You can’t deny smartphones are the most popular cameras in the world. Back in days, professionals would have laughed at it, but nowadays even pros use them in certain situations. It doesn’t mean its quality can compensate for what pro gears can bring to the table, but rather, there are moments and time mobile phones are a good option. You have to agree its size and easy of use is better than any cameras in the world. And everybody carries their phone all the time. It’s always the camera you have on your hands. People get lazy to take their cameras out. But nobody gets lazy about carry their phone. They’ll take it everywhere, even to bathrooms.
So with that being said, iPhone has been my go-to camera for years now. I started to shoot a bit with 3GS but at the time the whole social medias were still in their infancy. I remember the excitement I had when I first got iPhone 5 back in 2012. I thought that was a good camera for a phone, but in reality, there was still a huge gap between these cameras and even those small point and shoot cameras. iPhone 6 brought that gap down a bit. Now, with iPhone 7 Plus, I think the gap is even narrower. To be honest this is a mobile camera that I feel it can stand on its own. I could see myself having an exhibition with only phone-shot images. I never thought about that before, because the quality just wasn’t up there. But I think it is pretty up there now. I’d like to share some shots I’ve taken with it in the last 3 months and tell you how I feel about using it.
When I first got iPhone 7 Plus it was October. Autumn was a nice season to test out the camera. Colors were good, and sharpness were impressive. When you use post processing app like VSCO, image quality doesn’t go down the toilet. Most of it all, what satisfied me the most was its capture speed. It was pretty good at capturing a moment, without all those shake up. I was able to get sharp images out of moving subjects, which isn’t easy with a mobile camera.
Let’s face it. What is the most common subject of your smartphone photography? It’s food, and probably coffee too. These are subjects you wouldn’t really shoot with your DSLRs, but mobile cameras seem to be a perfect option to just to capture what you’re eating or drinking. 7+ was pretty good with food photography as well. Having 2nd camera to give that 2x zoom works really well on these subjects, as you don’t have to get too close to your cup or foods. Without the zoom your closeness could get shadows in the cup or food. but 2x zoom allows you not to become obstructive, and at the same time quality remains as it is optical zoom, not digital. Portrait mode, which also is a unique feature 7+ has, works very well photographing those cute coffee cups as well. Blur out those hideous looking tourists in the back!
What I also liked was how 7+ handled lights. Not over exposing it, but getting the right amount was the key. It did pretty well when the camera was facing the sunlight coming in. The subjects didn’t lose details. I could get those depths and shadows in reflection. Lastly, it was the best nighttime camera I used in all of iPhone. Smartphone cameras are mostly useless once a night rolls in, but this guy was pretty good even at night, as long as it’s not pitch black dark. One thing I started to enjoy is taking pictures at night with 7+. Something I never did with previous iPhones.
On the first day of snow in Seoul, I had 7+ in my hands. It was really fun to take a picture with this guy. Didn’t lose focus, didn’t get the images all blurry or shaky. It got the shot I wanted.
Recently I took a trip to Jeju Island, the most beautiful island in South Korea, and 7+ got me some nice images. I was carrying my Leicas, but there were some shots 7+ was good at taking. Surprisingly, there are few shots it made that I like more than my Leica images.
So all in all, I am really enjoying using the camera of iPhone 7 Plus. Of course, there will be better cameras soon, 7S plus will be even better than this, I’m sure. But I think they have reached a certain point that these cameras will be able to hold on for a few years. I know everybody uses smartphone cameras and you don’t look serious taking a picture with it, but that’s a whole point I think. As a street photographer I try all my best to look like nobody. Phone camera gives me that status right away. But now, they can even get me some results. That, I like it.