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MacRumors
Oct 2, 2012, 12:45 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/02/photography-pros-review-the-iphone-5s-camera/)


Photography site dpreview.com has published a lengthy review (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6867454450/quick-review-apple-iphone-5-camera) of the iPhone 5's camera. Last year, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz called the iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/16/what-camera-to-buy-annie-leibovitz-recommends-the-iphone/) "the snapshot camera of today", and the iPhone has been the most popular camera on Flickr for years.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/10/NewImage4.png


The full review (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6867454450/quick-review-apple-iphone-5-camera) is worth a read, but this excerpt looks at interesting questions about the future of casual photography and how the simple "camera phone" has revolutionized both the mobile phone and camera industries.
This is great news for people like us who write about digital photography, because it signals a paradigm shift. This doesn't happen often, and it's very exciting when it does. Already, we're seeing mainstream camera manufacturers scrabbling to add connectivity to their products, and it's not just desperation that's making them do it. If the iPhone, and devices like it, have had a transformative effect on the industry it's because they've had a transformative effect on peoples' expectations of cameras, and photography. And the industry is doing what it always does - moving to fulfill a need.

The iPhone 5 is a fine mobile device, with an excellent camera. In qualititative terms it's not the best camera out there, and nor is it the best camera on a smartphone (the Nokia 808 has that honor, for now) but it offers satisfying image quality, some neat functions like auto panorama and HDR mode, and - crucially - it is supremely easy to use. It isn't much better than the iPhone 4S, as far as its photographic performance is concerned, but it isn't any worse (notwithstanding a somewhat more noticeable propensity towards lens flare). When manufacturers employ pixel-binning to achieve higher ISO settings we don't normally celebrate the fact, but in the case of the iPhone 5, it gives you greater flexibility in poor light (i.e., you might actually get a picture now, where you just wouldn't with the iPhone 4S) and the drop in quality is unnoticeable when the images are used for sharing/web display.

Article Link: Photography Pros Review the iPhone 5's Camera (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/02/photography-pros-review-the-iphone-5s-camera/)



jrfive0
Oct 2, 2012, 12:49 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

kjs862
Oct 2, 2012, 12:50 PM
I've been a reader of dpreview for years. They publish very credible info.

QCassidy352
Oct 2, 2012, 12:51 PM
For this one reason alone? Clearly not. For everything combined? Easy worth an upgrade.

RoboCop001
Oct 2, 2012, 12:53 PM
But lens flares are awesome :D

mrjamieb
Oct 2, 2012, 12:55 PM
But lens flares are awesome :D

Not if you're a photographer :/

rorschach
Oct 2, 2012, 12:56 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

True but lots of people who bought a 3GS or 4 are up for renewal, so it would be more of an upgrade for them.

CBJammin103
Oct 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.

The iPhone is simply a different tool than a traditional camera. It's nice that the iPhone 5 camera is solid, but I don't see how this is a paradigm shift any more than the previous iPhone cameras.

I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.

nsfw
Oct 2, 2012, 12:58 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

no not from the 4S.. but if you had a 4 and its gone through two years of home button mashing, then you probably want to upgrade.

Paco43
Oct 2, 2012, 01:00 PM
Video's will not open in , Adobe, Streamclip and QuickTime . Fine with 5.1, not in 6.0!

canadianpj
Oct 2, 2012, 01:00 PM
Given the "purple" issue if I had not sold my 4S I would have gone back to it. It is not a matter of simply avoiding pointing directly at the sun, etc. Go try to take photos at a football game at an indoor stadium and try not to have purple all over your photos.

Whatsit
Oct 2, 2012, 01:01 PM
I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.

That's the paradigm shift, IMO. Sometime in the last couple of years I stopped even bothering to bring my point-and-shoot with me to events. When I first got an iPhone (the 4 was my first smartphone) I'd make sure to bring the "real camera" with me to important events. I don't do that anymore and at this point will probably not be purchasing any more point-and-shoot cameras.

The iPhone camera (and other smartphone cameras) certainly won't replace DSLRs, but they will replace the basic low-to-mid-range point-and-shoots that a lot of people used to consider their primary camera.

porky
Oct 2, 2012, 01:15 PM
I have a 4s and ordered the iPhone 5 for the better camera ... Especially in low light.

powaking
Oct 2, 2012, 01:19 PM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.

The iPhone is simply a different tool than a traditional camera. It's nice that the iPhone 5 camera is solid, but I don't see how this is a paradigm shift any more than the previous iPhone cameras.

I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.

I have a DSLR but on our recent trip to Disney we used an iPhone 4 and 4S for all of our picture taking and for the most part they were satisfactory. Even when we printed them out at 4x6. Each tool serves its purpose and for a trip to Disney it definitely served its purpose over a DSLR.

nostaws
Oct 2, 2012, 01:25 PM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

Did you come up with that all on your own? Thanks, Chase. LOL.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-Camera-Thats-With/dp/0321684788

cvaldes
Oct 2, 2012, 01:36 PM
The iPhone camera (and other smartphone cameras) certainly won't replace DSLRs, but they will replace the basic low-to-mid-range point-and-shoots that a lot of people used to consider their primary camera.
Absolutely.

When I bought my iPhone 4S, it replaced three devices: dumbphone, iPod touch (4th generation with its lousy camera), and a solid Canon point-and-shoot camera.

I still keep my Canon PowerShot around, just in case I'm in a sketchy photo situation (like taking pictures from a kayak) or the few situations when I really need to use optical zoom.

Geckotek
Oct 2, 2012, 01:40 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

Pretty sure that was not the purpose.

Mundty
Oct 2, 2012, 01:41 PM
I have a DSLR but on our recent trip to Disney we used an iPhone 4 and 4S for all of our picture taking and for the most part they were satisfactory. Even when we printed them out at 4x6. Each tool serves its purpose and for a trip to Disney it definitely served its purpose over a DSLR.

The thing about using a DSLR is they've come so far down in price, that practically anyone can own one now. I think that's a good thing in most regards, but you still have inexperienced photographers walking around not really knowing how to properly use a DSLR. And that's when you see people start using an iPhone as a replacement for a professional camera.

The iPhone can take very nice pictures, but the degree of control you have with a DSLR is something you cannot accomplish with an iPhone. Sure the iPhone can simulate some basic manual controls, but if you decide the picture you just took needs adjustment that cannot be accomplished in PP, you have very little options at your disposal. Not to mention, the increments and sensitivity between each adjustment is like the difference between using a hammer and a fine chisel.

I'm not trying to demean your choice to bring an iPhone instead of a DSLR on vacation. But if you want to "wow" people with your vacation photos... an iPhone is not the right tool. Not to mention any decent printer and/or lcd monitor is going to reveal stark differences between a APS-C/FullFrame sensor and the tiny sensor found in an iPhone

nba1341
Oct 2, 2012, 01:43 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/02/tech/mobile/iphone-5-purple-photos/index.html

seems legit

shurcooL
Oct 2, 2012, 01:50 PM
I'm not trying to demean your choice to bring an iPhone instead of a DSLR on vacation. But if you want to "wow" people with your vacation photos... an iPhone is not the right tool. Not to mention any printer and/or lcd monitor is going to reveal stark differences between a APS-C/FullFrame sensor and the tiny sensor found in your iPhone.
Basically this.

http://dcurt.is/iphone-5-vs-5d-mark-iii

The iPhone 5 is nice, but it doesn't come even close to the DSLR. Not that I expect it to.

John.B
Oct 2, 2012, 02:04 PM
For the photography snobs:

Appreciation for good photography automatically makes someone a snob?

The iPhone 5 is nice, but it doesn't come even close to the DSLR. Not that I expect it to.

It doesn't need to, it only needs to fill the gap where a full-sized rig is too much to carry.

BJMRamage
Oct 2, 2012, 02:19 PM
I think we purchased a P&S either right before or right after our first iPhone 4 (smartphone) purchase. But we decided to buy a waterproof/shockproof camera instead of a regular P&S.

We have:
2 DLSRs (one is infrared)
2 iPhones
1 underwater/P&S
1 old regular P&S that might not be used again.

I have a camera for almost any situation. I wont always carry them all. but these phones capture the moments nicely and sometimes that's what counts.

still love the DSLR but one hand iPhone shooting can be a bit easier.

Arcsylver
Oct 2, 2012, 02:38 PM
I'm not surprised at the flare or the purple considering that the lens is covered by that nice piece of sapphire to protect the lens.

This is going to happen when you cover a lens element with anything. It isa common issue when using filters as well when shooting with a bright light source in the frame. The solution is simple. Shoot while hooding the lens or don't shoot with bright lights in the frame.

Been around since cameras were invented.

mdelvecchio
Oct 2, 2012, 02:44 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

youre not supposed to. durrr. normal people dont upgrade iOS devices annually. get it thru your head.

nsayer
Oct 2, 2012, 02:45 PM
Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.

