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Thursday, 07 July 2022


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These are nice and play to the strength of the tiny sensor... effortless deep depth of field. It use to require some knowledge of how to use the scales on the lens and avoiding the aperture which defraction started to degrade the image quality. Now you get it whether you want it or not.

Says me, carrying my apparently out of date camera and a phone.

Interesting how “no sky replacement” is part of a photo description nowadays.

Wow! Impressive! Love the interior shot.

Thank you Stephen, I really appreciate you sharing. I find this super helpful and inspiring.

Also note that Godox’s X2t trigger has Bluetooth, which permits the iPhone to activate the device through the company’s app, and permits synchronized flash through Godox lights and any strobe connected to an X1t receiver.

The number of industries that the iPhone has destroyed is really quite extraordinary. Pocket cameras, calculators, stand-alone GPS, and literally dozens of others. One wonders how much of this Steve Jobs anticipated or if he would be just as surprised at the scale and scope of the smartphone's success and impact.

I noticed two or three years ago that the photos my Facebook friends were sharing looked dramatically better. Not better composed, but great white balance and exposure. Shouldn't complain about progress. I might have to spring for the next iPhone as well. One thing about phones is they are way more accepted than regular cameras in public these days, so perhaps they should be a top consideration for street type candid photography.

[Except see DD-B's comment. --Mike]

With all the recent posts about how great the iPhone got: something similar in Android?
Not really into Apple at all myself, but i do have a cheap Android phone and might want to change it for one with a good camera...

I find it delightful to see what an experienced hand, like Stephen, can do with today’s phone cameras. (Note that I am NOT saying “Your camera takes good pictures!", Stephen! 😆). It’s such a vivid, indisputable exhibit of the thesis that good photos are, and have long been, the products of good photographers, not cameras.

For those “yeah but”-ers who might call out the 12mp of the current iPhones I would hasten to note that the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro is rumored to feature a native 48mp image file size. (My lovely Leica Q2 has a 47mp sensor…but only one focal length…and a 5x higher price tag.)

[I was told at the Verizon Store that only the top spec of the 14 Pro Max would have the 48- (I thought it was 42-)MP sensor. That is, the Pro Max with the top level of in-camera storage, 1 TB. FWIW. --Mike]

Stephen, thank you for your pictures, captions and accompanying text. Your portfolio is really interesting and thought-provoking.

Image quality from current phones is fine to excellent—for static subjects at convenient distances.

Try a pile of kittens playing, or a soccer match. Phone cameras have neither the responsiveness nor the reach for more challenging subjects.

They're replace view cameras, maybe, but not newspaper cameras. (Not that newspapers are important any more, but I couldn't find another good description for the cameras!)

These look quite nice on the screen. When printed 8.5 x 11 or larger, how do the images hold up?

Unfortunately RAW capture is not available on all iPhone 13 models. I have the 13 mini because I don't like these gigantic phones. Sadly it lacks RAW capture. Maybe the 14 will bring it out, but as a cash-strapped millennial, I don't upgrade phones often.

“Your camera makes the best pictures!", Stephen! LOL!! Thank you Stephen for sharing your lovely work. Makes me want to use my phone camera (always want to say: camera phone) more. Best to you!

I wonder how easily many photographers have quietly abandoned the camera viewfinder and the beautiful experience of looking through a good viewfinder.
For decades people have talked about the importance of the viewfinder for composition etc. and visual enjoyment and now it all seems to have suddenly lost its importance,- strange.
I for one still find it horrible to shoot in daylight with a cell phone, with that display.
Even if my M43 or FF didn't deliver better image quality, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to use a real camera with a viewfinder. Not to speak of the feel of a camera as opposed to a cell phone.
Everyone can use what they want, of course, I just wonder how decades of very legitimate qualities are silently sacrificed for convenience.

We had a spectacular sunset tonight (July 8) in Santa Fe, where we have a lot of gorgeous sunsets. However, the most striking scene was to the east, not toward the setting sun; two overlapping clouds, one lavender and the other gold, hung above the Rockies. I took a quick shot with an iPhone 11 (the light was very transitory) and it looks nice, but lacks the radiance of the actual scene. I'm not sure, but that may be a failing of the iPhone' small sensor. I didn't have time to see if a Nikon Z7II would do it better; I wish I had.

Just thought I'd add some thoughts and perspectives to the gang's comments here, which as always, are accurate and insightful.

Regarding sports and live action (e.g. kittens playing), yeah, of course it's not going to replace a Canon 1D-series or Nikon Z9 for sports, wildlife, or BIF photography. As an experienced motorsports PJ, and a very pragmitically-minded, scientist-type guy, I totally get that. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a strong advocate of "right tool for the right job", and I'll use whatever the best tool is for the use-case or application; I don't care about "brand", bells-and-whistles or marketing "frou-frou". My perspective, is "What wlll best get the job done with respect to meeting the use-case requirements while providing quality and consistency in the real world?" And we know that for MotoGP, F1, the 24 hrs of Le Mans, sports, BIF, kid's soccer, it's not going to be a smartphone camera.

But, that's okay, and coming back to the original idea that Mike started this discusson and article on, I'll extemporize on the Pareto Principle that this one camera can meet my requirements for a GADA camera for 80% of the photographs I take, 80% of the time. And let's be accurate; >95% of photographs these days are viewed as a JPEG at less than 300 dpi & 2000 pixels in the long dimension on somone's computer display in the sRGB color gamut.

And for that use-case, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max is not a perfect camera, it is FIT FOR PURPOSE. And in the real world, most of the time, fit-for-purpose is what matters.

Cheers guys, and thanks for your comments.

Just a small incidental point re one of the photo captions - 'Edwardian' refers to Queen Victoria's son's reign, and Victoria died in 1901. This makes 'Edwardian' 1901-1914 as a period reference. The 1880s were still Victorian, which means the 'Edwardian style' of anything wouldn't exist for another twenty years. I'm not being imperial royalist about all this, by the way - it's just a case of applying the right historical date references. Yes, by the way, it does seem ironic that the US uses British sovereigns as a dating method for things, even if it does go slightly skew-whiff sometimes!

[I changed the reference to "Italianate late-Victorian" per the National Park Service webpage about the house. I'll run this past Stephen for his approval. --Mike]

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