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Monday, 20 September 2021


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I’m tempted. The cameras seem to be excellent, and the tele (which I like to have) is longer now, 77mm, though not quite a real tele.
And the AI processing is even more powerful now (and needs the new processors.)

But wait for the reviews though.

Eolake Stobblehouse

A new battery for your current phone might be enough to get you by for another year or so, and it should cost about $50.

I like the iPhones functionality, but the sizes! So huge! I had a 4 and loved the form factor. When it died I got the SE2 which is still too big, but is the smallest they make. I hope the SE2 lasts a long time, because I won't buy a big one, and don't want to switch ecosystems. Maybe I'll try the experiment of doing without. I've thought about that.

If you gotta ask, you don’t need a new one.

But having said that, I’ll say also that the later model cameras are a Big jump up from the 7+ version.

I went from a 7+ to a XS Max. For one thing, the latter is far, far better in low light, and for another, the meter doesn’t get flummoxed, as the 7+ meter infamously was prone to do.

I began to think of the X’s camera as a “real” camera. I shoot forest landscape, and have had the darned little thing’s work get into local and state shows. One got a prize and another got a sale.

To be sure it’s no big gun, but its unreal DOF, high shutter speeds, and simplicity of operation are just what I need for my work. They’ve helped me make a lot of progress.

I look forward to a 13 or 14. You might find one to be revelatory. Your camera-buy juices might start flowing.

PS If the low battery option happens only occasionally, an even cheaper option is to get a USB power bank. Anker is a well known brand that sells these in the $15 - $50 range.

PPS If you'd like to find out how many photos you shot with the 1x vs 2x lens, here's a how-to guide:


I've had an iPhone 4S, 6S, XS and now 12 Pro. The cameras in the first three were serviceable. I used them occasionally but really only for documentary shots or grab shots that I didn't feel like getting a "real" camera for. The trio of lenses in the 12 Pro are on another level. I'm constantly surprised at what I can get with them. The jump from the camera on an iPhone 7 Plus to one of the 12 models would be a significant leap. I can only imagine that the improvements in the 13 models would be even more impressive for a photo dawg.

I do find the "long" lens useful on my 12 Pro. This has been increased from a 52mm equivalent in the 12 Pro to 77mm equivalent in the new Pro models. I do like the increase in focal length on the 13 Pro but probably not enough to update. I think I'd ponder a 13 Pro or Pro Max over the standard 13 if I were in your shoes, though.

I replace my iPhone 6+ with an iPhone 11 Pro Max, and it was a *huge* change in the quality of the photographs. I suspect you'd see a similar improvement.

My Pro has 3 camera modules, basically super wide, then a 28mm and 56mm equivalent. Not sure what Apple has done with the current iPhone 13, but I would recommend getting the three cameras if they still offer that.

Whether or not you need this newest model is debatable. But I do highly recommend you update to an iPhone that has a more contemporary multi-camera imaging system. My 12 Pro Max is a marvel but the 12 Pro would be fine. I think it will gradually relax your view of what photography is…and can be.

I just had to replaced my iPhone X due to swollen battery. I opted for the 12 because it made better economical sense to me, and was available immediately. If the camera was more important to me, I may have waited for the 13, but I only use the camera for quick photos sent via text and visual notes. If you do decide to go for the 13, I would enjoy reading about your experience with the camera and viewing your photos.

See these award winning photographs. iPhone 7 is used in some.


(r-click on an image, select 'image properties' to view some EXIF and camera model)


I bought an iPhone X to replace my iPhone 6 Plus. I bought it specifically because the camera function has a 50mm equivalent "telephoto" lens, my preferred focal length for my film cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro bumps it up to 77mm, which means 50mm equivalent shots have to use a digital zoom of a wide angle lens. A step backward from my point of view. I'll keep the X.

I’d stick with the current two focal lengths: 28 and 56 mm. That’s what I have on the “X” myself. A combination of 13/26/77 mm (going from memory) would not fit my shooting style. The new phones are a bit like buying into a new camera system without the ability to choose your own set of lenses :-)

Go with the iPhone 13 Pro. For the first time in some years, they appear to be discounted through your carrier, so long as you stick with the carrier for two or three years. If you don't think you'll switch carriers then this would be a good deal. And the camera is going to be far superior to that on the 7. (Also, when writing about B&H's holiday closure, I see you used the Yiddish pronunciation of the holiday, Succos, rather than the Hebrew pronunciation, Sukkot.)

