, but it's not always the most accessible. On my iPhone, I just double tap the home button, shoot, and bam I have the picture.

iekozz
Nov 16, 2011, 01:48 PM
Yes, the iPhone 4S has a good camera and yes, it's easy to use.

But: The 4S is $599 off contract and $199 on contract. While a also very good camera from say Canon or Nikon is $150-200. Which in return will give you more settings to play with and it's cheaper.

If you're in for a new phone and also want to take loads of pictures: Get a 4S or iPhone 4.

Edit: And if you're proffesional you shoulden't buy a point and shoot camera anyways :P

MrCrowbar
Nov 16, 2011, 02:00 PM
Agreed. I love SLRs, but they're rather bulky and you really have to plan on doing a photo shoot. I never bought a DSLR myself because I know I would never really bring it along. Instead, a small Canon Powershot (i.e. IXUS, the ones that are just square slabs) is what I've been using since 2006. Fits in every pocket, takes decent photos and small videos. But now with the iPhone 4S, I can spontaneously snap pictures of whatever, it's always charged, always in reach. I don't think I've actually used my Powershot since I got the 4S. Still takes better pictures, but the iPhone's pictures are good enough for most purposes.

ARandomFellow
Nov 16, 2011, 02:01 PM
Yes, the iPhone 4S has a good camera and yes, it's easy to use.

But: The 4S is $599 off contract and $199 on contract. While a also very good camera from say Canon or Nikon is $150-200. Which in return will give you more settings to play with and it's cheaper.

If you're in for a new phone and also want to take loads of pictures: Get a 4S or iPhone 4.

Edit: And if you're proffesional you shoulden't buy a point and shoot camera anyways :P

Right, but the point behind her suggestion is that you probably already are going to have your phone with you. You may as well get a phone that can double as a decent point and shoot (with crazy editing features available as apps, to boot).

Also, entirely not true about professional photographers not buying a point and shoot. Photography for professionals is often a job and they don't necessarily want to lug around the DSLR for family vacation photos or out to lunch when you might see something interesting or just while you're out wandering around, but you still might want to capture a moment or an image that you see. For those times, professionals may still rely upon a good camera phone like the iPhone's or a point and shoot. But why carry both if your phone's camera is pretty good?

Bluefusion
Nov 16, 2011, 02:03 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Couldn't agree more, and I'm a semi-pro. While its great to have a "real" camera around, the number of fantastic shots I've gotten from my iPhone--shots that would have never happened otherwise-- make it indispensable. The quality is also really disturbingly good, surpassing just about any point-and-shoot on the market. With the number of photo editing apps out there, you can get vastly better results, more often, with an iPhone than with a p&s. It can't compete with great glass, but it's got one hell of an imaging processor!

rainbowsofwhite
Nov 16, 2011, 02:17 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

kjs862
Nov 16, 2011, 02:21 PM
I totally agree. And as the camera in the iPhone gets better, and better, this will be even more true.

slyv
Nov 16, 2011, 02:21 PM
Hmm. I'm not sure if Annie is in any relation to David Leibovitz, but I noticed that David Leibovitz (also artist, photographer) worked on iPhone camera app "Top Camera":
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/top-camera-photo-video-app/id441450063?mt=8
"App was designed in cooperation with Artist / Photographer, David Scott Leibowitz to bring you the highest quality in every detail."

In my opinion iPhone 4s+photo/video apps is perfect thing to take great photos.
The only problem with iPhone 4s is battery life issue.

aross99
Nov 16, 2011, 02:22 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

If your SERIOUS about Photography, why are you asking which camera you should get?

I think the point is that the iPhone 4S camera is a good replacement for a point a shoot for most people...

Snowcat001
Nov 16, 2011, 02:27 PM
Edit: And if you're proffesional you shoulden't buy a point and shoot camera anyways :P


So professionals are only allowed to take heavy dslr's and even heavier lenses with then?

I'm going on a snowmobile ride on my next vacation. Now I'll have my dslr with me on vacation but with plenty of light in the middle of the day and the reflective snow during the snowmobile ride I'd prefer my point and shoot with image stabilization, auto-focus 1080p video recording etc. I'don't want to risk dropping my dslr, plus it doesn't fit in your pocket and you just have to 'point' and 'shoot' which allows me more time with the snowmobile and gives me some nice pictures and film clips. Dslr's and point & shoot's have different markets but there's no reason for anybody to not have both if you want them.


For my previous vacation I borrowed a wide-angle zoom from a friend of mine to take with me. It's the cheapest bit of plastic with glass in it that you can call a lens, I had to correct every photo for chromatic aberration, furthermore it wasn't at all sharp and it focused very slowly. So it took me allot of post processing but I got pictures I couldn't have gotten without it. She's right, the best camera is always the one you have with you, whatever it is.

----------

What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)


You've missed the point...