Once upon a time, the recording medium for photography was light-sensitive emulsions. They had to be kept in the dark until they were developed except for exposure. So a camera was a box that held the film in a plane in front of a shutter that briefly exposed the film to the subject/scene.

The problem was that in a traditional design, you could not offer the photographer the exact same view that the film got, because of the requirement to keep the film dark until capture. For cheap cameras, the solution was a viewfinder, which offered a good-enough facsimile for what the film would see.

SLRs were the solution to this problem. In front of the shutter was a movable 45 degree angle mirror. Before the shutter would trip, the mirror would snap upwards out of the way. At other times, the mirror sent the image that was going through the lens upwards into a prism and out the viewfinder. Thus, the photographer could see *exactly* what the film would see.

There's absolutely no reason for this if the image capture material is a CCD. The "viewfinder" on an iPhone shows exactly what the final captured image is going to be (modulo resolution), because it is displaying exactly what the CCD is capturing. It's, in fact, better than a traditional SLR, because you don't have to hold the camera up to your eye to see through the lens!

So if a DSLR is named that because it retains the mirror-prism-viewfinder system, then that is a ridiculous anachronism that does nothing but raise the price needlessly. If, instead, people call high end digital cameras "DSLRs" because of some professional level feature-set, or a better sensor, or because they lack a built-in phone or some such, then perhaps we need a better term for it.

mdelvecchio
Oct 2, 2012, 02:47 PM
It's nice that the iPhone 5 camera is solid, but I don't see how this is a paradigm shift any more than the previous iPhone cameras.


you misunderstood the quote. they arent saying the iphone5's camera is a paradigm shift. theyre clearly referring to casual digital photography -- that the ease of shooting and connected nature of quality mobile cameras are forcing the rest of the non-mobile photography industry to adapt. thats the shift.


I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.

exactly. thats the point.

dampfnudel
Oct 2, 2012, 02:59 PM
Given the "purple" issue if I had not sold my 4S I would have gone back to it. It is not a matter of simply avoiding pointing directly at the sun, etc. Go try to take photos at a football game at an indoor stadium and try not to have purple all over your photos.

Is that a problem with every iPhone 5 or just those with a purple sapphire lens? I suspect that the sapphire lens may get dropped next year or even earlier if it's the cause of the purple flare near bright light sources. I'm surprised Apple didn't pick this up earlier. I mean, people do take photos of sunsets, cars with headlights on at night, indoor stadiums with strong lights, outdoors with the sun just out of frame, etc.

I have a 4s and ordered the iPhone 5 for the better camera ... Especially in low light.

The next iPhone will probably get Sony's recently announced 13MP Exmor RS sensor. You'll probably have an even better reason to upgrade a year from now if the camera is your main concern...that and the purple lens flare if it irritates you.

nickn
Oct 2, 2012, 03:20 PM
\
The next iPhone will probably get Sony's recently announced 13MP Exmor RS sensor. You'll probably have an even better reason to upgrade a year from now if the camera is your main concern.

YEAHHHH 13MP!!!! That will fix everything!!!!! Sigh...... Increasing the MP count will almost certainly make the image quality worse as if you don't know what noise is now, you certainly will then. Squeezing even current MP counts on tiny sensors is pointless... I doubt the level of detail at 13mp can even be resolved given many cell camera today use extremely cheap optics, such as plastic instead of glass parts.

onpointe
Oct 2, 2012, 03:31 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
If you are a driver, MAPS alone is reason enough to upgrade. The old Google mapping was unusable for a driver- limited screen info and no voice or turn by turn. Maps has all that - Siri integration, great turn-by[turn voice instructions and easily readable directions for drivers.

curmudgeon32
Oct 2, 2012, 04:36 PM
Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.

OK. Well, a lot of professional photographers might disagree with you, along with all the major manufacturers of cameras.


The "viewfinder" on an iPhone shows exactly what the final captured image is going to be (modulo resolution), because it is displaying exactly what the CCD is capturing. It's, in fact, better than a traditional SLR, because you don't have to hold the camera up to your eye to see through the lens!

Again, a lot of people who make their living taking photographs specifically WANT a viewfinder because it helps with composition and is one less source of battery drain. And if you're seriously pretending the iPhone is a better camera than, say, a high-end Canon or Nikon DSLR (which, incidentally, also have live-view LCDs on the back) -- well, you're fooling yourself.

So if a DSLR is named that because it retains the mirror-prism-viewfinder system, then that is a ridiculous anachronism that does nothing but raise the price needlessly.

There are new camera systems (micro 4/3s, for example) that don't rely on a flip-up mirror. But the DSLR seems to be a proven form factor that works for a lot of professionals.

Also, you fail to realize that legacy lenses and accessories are a major investment for photographers and nobody's going to just throw all that stuff away because it's supposedly "obsolete".

UnfetteredMind
Oct 2, 2012, 04:43 PM
The one thing I miss from my P&S camera when I only have the iPhone is the 10x optical zoom. I don't expect a smartphone to ever have this feature.

jayducharme
Oct 2, 2012, 05:12 PM
The one thing I miss from my P&S camera when I only have the iPhone is the 10x optical zoom. I don't expect a smartphone to ever have this feature.

That's what I miss the most, especially for video shooting. Other than that, I'm quite happy with the results I've been getting from my iPhone 4. I can't wait to get an iPhone 5 -- except for the purple haze. Maybe it's a commemorative phone for Jimi Hendrix ... or Prince.

dampfnudel
Oct 2, 2012, 05:50 PM
YEAHHHH 13MP!!!! That will fix everything!!!!! Sigh...... Increasing the MP count will almost certainly make the image quality worse as if you don't know what noise is now, you certainly will then. Squeezing even current MP counts on tiny sensors is pointless... I doubt the level of detail at 13mp can even be resolved given many cell camera today use extremely cheap optics, such as plastic instead of glass parts.

I don't think Apple would add a camera that actually shows degradation of the image quality compared to the previous camera. In other words, they and SONY will find a way to keep noise to a minimum while upping the MP count and improving image quality. The noise barrier can be broken, just ask Nokia.

CBJammin103
Oct 2, 2012, 06:54 PM
Appreciation for good photography automatically makes someone a snob?

Guess I came off a little snarky - maybe I should have chosen other words. I freelance as a hobby for small local businesses and individuals, so I'm not knocking photography or photographers!

I guess I see way too many moms and dads who would be better off using their iPhone instead of the DSLR they tote around.

Did you come up with that all on your own? Thanks, Chase. LOL.

I was told it by a friend but I've not read that book. Perhaps should do some more reading. :p

Mr. Retrofire
Oct 2, 2012, 07:18 PM
ok, i don't get dslrs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.
rotflmao

John.B
Oct 2, 2012, 07:54 PM
Guess I came off a little snarky - maybe I should have chosen other words. I freelance as a hobby for small local businesses and individuals, so I'm not knocking photography or photographers!

I guess I see way to many moms and dads who would be better off using their iPhone instead of the DSLR they tote around.


+1!

When I took the kids on vacation this summer, I gave them each their own P&S and took my iPhone. It was a nice switch not to have to fuss with a dSLR (or two, plus lenses! LOL!) and I felt I got to be a lot more "in the moment" than I do when I'm looking at everything through the viewfinder.

nickn
Oct 2, 2012, 08:33 PM
Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.

The "viewfinder" on an iPhone shows exactly what the final captured image is going to be (modulo resolution), because it is displaying exactly what the CCD is capturing. It's, in fact, better than a traditional SLR, because you don't have to hold the camera up to your eye to see through the lens!


1. To some extent this is true, though your ultimate conclusion is insane. In the next several years, after it has been perfected in consumer models, DSLR bodies will likely start to shift over to APS-C size mirrorless sensors. Mid to high end DSLR models will likely remain with the "flip" type shutters for longer though, as for pros, mirrorless presently has to many disadvantages.

2. While it seems many consumers would rather use the screen for composition, I know for a fact anyone who knows what they are doing uses their viewfinder. A real viewfinder just doesn't even compare to a screen based system. For example, I have yet to use any screen that had an acceptable frame rate when moving the camera back and forth quickly. That is totally unacceptable to have serious lag when attempting to simply frame something...


I don't think Apple would add a camera that actually shows degradation of the image quality compared to the previous camera.
Apple doesn't care. For example, look at the extreme POS abomination of a camera they included in the iPod Touch 4th gen and iPad 2. Frankly, I am quite surprised they even bothered. Ironically, while I was just bashing sensors for having too high of a megapixel count, I will also bash that POS for having to low of a MP count, at just an insane .7 MP. For once in perhaps forever, photos straight from the camera could hardly be shown 1X1 on the phone screen, as they are native 960x720, yes in 2010, let alone my 1920X1080 computer monitor. Additionally, as expected, image quality is perhaps the worst of any digital post 2005 camera in every possible way.

