iPhone 8 right choice for photography-loving wife?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SteveJobzniak, Jan 27, 2017.

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Right gift for hobby photography-loving wife?

  1. iPhone 8 in September (pros: portable, big phone upgrade)

    10 vote(s)
    41.7%
  2. Professional DSLR camera (pros: better quality photos?)

    14 vote(s)
    58.3%
  1. SteveJobzniak, Jan 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017

    SteveJobzniak Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #1
    I'm thinking early about gifts for this year. She's currently using an iPhone 5C to take her cute photographs.

    The iPhone 5C camera isn't very good. But the iPhone 6 and 7 were massive upgrades to the camera. And obviously the iPhone 8 will be yet another big leap.

    This is for a woman who loves to snap photos of nature, animals, macro photos, and so on. She currently takes everything with an iPhone 5C, but she is getting more and more serious and we've started doing photo editing on the computer to make the photos really pop. So I want to give her a camera upgrade to give her better camera source material. It's a waste to take a really good photo on an iPhone 5C and then be stuck with its low-quality image.

    I've read that modern iPhones (6s and up) can now shoot RAW, which disables the phone's image processing software and JPG compression and saves a RAW image from the sensor. That sounds perfect, together with the better camera in the iPhone 7 (and soon 8)!

    I'm also thinking that a phone that's always in her pocket might be a better gift than a bulky DSLR camera, and it would also give her a massive phone upgrade.

    The question is:
    - An iPhone 8 (in September) which should have a very good camera and can shoot RAW.
    - Or a dedicated DSLR camera.

    What would she miss out on with an iPhone instead of a large-sensor DSLR? Photo quality-wise.

    I'm asking here because surely other people here have made this choice and have some valuable knowledge to share? :)

    PS: I won't ask her since I'm planning the gift to be a surprise, and I am sure a phone would be loved regardless of its camera. But if an iPhone 8 can compete with a DSLR then all-the-better!
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #2
    In my opinion, the benefit of the SLR is different lenses, which makes an enormous difference in terms of what photos she takes, and how she takes them. I work at a school that offers digital photography courses for adults and we mandate the use of SLRs, and people love them, and the classes themselves.
     
  3. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #3
    Interesting! How would you compare an iPhone 7's image quality to a DSLR?

    I don't really understand the difference with swappable lenses except that they affect the depth of field and that you can use macro lenses, so that part is lost on me.
     
  4. v0lume4 macrumors 68000

    v0lume4

    Joined:
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    #4
    It sounds like she is getting pretty serious about photography. I recommend you get her a DSLR. I think she'll be stoked!!

    I've seen photos from an iPhone 7. They're good -- but they're cell phone photos. You can really start to tell once you zoom in and/or view them on a larger screen.

    My entry-level (?) DSLR (Canon T6S) takes photos that still blow my mind from time to time. The level of detail is absolutely bonkers. BONKERS, Steve! The dynamic range is great, and if/when you need to zoom in to crop and image, you can zoom in for seemingly forever before you start seeing major noise.

    Also, if your wife wants to take photos of animals in nature, she's going to find it darn-near impossible to get the shots she has in her head without a zoom lens. Most kit lenses that come with the camera are zoom lenses.

    Here's the exact camera that I bought:
    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/...-ef-s-18-135mm-f-35-56-is-stm-kit-refurbished
    --- Post Merged, Jan 27, 2017 ---
    I should have directly responded to this question in my first post.

    She'd miss out on 20MP images that she can crop without a loss of quality. She'd miss out on zoom lenses which is great for nature and animal photography. And she will always have a ceiling to what she can do with a phone camera. There's a certain threshold that you never will be able to cross until you buy a camera with a bigger sensor.

    Now, something to consider. What are her usage habits like? Would she actually take her DSLR out of the house? Her phone is always with her and therefore not a decision she has to make each day: "Do I want to carry the camera out today or no?" She might really like the ease-of-use and sized of her phone.
     
  5. tippytap90 macrumors member

    tippytap90

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    Jan 14, 2017
    #5
    The gap is definitely closing but if she really is serious than the next iPhone won't be able to compete with say the Canon EOS Rebel T6i (around the same price). As they say though, the best camera is the one you have with you.
     