[I just used the spelling that B&H uses on its home page. If you go there you will see it says "CLOSED FOR SUCCOS" on the landing page. --Mike]

I'm an Android user, but one question... is you current iPhone 7 5G capable? My carrier just announced the schedule for complete conversion to 5G, so I will have to upgrade before the end of my phone's life.

Just another Rolleiflex clone…

I think it's worth upgrading. The cameras have decidedly improved, but more important, since the current camera is definitely "good enough", are two factors:

  • The battery dying is pretty annoying. You could get the battery replaced, and if you keep the 7, you definitely should; the phone is a great camera because you always have it with you, but that doesn't matter if it's out of juice.

  • The iphones usually get security/software updates for 5 years. Yours is hitting that limit, and in today's world where phones are big targets for cybersecurity attacks, it's pretty worthwhile to stay on top of that. Having a new phone that gets the updates is pretty important, and worth upgrading if you can swing it.

  • I updated from an iPhone 8 Plus to an iPhone 11 Pro Max a couple years ago. The features of the camera such as Deep Fusion and Night Mode and what not are noticeable.

    I'd say going form a 7 to a 13 is a worthy update, especially if you use the camera a lot.

    I usually update ever 3 years, so I'm waiting for 14, although I may wait longer since I'm pretty happy with the 11. You might like the 77mm camera on the iPhone 13 since you enjoy portraiture.

    4-5 years is about the lifetime you can expect out of a phone. The batteries, being non-replaceable, do wear out, and once they start running out they'll go downhill fast. Unless you can find a place to replace the battery for cheap, I would recommend getting a new phone while you can still get some trade-in value for the 7 Plus ($100?). Phones are the new workstations now. In the past you'd be replacing a desktop/laptop every 2-3 years, and spend upwards of $2000. Now they last a good 6-7 years and cost less (well not sure about Apple), and phones take up part of that functionality, lasting 4-5 years. It seems like we're better off, but still wish they'd make batteries (more) replaceable and reduce waste.

    I'm still using my iPhone SE (2016 model). For documentary photos it does well enough. If I need better I'll bring along the Sony RX100V, which is actually smaller than the iPhone SE albeit thicker.

    Do I need it or just want it? It seems to be the dilemma I face so often. I wish I knew how to avoid it. Crud!

    The answer is surely “Perhaps!”. The 13pro is a significant step over the 7, but there may be another significant step when we get access to the 14 in a year. So if you use your iPhone for much serious photography, then an upgrade is always justifiable. (We are probably at the same stage in iPhone cameras that regular digital cameras were in back in the 2005 to 2010 years). I think the time is fast coming when the only cameras we all use are a phone camera and perhaps, a ‘specialist’ camera of some sort – very long lenses for wildlife, large format for huge prints, or in my case, a monochrom (represented by the Leica Q2M). But I still need the discipline not to simply add general purpose cameras that are going to sit idle for the rest of their lives. That’s my project for the next months until the iPhone 14pro arrives!

    Replace the battery. Watch YouTube. Get the tools, and I’m pretty sure you can do it yourself. The cameras on the “pro” models look great. But out of my budget. I have the same phone by the way.
    Talking about longevity, the other day I panicked when I took out one of my “crown jewels “ the 85mm f1.2, and it felt sticky. I panicked, thought it was mold and I put it on the window sill to get some sun while I figured out what to do. Apparently the rubberized gripping substance just melts and becomes sticky. So, after burning a 2inch line on the window sill, I dismantled it, and scrubbed the cassing. Good as new!

    Though it does not answer your other thoughts about upgrading, a small battery bank with a short cable is something you can easily toss in a bag so you can charge your phone up anywhere, any time. I don't use mine often, but when I need it, I'm very glad to have it. Some recent cameras can even charge over USB, giving the battery bank another good emergency use! The Anker and Aukey brands have both served me well.

    I've been using a 7 plus since late 2017 as well. I'll probably upgrade to a 12 Pro, assuming a good price drop.

    As someone who’s been very happy with using the iPhone as a go anywhere camera, I’ve pined for a short telephoto lens. I’m happy with my iPhone 11 and not a first adopter-I upgraded from a 6s, but the 13 Pro has my serious attention and will likely find it’s way to my pocket soon.