Westside guy
Oct 2, 2012, 09:02 PM
Did you come up with that all on your own? Thanks, Chase. LOL.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-Camera-Thats-With/dp/0321684788

That phrase has been around a lot longer than that book has. But the concept is absolutely valid.

Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.

Given the argument you just gave, it's pretty obvious you never really "got" SLRs. Being able to exactly compose the shot in the viewfinder is certainly one benefit of the SLR - but not the primary one.

But the technology is such that, for the majority of people, there is no effective need for a dSLR simply because they aren't taking advantage of its abilities. That's not new to digital photography, though. Really it's just the continuation of a trend that started half a century ago when easy-to-use, small, inexpensive cartridge-based film cameras became available.

dumbthought
Oct 2, 2012, 09:08 PM
Note his para:

"Already, we're seeing mainstream camera manufacturers scrabbling to add connectivity to their products, and it's not just desperation that's making them do it. If the iPhone, and devices like it, have had a transformative effect on the industry it's because they've had a transformative effect on peoples' expectations of cameras, and photography. And the industry is doing what it always does - moving to fulfill a need."

You see that's why I find complete tech industries (example camera industry here) completely lethargic or even apathetic towards understanding and fulfilling what consumers want. They are FORCED to bring about these changes involving better connectivity etc because consumers expectations have been modified for those options by smartphone industry.

They would never do it on their own. Why do it if consumer is anyway paying them money for just incremental spec improvements. Why go the extra step of giving him a more liberating experience.

Forget about smartphones a bit- imagine they were not invented.

Now if a company like apple were to make a camera and:
1. disrupt the landscape by integrating great social, web-integration, and sharing options,
2. thereby creating excitement amongst consumers,
3. giving people they never knew they wanted, without doing any market research,

You no what industry folks or other tech folks and media will say abou this company:
1. It hasn't invented anything
2. All these technologies were already present
3. They have just put a good looking interface
4. It's just marketing, gimmick!

There should be more value for companies which go beyond their narrow focus on technology itself. Companies where people care about first imagining and then creating and giving consumers what they could really want and enjoy. These companies I would value more.

Such companies won't do technology for sake of it, but understand ultimately technology has to add value to human lives. And from looking at various companies in tech world it seems there are hardly any companies which have this ideological perspective guiding their choices and direction.

ixodes
Oct 2, 2012, 09:25 PM
The keyword that stands out for me is "snapshot".

That's what the iPhone camera does well. It's also an aspect of the phone that draws in a huge number of female customers that otherwise wouldn't seek out a "smartphone".

Several years ago Kodak did a study, it revealed how women are the primary picture taker of the family photos, the number was simply amazing, much higher than many may realize. While I expected it to be high, I was truly surprised at the astronomical number.

Taking into consideration the ease of use, along with iTunes it's no wonder iPhones are so popular.

bedifferent
Oct 2, 2012, 10:07 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/02/tech/mobile/iphone-5-purple-photos/index.html

seems legit

"Don't shoot into the light, stop where you are, don't even look at it!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYk56jemsbU)

:p

adversus
Oct 2, 2012, 10:58 PM
Comparing a mobile phone camera to a DSLR is like comparing a Semi truck with a Prius.

Yeah, they both have doors, wheels, engines, and can get you places. But they're just tools, and made for completely different jobs.

iChrist
Oct 2, 2012, 11:10 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

Oh dude. If I was stuck using big clunk iPhone 4S I would die. No comparison



.

Michael Scrip
Oct 2, 2012, 11:39 PM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

Very true.

Canon and Nikon release a dozen new cameras every year... but you don't have to buy those either.

Hell... Ford makes new cars every year too.

Perhaps you don't have to buy new stuff every time a new model is released?

mnemonix
Oct 3, 2012, 02:07 AM
The thing about using a DSLR is they've come so far down in price, that practically anyone can own one now.

Coming down in price is one thing, coming down in size is another. The principle reason for not using a DSLR is having to lug the damn thing around with you everywhere.

A professional or hobbyist photographer (for whom the kit itself is often more important than the picture) will continue to use them, but they're simply not practical for *anyone* else for this reason alone.

Pigumon
Oct 3, 2012, 04:43 AM
OK. Well, a lot of professional photographers might disagree with you, along with all the major manufacturers of cameras.

Again, a lot of people who make their living taking photographs specifically WANT a viewfinder because it helps with composition and is one less source of battery drain. And if you're seriously pretending the iPhone is a better camera than, say, a high-end Canon or Nikon DSLR (which, incidentally, also have live-view LCDs on the back) -- well, you're fooling yourself.

There are new camera systems (micro 4/3s, for example) that don't rely on a flip-up mirror. But the DSLR seems to be a proven form factor that works for a lot of professionals.

Also, you fail to realize that legacy lenses and accessories are a major investment for photographers and nobody's going to just throw all that stuff away because it's supposedly "obsolete".

I think you missed the actual point of his post. He's saying the SLR system is obsolete, the actual bouncing back and forth of the mirror, not the camera's form factor, lenses, accessories, etc.

I tend to agree, there's pretty much no reason need to look into the viewfinder anymore. Sure it's a tad quicker, but then you could just do what the mirrorless cameras are doing now- putting a tiny viewfinder at the top.

Then again, I could be wrong. Anyway, I love my Canon EOS, but it saddens me that the first thing to go will be the part that moves most... the mirror, the "SLR".

Lancer
Oct 3, 2012, 05:30 AM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

ITA - a smartphone camera will probably never replace a full blown DSLR but the compact camera makers are in real trouble, why carry around a camera which is no better than the smartphone you will almost always have on you?

Ditto for video, full professional equipment will always have a place but do you need a compact handycam when you can now shoot full HD on you smartphone and upload it to YouTube without going home?

I only use my CompactSLR when I need a better shot (compared to my 3Gs) but don't use it much and will use it even less when I get my new iPhone soon.

FieldingMellish
Oct 3, 2012, 05:50 AM
It will never replace a point and shoot for those who are photographers and appreciate the control it offers and who prefer to get it right in camera, avoiding Photoshop image repair; - zoom lens with actual range change, not in software, for superior quality pixels is but one element. Exposure compensation is another; sufficient grip to handle landscape and portrait orientation a third; on and on.

avro707
Oct 3, 2012, 06:20 AM
Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.

There are some things that are quite difficult to photograph with the iPhone, but are supremely easy to photograph with any DSLR.

But apart from the obvious massive image quality differences, the major difference is the form factor. The iPhone has an awkward shape for camera use, while a modern DSLR is honed to be the optimum shape and is designed for easy use, especially with respect to changing functions in a hurry.

The lovely images we enjoyed from places like the London Olympics just aren't possible with smart phone cameras. These are the sort of images coming from cameras like the Nikon D4 and the Nikkor 800mm F/5.6 lens. (not released to the general public yet).

But I'm just a relative hack who just takes little happy snaps at work so probably the DSLR is fundamentally obsolete as you've said. :p

Some pro photographers are using cameras like Nikon P7000 for situations where a more discreet camera is required, or they are using stuff like the old D70 in dangerous situations where more expensive equipment can't be risked. One example might be the western photographer who takes a lot of shots in Afghanistan and dresses like the locals, looks like the locals and even speaks the local language. He takes a lower end camera under his robes, and even carries a prayer mat. Some of you here in the industry will know who I'm talking about. In that case, a flashy, fancy iPhone is going to attract attention.

DSLR cameras have had connectivity options for a while that allowed transmission of images back to "home base" (for want of a better term) in those cases where the images were urgently needed. Another example of similar uses is remote firing of multiple cameras or flashes. Smart phone cameras aren't flexible enough yet. Though they could take a big step forward if it were possible to ally them with external flashes. Such a thing might even be a way for the phone makers to get customers to part with more money, after they've just spent near A$1000 on their very smart looking new slate and black object of desire.

Smart phone cameras have their uses, but broadly speaking the DSLR as a camera on the whole isn't obsolete and won't be, while the better quality point-and-shoot bridging cameras will also not become obsolete because of their superior shape which makes them easier to hold.

varunmaini2011
Oct 3, 2012, 07:35 AM
This is worth upgrading and certainly its well written...;)Coming down in price is one thing, coming down in size is another. The principle reason for not using a DSLR is having to lug the damn thing around with you everywhere.

designs216
Oct 3, 2012, 07:37 AM
That panoramic feature seems pretty cool in the TV spot. I wonder if it works that well in real life with a big group of twitchy elementary kids.

donrsd
Oct 3, 2012, 08:38 AM
That panoramic feature seems pretty cool in the TV spot. I wonder if it works that well in real life with a big group of twitchy elementary kids.

Sure it does.....just slow down when scrolling left/right - right/left.

yusukeaoki
Oct 3, 2012, 09:01 AM
Purple lens flare from lights...
Anyone else?

tatonka
Oct 3, 2012, 09:23 AM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.