FrankieTDouglas
Nov 16, 2011, 02:39 PM
Edit: And if you're proffesional you shoulden't buy a point and shoot camera anyways :P

I guess I'm a professional. I exhibit and lecture around the country on my work, and am also a photo professor. I don't own a point and shoot camera... I have my iPhone. When I go to conferences, I don't take my camera with me. Instead, I just take my phone and use it to document my experiences. These aren't photos I would necessarily show in a gallery (although Dan Burkholder might) but it's definitely my camera for candid moments.

What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

Serious as in how? If I'm doing a big production photograph, I have my DSLR. But even when making photos of my experiences using my iPhone, I still compose correctly. I don't think anyone is saying that the phone replaces the professional camera.

genshi
Nov 16, 2011, 02:43 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

Maybe you've had your head in the sand lately and didn't realize how much iPhoneography has taken off, but in my own case, I've had more of my photos published in magazines and exhibited in galleries this year that were taken with my iPhone than with any of my "professional" cameras. And since I do get paid for my photography work, that makes me a professional. I'm also a musician and this same old argument applies; it doesn't matter what tools you use, it's the end results that matter!

nagromme
Nov 16, 2011, 02:48 PM
A lot of what’s frightening/uncomfortable to people about the iPhone 4S camera being SO good—and in significant ways much better* than an SLR—is an ego/identity thing, I think.

Being a “pro” and using tools/methods other people don’t feels good. I feel good that I hand-code web sites, while someone else uses a template! So I can understand this emotion. Same if you’re not a paid pro, but like the sense of owning “stuff” that sets you above/apart from other people.

And then there’s the simple fact that change is always difficult for people, and passionate, creative people are bound to resist shifts in the landscape in a realm they have so much time and energy invested in.

We’re only human!

Fear not, SLRs still have their place (telephoto, in my case), it’s simply shrinking greatly.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

And she uses an iPhone as well.

If you’re serious about photography, use what Annie uses... an iPhone :p

* Not just because it’s "with you” at times when that big SLR is stuck at home and useless. But because the iPhone can add all kinds of functionality by downloading photography apps. I have a number of simply awesome apps for taking panoramas, for making time-lapse and long-exposures much more practical, for different ways of triggering the shot, etc.—all with no accessories to lug. I’d have to give those features up if I were to “settle” for an SLR. To say nothing of the value of editing and sharing directly from the camera! And even the built-in camera app has VERY important abilities that normal SLRs lack: being able to touch the scene itself to choose focus/exposure! And HDR: that has let me get shots I just couldn’t get with a conventional dynamic range, and it gives you the non-HDR version too, like a kind of instant bracketing.

And all I have is a lowly iPhone 4 :) Which was already an excellent camera for most uses.

dasmb
Nov 16, 2011, 02:48 PM
20 years ago -- heck, even 10 years ago -- it was widely agreed that the best camera for street photography was a Leica rangefinder.

This is the camera that made the careers of photojournalists, street photographers, fine art photographers et al, because while it came with limitations -- BOATLOADS of them -- it was also a tool optimized for capturing moments, which is what a camera is supposed to do. It stood in stark contrast to the weapons-of-choice of the fashion/portrait photographers (medium format SLRs/TLRs), sports photographers (fast 35mm SLRs) and landscape photographers (huge large format view and field cameras): It didn't have a lot of fancy features to get in your way, it was just one focal length of great optics coupled to a slim profile that you could set to f/8 and just look for shots.

The iPhone 4S is slimmer, faster and slightly better than that old Leica for the same purpose. The interface is better than that of your Leica M8s and Sigma DP-Xs and, yes, even better than the el-cheapo cameras that plague the market. Point. (Click to focus if you need to.) Press the button. Email the thing. No dials, no modes, no craziness, it's exactly what a non-photographer needs and, like the Leica, quite capable of taking great photos.

I went out on a shoot the other day with my wife and baby. I brought the 5D mark II, determined to get a great shot at a nearby trail I have been to a thousand times and never got a great shot at. I took 500 shots. But the shot of the day was taken with her iPhone 4s: me in the foreground, perched precariously on a slope, framing a waterfall in my viewfinder, with the kid hanging from her backpack carrier, looking under my raised arm at the falling water.

FrizzleFryBen
Nov 16, 2011, 02:48 PM
I recently took a 200 mile drive up the blue ridge parkway to see the fall leaves with my Nikon D80 only to find out it needed service. While I didn't take as many photos as I would have with the Nikon, I was not disappointed with the results of 200 pictures on my iPhone. They were good enough to make a lot of people jealous of my trip.

BJMRamage
Nov 16, 2011, 02:51 PM
It has been stated many times before the same way. It isn't about the camera but the photographer!
I have a multitude of cameras, from P&Ss, to underwater, to DSLRs and camera phones.
The best is the one you have access to at the moment.

An iPhone is just that thing on many occasions.
I love the crispness and speed of the DSLR but t can be hefty to take along.
I love the portability of a P&S or iPhone, grab from pocket shoot bam, I can then easily edit and post on the internet or email. An iPhone is a camera, post-processing and mailer device to get the image you just shot out to others.