    (And yes I’ve seen better-spec’ed droids, but I despised the Samsung I was given by my former employer, so I’m team iPhone)

    I think this is a no-brainer. You should upgrade to iPhone 13 Pro Max if you can afford it. If not, at least an iPhone 13 Pro.
    First, you're moving from a 5.5" screen to a 6.7" screen for a similarly sized phone. Second, the cameras are better but more importantly the computational photography would allow you to take many more photos that you wouldn't be able to on the iPhone 7.
    For people who are not super into photography and really strapped for cash, I would recommend an upgrade to iPhone 11 as you still get night mode computational photography with the main lens (and most people don't use the ultrawide/telephoto lenses). But I would say people who want to save money should just get an iPhone 12 as it has an upgraded camera system and OLED screen and is the best bang for the buck.

    Far be it from me to enable your gear-lust, but in this case, I think that you have waited long enough.

    I went from an iPhone 6 to an 11 pro, and the difference was remarkable, especially the difference in photographic abilities. I expect that the difference between your 7 and a 13 will be likewise remarkable, and well worth the upgrade cost.

    Update your iPhone 7 plus to iOS15. It's free.

    There is a lot of AI processing going on in the background with the new iPhones. With the iPhone 12 I can take a picture, open it in Photos, and a second later watch it pop, overexposed areas come into view, colors saturate, etc. This can be turned off.

    If you want a new iPhone to make better pictures than your 7, then don't replace it. Buy a Ricoh GR instead. Not to replace your iPhone but to complement it. Phone in your right-hand pocket, GR in your left. Oh, and as long as that's possible, have your battery replaced on your 7.

    I've said it before, and here I go . . .

    The biggest photographic reason for getting a new(-ish) iPhone is the Halide app.
    From July 18, 2021 Featured Comments:

    TOP reader Moose posted a comment yesterday that linked to a couple of wonderful graphics—by hovering your mouse over several labels, you can compare and contrast various processing applications for phone pictures.

    Sunset, Alameda Lagoon

    Salad, Barley & Hops Pub, Occidental, CA

    Quite a difference! I've never done much in the way of processing of phone snaps, but Moose has explored it thoroughly. Don't miss this. It only takes a few minutes to check it out and it's pretty eye-opening. Thanks, Moose.
    Halide uses the DNG Raw files available from the Xs and later models to give Much better photographic results than Apple's in-camera processing.

    It looks from the initial reporting as though the simple iPhone 13 may not do the DNG thing, but the Pro does.

    The other (possibly Big) reason to prefer the Pro model is focal lengths. Your iPhone 7+ has FoV eq. of 28 & 56 mm lenses. The iPhone 13 is very different, @ 13 & 26 mm eqs, so no normal FL at all.

    The iPhone 13 Pro's three lenses are 13, 26 & 77 mm eqs. The 77 mm lens is said to be an optical zoom, without detail. Presumably 26-77 mm?

    My pareidolia causes me to see a surprised alien face with a bindi in the iPhone lenses above. It is like the FedEx arrow. Having seen it, I can't unsee it.

    I know someone here in Vermont who just disposed of her cell phone entirely. She is done with interruptions, done with the tracking, done with data limits, dropped calls, and patting one's pocket when in line at the bank to busy one's idling brain, done with the vade mecum/auxiliary mind that we've all adopted. I am actually envious. I used to know all the phone numbers I called regularly by heart. Now I have to double check to make sure that I remember my wife's number correctly. I no longer read maps. I struggle to remember the minutia of US history, or Napoleon's personal habits. I feel like my brain has developed a beer belly.

    My advice? Well take it with a grain of salt, as I am feeling my luddite tendencies strongly today: get a flip phone.

    I have the iPhone 7+. Had a new battery a couple of years ago. Nothing wrong with it at all. I’d upgrade for the new cameras, except I have a DSLR with a set of lenses for when quality matters.
    I like the fact that my five year old phone still works. I had the iPhone 4S for 5 years, and the original iPhone for 3 1/2. Frankly, we need all phones to last this long for the sake of the planet..
    If it’s still working this time next year, I’ll keep it another year.

    I'd like to get an iPhone 13 mini if/when I get the money. Cell phones have gotten way too big to be comfortable. I currently have a 5s and feel like I'm missing out on many of the newer features. I'd love to see what I could do with that 13mm equivalent ultra wide angle lens.