  6. SteveJobzniak, Jan 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017

    SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #6
    @v0lume4 Wow, you should be a camera salesman. Even I got excited after that pitch!

    Since I didn't want to reveal it to her yet, I've got an idea... In September I'll take her out somewhere nice and then ask her if she wants an iPhone 8 or a DSLR camera. Basically a really good phone with a good camera, or a superb dedicated camera.

    She loves taking photos of animals, especially birds at the sea, and I can definitely say that she's lacking a zoom lens. She has to walk really close. So there's lots of photos of birds flying away. :rolleyes:
    --- Post Merged, Jan 27, 2017 ---
    That's definitely my concern too. With the Rebel she'd have to make a concerted effort to bring the camera out on our walks and it may feel tedious. With an iPhone (if it's good enough) she'd have her camera with her for every moment, which is what she does right now. This is tough.

    It should be easier when we've seen the iPhone 8 and what camera it contains. :)
     
  7. blaine07 macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #7
    You sure are thinking about early gifts. If iPhone 8 is half as popular as 7 you won't be able to get your hands on one until2018. Lol ‍♂️
     
  8. bigjnyc macrumors 603

    bigjnyc

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    #8
    It sounds like she likes to take pictures spontaneously when she is out and about, with that in mind I would say the iPhone 8.... Sure the quality will not be the same but it sounds like she is doing it more as a hobby and not a profession where she is being paid to take pictures.... That being said I think the saying "the best camera is the one you have with you at the time" applies here.... My vote is iPhone 8
     
  9. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #9
    Just trying to figure out which camera to choose ahead of time, that way I can jump on the iPhone 8 preorder list. ^_^
     
  10. se1000 macrumors 6502

    se1000

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    Location:
    LA, CA
    #10
    You just can't compare the abilities of a mobile camera to that of a DSLR or mirrorless camrea. With that said, cameras and camera systems (DSLR/Mirrorless) can be very personal. If you decide to go this route, I'd suggest maybe doing a little bit of investigative work and try to find out what cameras or systems she's interested in.

    With that said, there's a saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. Modern high end smartphones such as the iPhone 7, Galaxy S series, and Google Pixel phones have come a very long way, and for a photography enthusiast, may be a great present from the perspective of "also take great photos when you aren't lugging your big camera around"
     
  11. borgsauce macrumors regular

    borgsauce

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    Dec 18, 2016
    #11
    Out of topic here but you seriously got me thinking that I should gift something to the wife too
     
  12. SteveJobzniak, Jan 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017

    SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #12
    Hmm yeah... image quality means nothing when the bulky DSLR camera is at home while you're watching an awesome sunset. And yeah she doesn't get paid and has no plans to sell photos. She just loves taking beautiful nature photos. The 5C is holding her back.

    I just found a very fascinating video:
    https://fstoppers.com/originals/we-compared-iphone-7-plus-camera-nikon-dslr-149423

    The DSLR's photos had much more depth, but if you could accept the iPhone's "generic" fixed field of view (which gives that flat "middle-ground field of view" cellphone camera look), it fared very well against a DSLR in noise and clarity.

    If photography depth and lens versatility matters most:
    + DSLR with lenses.

    If you want a great camera that's always with you, with a 4K video recorder and kickass phone:
    + iPhone 8.

    Sheesh... I still don't know... I guess instead of surprising her with a gift, I'll have to ask her to choose around the launch of the iPhone 8. :)

    And @borgsauce - good on you! Make your angel happy! :D Here's a great gift idea that was a huge hit for me: A day at a spa with professional massage! We got to spend the whole day together in bathrobes, just meditating, doing yoga, hot springs, tea, massage, and just relaxing. We needed to relax after Apple still hasn't released a touchscreen iMac!!! :mad::p
     
  13. nburwell, Jan 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017

    nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    #13
    Do you think she will want to lug a DSLR out and about? Granted my 6s and SE can't compare to the quality of my D800e DSLR, but there are times where I simply don't want to lug my DSLR, lenses and tripod out with me.

    If she is pretty serious into photography (and judging from your post, she is), I would get her a DSLR. Especially if she likes editing images on the computer in LR and PS. Keep in mind with RAW, you have greater control with editing your images than if you shoot JPG.

