Phoneless Cameras R.I.P. Rant — Only the Size of Your Prints Justifies $$$ Gear


WTF, just read an article you tweeted Dan, about a National Geographic photographer “capturing the aura of the Scottish Highlands with the iPhone 5S“… What a brave new tool for brave new photography… Worst of all, I can’t even tell if these images are really shot with an iPhone or not!! Paid by Apple? Seriously guys, if this Jim Richardson would have used a D4 with the most expensive optics, downsized to this width of 600 pixels no one can tell the difference. You can’t, me can’t, no one can’t. We can’t tell the difference between a $10k and an iPhone shot!

Looks like more and more the camera doesn’t matter… Shot on an iPhone in HDR for Instagram… Insane!! The quality’s good enough! More than good enough!

WTF, that's supposed to be a camera?!
WTF, that’s supposed to be a camera?!

My problem: just spent big money on big gear. Yes, I believe in promises and tradition. But now, seeing this Richardson stuff, what’s even more frustrating is not even the one behind the camera seems to matter anymore. Pictures perfect, whatever you’re shooting and shooting with.

True, the iPhone adds nothing special to these photos — how can it. We’re talking 600 pixels width! And it still works!

Filters, in-camera processing, fancy algorithms and new sensors make small look big and #fail look like #success.

Or take Samsung‘s new fast 13MP OIS smartphone sensor with a lens that could be eight times brighter… Listen, only the size of your prints justifies $$$ gear. You publish in magazines and exhibit, yes you deserve $$$ gear. The camera does matter. But only when printing and publishing big.

Web publishing?! Don’t make me puke. Anything goes. The iPhones bigger sensor and improved aperture, among other upgrades, seems to be more than most can handle.

For most of us? Face it. Photography today is about the processing of 0s and 1.

Praising an iPhone 5S and ditching a Nikon in the process… Discovering that the iPhone is a very capable camera… Insane!!

And we’re not yet even talking Lumia 1020!

Lossless zoom pictures? Who cares? We’re talking downsized! Without RAW! Where’s RAW!!

Terribly flat? Low saturation? No 3D-ishness? We’re talking downsized! Pepped up a bit, these iphonewhateverimages work.

Don’t wonder what Richardson’s fee was. There was none.

Halleluja iPhone, Lumia 1020 et al.

You single phoneless cameras R.I.P.

* So I let this one slip through. Have mercy!

  • Bengt Nyman

    Expertly shot and post processed, and never enlarged, the pictures look nice. This is a credit to the photographer Jim Richards. If you look close you can, however, see the coarseness and pixel structure of the image, especially in the image of the town and the castle on top of the rocks.
    This illustrates vividly the importance of the photographer.
    I doubt, however, that Jim will go on assignment for National Geographic with just his iPhone.
    If you have an iPhone 5S, go out and challenge Jim’s results.

  • Might even get this 5S to replace my aging 3S to challenge own habits, customs and preferences…

  • Bengt Nyman

    You might be happier with a 1020.