DSLRs are great but sometimes at a family reunion I would rather be running around with my kid or eating/talking to others and not worry about someone bumping my DSLR or having someone shoot with it and mess something up. A P&S or camera phone is easy to use and people can use it if I have it sitting on the table and something neat happens.

benpatient
Nov 16, 2011, 02:52 PM
I have a dslr, a point and shoot, and an android smart phone.

I don't see why, other than to "get in the news" and to sound more hip, she would specifically recommend an iphone, which costs as much as buying 3 point and shoots that will take better photos even faster than an iphone.

Yes, any smart phone with a decent camera is useful for taking those quick, unexpected photos or videos that tend to happen when you aren't carrying your camera.

It's not specific to the iphone by any means. I find it ironic that people arguing that the iphone camera takes "good enough" photos to justify not having a P&S don't consider the fact that there are dozens of other phones out there that don't cost as much, and also have "acceptable" cameras. I have a no-contract android phone which cost me less than 200 dollars, unsubsidized. It's got a decent camera. All the same weaknesses that an iphone camera has. I would still rather take photos with my dslr.

PeterQVenkman
Nov 16, 2011, 02:59 PM
I have a dslr, a point and shoot, and an android smart phone.

You must have large pockets or a large purse! ;)

I don't see why, other than to "get in the news" and to sound more hip, she would specifically recommend an iphone, which costs as much as buying 3 point and shoots that will take better photos even faster than an iphone.

You really don't see why?

Yes, any smart phone with a decent camera is useful for taking those quick, unexpected photos or videos that tend to happen when you aren't carrying your camera..

Wait, yes you do. You answered your own question! +1

benpatient
Nov 16, 2011, 03:06 PM
20 years ago -- heck, even 10 years ago -- it was widely agreed that the best camera for street photography was a Leica rangefinder.

This is the camera that made the careers of photojournalists, street photographers, fine art photographers et al, because while it came with limitations -- BOATLOADS of them -- it was also a tool optimized for capturing moments, which is what a camera is supposed to do. It stood in stark contrast to the weapons-of-choice of the fashion/portrait photographers (medium format SLRs/TLRs), sports photographers (fast 35mm SLRs) and landscape photographers (huge large format view and field cameras): It didn't have a lot of fancy features to get in your way, it was just one focal length of great optics coupled to a slim profile that you could set to f/8 and just look for shots.

The iPhone 4S is slimmer, faster and slightly better than that old Leica for the same purpose. The interface is better than that of your Leica M8s and Sigma DP-Xs and, yes, even better than the el-cheapo cameras that plague the market. Point. (Click to focus if you need to.) Press the button. Email the thing. No dials, no modes, no craziness, it's exactly what a non-photographer needs and, like the Leica, quite capable of taking great photos.

I went out on a shoot the other day with my wife and baby. I brought the 5D mark II, determined to get a great shot at a nearby trail I have been to a thousand times and never got a great shot at. I took 500 shots. But the shot of the day was taken with her iPhone 4s: me in the foreground, perched precariously on a slope, framing a waterfall in my viewfinder, with the kid hanging from her backpack carrier, looking under my raised arm at the falling water.

So what you are saying is that your wife is a better photographer than you are? ;)

I don't think its accurate at all to compare a Leica to an iPhone. the iPhone is NOT faster or more simple to use. The quality of the photos doesn't compare, either. I won't even get start on the ruggedness and build quality. I know what you're trying to say about the iPhone having a use, but it's not the Leica of the modern age. Even an old "lowly" M5, much maligned at the time of its release, still costs well over 3,000 dollars used today. The M8-P is the street camera of choice. Leica still fills the hole you describe at the beginning of your post. They still cost an arm and a leg. They are still tanks. They still have the best lenses and the best camera interface in the world for photographing everyday life. No .2 inch wide "lens" is ever going to match that, much less surpass it.

definitive
Nov 16, 2011, 03:13 PM
let's see.. it would probably cost $2.5k for the iphone contract service + the phone itself. Even an unlocked iPhone would cost more than an entry level DSLR. That's not very practical..

fitshaced
Nov 16, 2011, 03:21 PM
I agree that an iphone can be excellent to have when you have nothing else. It does an excellent job for close ups in daylight. Under poor light, I usually leave it in my pocket. If I want a landscape shot, I';m not expecting excellent results, but I'll use it anyway, wishing I had my DSLR with me.

I think everyone should have a phone camera on them at all times. They are good for data collection, such as the parking spot number in a huge car park, random pub snapshots and general point and shoot stuff that doesnt require a zoom.

But, I'd also recommend carrying a point and shoot if possible as it will come out of your pocket for pictures far sooner than your phone camera, simply because you have it with you. These things are quite thin and light these days.

----------

let's see.. it would probably cost $2.5k for the iphone contract service + the phone itself. Even an unlocked iPhone would cost more than an entry level DSLR. That's not very practical..

You're likely to have a phone anyway

dasmb
Nov 16, 2011, 03:24 PM
I don't see why, other than to "get in the news" and to sound more hip, she would specifically recommend an iphone

Because, news flash: the iPhone 4S has a number of photography specific features that no other cell phone camera has:

Fast lens (f/2.8)
Macro mode
Larger "photosites" rather than higher megapixel count to diminish noise.
Touch to focus
Fast on/off of photo app.
HDR

ivladster
Nov 16, 2011, 03:31 PM
If person has no artistic eye, it doesn't matter what camera is being used. I've seen some amazing photographs taken with plastic, one-time-use cameras and iPhones, then saw some "fugliness" being done with DSLR.

