Life Science & Technology

The iPhone cannibalizing all other cameras, but don’t count them out

The iPhone is getting better and the world of photography is changing.

New technology is wiping out the traditional form of photography.

Of course it is. With constantly evolving tools, it is impossible to not change the way the way we do things. 

This question is asked again every year — usually around the time Apple releases new iPhones with improved cameras. Ever since the debut of the iPhone, the digital camera has been on the decline. Now, with the release of the iPhone 11 and its advanced photo technology, even some dedicated photographers are questioning the need for high quality DSLR cameras. 

But while the iPhone’s convenience is perfect for the casual shooter, it will never be able to completely replace the professional cameras. Yes, it may have its “portrait mode” and the multiple lenses that let you capture a wider angle than previous camera phones could, but the iPhone isn’t able to capture the resolution needed for printing large format photos, nor does it inspire the creative aspect of photography.

The iPhone is effortless and taking pictures has never been easier, but is that necessarily a good thing? The fact that you can just pull out a phone and snap a picture in a second without having to really do anything makes the photos feel less impactful. As photographer Marc Shultz puts it, “how you approach capturing an image is equally as important to the final outcome as the technology used to create it.” A convenient camera phone user isn’t as likely to invest time in making sure the framing of the picture is right and that the light bounces off the glass at the perfect angle to get that perfect photo. Point and shoot cameras present a whole separate way of taking photos and don’t give up much control to the user either. 

Still, many professional photographers who use traditional DSLR cameras are turning to the iPhones more and more. Many of them like Julian Calverly, a commercial photographer, may use multiple cameras for different purposes. Julian still sticks with using his traditional DSLR cameras for shooting projects, but he is happy using iPhone for smaller things like behind the scenes shots and social media. “Customers want everything out of a single shot” Julian says. “And the iPhone’s resolution simply doesn’t offer that.”

Back when I first tried shooting on a DSLR, I was amazed at how much better the quality was compared to my iPhone 6. At that time, everyone was in agreement that the professional cameras were far better. But now, the iPhone 11 Pro is making that difference evaporate. 

Still, until the iPhone in your pocket is able to produce high resolution photos and the photo quality you can only get currently with top of the line camera phones, DSLR cameras are ultimately going to be preferred for professional photographers.

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