Travelling with just an iPhone camera?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Jkim7
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Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
9 months ago

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

Fujifilm X-E2 Sony a6000
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Biggs23
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

I travel when possible. Mostly recently I took my wife to visit Paris for the first time. Cannot imagine taking just an iPhone or even a small mirrorless for that matter. I didn't take my full kit but I took a capable FF dSLR, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 35mm f/2, and a 50mm f/1.2. If anything I felt like I didn't bring enough!

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

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Jkim7
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Biggs23, 9 months ago

Biggs23 wrote:

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

I travel when possible. Mostly recently I took my wife to visit Paris for the first time. Cannot imagine taking just an iPhone or even a small mirrorless for that matter. I didn't take my full kit but I took a capable FF dSLR, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 35mm f/2, and a 50mm f/1.2. If anything I felt like I didn't bring enough!

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

I guess this isn't really the right forum to ask this haha. Most people here are serious photographers.

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Pantyhose Bandit
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

I tend to agree though I would at least get an ultrazoom compact or perhaps a Nikon j3 mirrirless for optimal quality i n a small lightweight camera.

I wouldn't bother with a bulky heavy thief magnet like a dslr

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GodSpeaks
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

While the IQ of the current ipone is 'good', to say it is equal to a mirrorless CSC is just plain wrong.

As you stated above, people here are serious photographers.

While I have a very good camera in my smartphone, I use it only as an absolute last resort.  When I travel, I take along my Panasonic GX7 micro four thirds camera.  Waaaay better in every respect than any smartphone.

But this is your trip and they will be your photos.  If you are happy with what you can get out of your iphone, fine.  Go for it.

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Ontario Gone
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Actually DPR has added a lot of smart phone information and you will find many people who only use them, your question however is the same no matter who you ask. To answer you directly, there is not much difference if you only shoot non moving subjects in bright daylight at close proximity, AND only view them at sub HDTV resolutions. When you need a zoom, when light starts to dim, and when objects start to move around a lot you will find the IQ difference is huge.

Phones are just not capable and that's part of their nature, it's not a camera. If you shoot landscapes, or statues, or selfies, and you never need more than internet viewing, you might be ok. So the question is, what exactly are you going to use it for? I agree with biggs, my philosophy is it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. It's not like a smaller ILC is huge anyway. I own a GX7, it's an amazing mirrorless camera that is very portable, there are also smaller DSLRs that blow an iphone away.

My advice is get a camera.

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Jim Salvas
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

You asked for support, but you're more likely to get the truth in here, and the truth is that phone cameras are only a match for even point and shoot cameras in good light and without zooming. Yes, you can take nice photos out in the sun with your phone, but it will come up short in dimmer light. It will still take recognizable photos such situations, but they won't be nearly as good as with a camera.

And, you can use digital zoom on your camera phone, but you're really just cropping the image, losing quality each time. You're actually stuck with a single, wide-angle lens on most phones - about 33mm equivalent for an iPhone.

Your phone will be fine if all you want to do is share some images on social media. You may not care for more now, but a simple pocketable point and shoot camera with a decent lens will give you photos you will appreciate for years.

There is an alternative, however, which may do the trick for you, and that is one of Sony's Q lens cameras, which attach to a phone. These can actually turn your phone into a decent camera.

http://store.sony.com/cyber-shot-q/cat-27-catid-All-Cyber-shot-Q-Series-Cameras

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LightBug
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

You don't need to spend $1000 to get good image quality. You could get a Pentax MX-1 on close out deal right now for $200. If you don't mind fixed 28mm focal length, Ricoh GR, recommended by many street photographers, is $650 and is pocketable.

There are many iphones and cameras in my home, iPhone is not good for night shots or in a dimly lit restaurant, for day time it's fine if that's all you capture. You will not regret having a more capable camera than an iphone when you go to more exotic locations.  Sometimes you may capture something you want to print and hang on your walls.

Joey

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PenPix
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to LightBug, 9 months ago

RX100/II  Small enough that you'll still take it everywhere and superior to a cell phone in every way.. except for making phone calls. 

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PVCdroid
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

The feature set, sensor and sample images for the A6000 look really tempting at an affordable price.

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mike703
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

You don't have to go all the way to $1000 for an ILC if you don't want to.  A good compromise - portability and convenience but not too much cost, and a massive improvement in image quality - can be given by any on of the larger-sensor compacts.  I have an Olympus XZ-1 (now superseded by the XZ-2 I think) which is great for travelling light; or there is the Sony RX-100 (Mark 2?) - or panasonic LX7 - or canon s-100 - or any number of excellent compacts (larger sensor as compacts go; fast lens; reasonable zoom range) that fit in a jacket pocket.  I'd go for whatever one of those you can find that is on special offer.

Have fun

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ZX11
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Use just the iPhone but know its limits.  Zooming in on subjects is out.  Fast action sports when it isn't a sunny day is also out.  Have to use a flash in low light.  And the list goes on.  However, the iPhone is as compact as you are going to get.  So giving up some things might be worth it.

And boy howdy, can a complex (better?) camera really jack up a quick photo if you don't have the time to learn how to operate it like a pro.  Blue tint photos, blurred subjects, a perfectly exposed tiny patch of sunlight in a room with the subject left as a silhouette, nose in focus with the rest of the face out of focus, the list goes on and on.  The iPhone will generally get the shot without thinking.

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dannybgoode
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to ZX11, 9 months ago

I wouldn't travel with just my phone camera (in my case a Nokia Lumia 925 so a really pretty good phone camera).

