Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the differences between the iPhone 5s and SLRs, part of Shooting with the iPhone 5s.
I own a lot of cameras. I'm not trying to brag here, it's just, it's part of my job, I've got a bunch of SLRs, I've got point-and-shoots, I've got mirrorless cameras. When I pick up my iPhone and choose to go shooting with it, what am I giving up? How does the iPhone compare to, for want of a better term, I'm going to call a real camera? The iPhone is a real camera, it's an incredibly capable camera, but you know, come on, it's a phone. It's not what we're used to when we talk about a camera. So, what am I giving up here? Straight out of the box without doing anything else to the camera, I have to make some considerations about the controls that are available, and whether I'm going to have what I need to get the type of shot that I want.
I don't have great exposure control with the iPhone, I don't have independent control of shutter speed, and aperture, and ISO if I need it. I do though have the ability to alter exposure using the built in light meter, or the, the built in exposure control. And by adding some other apps, I can start to put back in some of that exposure control that I would expect to have on a real camera. Then there's optics. The iPhone has a very good lens. It's it's tiny, and it doesn't have a tremendous focal length range, but it's a very good lens, and the sapphire covering on the iPhone 5S means it's a very durable lens.
So that's great, but I can't change lenses. Straight out of the box, I don't have the ability to attach other lenses. So that's a little bit less flexible than what I might have on my SLR or my mirrorless camera. As we'll see, there are ways that I can work around that as well. Other types of expandability, I can't add remote controls and inner velometers and the kind of stuff, filters, the things that I might do with a normal camera. If I'm going to need those for the type of shot that I want to get, then I need to think about whether the phone is a suitable camera or not. However, with post production, there are ways that I can regain some of those effects.
Then there's pixel count. The iPhone 5S is an eight megapixel camera. To be honest, that's probably as many pixels as you'll need for just about any photographic application. With a higher pixel count, I've got the ability to crop more, zoom in on an area of the image and blow it up to the print size that I want, and of course my maximum print size can go much higher. But still, eight mega pixels gives you a pretty good sized image, and with modern upsampling software, I can get a larger print size that's still very effective. So, pixel count is not a real limiting factor unless you are shooting something that you know is going to be, you know, a full page shot in a magazine that needs a whole lot of dots to maintain quality.
Finally, there's low light. The iPhone 5 5S is an exceptional low light camera phone. It's not as great at low light as a very good point and shoot or my SLR or my mirrorless camera. So I'm taking a hit there. That said. With post production, there are ways that I can get a little more low light capability out of the phone. So, I'm not meaning to knock the camera, every camera has its strengths. I could just as easily sit here and tell you why you shouldn't be carrying an SLR on a particular shoot. The important thing is, for the camera you're choosing to understand its limitations, to know where the weak spots are, and to know if it is appropriate for the type of shooting you're going to do.
If I was to go out wildlife shooting or sports shooting, I would not take my phone. I want a long lens. I want incredibly fast performance. I want really good exposure control. Similarly, if was going to get very serious port, about portrait shooting. I'm not sure. That said, you can if you get their, if you have the right shooting position you can take some great sports photos with iPhone. It's just you're a little more limited in the flexibility you have when you're in the field. So, through the rest of this course, we're going to be looking at how to take those limitations that I've just talked about, the things that I expect to have on a camera, the things that I have on my other cameras.
And we're going to start adding them back to the iPhone. The things that aren't there in the stock configuration can often be added. And we're going to look at how to take what is an exceptional snapshot camera and turn it into a really usable photographic instrument.
In this course, photographer, author, and educator Ben Long explores the iPhone 5s as a serious photographic instrument, using its built-in features as well as a hand-selected collection of accessories and apps that will extend your iPhone power. He details the basics of shooting with the iPhone, and then delves into more advanced camera capabilities such as panoramas, HDR, and video. Ben also explores workflow issues, including editing, sharing, and printing photos and transferring them to a computer.