    You need a new phone when the old one stops getting software updates. Probably not before, but certainly not after, unless you like to have bad people take all your money.

    (I don't know if the iPhone 7 is still getting updates.)

    You are likely to face end of software support for the iPone 7 before too long. That coupled with a battery soon to go suggests a move forward. I would consider an iPhone 12 or 12 mini, both dropped $100 upon announcement of the iPhone 13. The iPhone SE is very attractively priced at $400 tho it was introduced in 2020. It lacks 5G wireless but I don’t see that as a big factor in rural areas. I personally opted for the iPhone SE a few months back, not seeing an iPhone 12 at then close to 2x the price as worthwhile in my rural area.. Both the SE and 12 mini come up on the shorter end of battery life compared to the full size 12.

    Me too. The waning battery life of my iPhone 7 has been bugging me for a while, and while I haven't crunched the numbers, I'm not sure the 15% reduction in battery capacity reported by the phone accounts for all of it. Other than that I find the phone perfectly adequate.

    Apple charges $50 to replace the battery out of warranty, and I'm thinking maybe that modest bump in battery life would tide me over for a year. I also think about replacing it with a phone with a sub-par camera, because believe it or not I kind of miss those, and because maybe it'll encourage me to carry a "real" camera again. (Yes, I could just use a lo-fi filter, but that's different.)

    iphone 12 has a normal (28mm equivalent), tele (2x) and wide (0.5x) lens.

    Upgrade just for the battery life improvement.
    I used to have to carry around an external battery, but no longer, and that is with an iPhone 11pro vs an 8. Buying an iPhone 11 for half the cost of a 13 is a good option.
    Oh, the ultra wide lens has been very handy too. But the battery is worth the upgrade alone. Me? I’m waiting for the 14 when I hope they provide a USB-C instead of the “lightening” connector with fills with lint.

    "What would you do if you were me?*"

    /Start Mike dialogue/
    I'm going to keep my current phone for maps and web and email and texts--you know, communication--and carry a small camera with a 40mm lens everywhere I go, with the intention of using the camera to make daily photographs that I care about printing and displaying, even for TOP print sales.

    And I'll use more of my own photographs on TOP in general. I think people like it when I post photographs and it will give me a reason to make more.

    I think I make better photographs with a camera in my hand than a phone. It just makes me feel more like a photographer. The money I save on the phone I will put into printing and framing.

    Just wait 'til they see what I come up with next!

    /End Mike Dialogue/


    I read some non APPLE sponsored sites regarding the 13 series of phones. The improvements over the 12 PRO vs the 13 PRO are not significant, (incremental improvements). I just recently upgraded to the 12 PRO and am very pleased with both still and video output. If prices are comparable then of course go for the 13 series but if you can save some money the 12 PRO will be just fine. I would however go with the PRO series regardless of phone series. If the savings between the two are favorable then spend the savings on a Anamorphic lens add on and you can truly shoot some really cool cinema quality video. Creating videos on your phone does present new challenges and has helped me getting my creative juices flowing.

    My Iphone6 is working just fine. Can't figure out a difference that makes a difference worth upgrading.

    Mike, I am surprised you do not know about the iPhone 14. Google "2H22 ‌iPhone". The next version, not the iPhone 13, will have the biggest upgrade to the iPhone camera. I thought about this when you brought up the Ricoh GR IIIx recently. Interesting camera; I have owned 2 GRs, one film and one early digital. The GR IIIx would make a good match for my Deardorff kit. I have always liked to carry a small camera tucked away in my LF kit. The new GR seriously interests me, but ever since I became aware of the iPhone 14 that is the one I am waiting for. I currently have an iPhone 6, which is no longer upgradeable to current IOS software. It sputters and coughs, but still works well as a phone. I sorely need a new camera-phone, however. But the "i14" looks to be the ultimate iPhone photo machine, and will almost certainly hasten the demise of the digicam.

    Go for the pro. The long lens is much more useful (to me) than the wide.

    I agree with the complaint of the too long long lens, though. 58-65 would be perfect for me on that one.

    I’m still using an original iPhone SE, so don’t feel bad about keeping an old phone. Apple will kindly inform you when it is out of date by stopping the annual OS updates. With iOS 15 just released, we’re both good for another year.

