Deeply ingrained habits of mine went through a change this past few months. I noticed it at first during our January holidays.
Arriving at Sydney, I took my SLR out to fire shots away. Along the way I stumbled unto occasions where I used my iPhone instead, just because it was already in my hand and much faster to deploy. And as time went by, I noticed that I was carrying the SLR in its bag along with me but never actually opening that bag; virtually all of my photography is now done with the iPhone.
I haven’t touched my SLR since January. By now I’m relying on my iPhone to deal with my photography needs. What used to be a crappy last resort camera on my iPhone 3GS had turned into a marvelous black swan in the shape of the new iPhone 5.
Is there a price to pay for the convenience of the iPhone? There sure is. A modern SLR can take a photo under virtually any condition, while the iPhone is limited under extreme light, relative darkness, or just heavy light and dark contrast. Then there is the matter of quality: a comparison of the Sydney Opera House photos I took using both contenders leaves no doubt as to who delivers best. There can also be no doubt as to which is the more versatile.
But still, I find the iPhone 5 camera to be the winner:
- Its camera is good enough not to attract attention to the quality of its shots.
- It doesn't break my back.
- It is always there, in my pocket, two clicks away from taking a photo.
- It can actually produce photos of superior quality than an SLR. Granted, under very specific conditions, but conditions I do encounter - such as very close range macro photography.
- It allows for elaborate photography, such as panoramas, that takes ages to process from multiple shots on the SLR. Check the above image for proof that decent quality can be achieved: we actually had a version of this photo printed on a 100cm*50cm canvas, and it looks great.
- It allows me to do most of my photo processing on the spot, using various applications including the likes of Adobe Photoshop. I'm thus saving hours of post processing time later.
- Its photos are automatically transferred to my iCloud account the next time I visit a wifi. They're not only backed up, they're also waiting for processing on my Mac.
- Its fixed wide angle lens forces me to move around in order to create a proper composition, instead of standing still and playing with the lens' zoom. Pathetic, I know, but I feel more active.