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Former Google Executive Vic Gundotra: 'If You Truly Care About Great Photography, You Own an iPhone'

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Google's former senior vice president of social, Vic Gundotra, recently made remarks on Facebook about the advantages of Apple's iPhone ecosystem, specifically pertaining to the iOS Camera app and the quality of photos it creates (via Business Insider).

Image via Business Insider


He said that the "end of the DSLR era" has arrived, and shared pics he took of his family recently with an iPhone 7 as an example.
The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple.
Gundotra's original post received a comment that said Samsung's Galaxy S8 was a better photography tool than the iPhone 7, to which he commented with a detailed response explaining why he believes that's not the case. Specifically, the former Google executive referenced Android's need to be "neutral to all parties" since it's an open source platform, making it difficult for Google to release hardware and software innovations at the same time.

He also mentioned that Google has "fallen back" recently in regards to its development of computational photography software. But where Android-backed smartphone innovation lags, Gundotra said that Apple is far ahead of the competition because it "doesn't have all these constraints," leading to the best smartphone camera system on the market.
Apple doesn't have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.

Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.
The iPhone 8 is expected to see yet another leap forward in the realm of smartphone photography, potentially including a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) system for the rear camera, which would enable speedier autofocus when capturing an image. The vertically aligned dual-lens camera system will also help fuel augmented reality experiences on the iPhone 8, which we've already begun to see take shape in ARKit demos.

Article Link: Former Google Executive Vic Gundotra: 'If You Truly Care About Great Photography, You Own an iPhone'
 

JaySoul

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Jan 30, 2008
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Et tu, Gundotra?

Tbh I understand what he's saying about Portrait Mode (and arguably Telephoto lens) but outside of that, the competition has overtaken Apple.

Samsung S8 and Google Pixel are the best all-round cameras in Auto Mode. I'm sure Apple will catch up with the next release but the Note 8 is out in 3 weeks and Pixel 2 soon afterwards.

As a consumer, I love this intense battle. The difference from 3 years ago is mindblowing.
 
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adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
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"End of the DSLR Era"? I wholeheartedly disagree. Point & Shoots are absolutely dead. Micro Four-third is certainly challenged as their ability to enable Optical Bokeh is certainly still a huge selling point but iPhone is coming for them.

No smartphone will be able to have the optical zoom of a detachable lens camera system (Sony, M43, SLR).

But as someone who uses a DSLR (Canon 5D M3), a Point & Shoot (Lumix LX-10) and an iPhone 7, I can say that iPhone has caught up with the brand new $500 Lumix in almost every way except optical zoom and optical Bokeh (shooting at wide open f/1.4) but it in no way compares to my SLR and I'd agree that the convenience of iPhone both in size & connected (ability to post immediately to Instagram) makes it the most appealing camera today, if I want high quality photos, I bring my SLR and I do..it's always in my bag.

Once a week, i batch process all of my photos and spam Instagram with "later-grams" that are easily 5-10x higher quality than every thing else on my Instagram stream.
[doublepost=1501510741][/doublepost]
Looking forward to all the mansplaining as to why he's wrong.

Would it help if I was a female? Why bring gender into this?
 
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iMi

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It's clear he has not used the Lumia 950XL. Absolutely amazing camera. Oh, and it's a phone, too. I think...
 
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Zirel

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Et tu, Gundotra?

Tbh I understand what he's saying about Portrait Mode (and arguably Telephoto lens) but outside of that, the competition has overtaken Apple.

Samsung S8 and Google Pixel are the best all-round cameras in Auto Mode. I'm sure Apple will catch up with the next release but the Note 8 is out in 3 weeks and Pixel 2 soon afterwards.

As a consumer, I love this intense battle. The difference from 3 years ago is mindblowing.

No, they didn’t.

Stop spreading lies.

Those phones are way beyond an iPhone 7 plus.

They don’t have OIS for example.

No telephoto lens in any size.

No good “portrait mode”.

All I have seen from those phones are lies and numbers and BS.

iPhone 7 Plus camera is better because the PHOTOS AND VIDEOS are better.
 
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nviz22

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Even if Android or iOS one ups each other in different categories, it shouldn't matter as long as you purchase something you're comfortable with.

For a lot of people here, that's the iPhone. When I had a 7+, it didn't matter if a Google Pixel got the best DxO Mark score.
 
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Kabeyun

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As others have said, the only advantage of a smartphone over a DSLR for high end photography is that it's more likely to be with you. Can't take a good shot with a camera that's in the closet back home.

As to the substance of the article, it's nice that Apple is doing well with smartphone cameras, but this still translates to Android providing the camera for the indifferent masses. When your photographic aspirations include what brand of selfie stick to buy, you don't care about things like bokeh or dynamic range.
 
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GrumpyMom

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Sep 11, 2014
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Et tu, Gundotra?

Tbh I understand what he's saying about Portrait Mode (and arguably Telephoto lens) but outside of that, the competition has overtaken Apple.

Samsung S8 and Google Pixel are the best all-round cameras in Auto Mode. I'm sure Apple will catch up with the next release but the Note 8 is out in 3 weeks and Pixel 2 soon afterwards.

As a consumer, I love this intense battle. The difference from 3 years ago is mindblowing.
I love the battle, too. It means we consumers get incredible capabilities mushed into a device that can do so much more besides take pictures.