As for iPhone's popularity is no wonder it's the most popular camera on Flickr.

aaaaaaron
Nov 16, 2011, 03:35 PM
this is silly. just as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have on you. be it a dslr (my choice) or an iphone (Annie Leibovitz's choice), you can't take the photo you want unless you have a camera with. more importantly though, if you want good images, you've got to be a good photographer :)

and if it's worth anything, she shoots with very high end cameras (mamiya, hasselblad, leica, canon, or nikon anyone?), not iphones.

Andronicus
Nov 16, 2011, 03:35 PM
The camera is not important, a good photograph has everything to do with the person behind the camera. It amazes me that photos by Ansel 70 years ago are still unmatched by today's photographers, even with all the advances in technology.

fitshaced
Nov 16, 2011, 03:52 PM
The camera is not important, a good photograph has everything to do with the person behind the camera. It amazes me that photos by Ansel 70 years ago are still unmatched by today's photographers, even with all the advances in technology.

I think people know that. But Tiger Woods doesnt play with cheap clubs just because he is the most naturally gifted golfer in the world. I'm not suggesting that photography should be competitive. But, I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to use a better camera that offers more flexibility.

Ansel Adams work is awesome. But, I think its incorrect to say that its still unmatched.

Will do good
Nov 16, 2011, 03:59 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

===========
I worked as a global creative director for 20+ years, I've seen may top shooters and directors use the most basic camera when they are not working. It's the skill of the photographer more than just the tool.

No, those shoot will not be good enough to sell, but more than better than your shots with the best camera. ;)

Andronicus
Nov 16, 2011, 04:01 PM
I think people know that. But Tiger Woods doesnt play with cheap clubs just because he is the most naturally gifted golfer in the world. I'm not suggesting that photography should be competitive. But, I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to use a better camera that offers more flexibility.

Ansel Adams work is awesome. But, I think its incorrect to say that its still unmatched.

You're probably right about the unmatched comment, that was a little hyperbole, but not entirely untrue.

But tiger woods would play better than me if he was using crap clubs and I was using his.

jmthigpen
Nov 16, 2011, 04:01 PM
a great photograph is more dependent on the photographer than an expensive/great camera

Andronicus
Nov 16, 2011, 04:04 PM
I think people know that. But Tiger Woods doesnt play with cheap clubs just because he is the most naturally gifted golfer in the world. I'm not suggesting that photography should be competitive. But, I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to use a better camera that offers more flexibility.

Ansel Adams work is awesome. But, I think its incorrect to say that its still unmatched.

Also, just checked out some of your photos. Very impressive, keep up the good work!

fitshaced
Nov 16, 2011, 04:09 PM
Also, just checked out some of your photos. Very impressive, keep up the good work!

Ah thanks very much, very kind of you.

PeterQVenkman
Nov 16, 2011, 04:20 PM
It's the same debate as blu-ray versus streaming. It doesn't matter which is better. It matters which is readily available/convenient.

Mak47
Nov 16, 2011, 04:40 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

That's exactly the point of her answer. She's talking about what she recommends to people who aren't serious about photography.

Professionals need and use professional tools. If one were a professional bicyclist they would likely make use of the various features that a $10,000 custom built bicycle has, while the average joe who might want something to take out for a short ride on weekends will do fine with something he finds at Target for a few hundred bucks.

Most people are not professional photographers, nor do they have any desire to be. They simply want a camera that will take photos of memorable moments with friends and family that aren't all pixelated and weird looking (which was the result with many previous camera phones).

Leibowitz wasn't suggesting that professional photographers should dump their gear and grab an iPhone. She was commenting on how the iPhone camera is the best of the modern casual cameras. At one time people used Polaroids, later disposable cameras became quite popular. Today, it's the camera in your phone, and Leibowitz thinks the iPhone's camera is the best.

Meriana
Nov 16, 2011, 05:01 PM
I think some people are missreading her statement. There are times when you know you'd want to bring your camera, and there are times where you don't know it. I think her point it, if your seriuos about capturing nice moments, your loved ones, your children, your dog, etc on pictures, you probably should get an iphone because you'll have it on you all the time and thus it'll always be avaible when there's something worth beeing photographed.

E.g: i took the attached picture with my iPhone 4 (picture quality slightly reduced for upload on macrumors), without my iphone i wouldn't have been able to caputure this moment.

I don't want to always carry a p&s camera with me, as i already have a phone, an ipad and other various things on me. I don't want to permanently add a camera (which i would need to charge and have the pictures transfered to my mac). The iPhone with Photostream is a nice and practical solution which no p&s can compete with. And for times you know you'll need a camera, bring your decent camera.