    Last year I upgraded from an iPhone X to iPhone 12 Pro Max. The cameras were a vast improvement. Shooting in ProRAW has been really good. This year the screen should be even better than last year, and those OLED screens are just great. I say go for it. Get the Pro, or the nearest equivalent to your 7 Plus which is the Pro Max if you can afford it.

    Be kind to me and the planet.
    Dont contribute to landfill.
    Get a new battery installed into your current phone.
    Problem solved.

    I don’t know about the 13, but I recently bought a 12 pro to replace my X. The camera on the 12 pro is significantly better and well worth the upgrade, IMO.

    If you want to extend the life of your phone, get the battery replaced before it becomes really annoying. You say it works perfectly and you have no complaints, so wait another few product cycles.

    I'm sure you can find many uses for several hundred dollars! (Or over $1k? Haven't paid attention to Apple, wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole).

    Normally the phones as old as yours will stop getting OS updates in a cycle or two, including security updates, which can be important.

    So at some point you should consider upgrading.

    The only reason to get the 13 is if you want the 13 pro for the "long" lens in the camera, which is a bit longer now.

    If you don't care about that getting a 12 or even an 11 will be just fine and keep you in software updates for a few more years.

    The 13s also come in some nice colors. 🙂

    Mike, I like my iPhone 12 mini. Decent enough camera, and very pocketable size.

    I’m planning to replace my 4-year old iPhone 8 Plus with some version of the new 13. My battery is not lasting anywhere near a day, so that’s a big part (I only managed this past year because I spend most days at home in pandemic life). But my wife has an iPhone 11, and the pictures she can get (or that I can get using her phone) are so dramatically better that it is hard to state. It is said that the primary difference from phone to phone has been the camera advancements, for several generations now. I’d say you’re an ideal candidate for the upgrade.

    Also, the iPhone 12/13 body design recalls the design ethos of the iPhone 4/5, which was by far my favorite design.

    The “all-screen, no-home-button” ergonomics take an adjustment period, but it works and becomes natural reasonably quickly.

    I have an iPhone Xs (which I'm told is pronounced "tennis" and not "excess." It has two lenses, one of them a "telephoto" with a field of view similar to a 56mm lens on a full-frame sensor. After that iteration, Apple decided to include a normal lens only with its premium "pro" models.

    The iPhone Xs is perfect for my needs and I plan to hang on to it for as many years as I possibly can.

    200 GB Online storage from Apple is pretty inexpensive, and so, I never considered buying a model with more storage. As it is 64GB stores thousands of pictures, and the online automatic backup by Apple increases that to tens of thousands.

    Hi Mike,

    I work in the industry (not in apple, in an operator) and I “know you” (=read your blog) for more than 10 years. My opinion is that if you can afford, you “need” the Pro Max.
    - iPhone 13: better cameras (better video but that is not for you)
    - Pro: has a 77mm equivalent camera and its not your 85-90 second favorite focal length but is close (I have the 65mm and I took very nice portraits with it)
    - Max: has a much bigger battery and bigger screen. Bigger battery causes you to charge less times per week, meaning the IPhone will last longer; the bigger screen speaks for itself: better composition and bigger letters (although sometimes you really need two hands to do some stuff - but not to take a picture)

    Yes it is expensive, but think as a camera that can last 2-3 years.

    Hope it helps.


    There are huge differences between an iPhone 7 and a new one. Not only is the hardware better, but the software can do more with the newer devices than it can with the older. And therein lies a bit of a rub. For me, one of the breakthroughs last year was the appearance of Apple ProRAW - at last Apple themselves made images taken on an iPhone available in raw format. (Third-party apps have been doing this for some time..) But only on some iPhones - specifically, only the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max and now iPhone 13 Pro & Pro Max models.

    Just to make life hard, while Apple is continuing to sell the iPhone 12, it's only the non-Pro model, so no ProRAW on that and only a dual camera system - super-wide and wide, no telephoto. Which means that your only way of buying a new iPhone that will do ProRAW images is the very newest and most expensive models, the 13 Pro and Pro Max.

    Alternatively, you could buy an official Apple refurbished 12 pro (or Pro Max), if they're available in the US. They're not, yet, in the UK.

    Think what else you could do with that amount of money?

    What would I do if I were you?

    I would buy a perfect refurbished, unlocked iPhone 8 or X for about 30% of the cost of the latest model, and get a sim only contract. I do exactly that, only with the top Samsung models.