    Obviously you don't have to get her a top of the line DSLR, maybe even look at mirrorless camera options that are offered by Sony and Fuji. They are much more compact that DSLR's, yet the quality is almost on par to what you get with a DSLR body.
     
  14. noobinator macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #14
    If you want better pictures but still portable get something like the Sony rx100
     
  15. SteveJobzniak, Jan 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017

    SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #15
    That's a legitimate concern that I may be underestimating. I think a DSLR camera would mostly be at home except on our nature walks, since a DSLR and lenses weighs a lot. There's no way you would bring a DSLR to a restaurant and be able to capture the sunset after a night out...

    A compact mirrorless camera is portable but sounds like it would approach iPhone territory, since it has no ability to change lenses.

    And it looks like an iPhone 8 would be hurting from the lack of the depth of field of a DSLR. The flat "middle ground" field of view of an iPhone and the lack of optical zoom would limit her to the same "feel" in every photo. I think the iPhone 7 has an optical 2x zoom now but that's still nothing.

    So it's sort of a "Hmm, do we want the best photos or a kickass phone?". I might not be able to solve this question ahead of time.

    Yeah, this Christmas I gifted her an application called "Luminar". It was just released. It's like Lightroom but way better; way more intuitive GUI, customizable workspaces (we've already built our own for various workflows), great filters, etc. I got it because the developers are known for their other photography software (like the best HDR processor in the world) and because Luminar has the ability to work with presets for very rapid "looks". She loves it and keeps coming up with her own looks. Like pulling out all colors except the dog's red leash, and giving the image a lot of depth by playing with the B&W conversion's tonal balance until she got the focus where she wanted it, and some cross-processing to give the shadows a slightly blue tone. She's a fast learner. I'm proud of her.
     
  16. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    #16
    I would seriously consider looking at the Fujifilm X-T1 or X-T2. The X-T2 is the newer model so it's a bit more expensive, but the X-T1 is just as capable. While this is a mirrorless camera, you are able to change lenses depending on what you are shooting. The body is much more compact compared to a DSLR body too. Plus, it's not bulky and heavy in that your wife would want to leave the camera at home if you two went out to dinner or a walk.

    Just something to consider.
     
  17. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #17
    Has she used a DSLR before? I have a DSLR - Canon 40D with a Tamron 18-250mm. My wife and I use our iPhones for everything and anything now and the DSLR sits unused. I took the DSLR to Peru once and ... will never do that again. Yes, there are thinner cameras but that's something else you have to take with you while you always have your phone with you.

    Unless she's a pro who uses a DSLR and sells photos - a lot of people are going to opt for a phone. My wife and I take thousands of photos per month and share them in our Telegram chat or via Google Photos. We've tried thin point and shoots (canon powershot) and DSLRs and... they're fun for awhile but... there are too many downsides (weight, another thing to carry around, attracts attention, doesn't automatically upload to cloud / not easy to share right away, etc...).
     
  18. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #18
    @BigMcGuire She has borrowed DSLRs a few times in her life but doesn't own any. Those times, she used them on specific trips.

    You've pretty much convinced me that the upcoming iPhone 8 is a better gift. It's always in her pocket, has a very good camera, is a huuuuuuuge camera upgrade and phone upgrade over her old iPhone 5C, and will make a much bigger impact on the fun in her daily life. And as you say, she can instantly share the photos.

    Sure she can't zoom 30x, or get the depth that big lenses provide. But the 4K video camera and the photo quality is still stunning on an iPhone.

    I'll wait until September and pre-order an iPhone 8. Because this isn't just about photography. She'd also love the phone upgrade. :)

    Even the "DSLR" crowd above kept telling me "the best camera is the one you have with you", and that's true...

    It looks like it'll be an iPhone 8.
     
  19. osta.doc macrumors member

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    Ohio
    #19
    Chances are, the iPhone will ALWAYS be with her. The DSLR, not so much.

    You can't use a camera that isn't with you. Just my take on it.
     