FrankieTDouglas
Nov 16, 2011, 05:16 PM
The camera is not important, a good photograph has everything to do with the person behind the camera. It amazes me that photos by Ansel 70 years ago are still unmatched by today's photographers, even with all the advances in technology.

People are doing amazing photographic things today that were unheard of during Ansel's days.

kurosov
Nov 16, 2011, 06:10 PM
Edit: And if you're proffesional you shoulden't buy a point and shoot camera anyways :P

If you are a professional who loves creating images then you will use whatever is available at the time.

davidgrimm
Nov 16, 2011, 06:30 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

Its not the camera, its the photographer. Pictures 150 years ago were essentially taken with a box with a hole in it. And those guys got some amazing photographs. If you find your iphone photos lacking, its you, not the equipment.

----------

People are doing amazing photographic things today that were unheard of during Ansel's days.

Really? The basic concepts of composition, lighting, and focus control are the same now as they were then. I've seen some great modern landscape work, but it could have been captured with any camera.

If the "unheard of" stuff you're talking about is done in post-production, then that's more digital design, not photography. Even Ansel did a lot in the darkroom, but it was still only altering the lighting of the scene.

ThunderSkunk
Nov 16, 2011, 07:38 PM
Ancient Chinese proverb say: the best camera is the one you have with you.

I picked up a Leica S2 for work. On occasion, I take it out for some personal shooting. But really, when you're not shooting art, an iPhone is more than sufficient, & certainly a lot handier & less risky to walk around with.

toddybody
Nov 16, 2011, 09:40 PM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)

Yeesh folks, its just a dissenting opinion.
I totally dig my 4S for quick shots, but they dont hold a candle to my 5100's (Obviously Im no professional). That said, not the end of the world if some people dont see the value of a secondary point and shoot/equivalent.
I personally enjoy hotdogs as well as filets, just gotta appreciate them for what they are.

thekev
Nov 16, 2011, 09:53 PM
Photographers at that level are basically all Apple users at that level. If there are any PC guys in that crowd, I haven't met them (not that I've met the photographer mentioned here). My point being that the proliferation of the mac among photographers probably makes them even more likely to adopt the iphone.

Anyway consumer technology is always about consolidation. I still like slrs though for the control :).

FrankieTDouglas
Nov 16, 2011, 10:28 PM
Its not the camera, its the photographer. Pictures 150 years ago were essentially taken with a box with a hole in it. And those guys got some amazing photographs. If you find your iphone photos lacking, its you, not the equipment.

----------



Really? The basic concepts of composition, lighting, and focus control are the same now as they were then. I've seen some great modern landscape work, but it could have been captured with any camera.

If the "unheard of" stuff you're talking about is done in post-production, then that's more digital design, not photography. Even Ansel did a lot in the darkroom, but it was still only altering the lighting of the scene.

Ignoring the technical for a moment, conceptually photographers are pushing boundaries that no one even tepidly approached during Ansel's days. Sure Ansel made nice looking landscape photographs, but at the core they were more documentations of something currently existing, rather than an exploration of dialogue through the camera.

Now technically speaking, you can't consider digital post-production "digital design" while still maintaining that darkroom manipulation isn't it's own version of... "analog design," perhaps. They are both post-production techniques, with digital post standing on the shoulders of darkroom post and going much further than the darkroom can technically allow. Honestly, digital is a much more refined post approach than the crude methods used in the darkroom, even though BOTH aspects are only altering the lighting of the scene.

chrono1081
Nov 17, 2011, 12:08 AM
If person has no artistic eye, it doesn't matter what camera is being used. I've seen some amazing photographs taken with plastic, one-time-use cameras and iPhones, then saw some "fugliness" being done with DSLR.

As for iPhone's popularity is no wonder it's the most popular camera on Flickr.

This.

I don't think a lot of the people who say "better gear takes better pictures" know much about photography. Sure they may know the technical things (f-stops, ISO (or ASA if you are old school ;) ), shutter speed, etc, but they don't have the artistic eye to get a great shot regardless of the camera being used.

I've been shooting for a very long time and a few years ago I had to take a photography course in college and the professor took away pretty much anything digital (photoshop, digital cameras, etc) and made us shoot (or should I say expose with) pinhole cameras. It was amazing how many students couldn't get a good picture composition wise. They were too reliant on digital tinkering.

I can't say I am a huge Annie L fan but she knows her stuff and she's right on the money with the remark that the best camera you have is the one you have with you. Like a real pro, I'm sure she can get a great shot regardless of the camera / medium she has. (Although I have seen pictures of her with a Canon 5D 2 instead of an iPhone :p )

jeffwingo
Nov 17, 2011, 03:20 AM
The article says "when friends ask", not "when wannabe professional photographers ask".
She is right. The best camera is the one that you have with you.

jouster
Nov 17, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Eh, I like having my iPhone around, but principally for video. For stills I carry a DSLR in a backpack pretty much constantly. I've never agreed that they are bulky. With a standard 50mm or something a little wider - say 35mm - my 7D fits well and takes far better pics than any phone. It's really not that hard to schlep around.

I also carry an old Nikon SLR loaded with high ISO monochrome film.