    I upgraded to a 12 Pro from a 6 last year. No big regrets, but not sure I can claim it's made much of a difference ultimately except for battery and OS updates. I use the camera for diary/personal photos, but would never use it for anything 'serious' photographically - the photos look so horrible anywhere except on the iPhone screen. My thought would be to hang on for at least a year as this is the alternate, minor upgrade year.

    Well, the Planet would say: please keep your 7.
    The Photographer subscribing to the adage "the best camera is the camera you have with you [at all times]" would say: this is the camera you use the most, and if there's one thing the 13 is way better than the 7 is the camera(s). You'll notice the difference (I did between 6 and 11)
    Five years is a more than decent life cycle for a phone. Go for it.
    I'd say that if you can, go for the 13Pro: it will stay long enough with you for that third lens to be well amortized...
    Having said that, the best camera is the one whose images can stand up to being viewed on a 27" screen, and iPhone images still don't. Can't say about the 13, but the 11s are oversharpened and way too vivid, in keeping with current awful fads... So your best camera will remain your Fuji... :)

    FWIW I do think the phone system in the latest iPhones is markedly different -- with more options -- than the old iPhone 7's set up. What this means for most people is "better" photos, but in your case you might enjoy personally exploring what this new paradigm of computational photography offers, and perhaps thinking about what it might signify in the wider scheme of digital photography.

    Quick answer: no you don't NEED the new iPhone 13. But if you want to get one, sure, go ahead and do it. Will it really improve your photography?

    Your photographer friend in Austin, Texas, wrote a long tome self-justifying why he would buy one and why the 13 would soon replace most people's handheld separate cameras.

    Hello Mike

    I’m using an iPhone 12 Pro Max and I like it very much. Go ahead and upgrade!

    I’m not sure if you have an Apple Store close by but I recommend you visit one to check out the different sizes of the various iPhone models. The 12 Pro Max is big but I have big hands so it works for me.

    Have fun researching!

    Mike, I would ask the classic question ... what can you not do with your current camera that the newer camera would solve? Since this is a function of what you photograph, or intend to photograph, only you have the answer as to whether you need the new iPhone.

    In my view an iPhone serves three functions: 1. It's a phone that allows both audio and video calls plus texting; 2. It's a camera that is always in your pocket; 3. It's a computer that is always in your pocket. Looking at these individually with your question in mind: 1. Your model 7+ works fine as a phone and for texting. The new IOS 15 adds some additional facetime features some of which won't work on your phone, but FaceTime still works. 2. The camera in iPhone 13 Pro likely represents a quantum leap in image quality and usability compared with your existing phone. I own an iPhone 10xs and the difference in that camera compared to my previous 6SE is remarkable. My wife has a model 11 and, again, improvement. So, if you want the best camera in your pocket you should upgrade. 3. As a pocket computer the model 13 has a more powerful chip in it and, it has 5G ability. So, if 5G has made it to the Finger Lakes then the new phone should be orders of magnitude faster than your old phone both in terms of executing apps and upload/download times. Whether this matters to you or not is dependent upon your local infrastructure and your own needs. Eventually, 5G with it's huge bandwidth and near instant connections is predicted to be hugely disruptive in terms of how we will all interact with the digital world. We are quite early on that curve however.

    At this point I am going to keep my iPhone 10XS, but if I had a 7 I would upgrade.

    I have to agree with those suggesting upgrade. The improvement in image quality with the iPhone 12pro was quite noticeable when trading in an iPhone X. I often view my photos on a 55" 4K Hisense TV and the improvement in image quality really jumps out on a bigger screen. As others have said, the improvement in low light image quality is quite remarkable. The addition of the ultra-wide-angle lens was a bit disappointing. Apple's notion of 'telephoto' is a stretch, it's more like a normal lens but regardless, the image quality is pretty amazing. So much so that I find myself using my Sony A7 less and less.

    Get a new battery installed.

    While features, capabilities and specifications are important, it is the creativity of the user/operator that makes photographs. And a camera that is always available and easy to use can lead to a lot of creativity.

    We have come from a time when making a small number (single digits) of quality photographs required a studio, lighting, chemistry, supplies and money. Now the money is spent up front and can lead to so many really good photographs that you won't remember them all. That's where we are today.

    And every new camera has new capabilities and possibilities to explore. I'll be exploring with a -13 soon.

