Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why My Ten Year Old Digital Camera is BETTER Than My New iPhone

So why does my iPhone suck? This is a brand new iPhone... oh wait. It's an iPhone 4. So, part of it is that the iPhone 4 isn't that new to the rest of the world. Sure is new to me though. The iPhone4 is only a 5MP camera.  But wait, the first photo here was shot with my 10yr old Olympus C-5050Z camera... which was a 5MP camera. Pre-DSLR days. The only reason I never sold this camera is that for macro work, it is still top notch. It has great glass! And best of all, the way it renders flesh tones is second to none. Even my Nikons aren't able to render colors as faithfully as this ancient Olympus. As for my iPhone, it isn't even a contender (as we'll see.)

Here's the first image I shot immediately after the one above. This one was shot with the iPhone 4. Hmmm. Selective focus wasn't cooperating. Or maybe it was just being more selective. 

So here are some "serious" side by side comparisons. Mind you, the iPhone is BRAND SPANKING NEW, high tech, straight out of the box, no tinkering, no special filters. The Olympus is ancient, seriously broken in, and downright archaic in the digital camera world.

So would I ever choose to shoot with my iPhone as my camera of choice? Sure, you betcha. In good light, with still, non-moving subjects, IN GOOD non-contrasty light, where high quality image fidelity isn't that important... absolutely. I tend to think of the iphone as a great way to sketch out an idea. Quick and dirty. Then I can review the image, figure out what I like, what didn't work and then go back in and redo it with my camera of choice.

These are some thoughts in closing:

"The best camera is the one you have with you"... and sometimes takes really shitty photos.

Know why your iphone takes bad photos? Because it is a phone. Yup. Your old cordless phone took terrible photos too. They are still developing.

"Newer tech always beats old tech",... unless that old tech was good.

Now, if you're still reading this, and I doubt anyone is at this point, there was a wonderful write up in another blog comparing all the different iPhone and iPad cameras. Yep, someone did their homework. If you want side by side, apples to Apples comparison, don't look at me... look at this other blog. And enjoy!


  1. I don't have a phone with a camera. I have a pay as you go that makes phone calls.
    Then I have a camera that works well for a novice like me.
    What is working is having a customer in the shop that needs to share a picture with a person that sent them to buy. They shoot, the person picks, they buy. This has made life more simple for us.
    Now, do I want a phone with a camera, some days yes, most days no.
    I did read it all and plan to follow the links.

    1. Meredith, I think for most people the best solution is to get an eyefi card, toss it in their camera... shoot to their ipad or tablet. Then upload via wifi to whatever social media they prefer. Nothing wrong with using whatever camera you have on hand, and the photos you continue to post prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

      My offer still stands... if you ever feel like trading work for some photos, just yell.