I agree .. I still have a DSLR for all the important photos in my life (mostly of the kids and vacations). For many other opportunities the phone camera must be enough.

One of the reasons I did stick with an iPhone over a Galaxy SII or SIII was the camera, though. If I carry around a camera all the time, I want it to make decent pictures. The Samsung images I saw on a friends phone just didn't cut it.

T.

nsayer
Oct 3, 2012, 12:57 PM
OK. Well, a lot of professional photographers might disagree with you, along with all the major manufacturers of cameras.



Again, a lot of people who make their living taking photographs specifically WANT a viewfinder because it helps with composition and is one less source of battery drain. And if you're seriously pretending the iPhone is a better camera than, say, a high-end Canon or Nikon DSLR (which, incidentally, also have live-view LCDs on the back) -- well, you're fooling yourself.



There are new camera systems (micro 4/3s, for example) that don't rely on a flip-up mirror. But the DSLR seems to be a proven form factor that works for a lot of professionals.

Also, you fail to realize that legacy lenses and accessories are a major investment for photographers and nobody's going to just throw all that stuff away because it's supposedly "obsolete".

Sigh.

You failed to grasp the nature of my argument.

It is possible to design a digital camera with every advantage that the professional cameras have, but without the need for the reflex-mirror-prism-viewfinder arrangement that IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF a dSLR.

No one who has replied to my original post has actually refuted the point.

Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder? The closest I have seen so far is that someone mentioned that a pure optical viewfinder will save on battery life, since it means not lighting up an LCD screen. So far, that's the only point scored. However, if you simply trade the extra weight the reflex system and prism add for more battery, then I think you'd wind up ahead of the game using an LCD.

Most of the other arguments have been about the quality of dSLRs. I assert that that is not part of my argument. I never said that the iPhone was a professional level camera. What I said was that professional level sensors and photography do not benefit at all from the SLR feature in and of itself.

Lastly, some have tried to argue that the form factor of SLRs and dSLRs is some how optimal. I disagree. They are traditional. They are what we have become accustomed to. That's not at all the same thing as "optimal." SLRs are, in fact, optimized to be held such that the viewfinder is in front of your eyeball. But if you don't have a need to hold the camera up to your eye, then that optimization is specious.

I can envision a professional level camera being a very different thing. It would have a large sensor inside of a small box that attaches to the lens and provides a tripod socket. On the back is an LCD touchscreen panel, but its use is actually optional. As an alternative, the device could wirelessly (BT or WiFi) to some other device, such as a laptop or smartphone for remote control. The camera would come with a slot for flash storage, but also be able to transmit images wirelessly with BT or WiFi - perhaps even optionally with LTE.

avro707
Oct 3, 2012, 04:38 PM
We refuted your argument well. You just said very broadly that the DSLR is fundamentally obsolete. DSLR means the whole camera, fundamentally obsolete is meaning obsolete in its most basic and total form.

Now you are trying to excuse and change the meaning like a politician does when he has attracted a storm of criticism.

On your last idea, I suspect you've not ever used a pro level camera for work. Your idea will fail badly on practice. Touch screens are ridiculous because you have to look at them, while buttons on traditional DSLR cameras become second nature. You can use them to change settings in a hurry without needing to pay much attention to them. They work.

The DSLR cameras look the way they are due to the feedback us photographers give the companies that make them.

I challenge you, if you are in Sydney to join me one time on a photo shoot and you'll see in practice why things are done as they are.

Try a Nikon D3s, use it for a few hours non-stop and you'll find out why the shape is like that. It is comfortable to hold and use in either orientation. The camera feels balanced. It has the conventional viewfinder which is very bright, clear and reliable. At night, this better than some electronic alternative. What you see is absolutely correct, the optical viewfinder cannot be confused. Electronics can be.

It has a live view feature if you need that (I don't).

Lastly, we don't have time to muck around with gimmicks that are stylish to the MacRumors or iGadget devotees, we need cameras that just work, are easy to use and work with our existing tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.

curmudgeon32
Oct 3, 2012, 04:38 PM
You failed to grasp the nature of my argument.

It is possible to design a digital camera with every advantage that the professional cameras have, but without the need for the reflex-mirror-prism-viewfinder arrangement that IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF a dSLR.

And you missed the point of my post: if there wasn't a good reason to build dSLRs they way they're being built, don't you think they'd stop building them that way?

Is the dSLR a half-step toward newer formats? Sure. But when the moment comes for it to go away, you can be pretty sure that the laws of supply and demand will make that happen.


Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder?


Well, professional photographers seem to think there's some use for them, or they wouldn't be there, would they? I mean, wouldn't camera makers have liked to save the bulk, weight, fragility and expense of a mirror system and optical viewfinder if they could? But if you spend any time on DP Review or the like, you'll see that pros put a big value on having an optical viewfinder. Whether out of habit or for other reasons (ergonomics, shooting style, battery life, light sensitivity), I don't know. But if people who spend their entire careers behind a camera want an optical viewfinder -- guess what? -- the camera makers are going to put one on there.


Lastly, some have tried to argue that the form factor of SLRs and dSLRs is some how optimal. I disagree. They are traditional. They are what we have become accustomed to. That's not at all the same thing as "optimal." SLRs are, in fact, optimized to be held such that the viewfinder is in front of your eyeball. But if you don't have a need to hold the camera up to your eye, then that optimization is specious.

So there's no value in making something in a form factor that people find usable and familiar? The landfills are practially brimming with products made without regard to human factors that consumers just weren't "forward-thinking" enough to adopt.


I can envision a professional level camera being a very different thing. It would have a large sensor inside of a small box that attaches to the lens and provides a tripod socket. On the back is an LCD touchscreen panel, but its use is actually optional. As an alternative, the device could wirelessly (BT or WiFi) to some other device, such as a laptop or smartphone for remote control. The camera would come with a slot for flash storage, but also be able to transmit images wirelessly with BT or WiFi - perhaps even optionally with LTE.

You may well be on the right track — or not — about what the professional camera of the future looks like, but not everything changes overnight. Good mirrorless cameras are indeed infiltrating the upper levels of the consumer market, and if pros have a use for them, you can bet they'll make it up to that market too.

Photographers have a host of things to worry about, from durability to battery life to performance under dramatically different light conditions to backward compatiblity with existing equipment. Because of the nature of their work, they have to capture events at moments that are not always totally under their control -- and if the moment is missed because some touch screen was in the wrong mode or some card got unseated or they lost their grip on the "small box that attaches to the lens", they're screwed. The football has been caught, the lioness has walked away, the just-married couple has gotten in the car, and they don't have the shot and they're not getting paid.

No surprise they buy cameras that work in a familiar way and are compatible with their thousands of dollars worth of lenses and flashes and accessories — despite not being "optimal" for what you think a professional camera should or could be like.

avro707
Oct 3, 2012, 05:40 PM
As an alternative, the device could wirelessly (BT or WiFi) to some other device, such as a laptop or smartphone for remote control. The camera would come with a slot for flash storage, but also be able to transmit images wirelessly with BT or WiFi - perhaps even optionally with LTE.

DSLRs already can be controlled from laptops or smart-phones/iPads through some things like Nikon Camera Control Pro and using various wireless adaptors depending on the type of camera you have and what you want to do with it. Canon I'm sure has many of the same things. Nikon has another device which will let you operate a camera from the iPad, tapping the screen to adjust focus and other things. This is a good idea, better than including it on the camera itself where it would just not work well enough.

The Royal wedding a while back in Sweden between Crown Princess Victoria and her personal-trainer Daniel Westling used this kind of setup for many of the images. Cameras like D3x controlled remotely were stealthed away in camera boxes with cut-outs for the lenses (to quieten the camera) and in the end over 10,000 images were taken if I remember right from multiple cameras, while a traditional photographer (dressed in amusingly formal attire) took the group portrait shots, perched on a ladder.

nutmac
Oct 3, 2012, 05:47 PM
Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder?

While the quality of LCD has improved (and is improving) and it offers benefits than optical view finders lack (e.g., tap to focus, articulating screen), there are still some compelling benefits of having optical view finder.

LCDs are not as usable under bright lighting, especially sunlight.
Optical viewfinders have effectively infinite resolution and and perfect color rendition. For LCD, you are at the mercy of LCD panel (which often have much more limited color gamut and contrast ratio) and factory calibration.
Overlay information do not obstruct view as much as overlays on LCD.


I think the future of photography is smartphones and SLR/mirror-less. Those that care about quality will want both. Those that care about just casual photography will carry only the smartphones.

