Can the iPhone be used for pro digital photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by princealfie, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #1
    Just wanting whether anyone here got the iPhone to use for documentary or professional photography. It looks impressive so far!

    Plus any tips since the iPhone doesn't shoot in RAW?
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #2
    It's a 2MP camera phone, for anything other than a quick novelty snap I dare say it's useless.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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  4. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #4
    I'm holding on for the pro model, with 10-600mm f2.8 zoom lens.
     
  5. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #5
    Yes. Buy one of these: Linkety
     
  6. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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  7. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #7
    You want tips for good images from the iPhone? Don't use it.

    In all seriousness, the iPhone is a cell phone with a built in camera. That means the quality is pretty much *****. Sure, if you happened to capture a terrorist attack on your cell phone camera it may make the news, but only because you'd be in the right place at the right time. There's no reason for any professional photographer to use a camera phone; the quality and usability simply isn't there.
     
  8. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #8
    I guess back to the Carl Zeiss Nokia phones then?
     
  9. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #9
    The BBC did a series where pro photographers were each given a digital camera and sent out to see what they could get.

    Each week, one had a top of the range pro camera, another got a digital compact and the other got a camera phone. Some of the pictures they came up with were very good, it was funny to see one guy with his camera phone taped to a very expensive Manfrotto tripod to avoid camera shake.

    What it proved was it is the photographer that is the most important element. Understanding light, composition and timing is a highly skilled craft and is why the pros get such stunning results.

    The iphone probably is ok for a camera phone if the light is good, but that is all. There are smaller, compact digital cameras capable of much better results for a lot less money.
     
  10. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #10
    Thanks for the positive feedback. At least I can put away my Nikon D70.

    Still, I need tips on editing iPhone pics in Aperture. The point is to carry less stuff not more. I'm a minimalist documentary photog you know just like Winogrand.
     
  11. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #12
    I's struggling to come to grips with your thinking that you can put down your D70 because the iPhone happens to have a camera in it [​IMG]

    Would you put your D70 down for say, a Samsung E900, or any other number of phones that also happen to have a 2MP camera???
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #13
    Quite. I'm debating as to whether the iPhone camera is good enough for Facebook, let alone for Pro-Photography.

    I'm not a pro photographer either, and only have a compact camera at the moment.
     
  13. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #14
    Yes, but isn't the art of photography more about the artist's vision rather than the equipment involved?

    I still have a Leica M6 I can use when I get desperate you know...
     
  14. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #15
    Mate, it's a camera phone, and not even a very good one at that (Sony Ericsson do far better ones).

    If you were talking about a decent point and shoot digicam vs a DSLR, then yes, of course talent and "artistry" would come in to it, though it still wouldn't make up for the control you have with the DSLR.

    You're talking about a cheap crappy 2MP camera in a phone, it's ridiculous.
     
  15. bocomo macrumors 6502

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    #16

    exactly. you actually sound a bit lazy in wanting to ditch a real camera for a cameraphone. artistry? really? by having less creative choices using a cameraphone?
     
  16. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #17
    Sorry, I find it rather ironic that you're talking about how gear doesn't matter, but then compare yourself to Garry Winogrand just because he was somewhat of a minimalist in terms of his equipment. Actually, he used a Leica rangefinder, which, while very compact, is a much much more advanced piece of equipment than the camera on an iPhone.

    If you're really a professional documentary photog, you could pick up an M6, which is a beautiful old camera. If you're set on shooting digital, you could also look at the M8. Finally, if these are out of your budget range, the Canon G7 is around the same size as an iPhone and is actually a real camera.

    As others have said, feel free to use the iPhone if something catches your interest while you're without the D70, but honestly, I'd go nuts shooting professionally without interchangeable lenses, the ability to change shutter speed and f-stop, good high ISO performance, professional grade AF, and a good frame rate.

    By the way, check out this. "When the light is good and the subject is still, the iPhone's camera takes excellent pictures." Great, but most of the event photography and photojournalism I do is in low light with very quickly-moving subjects, but YMMV.

    Hey, with all of that said, if you can use the iPhone for professional work and end up with good results, more power to you.:)

    EDIT: I started writing this post before you mentioned having an M6, so forget about what I said in relations to Leicas and such. I still stand behind everything else I said.
     
  17. slinky0390 macrumors regular

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    #18
    yes, photography is an art, and the artists vision has a lot to do with the end result, but with anything, equipment does play a big role.. hense hundred dollar consumer equip and thousand dollar pro equip... apple has an iMac for everyday useres, and a Mac PRO for profesional applications... there comes a point where the artists vision becomes hindered by equipment limitations. bottom line, apple iPhone, not a pro camera.
     
  18. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #19
    They certainly do. Mine has a 3.2 Megapixel effort with autofocus, an almost functional lens (for a camera phone it's pretty good) and, this is very rare on a phone, a proper xenon flash for low light situations.

