With the release of new phones like the Note 8, the upcoming iPhone X and the continued improvement of mobile cameras in general, I’ve decide to make an ongoing post strictly on photos taken with my iPhones past, present and future. I take so many photos on my iPhone that I forget how amazing it is to have a device this small, that can take extremely good quality photos. The popularity of the iPhone has basically killed the compact digital camera segment. It’s the most popular camera in the world.
And with the addition of new modes like portrait mode (iOS) and background blur (Samsung) allowing us to create background blur via two cameras + software, it’s crazy that we can now replicate depth of field providing better portraits and subject isolation. I mean, bokeh on a smartphone?!
I have my phone with me at all times and it’s true when they say that the best camera is the one you have with you. For me, that’s my iPhone since it’s with me 24/7. I use it for taking quick snaps of random stuff. Selfies, photos of family and friends, photos when I’m out and about.
But I also use it pretty extensively for travel and inspiration. I use it a lot for taking photos of cool textures, repetition, shadows, light, patterns, etc. You can say it’s almost a study on the basic principles of photography. But more importantly, I’m constantly snapping away when I’m traveling and a big camera just doesn’t make sense to have with me.
What I love about the iPhone cameras and camera app is that it’s so simple to use. Open the app, tap to focus and tap the shutter button. What a lot of people forget or don’t realize though is that when you tap to focus you can also quickly adjust the exposure slider up or down. Apple does a really good job at getting the right exposure but when there’s really bright highlights or I want to get richer darks (like sunrises and sunsets), I tend to lower the exposure a bit. But in general, I’d say the iPhone is the best camera I’ve used where it’s consistently reading the scene right and getting a proper exposure.
I really hope there will be a time where big digital camera brands implement better smarter software into their cameras. Just imagine if cameras were able to read scenes better to properly expose for an image. And I’m not talking about putting your camera in “fireworks” mode. I’m talking about reading the scene in real time with a smattering light meter that can detect certain scenes. I think face detection was the first step into camera companies really taking adapted software seriously and now Sony has gone a step further with “Eye AF” which is absolutely a game changer for portrait photographers. I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to have that feature.
Anyway, below are photos shot strictly on the iPhone and edited in either VSCO mobile or LR on desktop. I’ve just started to shoot in RAW via the VSCO mobile app and let me tell you, it’s a freakin’ game changer.
Keep in mind that because I’m doing edits with these photos, you might see, well no… you’ll definitely see some added grain and a matte look as that’s kinda my thing. But it should give you a good sense of what mobile photos are capable of nowadays and it’s pretty insane.
I can’t imagine how mobile camera technology will advance in the next few years but I’m definitely excited to see the continued innovation when combining both hardware with software.