iPhone - The essential tool for photographers
I must begin by saying that this article is outdated. Not a few months, but several years. Because the majority of the photos I have here to show were taken in 2014 with an iPhone 4s (model announced in late 2011). Given that we are in 2018... Does it make sense to write about it? Yes of course. Because it is not about the version of the equipment used, but the concept of using a smartphone as a tool for a photographer to work with.
So why the iPhone and not other? In fact any smartphone with a capable camera serves the purpose, but when using an iMac at home and a Macbook when traveling, it makes perfect sense to keep the phone inside the ecosystem to sync contacts, calendar, notes, etc.
In addition to all the functions of a personal digital assistant, very useful for managing appointments and notes, a smartphone is extraordinarily important for a photographer for several reasons:
1. It's always with me: 90% of the time I go out on the street I always take a camera with me. But there are always those 10%... And suddenly something extraordinary happens and I don't have a camera. The iPhone can be a perfectly capable replacement. Of course the image quality is not the same, but at least I'll capture the image.
2. Speed: Sometimes the moment is everything. And simply swiping the finger over the iPhone's screen, the camera is ready to go. If I had to take the camera out of my messenger bag, turn it on, confirm that the settings are correct... the extra 5 or 10 seconds could make all the difference. Most of the times I'm not in such a hurry, but yes, it can be useful.
3. Discreet: Today it's possible that the smartphone is more easily seen as a camera than a phone. And the ability to go unnoticed has been lost a lot in recent years. But in those situations where we don't want to draw attention to ourselves, the smartphone is always more discreet than a DSLR or Mirrorless camera and the shutter is totally silent.
4. Connectivity: The ability to make quick adjustments to a photo and at the same moment email or upload it to social networks is a huge advantage, whether the photos were taken by the iPhone's camera or transferred from our camera to the phone over wifi.
5. Macro: With these cameras we can shoot incredibly close to subjects, as if from a macro lens.
6. Unusual angles: Since switching from DSLR to Mirrorless in 2012 one of the main advantages I found with the change was the ability to shoot at a higher or a lower level through the articulated screen of the camera, without having to adopt strange positions or lie down on the floor. The mobile phone has exactly the same advantage.
7. Image Quality: This ia a discussion I read all the time in the Internet, about how the smartphone's image quality doesn’t match APS-C or full-frame cameras. Of course they don’t! And they’re not supposed to. This subject doesn’t make any sense and a smartphone could never match the quality of a dedicated 2.000€ camera with a 1.000€ lens. But yes, the image quality is great and has improved a lot from my first iPhone 4 to my latest iPhone SE. On the web or social networks probably nobody will tell the difference from an image taken with a smartphone or a dedicated camera. But even if they do tell the difference, what is more important, the message or its support?
The set of images I show below were taken in Angola in 2014 with an iPhone 4s.