    And I still reach for the Fuji F30 almost every time, let alone the DSLR...
     
  19. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    #20
    Yes that's true. But no one's going to take a photographer seriously if the largest print he can make and show in a gallery in 4X6. Those might sell for a whole 5 buck even if it's a nude picture of Paris Hilton.:)

    So, I guess yes, you can still make art. No, you can't be a PRO.
     
  20. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #21
    You could capture an image with it, yes, but 2mp is not very many pixels. It's sort of like the videography thing....the other day, some friends of mine were interviewed for the local news, showing off their ROV that just won an international competition. The camera man showed up with a camera the size of a small suitcase. He had a huge battery pack and wireless trasnmitter, along with a built in microphone. Why? Because it produces broadcast quality footage. But my brother has a very small digital camcorder, it's about the size of a Gameboy. Sure, it's not the greatest, but it works. And it's small, he could carry it around all of the time to capture the moment. And besides, isn't it more about the photographer than the euqipment? Guess what, TV-20 decided to use their camera. I offered my brother's camera, but they still insisted that they really needed to use something that produced a high quality image for their news.

    In much the same way, yes, a camera phone might be really useful for capturing "documentary" style things and you might even sell an image to a big name magazine....if a terrorist attack occurs. What is on the front of the majority of magazines? Time Magazine Past Covers
    You can search there for all of the covers for the past 80 years or so, I think. Just looking at the ones shown on that one page, I don't see a single one that looks like it was taken with a cellphone. Infact, I read part of one of the articles you linked to, the first one. The person was talking about how a tiny camera would be great becasue it would let him capture something without lugging around tonnes of camera gear. I agree. However, he is not a pro photographer. Anyone who is a professional photographer is getting paid to haul around their lenses and bodies, they are totally focused and dedicated to capturing life around them, they are not only shooting the once a week moment they see.

    As far as art goes, yes, what is most important is the vision of the artist, not the equipment. But at the same time, let us try to apply that mindset to other things in life. For example, we could say that as far as freedom goes, what is most important is how hard the Cuban tries to get to America, not what he uses to get here. He can try hard, but it's a darn long swim!! He'd be much better off making a boat or a plane or something, than swimming. He needs to have the perserverance to get here, but he also does need some equpiment. We can see from that example that the equipment does indeed matter. If equipment didn't matter, well, without a scanner I can't put my pinhole-shoebox camera pictures online, can I? Once again, we see that equipment matters.

    The artist, then, needs not only a good camera to capture their subject with, but the eye to see it with. Otherwise, you'll get a good photograph with no story, no soul. Sometimes, shooting with a cellphone might be the way to produce a truly classic image. But mosto f the time, it is not. And a good photographer or artist needs to recognize which tools will help him the most.

    I would also argue that equipment made 30-60 years ago can produce a better image than this lens can. I have no proof of that, but I think more professional photographers use 30-60 year old wide format camera equipment than cellphones. (for taking pictures, atleast. Wide format cameras suck at making phone calls.)

    Anyways, I am more than willing to haul my camera equipment around, because if I see a moment I want to capture, I can have my camera ready just as fast as my cell phone camera. Also, I have to pay to get the image off of the cell phone. Next, it is much easier to blow up or crop the image from my camera without making it look horrible. When my cell phone can make prints up to 8x11, essentually, when my cell phone camera is 6mp, and has a focal range of 28 to 500mm and is f2.8 at the very very slowest when wide open, f8 when at 500mm, I don't hav eto pay to get images off and I can shoot in raw, and my phone feels like it is built as well as my pentax *ist Ds and can accept threaded filters and lenshoods, with a built in tripod mount and easily adjusted settings with some dedicated controls, I'll think about selling the Pentax.

    [edit] it also needs a hotshoe!
     
  21. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #22
    Thanks for some very thoughtful replies :) Hopefully I can get some tips on the iPhone characteristics so that I can get correction curves in Photoshop? ;)
     
  22. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #23
    I still can't work out whether you're serious, or just pulling our legs. Editing photos from the iPhone in Aperture or Photoshop will be the same as jpg's from a D70 - with less resolution, detail, etc.
     
  23. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #24
    He's pulling our legs. He's always pulling our legs. Look at his previous posts.
     
  24. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    "Doc, I think I have leg cancer."
    "Oh really, why is that?"
    "Well, there is this tumor, it's a wierd lumpy thing....and it just appeared on my leg and what else could it be?"
    "Well, does it look at all like a hand? Maybe a lego hand..."
    "I guess...it's sort of yellow, I guess it might be a lego hand, almost..."
    "Alright, don't worry, you'll be fine."
    "There's a cure!"
    "Yes. That is PrinceAlfie's disease, it's not a cancer at all."
    "What do I have to do?!?"
    "Simple: stop reading about photography, get off your lazy butt and go photograph something!"
    "Oh......thanks doc!"
     

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