I don't always carry my Mamiya RB 67 though - it *is* a little bulky! I use it with 120 film or a Polaroid back. The Mamiya and Nikon were very cheap - less than a decent point and shoot.

So I can't say that I agree with Ms. Leibovitz.

Fazzy
Nov 17, 2011, 09:08 AM
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I don't mean to be pedantic, but the iPhone is a smartphone not a camera. It's £500 and for that price you could get a great camera.

kycophpd
Nov 17, 2011, 09:09 AM
It's the same debate as blu-ray versus streaming. It doesn't matter which is better. It matters which is readily available/convenient.

Yes, this.

notjustjay
Nov 17, 2011, 09:23 AM
It appears Leibovitz is a firm believer in the theory that the best camera in the world is the one you have with you.


This is absolutely the case. I've owned a number of "really nice" P&S cameras over the years, most of them Canon Powershot and ELPH series. But the camera's not always with me. I've only had my iPhone 4 for a few months and the picture quality is pretty laughable in all but the most optimistic of circumstances -- but the thing is in my pocket every time I'm out. So which camera do I now find myself shooting with more? When I plan an outing, sure, my Canon. When I'm really serious, out comes my Nikon D70s. But if I'm posting an impromptu photo onto Facebook, or taking a quick note of something -- out comes the iPhone.

A lot of what’s frightening/uncomfortable to people about the iPhone 4S camera being SO good—and in significant ways much better* than an SLR—is an ego/identity thing, I think.

Being a “pro” and using tools/methods other people don’t feels good. I feel good that I hand-code web sites, while someone else uses a template! So I can understand this emotion. Same if you’re not a paid pro, but like the sense of owning “stuff” that sets you above/apart from other people.


It's also a cost thing, I think. I spent thousands of dollars on my specialized equipment and so it MUST be better than that thing you got for so little!

A number of years ago I did video editing as a hobby, and I started with a regular 8mm camcorder and worked my way up to a Sony VX2000 miniDV camcorder. This was a prosumer, 3-CCD camera that cost me about $4500 Cdn ($2300 USD at the time) and took video that was night-and-day better than any consumer camcorder out there. I was very pleased with the quality of video, especially its ability in low light.

Last year I bought a tiny little Canon HF100 camcorder that records 1080p video onto memory cards, for $400. While many aspects of its picture quality do not beat the VX2000, 1080p easily trumps 480i. And nowadays many cameras have built-in 1080p video recording ability. Looking back, I've been pretty slow to accept that any of these tiny cameras could even come close to being as usable as the video from my expensive camera, let alone be more useful because of how accessible they are.

This seems to be a general trend. Streaming video isn't as high quality as 1080p Blu-Ray, but it is taking off because it's more accessible. (Edit: yep, several people beat me to this point already.)


I don't mean to be pedantic, but the iPhone is a smartphone not a camera. It's £500 and for that price you could get a great camera.

You absolutely can. And then you end up leaving that great camera at home or in the car during that one moment that a cool or funny photo moment comes along. But your smartphone is in your pocket. Which will you reach for?

Reminds me of the time I eschewed P&S's completely when I first got my Nikon D70. Then my family went to an amusement park and I wanted to do some rides. Uh, where do I put this D70 while I ride the roller coaster? Hmm... suddenly I saw the use of having a pocketable handheld camera.

Gemütlichkeit
Nov 17, 2011, 09:57 AM
What a joke, I couldn't disagree more.

For practicality sake ...sure.

But come on folks, it's a phone.

If you're serious about photography use a proper camera.
(Annie Leibovitz does....really)
I can't believe you think she's recommending this camera to professional photographers lol.

Are you really making that stretch? [in my best Penn Jillette impression] OF COURSE SHE'S NOT YOU DOLT!

----------

This is absolutely the case. I've owned a number of "really nice" P&S cameras over the years, most of them Canon Powershot and ELPH series. But the camera's not always with me.


My take on this is if you're planning on going somewhere memorable, take your P&S. If you're out n about, of course the best camera is the one on you, in this case the iPhone. The smartphone is a long ways away from replacing the P&S.

Recently returned to Europe with a friend and he took iPhone pictures, I took Elph 300 pictures. Which ones turned out better? :D And lugging around such a small P&S is not a burden at all.

notjustjay
Nov 17, 2011, 10:14 AM
My take on this is if you're planning on going somewhere memorable, take your P&S. If you're out n about, of course the best camera is the one on you, in this case the iPhone. The smartphone is a long ways away from replacing the P&S.

Recently returned to Europe with a friend and he took iPhone pictures, I took Elph 300 pictures. Which ones turned out better? :D And lugging around such a small P&S is not a burden at all.

Agreed. I'm still looking for a "really nice" P&S (maybe the Canon S100?) for such purposes. But it's mighty convenient having the iPhone on me all the time. I didn't think I would use the camera as much as I actually am, especially for things where the software is integrated with it. For example posting photos onto Facebook is dead-easy with the Facebook app, where before I would have to take the picture on my Canon, copy the memory card onto my Mac, find the photo, resize it, upload it, ...

iphoneidiot
Nov 17, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Totally agree!

