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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Photography Pros Review the iPhone 5's Camera




Photography site dpreview.com has published a lengthy review of the iPhone 5's camera. Last year, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz called the iPhone "the snapshot camera of today", and the iPhone has been the most popular camera on Flickr for years.




The full review 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.
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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
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:49 PM   #2
jrfive0
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Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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I've been a reader of dpreview for years. They publish very credible info.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:51 PM   #4
QCassidy352
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For this one reason alone? Clearly not. For everything combined? Easy worth an upgrade.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:53 PM   #5
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But lens flares are awesome
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:55 PM   #6
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But lens flares are awesome
Not if you're a photographer :/
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:57 PM   #8
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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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:00 PM   #10
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CBJammin103 View Post

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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:15 PM   #13
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I have a 4s and ordered the iPhone 5 for the better camera ... Especially in low light.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJammin103 View Post
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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJammin103 View Post
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-Camer.../dp/0321684788
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MsWhatsit View Post
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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:40 PM   #17
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Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
Pretty sure that was not the purpose.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by powaking View Post
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
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:43 PM   #19
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http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/02/tech/m...tos/index.html

seems legit
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mundty View Post
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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by CBJammin103 View Post
For the photography snobs:
Appreciation for good photography automatically makes someone a snob?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shurcooL View Post
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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:19 PM   #22
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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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:38 PM   #23
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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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
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.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:45 PM   #25
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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.

Last edited by nsayer; Oct 2, 2012 at 03:51 PM.
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