My S8+ does better with situations needing a good HDR mode indoors. I think my IPhone 7 Plus camera is better overall rendering a scene the way my eyes see it in person, in terms of accurately reproducing color and preserving how the lighting actually looks. The S8+ has some subtle tricks producing a photo that seems to have more depth and pulls you in more but it often produces an idealized look instead of what you really saw. It's a huge pity it lacks a zoom.

For video I go to my iPhone. It handles transitions requiring automatic exposure adjustments a bit smoother.

They're really very close and it's going to be interesting to see what Google and Samsung come up with next to rival the iPhone 7 Plus.

I have no idea where IPhone 8 is going! That's exciting.
 
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JaySoul

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Jan 30, 2008
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I love the battle, too. It means we consumers get incredible capabilities mushed into a device that can do so much more besides take pictures.

My S8+ does better with situations needing a good HDR mode indoors. I think my IPhone 7 Plus camera is better overall rendering a scene the way my eyes see it in person, in terms of accurately reproducing color and preserving how the lighting actually looks. The S8+ has some subtle tricks producing a photo that seems to have more depth and pulls you in more but it often produces an idealized look instead of what you really saw. It's a huge pity it lacks a zoom.

For video I go to my iPhone. It handles transitions requiring automatic exposure adjustments a bit smoother.

They're really very close and it's going to be interesting to see what Google and Samsung come up with next to rival the iPhone 7 Plus.

I have no idea where IPhone 8 is going! That's exciting.

Totally agree... It's better our way than picking a side as if we were engaged in tribal warfare!!

Some members of this forum have watched "West Side Story" a few too many times.
 
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69Mustang

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In between a rock and a hard place
Looking forward to all the mansplaining as to why he's wrong.
Two things:
1. Contextually speaking, you're using that portmanteau incorrectly.:)
2. He's not necessarily wrong. Neither is he right. He's expressing an opinion not a statement of fact. Being the former VP of Social doesn't make his opinion any more valid than yours or mine. Confirmation bias will determine whether or not people believe him. Those who want him to be right will make him right; regardless of any objective testing stating the contrary.
He doesn't present any facts. He has no photos for comparison. He uses unrelated information as part of his reasoning.



Basically his comment should carry no more weight that an anonymous Facebooker making the same comment.
 
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kissmo

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The end of DSLR era started when Sony pushed their mirrorless sensors.

My iPhone 7 Plus is not even close to what a real DSLR can do.
What's wrong with people consuming this marketing lines and assuming they are connected???

Apple is making 2 statements, both True:
1 - The age of the DSLR is over
2 - iPhone is taking amazing pictures

And do people do???
1 = true
2 = true

Then 1=2

People, Stop being manipulated like this...
 
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69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
The end of DSLR era started when Sony pushed their mirrorless sensors.

My iPhone 7 Plus is not even close to what a real DSLR can do.
What's wrong with people consuming this marketing lines and assuming they are connected???

Apple is making 2 statements, both True:
1 - The age of the DSLR is over
2 - iPhone is taking amazing pictures

And do people do???
1 = true
2 = true

Then 1=2

People, Stop being manipulated like this...
To be fair, Apple isn't making any statement at all. A former Google exec is. That can't be conflated with Apple making a statement.
 
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rp2011

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I don’t doubt it, I just feel it’s unprofessional to talk about your former employer publicly where it could do harm to their business. Same courtesy you should employ to former colleagues and aquatintances.
 
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Keane16

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Dec 8, 2007
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"End of the DSLR Era"? I wholeheartedly disagree.

You're missing the important bit "The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived"

Not everyone, most. There will be those that need Trucks - their DSLRs - but I think Vic is right for most people (I'd argue it happened a while back).
 
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69Mustang

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In between a rock and a hard place
You're missing the important bit "The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived"

Not everyone, most. There will be those that need Trucks - their DSLRs - but I think Vic is right for most people (I'd argue it happened a while back).
Here's the thing though, the beginning of DSLR for most people never arrived. DSLR has never been the de facto choice for the masses. That's a specialty category. Before the ascendancy of cell phone cameras, the masses were using cheap disposables and point and shooters. Cellphone cameras chewed that market to hell and back.
 
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Zirel

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When your photographic aspirations include what brand of selfie stick to buy, you don't care about things like bokeh or dynamic range.

Actually, because the iPhone has better computational imaging capabilities, it has better bokeh than most DSLR's with 18-55mm lenses.

As good as a Noctilux? No, but also isn't as cumbersome and doesn't cost as much.
 
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2b1ask1

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As others have said, the only advantage of a smartphone over a DSLR for high end photography is that it's more likely to be with you. Can't take a good shot with a camera that's in the closet back home.

I use my iPad Pro to take great pictures. It has GPS built in. And I wirelessly transfer my photos to my other Apple computers. So, it is not the only advantage - at least for me.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

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Et tu, Gundotra?

Tbh I understand what he's saying about Portrait Mode (and arguably Telephoto lens) but outside of that, the competition has overtaken Apple.

Samsung S8 and Google Pixel are the best all-round cameras in Auto Mode. I'm sure Apple will catch up with the next release but the Note 8 is out in 3 weeks and Pixel 2 soon afterwards.

As a consumer, I love this intense battle. The difference from 3 years ago is mindblowing.

Nope, sorry.

My gf's Pickle XL blows in low light. Even my SE takes better shots, which magically get better a couple days later.
 
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PBG4 Dude

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My 2003 Canon 300D with a "mere" 6.3 megapixel sensor and stock EF-s 18-55mm lens takes better pictures than my iPhone 7.
 
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