Having said that, SLRs and mirror-less will have to offer features smartphones offer as standard features, such as wireless, apps for uploading to social services and Macs/PCs, and GPS.

thasan
Oct 4, 2012, 01:50 AM
That panoramic feature seems pretty cool in the TV spot. I wonder if it works that well in real life with a big group of twitchy elementary kids.

it certainly does work. removes movement when you pan. i shot a river photo with boats and it shot the boats perfectly!
if u have seen reviews that says it is difficult, its because the reviewers (including one promiment tech editor) are kind of stupid to try to take panorama of subjects 4/5 ft away from them! it works best for 15 ft and further away in my personal experience. i already have some beautiful 15-20+ MP shots which are absolutely gorgeous. the stitching is nearly flawless too!

ncaissie
Oct 4, 2012, 07:40 AM
My wifeís Sony ION camera blows my iPhone 5 camera out of the water.
Itís 8mp and the pictures look great. My iphone pics look grainy. That is the only reason she bought the phone. Otherwise it sucks. The OS is two versions behind.

Psychj0e
Oct 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
Clearly the idiots who are saying a viewfinder can be replaced by an LCD panel on the back have never used a dSLR... For one, the view finder doesn't always represent the shot, and two - how the hell do you expect to take a photograph when the light is too bright, and three - using the view finder helps preserve battery, and four - it helps block out all other information and lets you concentrate on getting the best shot.

Imagine you're out in the middle of sticks somewhere (e.g. the Atlas Mountains in Morroco) and you take a number of batteries with you, because you know you won't have the ability to re-charge them - wouldn't it make more sense to turn of the LCD panel and use the view finder (the sun in that situation also make any LCD panel difficult to use, too).

Duh!

bretm
Oct 4, 2012, 09:49 AM
While the quality of LCD has improved (and is improving) and it offers benefits than optical view finders lack (e.g., tap to focus, articulating screen), there are still some compelling benefits of having optical view finder.

LCDs are not as usable under bright lighting, especially sunlight.
Optical viewfinders have effectively infinite resolution and and perfect color rendition. For LCD, you are at the mercy of LCD panel (which often have much more limited color gamut and contrast ratio) and factory calibration.
Overlay information do not obstruct view as much as overlays on LCD.


I think the future of photography is smartphones and SLR/mirror-less. Those that care about quality will want both. Those that care about just casual photography will carry only the smartphones.

Having said that, SLRs and mirror-less will have to offer features smartphones offer as standard features, such as wireless, apps for uploading to social services and Macs/PCs, and GPS.

Obviously optical viewfinders have absolutely ZERO color rendition. The colors you see in an optical viewfinder has as much bearing on the image being captured as does the exposure you see in the viewfinder. You might as well say optical viewfinders have infinite exposure latitude!

aerok
Oct 4, 2012, 11:51 AM
I need my OVF, I cannot live without one. My friend passed me a Panasonic micro 4/3 once with no viewfinder but with a touchscreen LCD, I could not stand it.

bushido
Oct 4, 2012, 08:04 PM
Purple lens flare from lights...
Anyone else?

apple is aware of this, but its a "feature" :p u're just holding it wrong, and i'm serious thats their excuse once again

cdebnil
Oct 4, 2012, 11:22 PM
Given the "purple" issue if I had not sold my 4S I would have gone back to it. It is not a matter of simply avoiding pointing directly at the sun, etc. Go try to take photos at a football game at an indoor stadium and try not to have purple all over your photos.

Not seeing any purple in this pix from the weekend

loslosbaby
Oct 5, 2012, 12:55 PM
For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.


As a camera, the iPhone can't even replace a Canon D2000/Kodak DCS-520 (2MP, 1998, 15k$) because of the lenses alone...but that camera, with a flash, flash bracket, and a (e.g.) 105L lens on it weighs as much as an AR-15.

"F8 and be there [and post]"

G.

Mike Oxard
Oct 5, 2012, 02:40 PM
There's absolutely no reason for this if the image capture material is a CCD. The "viewfinder" on an iPhone shows exactly what the final captured image is going to be (modulo resolution), because it is displaying exactly what the CCD is capturing. It's, in fact, better than a traditional SLR, because you don't have to hold the camera up to your eye to see through the lens!



You obviously haven't tried to accurately compose many pictures in bright sunlight!

Mike Oxard
Oct 5, 2012, 03:24 PM
Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder?

It's not just about swapping the mirror for an LCD panel, there is a lot of work needed to get it to work right. That will cost a lot which will be passed on to the photographer (camera manufacturers are not scared of doing this). Professional photography for many isn't paying what it used to, so having to pay for a change to something that isn't broken would really be galling.

Some of the problems the'd have to get around to make it work:

People would be worried about the quality of the image they are getting, at the moment they see the reflection of the true image, how is the LCD viewfinder going to get it's image? Is the shutter open to expose the sensor all the time so you get a live view from the actual sensor itself , if so how is it going to focus? not all manufacturers can use the sensor for focusing, usually it's done off the mirror by dedicated focussing hardware.

A big (full frame) sensor that is open all the time to give a live view just for the viewfinder is going to generate a lot of heat. It'll either shut down or give artefacts in the image. It'll also drain the battery more than you are assuming. At the moment most cameras have a 'long exposure noise reduction' system that compensates for hot pixels during a long exposure, they'd have to develop this a lot further for the sensor to be able to cope with being active all the time.

Time lag, for your live viewfinder the shutter is open, when you press the release it'll have to close, then open, then close again to get the the shutter speed correct. With mirrors they have got the mirror lifting perfectly synchronised with the shutter. If they can't sort this out then it's a reason by itself to stick with mirrors.

If the shutter is open all the time for a live viewfinder, the sensor is going to be much more prone to getting dirty, a real issue with dSLR's. If the live viewfinder gets it's data from a secondary sensor, it's going to have to get out of the way in time for the shot, so you might as well just use a mirror.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the idea if it were reliable, seamless and didn't cost a fortune to implement (though I'm not a pro). I think it'd be a brave manufacturer that launched it on their top level dSLR's, they'd have to prove it on entry level ones first I think. My wife's a pro photographer, and her main compliant is the weight of the camera all day (though I think RSI is more the problem!) anything to reduce weight would make her happy.

canadianpj
Oct 5, 2012, 11:10 PM
Not seeing any purple in this pix from the weekend

And you wouldn't in a shot like that no, there are no direct lights. The stadium I am going to has a lot of lights pointed all over the place.

On a side note, took 10 photos today of Halloween decorations. 3 of which have a nice purple haze to them.

firewood
Oct 6, 2012, 01:44 AM
It's, in fact, better than a traditional SLR, because you don't have to hold the camera up to your eye to see through the lens!

Actually, this is an ergonometric disadvantage.

Humans have evolved to instinctively position their own eyes in their head in the right position to see or something interesting or to compose a view. Not some object a foot or so in front of their head.

Try it your self. Position your head so that your MacBook display is centered in your view. You probably did that before you finished reading this sentence. Now get a small mirror. Stand off to the side of your MacBook, and see how fast you can center the image of the display in the mirror. Is is steady or wobbling around?

So a camera with an imaging plane as close as possible to the retina in your eye will always provide a more natural aim for rapid and instinctive composition. You can't get an iPhone anywhere near as close, and see the display, even if you are extremely nearsighted.

Furthermore, one's head is usually closer to one's center of gravity axis, and thus much easier to hold still, if necessary, than any handheld object well away from the body.

liutang330
Oct 6, 2012, 11:03 AM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

Agreed.

For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.

$200 phone won't compare to a $600+ single purpose camera.


The iPhone is simply a different tool than a traditional camera. It's nice that the iPhone 5 camera is solid, but I don't see how this is a paradigm shift any more than the previous iPhone cameras.

I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.

I think they were referring to online connectivity. Traditional cameras do not have easy shoot and upload capabilities.

cdebnil
Oct 6, 2012, 03:28 PM
And you wouldn't in a shot like that no, there are no direct lights. The stadium I am going to has a lot of lights pointed all over the place.

On a side note, took 10 photos today of Halloween decorations. 3 of which have a nice purple haze to them.

Don't know what your talking about...Top right corner.....Huge set of direct lights.

shurcooL
Oct 6, 2012, 04:00 PM
$600+ phone won't compare to a $600+ single purpose camera.
FTFY. Smartphones cost $500-800 off-contract. If you say they cost $200, that's like saying you get a free fridge when you buy a million dollar house.

QuarterSwede
Oct 6, 2012, 04:24 PM
That panoramic feature seems pretty cool in the TV spot. I wonder if it works that well in real life with a big group of twitchy elementary kids.
It really does work that well. My wife was making cookie dough and stirring a bowl when I shot a panorama. It did some magical voodoo as she was perfectly still (no arm/hand movement in the Pano). That was quite impressive.

However, I still think AutoStitch stitches different exposures together better, especially since it can stitch HDR shots together. Panorama mode is a very close second and it's definitely quicker to use. I find the resolution of the Pano's on the 4S to be pretty low though (1.5MB files at max in my tests) and so they don't zoom/blow up well. It seems to take much higher resolution Pano's on the iPhone 5.

Purple lens flare from lights...
Anyone else?
Apparently you didn't read the DPreview Quick Review as they specifically address this (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6867454450/quick-review-apple-iphone-5-camera/3):

Is it internal reflections / Lens flare?