BergerFan
Nov 17, 2011, 11:45 AM
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The only thing it's lacking, is any kind of optical zoom, but that's the price you pay for thinness(which is worth paying!).

The Wedge
Nov 17, 2011, 01:23 PM
How can anyone consider the iPhone a good camera? Any type of movement and it's a blurred mess. Give me a break. I'm sure this goes for all camera phones.

AndyDiamond
Nov 17, 2011, 02:53 PM
Hey everyone, are you aware that of one of the fastest growing uses for the iPhone is photography?

Yes that 'crappy cell phone camera' is really being adopted by amateurs and professionals alike to create a whole new photography sub-genre coined 'iPhoneography'.

The iPhone camera is portable and the 4S takes very decent res pics but that is only half of it - the photographic apps in the App store really make iPhone photography what it is (and of course in conjunction with the photographer's original composition).
NB: 'true' iPhoneography is images shot and edited on the iPhone only - no exporting to Photoshop, Aperture etc on a desktop.
This way you are forced to use the 'limitations' of the iPhone which is part of the appeal. No, an iPhone isn't a DSLR or a point-and-shoot Sony or Canon. That's the point.

I too have had my iPhone photography work exhibited around the globe and used in my graphic design work including several album covers. I'm also speaking at a symposium on the use of mobile technology in art ie. making movies, photography etc MINA (http://www.mina.pro/)

To really get an idea of what people are doing with iPhone photography I suggest you check out the following websites for some pretty phenomenal work:

iPhoneArt
(http://www.iphoneart.com/)

P1XELS at an Exhibition - The Art of the iPhone
(http://pixelsatanexhibition.com/)

and here's my tumblr stream which is exclusively iPhone photography :)
My tumblr (http://andrewbwhite.tumblr.com/)

Vindicator
Nov 17, 2011, 03:26 PM
Because, news flash: the iPhone 4S has a number of photography specific features that no other cell phone camera has:

Fast lens (f/2.8)
Macro mode
Larger "photosites" rather than higher megapixel count to diminish noise.
Touch to focus
Fast on/off of photo app.
HDR

how about this phone?
http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Panasonic-Lumix-Phone-101P_1.jpg

the iPhone 4s camera (sensor, lens,...) actually just decent compare to many japan mobile phone (feature and smartphone)

IMO what great about iphoneography is the app and community, also a beautiful design :D

chrono1081
Nov 17, 2011, 04:26 PM
How can anyone consider the iPhone a good camera? Any type of movement and it's a blurred mess. Give me a break. I'm sure this goes for all camera phones.

My shots with it are never blurry. It all depends how much you know about photography. If you are in a low light situation not using flash and do not have the phone steadied than yes, it will most likely come out blurry but if you use proper photographic techniques it will come out great.

I rarely use my iPhone as a camera but when I do I've been pleased with the results. (Sorry about the pool pump).

Vudoo
Nov 17, 2011, 04:32 PM
I use my iPhone 4 to take photos of my meals and post them on FaceBook and that's pretty much the extent of it. The Camera+ app really helped me improved upon the quality of the photos. Even though I agree that the best camera is the one you have on you, I also have a Canon Digital ELPH as my going out camera and my Nikon D700 FX with an arsenal of lenses when I want to go out shooting.

D-Dave
Nov 18, 2011, 04:23 AM
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*snip* The quality is also really disturbingly good, surpassing just about any point-and-shoot on the market.*snip*

In my personal experience this is not true. The Image quality is within the range of very simple point-and-shoot cameras under good or perfect lighting conditions it is nowhere near as good when the lights go down.

I have a Lumix TZ22 because it comes with a real affordable under water case and it makes very decent pictures down to 10 Meters if the weather is good and the water is clear plus it also makes pretty good pictures in low light situations (not as amazingly good as my old ixus 200 is but still very good).

BUT there is a different use for the two concepts. For pictures taken spontaniously on a normal workday the iPhone is awesome simply because I have it with me... on the other hand, when im on holidays I know I'll be taking lots of pictures so I choose to spend the space of one pocket on one of my point and shoot cameras as they produce quality pictures in a lot more situations then the iPhone.

To sum this up, I'd say both concepts are viable but are not replacing eachother. They rtather compliment oneanother as they fit different situations.

P.S. but then again I am no semi-pro, I just like to get good pictures :-)

The Wedge
Nov 18, 2011, 06:33 AM
My shots with it are never blurry. It all depends how much you know about photography. If you are in a low light situation not using flash and do not have the phone steadied than yes, it will most likely come out blurry but if you use proper photographic techniques it will come out great.

I rarely use my iPhone as a camera but when I do I've been pleased with the results. (Sorry about the pool pump).

The only time I get nice pictures is when I'm outside in good sunlight, just like your picture. Otherwise they are just camera phone pics to me.

aarond12
Nov 18, 2011, 08:57 AM
The only time I get nice pictures is when I'm outside in good sunlight, just like your picture. Otherwise they are just camera phone pics to me.
What phone are you talking about? Surely not the iPhone 4 or 4S cameras. As long as you have a reasonably steady hand, you can get very good pictures, even in low light, with these cameras.

