3 iPhone Specs That Photographers Should Love

The iPhone is still the most known and most utilized smart phone camera of all time.  It started the trend, and continues to lead the pack in mobile photography. Despite the fact that it does not utilize RAW image processing and does not have a native professional mode, the iPhone camera family remains strong. The iPhone photography is based on speed and its app ecosystem. The customizations on the native camera are limited and are again really for speed sake.

The plethora of camera and photo editing apps are never ending and so with so many options, it really caters to just about anyone. 

Of all the announcements that were given this week about the new iPhone, the camera got the most needed update.  Well I could be biased. To top it off, Apple announced that there will be a 4" smaller version available for us., the iPhone SE. It's not a new handset, it's actually a 5/5s handset with practically the same specs as it's larger family members the 6/6+/6S. This is great news for mobile photographers who love the smaller form function of the smaller models.  Again, this is one of my favorite reasons to get the new handset.

The smaller SE does not have a couple upgrades that is only on its larger family members. The front facing camera is only for the SE is still less than the new upgraded 5MP. The one upgrade on the larger devices that is not wanted and is not going to be on the SE is the camera bump.

The SE will have its rear lens remain flush while the bump will continue to show itself on the new larger devices.  Now here are the three reasons why the mobile photographer should upgrade;

  1. 12 MP > 8 MP*: Digital images are made up of thousands of tiny, tiny digital elements that are called pixels. These pixels are important for resolution. The more pixels the better the resolution.  The better the resolution, the better quality of photo and ability to print at large sizes. A megapixel is one million pixels.  12 million megapixels > 8 million megapixels.
  1. Improved Toning, Improved Noise Reduction: Toning refers to the "tonal range." What this means is how well do smart phones capture light and dark. For instance a low pixel camera has a really low tonal range. The improved toning means that the iPhone is "catching" up to its larger camera siblings.  Noise reduction refers to the grain or dust found in images. The smart phone sensors are really small so in low light situations, noise is really prevalent. The more recent models have done well and from what it sounds like, Apple is trying to stay in front of the game of noise reduction.
  2. 63 MP > 43 MP*: Panoramic images are wide angle images.  In order to capture a full panoramic image, digital devices takes multiple images to "stitch" together a panorama.  Much like the 12>8 image capture, its obvious that the 63>43.

*There are other elements that make a great photo. Just because you have 8 or 12 or 1000 MP's does not mean you will have a great photo. Sure shoot at the highest resolution and at the highest quality settings you can on your camera but also remember the more important elements of a great photo: light, focus and exposure, image clarity, and subject.

These are the 3 top reasons why you as a mobile photographer should either think about going the iPhone route or upgrading.

 The last few years, Apple, has let the competition get closer. I actually go over the top smart phones in mobile photography for 2016. These are based on specs of course and not on hands on work. 

The mobile photography arms race will just continue to progress. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.