Almost certainly, yes. The most likely cause of the iPhone 5's purple haze is probably lens flare and internal reflections in the camera lens assembly. All lenses are succeptable to lens flare to some degree, and as you can see from the images at the top of this page, the iPhone 4S isn't immune either (ditto the iPhone 4 and competitive smartphones from other manufacturers).

...

Really, our advice is not to worry. Just do what you should do anyway, and avoid putting bright lights near the edge of the frame when shooting.

faroZ06
Oct 6, 2012, 05:17 PM
I still keep my Canon PowerShot around, just in case I'm in a sketchy photo situation (like taking pictures from a kayak) or the few situations when I really need to use optical zoom.

The lack of optical zoom is the main reason I avoid using the iPhone camera. It really sucks to be without a zoom feature. I still take most of my pictures on the iPhone because I always have it in my pocket, and it's always charged. I don't understand why so few point-and-shoots charge over USB!

the8thark
Oct 6, 2012, 08:28 PM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

This.
That makes the iPhone 5 the best camera out there. A ton of times I am like "I wish I had a camera on me but I didn't. If I owned an iPhone I'd always have a decent camera on me to take those photos.

potsy4u
Oct 7, 2012, 10:20 AM
I can envision a professional level camera being a very different thing. It would have a large sensor inside of a small box that attaches to the lens and provides a tripod socket. On the back is an LCD touchscreen panel, but its use is actually optional. As an alternative, the device could wirelessly (BT or WiFi) to some other device, such as a laptop or smartphone for remote control. The camera would come with a slot for flash storage, but also be able to transmit images wirelessly with BT or WiFi - perhaps even optionally with LTE.

Sony NEX cameras are heading that way.. but they aren't there yet.

I think the way that these smart phone cameras have really revolutionized the industry, and I think this is what the article was referring to, is the ability to share the photo you snapped on the internet directly.
How has it changed the industry? Canon 6D now comes with wireless file transfer and they are making apps to transfer directly to smartphones..
people want to share their shots straight away..
I think the time it takes to snap a shot and upload it is going to go down significantly in the next few years.. and soon it will only be the 24+ megapixel shots and the "yet to edit" shots that are passed over the traditional way...

charlieegan3
Oct 8, 2012, 06:22 AM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

This is so true.

george-brooks
Oct 8, 2012, 12:14 PM
Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.


For day to day activities, sure. For professional photographers? No way! What will I do with my huge collection of canon and nikon lenses? Sure, I could spend $250 to get an adapter to put them on my iPhone but WHAT is the point of that? I could sell them all, but then what will I do when I really do need a 300mm telephoto lens for nature, concerts or sports? Perhaps the biggest feature the iPhone is lacking that no accessory exists for is a hot shoe. I use off camera flashes and profoto kits in the studio on a regular basis, and yet, the iPhone doesn't even have the ability to fire my cheap little $30 flash I use with my P&S cameras. What about video? I do a lot of video work and yes, I've used my iPhone as a B camera before, but it is by no means a professional video camera. Here's a list of CRUCIAL features for a professional photographer, or even an advanced amateur, that the iPhone doesn't have:

White balance control
Manual exposure control
Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority
ISO control, high ISOs
RAW files
Interchangeable lenses
AV I/O
Variable video frame rates
Tripod attachment
DOF preview
Hot shoe
etc., etc.

There are apps and accessories that take care of a few of these, but not to the extent that a DSLR does straight out of the box. Why would I spend hundreds on accessories and apps to bring my iPhone up to par with the DSLR I already have that will produce a better image 99/100 times? There is nothing obsolete about DSLRs, and a lot of what your OP touts as the advantages of the iPhone as a camera are present in mirrorless and M4/3 cameras like the Panasonic GH3, which is a far superior camera to the iPhone. And I can't stand electronic viewfinders. I will be keeping my mirror and pentaprism for a long time.

Sure, the iPhone has completely replaced my point and shoot, it is a FANTASTIC camera and I use it every day (I certainly can't say that about my DSLR) but it will not be replacing my 5DmkII any time soon. Camera phones are awesome and have opened up a whole new world of photo sharing, which I love. I love seeing my friends lives in pictures and that having an awesome camera in my pocket 24/7 encourages me to document what I'm doing and whats around me. But camera phones and DSLRs are very very different tools and the iPhone will not be putting Canon or Nikon out of business any time soon.

----------

The lack of optical zoom is the main reason I avoid using the iPhone camera. It really sucks to be without a zoom feature. I still take most of my pictures on the iPhone because I always have it in my pocket, and it's always charged. I don't understand why so few point-and-shoots charge over USB!

This is super important. Optical zoom is essential for any halfway decent point and shoot. The camera is such a central feature of the iPhone, I always wondered why they couldn't put a nice zeiss 5x lens a a small REAL flash right where the apple logo is. Check this (http://store.sony.com/p/Sony-Cyber-shot-Touch-Screen-Camera/en/p/DSCTX66) out. It doesn't have the greatest lens in the world, but it sure is small. Why isn't this in the iPhone? Apple is too concerned with thinness and not enough with quality.

kahkityoong
Oct 8, 2012, 12:14 PM
No one who has replied to my original post has actually refuted the point.

Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder? The closest I have seen so far is that someone mentioned that a pure optical viewfinder will save on battery life, since it means not lighting up an LCD screen. So far, that's the only point scored. However, if you simply trade the extra weight the reflex system and prism add for more battery, then I think you'd wind up ahead of the game using an LCD.

Most of the other arguments have been about the quality of dSLRs. I assert that that is not part of my argument. I never said that the iPhone was a professional level camera. What I said was that professional level sensors and photography do not benefit at all from the SLR feature in and of itself.

Lastly, some have tried to argue that the form factor of SLRs and dSLRs is some how optimal. I disagree. They are traditional. They are what we have become accustomed to. That's not at all the same thing as "optimal." SLRs are, in fact, optimized to be held such that the viewfinder is in front of your eyeball. But if you don't have a need to hold the camera up to your eye, then that optimization is specious.

I can envision a professional level camera being a very different thing. It would have a large sensor inside of a small box that attaches to the lens and provides a tripod socket. On the back is an LCD touchscreen panel, but its use is actually optional. As an alternative, the device could wirelessly (BT or WiFi) to some other device, such as a laptop or smartphone for remote control. The camera would come with a slot for flash storage, but also be able to transmit images wirelessly with BT or WiFi - perhaps even optionally with LTE.

That's because nobody gives a ***** about your pedantic rant about the term D-SLR. You're clearly a bigger genius than the engineers at Canon and Nikon so pitch your ridiculous ideas to them.

george-brooks
Oct 8, 2012, 12:35 PM
Sigh.
No one who has replied to my original post has actually refuted the point.

Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder? The closest I have seen so far is that someone mentioned that a pure optical viewfinder will save on battery life, since it means not lighting up an LCD screen. So far, that's the only point scored. However, if you simply trade the extra weight the reflex system and prism add for more battery, then I think you'd wind up ahead of the game using an LCD.

Lastly, some have tried to argue that the form factor of SLRs and dSLRs is some how optimal. I disagree. They are traditional. They are what we have become accustomed to. That's not at all the same thing as "optimal." SLRs are, in fact, optimized to be held such that the viewfinder is in front of your eyeball. But if you don't have a need to hold the camera up to your eye, then that optimization is specious.


This is a matter of personal opinion for me. I have tried many many many cameras with electronic viewfinders and have not liked a single one of them. Lets break this down into two categories: cameras with eye level electronic viewfinders like the Nikon 1 V1 and the Panasonic GH2 and cameras with no viewfinder and a large LCD display like the iPhone and pretty much every P&S on the market. Each of these types of cameras has its own set of problems I don't want to deal with.

First, though, there are a few clear advantages to this technology, I'll give you that. Without a mirror, the lens is able to focus more precisely, as it is focusing at the exact distance from the sensor rather than off of a mirror. In theory, you are composing exactly as your final shot will appear.

Now the disadvantages. The most obvious one, to me, is something you pointed out as an improvement. LCD screens allow us to compose in situations where you cannot physically put the camera up to your eye. This is great in hard to reach places, but by putting the camera up to your eye, the camera has 3 points of contact with the body as opposed to one or two, and this provides much greater stability, crucial when working in low light or with long lenses. Another disadvantage I see is that the camera is automatically adjusting exposure, white balance, etc, on the on screen preview, before you take the shot. Many times, the camera will take the shot with much different settings, shutter speed being the big one. The preview is not representative of the final image. My eye has become very well trained to see what the lens is seeing without going through a computer first, with the lens wide open, and adjusting exposure as necessary. Basically, I haven't shot with a light meter in years, I'm very good at judging exposure and how the lens sees the light, and setting the camera by that. This is me though. I am a trained photographer. This is not the case for everyone.