    I'm with Robin and his superbly eloquent, realistic comment: "No-one needs an iPhone. Some people might want one..." We must awaken to the fact that we cannot continue to consume the planet. The time to start panicking about it is now.

    Good to see those comments connecting consumerism with the health of our planet! In turn, newer is not better.

    Re: Cameras, consumerism and the health of our planet ... Apple is offering a substantial trade-in credit to purchasers of iPhone-13s. Presumably the traded-in phones will be refurbished and re-sold rather than dumped into a landfill.

    I support Robin's position 100%.

    Use iPhone 11 max and like it very much. still wait for the call to switch as the incentive is not that much. But iPhone 7 for photographer ... I guess I ask to at least switch to 11 max (due to 3 lens and the non too tele lens). No experience to 12 or 13 and but I think you must get 3 lens not 2 lens version.


    Regards to one comment, strange for the Irish people to complain about tax. But Apple like others would face the same worldwide tax arrangement. Even before that, do note they do real shop (unlike many other companies like amazon) and employ real people serving in physical senses. Also, at least in UK they pay vat ...

    Market is one way to solve a lot of problems, just like government, social organisation, free/open source kind of grouping, Neigbour, self help etc. A mix ... all have their goods and bads. The key is that it cannot solve all problems is just not a way to say that any alternative can solve all problems and be all and end all. Or that will lead to 6th extinction. May be market is one of the way to solve it (like carbon tax which is a market solution to a common pool issue).

    That is why I always say there is no capitalism but communism. The latter aim at solving all problem, whilst the former just live as part of the mix economy, as it always will be.

    Still, we would have many other concerns. Just as the tax issue, it would be solved not by switching to negative words but positive deeds, charge them.

    It’s interesting that a number of commenters have cited concern for the planet in connection with getting a new iPhone — I don’t remember seeing any such comments in relation to your buying new ‘real’ cameras ;(.

    I am very impressed and grateful for Robin's commentary, which looks wisely and humanistically far beyond the horizon of technological nitpicking.
    Too many people fall for the very short-lived lure of "upgrades" that are tomorrow's precious junk in no time.
    Remember the respective blind raptures of joy over iPhones that are now old again, only to find that nobody wants them just a few years later? Planned obsolescence. Siren song of the modern age.
    A friend of mine keeps saying, "you only need what you need."
    Anything else does serious damage to society and the environment in the long run.
    Why can't people change their own batteries for a few dollars?
    Why no more security updates after 5 years?

    I think Steve Jobs would by now no longer accept what his company has become socially and ecologically, where his technological visions have ultimately led to through immoderate exploitation of people and resources.
    My thanks also to DDB: "Haven't paid attention to Apple, wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole."
    Apple is certainly not the only company to which the above applies, but it has become a very powerful representative of these companies, a role model that lead us through our lives on the nose ring by their technical temptations, which hardly anyone really needs.

    I tried to talk my wife into letting me get an iPhone 12 pro last month. (I would then pass my se2 on to my son). She said I should just take my camera with me wherever I go. She even went as far as sticking a note only bike to remind me to take my camera.

    I though about upgrading from an iPhone 8 Plus to the 12 last year, but the 12 was the first to offer 5G connectivity and the feedback was not very encouraging. The 13 tech reviews say there are major improvements in 5G tech (frequencies and antennas) that should make it much better.
    (Mike, your rural area means you can ignore 5G for another few years, or decades!)
    Also the 13 Pro gets the 3 camera system with upgrades that required the giant 12 Pro Max.
    I'll probably update to a 13 Pro around the end of the year when the bugs are ironed out.
    As for the environmental considerations, replacing the battery for another year or two life may cause more harm than recycling the whole phone now. 5 years is old.
    You might enjoy The NYTimes OnTech column of 9/15:
    Smartphones may be too good
    Smartphones have been so successful that it’s possible new technology won’t be able to displace them.

    I am upgrading my wife's iPhone 8 this year to a 13. Once a week, she does an hour of Skype (actually Google Duo)and the battery life is an issue. The image quality on my Xs is also noticeably better than her 8.

    I was on the fence about upgrading my Xs until I read about the 2H22. Now I am waiting another year for my upgrade.

    Austin Mann has an annual iPhone review from the perspective of a travel photographer. The macro function of the 13 Pro series looks impressive. More here:


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