  20. SteveJobzniak, Jan 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017

    SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #20
    Yeah... and since iPhone cameras have come really far quality-wise, I think she's going to be very happy with the camera quality in the next one. What really helped the choice today is that iPhones can now shoot RAW, which disables the image processing software so you don't get that hyperprocessed, smoothed-out, blurry JPEG mess anymore. The RAW images will really help with the photo sharpness and light exposure.

    And either way, the awesome iPhone will make her happy. iPhone 5C -> 8 Plus is going to be a huge jump. :)

    Being able to make crisp 4K videos of fun moments with her girlfriends will be cute too.


    (No color grading was used in this footage. It is unprocessed footage straight from the phone.)

    And here's post-processed and color graded videos from the 7 Plus:



    Yeah that settles it... an iPhone upgrade will make her far happier overall. ;) Great camera, incredible video camera, tons of fun apps, and always with her wherever she goes. <3

    Thanks everyone for helping with your perspectives on DSLR in actual use! They sound like too much hassle for not a lot of gain, unless you're doing it for a living.
     
  21. se1000 macrumors 6502

    se1000

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    #21
    I think you're making the right choice, but don't get things confused, you simply cannot compare the picture quality out of a DSLR or mirrorless to a cameraphone. It's not just the interchangeable lenses, etc etc, there are a lot of things that just don't translate. The ability to shoot RAW doesn't mean a whole lot either, you're really limited by physics.

    Comparing a iPhone to a DSLR, even a cheap one is like comparing a jeep to a tank. It's still not a tank. But the Jeep is a whole lot easier to live with as a daily driver. Nobody would really want to take a Jeep to a serious tank fight.

    Please stop comparing the picture quality, it's a silly argument.
     
  22. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #22
    As someone who bought and then sold off a dslr and dozen lenses, twice (didn't learn my lesson), I can tell you that for me the gear had almost nothing to do with me advancing in photography. In fact, it was a huge distraction, to the point of being the main focus.

    I take way more photos now that I'm "iPhone only", and much better photos. Instead of buying gear, I bought books on technique, and now use the money for family trips.

    Having said that, my personal goals in photography mesh within the limits of an iPhone. If you want to shoot birds in flight, anything at a big distance, sports, you pretty much need a dslr and big expensive lenses.

    A good middle ground was mentioned above: an RX100. Nice camera. I still managed to leave it at home most of the time. ;-)
     
  23. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #23
    Thank you for those wonderful insights. That settles it. :)
     
  24. Beards macrumors 6502a

    Beards

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    Derbyshire UK
    #24
    Look at it this way:- If your wife needs a new phone then you are more than half way there to making that decision.
    The next is to determine is it a fad that she'll outgrow or is this a longing passion (you get where I'm going with this one).
    Finally, do those photos she takes with her phone please her because a). She had the phone with her all the time, or b). She loves how great the photos look?

    Now to a certain extent you can achieve both a & b with one of the latest phones. Sure, it does not have a large sensor as found on a dedicated digital camera or a group of lens to pick and choose between taking that perfect shot but what it does have is a vastly improved sensor over the 5c and as you will have heard if you go for the larger size 'Plus' phone as in the 7 Plus you get that dual lens to mimic depth of field which is what you will get from a dedicated DSLR using a small aperture.

    I myself have both. I have my iPhone 7 Plus and several (yes several) digital cameras and don't ask how many lens you can end up with. But for my sins I 'manage' to use them both albeit the cameras do not get the same usage as the iPhone 7 Plus.

    My wife has a limited hankering for photography so I got her a cheap Pentax and a couple of lens. However, whenever I look at any of her photos I would say 90% were shot using her 7 Plus.
     
  25. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #25
    @Beards Thank you so much. I've decided to give her an iPhone 8 since she will be ecstatic to have a great new phone (you know... girls and their phones :)), and the camera is a huge upgrade for her and takes great pictures and is always with her in every moment in life. If she outgrows that camera too and decides that she wants to go even further from there and wants to take her photography hobby to the highest level, I'll definitely give her a Rebel DSLR sometime. ;-) For now, everyone leans towards "A DSLR is really nice but we take most of our photos with the iPhone", and the photo quality in the 7 Plus is really good. I'll jump on pre-ordering the 8 for her as soon as it's announced in September! ;) I hope this thread helps other people in the future.
     

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