Basically, this is a personal choice. I like seeing what the lens is seeing, not what the camera's brain is seeing. Electronic viewfinders are slow to react and provide poor, pixelated image quality (small viewfinder type displays). The mechanical action of the mirror takes a small fraction of a second and I can see through the lens again in real time. I don't have to wait for the camera. I think electronic viewfinders are a solution for a few small problems that in turn creates a bigger problem. I hate all of these ridiculous features camera companies feel the need to put in their cameras to make them the next big thing. Cameras used relatively simple tools that accomplish one task, and for me, thats what I want. Leica still knows how to do that. I think my next purchase will be a used M9. Ironically, not a DSLR. So I guess in conclusion, maybe you're right, DSLRs aren't the be all end all of cameras, but I also can't stand electronic viewfinders and mirrorless cameras in general. There are plenty of professional non DSLR cameras out there that I would consider, but very very few of them use electronic viewfinders. I still consider this to be a feature of "amateur" cameras. And its very helpful for amateurs, but I don't think professionals will be giving up their DSLRs any time soon.

John.B
Oct 8, 2012, 02:09 PM
Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder?

Shutter lag, or lack thereof.

/thread

Macist
Oct 8, 2012, 03:01 PM
I'm a full-time professional photographer. People sometimes express surprise that when not 'on duty' I tend to shoot with my iPhone. I'm just not into being some prosumer with a massive back-aching DSLR round my neck for a quick walk in the park.

I only have the iPhone 4 but we've got some fabulous snaps from Mrs' 4S that we've blown up and printed A2.

Fandongo
Oct 9, 2012, 04:48 PM
Two things I think phone cameras need:

1) Enhanced optical stabilization for video (further non-destructive auto software stabilization).

2) Auto-block from posting blurry crap photos with no foreground/background in focus. Auto-block uploads of food pics.

Too many stupid people posting too many vomit-inducing shaky vids and terrible photos. The incompetent are wasting a valuable limited resource. Cars have emission standards to reduce *shhh* in the air... So should youtube and facebook.

Fandongo
Oct 9, 2012, 11:28 PM
This is a matter of personal opinion for me. I have tried many many many cameras with electronic viewfinders and have not liked a single one of them. Lets break this down into two categories: cameras with eye level electronic viewfinders like the Nikon 1 V1 and the Panasonic GH2 and cameras with no viewfinder and a large LCD display like the iPhone and pretty much every P&S on the market. Each of these types of cameras has its own set of problems I don't want to deal with.

Haha yeah, the GH2 EVF is ATROCIOUS!!
I might rip the screen off and mount a small HDMI monitor in its place.


Basically, I haven't shot with a light meter in years, I'm very good at judging exposure and how the lens sees the light, and setting the camera by that. This is me though. I am a trained photographer. This is not the case for everyone.

It's good to hear one person NOT say you NEED a light meter.

I'm not so pro, but have gotten much better at eyeballing it + the in-camera meter. If I'm using the LCD and Magic Lantern, the spotmeter is awesome for checking highlight levels, the LCD brightness can make it misleading.

I will say, one downside to the optical viewfinder--besides no access while shooting video--is wide-open focus judgement. I've used the EG-S in a 5Dii, which helps...but it's useless if you aren't in daylight.

Its limitations will likely lead to an onslaught of mirror-less full frame cameras.

george-brooks
Oct 10, 2012, 01:13 AM
It's good to hear one person NOT say you NEED a light meter.

I'm not so pro, but have gotten much better at eyeballing it + the in-camera meter. If I'm using the LCD and Magic Lantern, the spotmeter is awesome for checking highlight levels, the LCD brightness can make it misleading.

I will say, one downside to the optical viewfinder--besides no access while shooting video--is wide-open focus judgement. I've used the EG-S in a 5Dii, which helps...but it's useless if you aren't in daylight.

Its limitations will likely lead to an onslaught of mirror-less full frame cameras.

The best way to learn to not need a light meter is to shoot with a camera that doesnt have one. I shoot mostly analog. My main cameras are a Leica M3, a Hasselblad 500C/M and a Zone VI 4x5. I always use my Sekonic 508 when shooting with the Zone VI since the film is so damn expensive and accuracy is key with large format, but for the smaller formats, I've found it unnecessary.

Growing up I shot on an inherited Minolta XD-11. The light meter in that camera is weird, it tells you which shutter speed to use for the aperture you've selected. I found it annoying and only used it about half the time. When I got my hasselblad at 16, I didn't own an external light meter, so I was forced to either carry around my DSLR as a light meter or learn to live without it. After a few months and plenty of mistakes, I gradually got a feel for judging exposure. It helps that 95% of the time I'm always shooting ISO 400. It also helps to think in stops rather than apertures and shutter speeds, and to know that each whole step is one stop. Just always remember the general rule is 125 f/16 in normal bright daylight. Get used to what that looks like, memorize the zone system, and judge how many stops under or over normal sunlight the scene is.

I usually shoot with auto exposure on my DSLR, but when I do switch into manual, which is fairly often, I only use the built in light meter for one shot out of 10. I also use the histogram and judge off the monitor, but thats cheating :D

malnar
Oct 10, 2012, 10:25 AM
Ok, I don't get DSLRs anymore. I firmly believe they are fundamentally obsolete.
I think you are completely mistaken. It's point-and-shoots that are fundamentally obsolete. What I see happening is that people are valuing GOOD pictures more and investing in better, higher quality cameras, and I see a lot more DSLR or DSLR-type cameras out there than lower-end p&s cameras. And that, to me, is a good thing. I'd rather see people either using extremely simple cameras like their phones or extremely good cameras like a DSLR. The in-betweens are such a compromise that most people are better off saving up and investing in some of the smaller-form DSLR (I'm a fan of Sony's NEX line, using the NEX-7 myself, alongside my iPhone 4S.)

throAU
Oct 10, 2012, 10:50 AM
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....

If you plan to upgrade every single iphone version, there never has been a compelling reason to upgrade.

skip a version each time (which coincidentally happens to line up with typical carrier contract life) and the upgrade is much more attractive.



And as to the camera - the best camera is the one you have with you to capture the moment. For that sort of thing, mobile phones rock. Sure they'll never match a DSLR but that's not the point.

nsayer
Oct 10, 2012, 03:36 PM
If you plan to upgrade every single iphone version, there never has been a compelling reason to upgrade.


We're drifting off-topic now, but I assert that gaining LTE in the 4S->5 transition was absolutely worth it even if it were the only thing that changed (which, obviously, isn't true).

LTE where I am is like a cable modem with no wires. It's astonishing. In fact, the same carrier is presently offering LTE home broadband in our market.

spinedoc77
Oct 10, 2012, 07:37 PM
I rarely get good pictures with my 4s, it's never more apparent when I go to print them out and they look awful. Lighting has to be absolutely perfect, or they have to be outdoor shots to look halfway decent, if at all when printing a large print.

Still, it's true that a crappy picture is much better than no picture. I don't ever carry my camera so if it wasn't for my phone I'd have no pictures.

tbrinkma
Oct 11, 2012, 10:18 AM
Can anyone actually make a cogent argument as to how a professional actually benefits from having an optical viewfinder? The closest I have seen so far is that someone mentioned that a pure optical viewfinder will save on battery life, since it means not lighting up an LCD screen. So far, that's the only point scored. However, if you simply trade the extra weight the reflex system and prism add for more battery, then I think you'd wind up ahead of the game using an LCD.

I can. Using the optical viewfinder gives you 3 points of bracing when holding the camera, which makes for a much more stable shot. A more stable shot means less shake. Less shake means a sharper image (even the best image stabilization systems have their limits). Less shake *also* means better images in less-than-perfect lighting.

Not every professional shoots all (or even *any*) shots from a tripod.

tbrinkma
Oct 11, 2012, 10:33 AM
This is super important. Optical zoom is essential for any halfway decent point and shoot. The camera is such a central feature of the iPhone, I always wondered why they couldn't put a nice zeiss 5x lens a a small REAL flash right where the apple logo is. Check this (http://store.sony.com/p/Sony-Cyber-shot-Touch-Screen-Camera/en/p/DSCTX66) out. It doesn't have the greatest lens in the world, but it sure is small. Why isn't this in the iPhone? Apple is too concerned with thinness and not enough with quality.

Well, it's about 50% thicker than the iPhone 5 (about 30% thicker than the 4/4s), costs $350, and doesn't have to fit phone internals. Personally I'd be *really* disappointed if it weren't a more capable camera than what you get in the iPhone.

hamkor04
Oct 16, 2012, 09:43 PM
no DSLR??? oo cmon guys, i din't want see bunch of pro photographs or paparazzi guys chasing celebs with new iPhone 5s.
that would be hilarious

SteveJobs2.0
Oct 17, 2012, 02:01 PM
Mirrorless cameras will make DSLRs obsolete. I had an NEX-5N and I sold it to get an NEX-6. For most prosumers, mirrorless cameras provide DSLR level quality without the bulk. I predict that in about 5 years you will see very few individuials using DSLRs other than for very specific, professional level uses. No more mom taking pictures of the baby giggling with a DSLR.