I'm looking at my iPhone 4 right now and I've got some pictures of downtown Ft. Worth's lights, taken at night from our hotel room. Not a one of them is blurry. Maybe I have rock-steady hands, but unless you're Michael J. Fox, you should be able to get decent pictures, even in low light.

toddybody
Nov 18, 2011, 07:35 PM
I rarely use my iPhone as a camera but when I do I've been pleased with the results. (Sorry about the pool pump).

Man what a dump. :rolleyes:


PS: Great Photo dude, beautiful home. And that grass? Holy $%&@ its nice.

chrono1081
Nov 18, 2011, 09:02 PM
Man what a dump. :rolleyes:


PS: Great Photo dude, beautiful home. And that grass? Holy $%&@ its nice.

I WISH that was my home :P

It was part of a mansion my sister and her husband rented out for their wedding. It was in the middle of the Arizona desert which is strange since no one on either family even lived close to Arizona but it was still nice.

damir00
Nov 19, 2011, 08:18 PM
I agree with Ms. L. The biggest advantage iPhone cams have is that you can make them do anything you want, via apps right there in the moment. No more of this "shoot, download, open editor, play with filters" crap that 99% of shooters (justifiably) won't do (often).

Canon/Nikon need to turn there snappers into platforms by opening up the firmware and letting the Instagrams of the world have at it.

snberk103
Nov 20, 2011, 07:59 AM
Personally, I tell my friends to go to a camera store for camera advice. What works for me probably won't work well for them, and since I bought my system more than a year ago, I'm not really up with what's current - except in my own little eco-system. I really don't care what other cameras can do - I don't have it, so I can't use it to make better photos.

The idea that pros only have pro cameras is also inaccurate, as already pointed out. We often have multiple cameras. Different tools for different jobs. Though sometimes I have to blow a lot of dust off the box first! :)

My "travel" camera is a prosumer Lumix. Simply because it has 24x optical - all the way out to 600mm. I almost always have it with me .... It is a great excuse to carry a 'man' purse disguised as a small camera bag .....:D

photographypro
Nov 22, 2011, 10:05 AM
Annie is correct! The iPhone 4 and 4S function terrifically as cameras!

What people here are forgetting, with all the arguing about technical merits, is that photography is often about "capturing the moment", and less about image quality. I see photographers argue among themselves about camera bodies, which lens are best, and yet some are so focused on the technical, that they don't have the "feel" on how to take great photographs.

Of course the best camera is the one you have with you, but as a professional, I have to say I've been amazed at what I get out of my iPhone 4, and today I'm buying a 4S. I just got back from 10 weeks in Italy, and was doing some photos on the coast, taking full size RAW photos with my Nikon DSLR's and bracketing like crazy. Then I shoot a quick shot my my iPhone 4 just to have a photo to post on Facebook, and the iPhone photo without any image editing was actually damn good. Sure, the Nikon photos after I work on them will be better, but the iPhone, especially with the touch to focus and exposure lock, and the HDR option, is incredible!

And for the record, sometimes in Italy (I have a house there), I go out for the day with 3 DSLR bodies, but often I may take a point and shoot, and recently, I find the iPhone to be better than my point and shoot, in that I can touch to focus and with the HDR.

The best camera EVER is the human eye, but for a portable camera, the iPhone is exceptionally good :)

Vudoo
Nov 22, 2011, 10:19 AM
As mentioned, I like to take photos of what I eat being a Foodie and all. My iPhone 4 is the device I use the most because of the convenience. Last night's dinner in a dimly lit restaurant.

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/387287_10150393849312685_655647684_8774300_1401878163_n.jpg

Olegphoto
Nov 22, 2011, 05:14 PM
this is silly. just as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have on you. be it a dslr (my choice) or an iphone (Annie Leibovitz's choice), you can't take the photo you want unless you have a camera with. more importantly though, if you want good images, you've got to be a good photographer :)

and if it's worth anything, she shoots with very high end cameras (mamiya, hasselblad, leica, canon, or nikon anyone?), not iphones.

Of course !! If u are a pro you don't need to ask wich Camara to use, any pro knows which is the appropriate Camara for the occasion.
She is giving advice to amateurs, that's why she recommends the easiest Camara to use, and the most handy one, with extreme quality for what a amateur needs. If u are going to publish it or do a billboard then u are probably a pro and u must know that an iPhone won't do the job.

Sixtafoua
Dec 14, 2011, 06:46 PM
...and the world of photography has officially gone to *****.

international
Dec 14, 2011, 10:58 PM
Although the iPhone may have a good camera and be accessible do you really need and want to pay for everything that goes along with it? If you want a good camera, and just a camera cannons are great, I have one, and are compact. And a small cannon is about half of the price of an iPhone 4S.

DollyCatherine
Jan 12, 2012, 03:31 AM
I agree that iphone has the good clarity of taking pictures . Even i own an iphone. But it cant replace a fully fledged camera which professional photographers have. Its superb but not for a professional photographers..Thanks:)