iPhone4 vs Leica M9

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallisti, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. kallisti, Jan 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012

    kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Was going through some teaching files. Not really a fair comparison, but had two images taken of a ventilator on a critically ill patient. One shot with an iPhone4, one taken when I elected to bring in a "good" camera to capture the ventilator tracings for teaching purposes (a Leica M9). Shot a year apart though in the same room under the similar lighting. Both hand-held. Again, not a totally fair comparison for several reasons (the Leica image allowed me some freedom in tweaking that the iPhone image didn't), but this comparison can serve as an example of how gear can actually matter in an image (as much as it pains me to say this). I would not be comfortable using the iPhone image in a presentation, I would be comfortable using the Leica image (and in fact I am using it for teaching at Brown).


    Leica M9, 35mm f/2 lens
  2. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    The Leica image looks more like a screenshot than a photo.
  3. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    So... you use a 6000$ camera to take screenshots ? Good for you I guess.
  4. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    Who'd ever have guessed that a Leica M9 is better than a Phone for taking photos.
  5. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Exactly how much tweaking did you do?

    I agree with andalusia that the Leica image looks a lot like a screenshot/grab…
  6. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    Some details seem to have been lost due to glare/compensation in the iPhone shot (towards the bottom, mostly), but it holds up reasonably well to some minor tweaking.

  7. ChuckSneed macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012
    His reflection was the best part, and you've removed it.
  8. igmolinav macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005

    This may be interesting for your iPhone. It is from Schneider:

    Kind regards,

    igmolinav : ) !!!
  9. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Hi, Doc. Good to hear from you again..:)

    You have the Leica, so go with it for shots like this. If I was taking medical classes at Brown University, I would expect the slides to be maxed out quality.

  10. RdeCourtney macrumors newbie


    Sep 26, 2010
    In other news... I have a Mini Cooper S and a Ferrari 458. I did a comparison of both and determine that you should always drive the 458 because it's faster 0-60, tighter turning and feels tighter when you drive it. In comparison with the Ferrari, the Mini was slower and smaller. Thus, the Mini is crap.

    When you don't do fair comparisons, you don't get fair results..
  11. george-brooks macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
  12. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    My neighbor has a Ferrari and a Porche. The Ferrari never gets out of the garage because it is so prone to mechanical problems. I've never seen his Harley out of the garage, either. His "daily driver" is a Ford F-150.:)

    None of this is made up, by the way.

  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Ok so the guy's point was more about the fact that gear does matter. I don't know if anyone would ever be so bold as to claim that when compared, a shot with a high end camera would provide a better if not comparable image to an iPhone. If someone does actually believe that then I have a ocean-front real estate to sell you in Wyoming. I firmly believe that when you're looking for a quality shot, low noise (with digital) and accurate color (straight from camera) that gear matters. Great art can be made with an iPhone photo though.

    More to the post then the actual point, I think the delivery was what struck some as odd. The original post reads as though this notion should surprise anyone; I'm wondering if that is why the responses are as they are.

    The better way of putting this is to ask if gear matters and if you ask me, I think in many ways it does. I also believe that I can take my Nikon D70 and a Nikon D3s and produce very very similar images if I use the same professional-grade glass despite the obvious differences between a D70 and a D3s.
  14. danahn17 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    I agree that it shouldn't be a surprise that the Leica beat the iPhone4.

    But while gear does matter to an extent, if you know how to compose well and aren't afraid to do some post processing, you can get great shots from an iPhone.

    There was a video that showed a professional photo shoot done on a 3GS:

    There were some criticisms about the fancy lighting gear, models, etc on that video so someone did another one outdoors with an iPhone4, few reflectors, and photoshop (though I actually prefer the unedited shoots more):

    So it can be done. Gear matters but I still think technique still is more important.

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