Point and shoot cameras are almost extinct. Their only saving grace are optical zoom, better flash, and a slightly more capable sensor. However, the rate of improvement in the phone cameras will overcome those barriers soon. Nokia Pureview already reaches that point of no return.

nsayer
Oct 29, 2012, 12:32 PM
:confused::confused: Ok so this unlock will supposedly help in making the camera better or care to explain how your post makes sense in this thread :confused:

Don't bother. He's just a spammer. Too bad there's no way to down-vote him into oblivion.

rruben
Nov 20, 2012, 05:46 AM
My issue is with the iPhone Camera is the zoom distorts pictures terribly. I don't know if this is an issue with the iPhone 5 because I'm still stuck with the 4. Has it gotten any better?
Just don't use the zoom. It's a digital zoom so if you really want you can crop the images afterwards and the result will be exactly the same.

MSM Hobbes
Nov 21, 2012, 02:07 AM
This is worth upgrading and certainly its well written...;)Coming down in price is one thing, coming down in size is another. The principle reason for not using a DSLR is having to lug the damn thing around with you everywhere.

lol - too true. On recent trip to China, I was bemoaning that I hadn't taken my DSLR (Canon 50D) and the multitude of lenses with me, as I got to experience some really cool places. However, being "free" of carrying the weight, the bulk, the worry, etc. of all that gear, but instead able to take snapshots, quickly and relatively free of all the cumbersomeness, was indeed freeing. Do I still wish I could have taken the Canon? Yes. But for the traveling, the 4S did a durn good job, allowing me to take to share many images.

The Bogeyman
Nov 21, 2012, 09:00 AM
To those people who wonder whether to upgrade or not, the answer is simple: ask yourself "am I happy with what I've got? Does it do everything I want it to do?" If the answer is 'no', then you need to upgrade. If 'yes', then great- keep what you have. Don't just upgrade because of peer pressure or hype. Remember that it's your hard-earned cash which is becoming harder to come by daily. I love my iPad 3 and my first ever iPhone is on order. I won't upgrade until my devices no longer fulfil my needs.

gri
Nov 21, 2012, 11:34 AM
Absolutely.

When I bought my iPhone 4S, it replaced three devices: dumbphone, iPod touch (4th generation with its lousy camera), and a solid Canon point-and-shoot camera.

I still keep my Canon PowerShot around, just in case I'm in a sketchy photo situation (like taking pictures from a kayak) or the few situations when I really need to use optical zoom.

If I go somewhere where I will inevitably get great motives (say, Rome, Jerusalem, Grand Canyon) I try to bring my DSLR with me (currently a Panasonic GH1, soon a GH3), if I don't want to carry that weight (I got two lenses for the sucker) I bring a point-and shoot. For everything else I use the iPhone (currently 4, waiting for my 5), or also if I want to send a shot to the family. However the iPhone (and the Point and shoot) don't ever beat the DSLR images. Those at the right time with a high zoom and polarization filter can't be beaten.

STiNG Operation
Nov 21, 2012, 11:39 AM
If I go somewhere where I will inevitably get great motives (say, Rome, Jerusalem, Grand Canyon) I try to bring my DSLR with me (currently a Panasonic GH1, soon a GH3), if I don't want to carry that weight (I got two lenses for the sucker) I bring a point-and shoot. For everything else I use the iPhone (currently 4, waiting for my 5), or also if I want to send a shot to the family. However the iPhone (and the Point and shoot) don't ever beat the DSLR images. Those at the right time with a high zoom and polarization filter can't be beaten.

I came across an adapter that is out there for some DSLR cameras that allows instant wireless transfer from the camera to your smartphone so you can send them to people.

I found this because I'm strongly considering a Nikon D3200 as a Christmas gift for my girlfriend.

srikanthseo
Nov 25, 2012, 10:39 PM
My test shots show the iPhone 5 has faster photo capture, better low-light performance.


Thank u,

Regards
Srikanth
cheapviagramedics.com:apple:

gri
Dec 6, 2012, 01:33 PM
I came across an adapter that is out there for some DSLR cameras that allows instant wireless transfer from the camera to your smartphone so you can send them to people.

I found this because I'm strongly considering a Nikon D3200 as a Christmas gift for my girlfriend.

Seems that the GH3 is doing that as well, got it just yesterday.

righteye
Dec 6, 2012, 02:14 PM
If you are a driver, MAPS alone is reason enough to upgrade. The old Google mapping was unusable for a driver- limited screen info and no voice or turn by turn. Maps has all that - Siri integration, great turn-by[turn voice instructions and easily readable directions for drivers.

Is that not an iOS update rather than Phone upgrade?

MacDarcy
Apr 7, 2013, 09:27 PM
For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.

The iPhone is simply a different tool than a traditional camera. It's nice that the iPhone 5 camera is solid, but I don't see how this is a paradigm shift any more than the previous iPhone cameras.

I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.


Will NEVER compare to a DSLR? I disagree. Perhaps it can't compete in lowlight situations...or for shooting sports or wildlife....but for creating artistic photographs it surely can and does compete with DSLRs. Photos taken on the iPhone have graced many publications. Hung in many a gallery. And was even used to finish shooting last years Oscar winning film for best documentary.

Will it replace DSLRs for all professionals? No. Of course not. But I remember not too long ago when professional photographers scoffed at the idea of a DSLR replacing traditional film cameras. So never say never.

I am a travel blogger. I was going to buy a DSLR set up...but decided to go with my iphone and a gopro(for extreme shots and underwater stuff)....and I have no regrets. The iPhone 5 is an amazing camera. So convenient. So accessible. It's always there. Always ready. And that's just the way I like it. Others may want to lug around a DSLR, and that's cool. To each their own. It's all good. ;-)

----------

For day to day activities, sure. For professional photographers? No way! What will I do with my huge collection of canon and nikon lenses? Sure, I could spend $250 to get an adapter to put them on my iPhone but WHAT is the point of that? I could sell them all, but then what will I do when I really do need a 300mm telephoto lens for nature, concerts or sports? Perhaps the biggest feature the iPhone is lacking that no accessory exists for is a hot shoe. I use off camera flashes and profoto kits in the studio on a regular basis, and yet, the iPhone doesn't even have the ability to fire my cheap little $30 flash I use with my P&S cameras. What about video? I do a lot of video work and yes, I've used my iPhone as a B camera before, but it is by no means a professional video camera. Here's a list of CRUCIAL features for a professional photographer, or even an advanced amateur, that the iPhone doesn't have:

White balance control
Manual exposure control
Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority
ISO control, high ISOs
RAW files
Interchangeable lenses
AV I/O
Variable video frame rates
Tripod attachment
DOF preview
Hot shoe
etc., etc.

There are apps and accessories that take care of a few of these, but not to the extent that a DSLR does straight out of the box. Why would I spend hundreds on accessories and apps to bring my iPhone up to par with the DSLR I already have that will produce a better image 99/100 times? There is nothing obsolete about DSLRs, and a lot of what your OP touts as the advantages of the iPhone as a camera are present in mirrorless and M4/3 cameras like the Panasonic GH3, which is a far superior camera to the iPhone. And I can't stand electronic viewfinders. I will be keeping my mirror and pentaprism for a long time.

Sure, the iPhone has completely replaced my point and shoot, it is a FANTASTIC camera and I use it every day (I certainly can't say that about my DSLR) but it will not be replacing my 5DmkII any time soon. Camera phones are awesome and have opened up a whole new world of photo sharing, which I love. I love seeing my friends lives in pictures and that having an awesome camera in my pocket 24/7 encourages me to document what I'm doing and whats around me. But camera phones and DSLRs are very very different tools and the iPhone will not be putting Canon or Nikon out of business any time soon.

----------



This is super important. Optical zoom is essential for any halfway decent point and shoot. The camera is such a central feature of the iPhone, I always wondered why they couldn't put a nice zeiss 5x lens a a small REAL flash right where the apple logo is. Check this (http://store.sony.com/p/Sony-Cyber-shot-Touch-Screen-Camera/en/p/DSCTX66) out. It doesn't have the greatest lens in the world, but it sure is small. Why isn't this in the iPhone? Apple is too concerned with thinness and not enough with quality.

True. There will be instances where the iPhone won't be able to replace a DSLR. But there are many scenarios where it can. I live in NYC, and I know many many street photographers who have totally abandoned their DSLRs for iPhones. The technology will only get better. Heck, I remember not too long ago when professional photographers were saying DSLRS would NEVER replace traditional film slrs. So ya never know. I'm a travel photographer and blogger, and I have ditched my DSLR kit for my iphone. It works for me. It may not for others. But to each their own. I shoot street and landscapes and have zero regrets.