Thursday, September 11, 2014

iPhone 6 the last camera you will ever buy? Not Hardly

I have been an iPhone owner since the first one hit the market.  No, I am not a tech nerd or a Hipster, I just want a good product that works.  I know, I know... I can already hear the iPhone haters and the Droid fan-boys mantra coming across the interwebs on why the iPhone is crap and Droid is best.  Just stop now and keep reading.  This isn't about the phone, its about the incessant blog posts on why the iPhone camera is the last camera anyone will need to buy.  It is, unfortunately, quickly becoming the latest urban myth.  If you ever wanted to take photographs like a pro, well, the iPhone will not get you anywhere near shooting like one.  There is so much more to taking a photograph than the camera.  Yes, you can take great photos with the new iPhone 6 but just because you have a great camera does not mean that you will automatically take great pics.

ADRIENNE PITTS, London, United Kingdom
Here is a great example of great photos taken with the last iteration of the Apple magic wand.  Is it the photo, the resolution or the eye of the photographer?  You already know what I am going to tell you, its the photographer.  Lets say this photo was taken with the old silverback iPhone 3G, would that have made it any better?  Probably not, in fact there is no way it could be better but it would still be a great photograph.  Even if this photo was poor resolution and the colors were slightly off it would not have made a difference.

The iPhone 6 is an impressive camera as well as a video camera.  It is not, however, a professional camera.  It has flaws, I could go into those flaws but why waste your time?  After reading this post you would undoubtedly say "well, it is a phone after all".

To say that this is the camera to end all cameras, that is tantamount to saying the new Fords will be the last car you would ever have to buy.  Please don't send me emails hating on Fords, it's sarcasm, get over it.  Anywhoo..  Yes, soccer moms and ego driven selfie takers are going to go gaga for the new found prowess of the camera mixed with great software emulation of actual photographic techniques.  They will post millions of these photos promptly after activating their new toys.  People will comment on the photos, like them and some may think that they can go into business as Pro-Photogs because they take such great selfies.  I am looking forward to laughing at the photos actually.  For that is what I do, I laugh at narcissism put on display.  (ok, this blog is getting really mean)

This is actually a more common problem in the photography world than you would expect.  Many amateur photographers who do really nice work are of the mind set that the camera is the most important thing.  They buy a great full frame camera for about 5k and a wonderful lens for another 4k and the pictures still look just like the ones they were taking with that Cannon T2i they bought at Sam's Club.  These cats show off their pictures to the rest of the world and proclaim them to be some of the best ever, they submit to the photo contests and tell all their friends how they must give up a full time job to pursue a career in photography because they are so great.  Many a camera company has gotten rich from the promise of better photos if you buy their newest model.  It never works.

Cameras will always be evolving.  The tech will get better and better with easier interfaces and new ways to focus like the Lytro camera.  It is a really cool concept that I would not mind using for web site design.  It allows the viewer to click on the area they want to see and the photo then focuses on the pixel area that was clicked on leaving the formerly in focus area with a nice Bokeh.  It really almost gives you a Harry Potter Wizard Picture feel.  Over the next ten years you will see even greater advances.  Eventually we will be able to pick our brains for the photograph we would like to take without even picking up a camera.  Ok, maybe that one might be in 2215, but you get my point. This alone is why the iPhone 6 will not be the last camera you need to buy.

In closing this amazing, colossal and spirited blog that tends to rant on and on about seemingly nothing, I want to share with you a photograph you have seen before.  It was taken at my Uncle's lake house this past July (2014).  I used NO photoshop (other than to convert it to a jpeg) or digital effects.  No color was added or altered in a computer.  I did not even set the white balance to some crazy setting in my camera.  What I did do was use old school photography skills to make a great photo.  This is something that you cannot re-create on an iPhone.

Recreation at Sun Down
Paul G Newton
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