I went to Paris the other week and the camera I used for 99.9% of all shots was my Ricoh GR D IV.  They have some cracking deals on them in the UK at the moment (£280ish) and whilst sure the new GR is even better in terms of image quality the GR D IV is no slouch and will destroy your iPhone every time.

The only thing to be aware of is the fixed 28mm focal length as has been pointed out already but I did not find that limiting.

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Beserk
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Biggs23, 9 months ago

Biggs23 wrote:

I travel when possible. Mostly recently I took my wife to visit Paris for the first time. Cannot imagine taking just an iPhone or even a small mirrorless for that matter. I didn't take my full kit but I took a capable FF dSLR, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 35mm f/2, and a 50mm f/1.2. If anything I felt like I didn't bring enough!

Not enough? I'm curious what you would bring for a trip to Paris if you were going again.

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Avobanana
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

I am the exact opposite of you. I just can't stand iphone photos.

The quality difference is huge even in the best of circumstances. They just look like sh!t.

But if you can't see that maybe image quality it's not that important for you. I guess you care more about contents.

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Mark B.
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I still can't use a 100-400mm zoom on my iPhone and shoot birds in flight at 8fps.  Not to mention the high ISO, even on a 7D, is far & away better than anything I've gotten with an iPhone.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

I couldn't do it, but that's just me.  I couldn't stand being restricted to one focal length, slow focusing, no drive mode, lousy low light performance, no external flash support, no way to shoot to a removable card...you get the idea.  If you're happy with that, that's ok; it's not for me.  It's not for me or anyone else to say what you should be happy with.  I get that some people don't want to carry a camera body and additional lenses and other accessories.

Mark

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happypoppeye
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Go for it.
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

Learn how to use it and you can take photos that rival a regular camera. iPhone has less distortion than a lot of $1000 USD plus lenses ...sharp, always with you.

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happypoppeye
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

Jkim7 wrote:

Hey guys,

So I'm in a dilemma.

I'm trying to make up my decision on getting a good mirror less (Sony A6000 / Fujifilm X-E2) or just travel with my iPhone. I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them. If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

I just want some support haha. Do any of you travel with just an iPhone camera? I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Help me out here!!

I travel when possible. Mostly recently I took my wife to visit Paris for the first time. Cannot imagine taking just an iPhone or even a small mirrorless for that matter. I didn't take my full kit but I took a capable FF dSLR, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 35mm f/2, and a 50mm f/1.2. If anything I felt like I didn't bring enough!

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

I guess this isn't really the right forum to ask this haha. Most people here are serious photographers.

So than ask the Nat Geo and AP Photo journalists on instagram using iPhones. They may not be as serious, they just make a living doing it.

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Klaus dk
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Beserk, 9 months ago

Beserk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

I travel when possible. Mostly recently I took my wife to visit Paris for the first time. Cannot imagine taking just an iPhone or even a small mirrorless for that matter. I didn't take my full kit but I took a capable FF dSLR, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 35mm f/2, and a 50mm f/1.2. If anything I felt like I didn't bring enough!

Not enough? I'm curious what you would bring for a trip to Paris if you were going again.

A 70-200 mm f/2.8 with 1.4 and 2 x TC. Not much imagination in you

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Dennis
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Re: Travelling with just an iPhone camera?
In reply to Jkim7, 9 months ago

Jkim7 wrote:

I just think iPhones these days (iPhone 5S and soon iPhone 6) takes good enough pictures to look on a computer screen and I feel it's hard to justify spending $1000 for a good mirror less when there really isn't THAT much of a picture quality difference between an iPhone and one of them.

So I'll disagree with this, but with a caveat. I think there's a big difference, from the sensor attributes (noise & dynamic range) to the functional differences (ability to get the shot) to practical considerations like whether you can use a lens hood to prevent lens flare. Even just looking on a computer screen.

That said, we all pick some arbitrary level of quality that we find "good enough" to avoid spending or carrying too much. I know that full frame offers greater potential image quality than APS-C, but I shoot APS-C. And while I have a Sony NEX-5 (in addition to a bigger DSLR kit), I tend to travel lately with a Sony RX100.

If I were to get a cheap mirror less, for example a Nex 5, I just feel like there's no point in having one as an iPhone 5S, in my opinion, can produce similar caliber images as one and definitely matches most point and shoots.

Again, having shot my NEX-5 and seen what my wife's iPhone 5 can do, I'd say they don't produce anything like similar caliber images. That's not to say the iPhone 5 can't produce "good enough" images, though.

I just feel like people bring these mirror less and DSLRs to travel and I'm wasting my trips abroad (going to Africa and India this year) by taking "measly" iPhone pictures.

I guess it depends on what you want to do with them and how critically you want to look at them. You can certainly exercise your artistic skills and knowledge of light and composition to create interesting iPhone photos. And you can bring home a collection of memorable images.

I assume as photographers, many of you are also travelers.

Not as much as I'd like But here's my philosophy on travel & photography. The best photographs of any given place are going to be taken by people who know the area well and who have access to it over time. Not by a casual visitor like myself. If I'm going on a "photography trip" I'll bring my bagful of gear. After all, it's about photography. (I don't do these often at all). But for family travel, I'll tend to bring some select gear based on the trip and then leave stuff in the hotel or cottage depending on what I'm doing any given
day.

Help me out here!!

It's tough - I agree that you don't have to have the "best" travel photos to enjoy your memories, and that convenience is important. But I've taken too many pictures while traveling that have benefited from the responsiveness, fast autofocus, shallow depth of field, greater dynamic range or telephoto lens options I have with dedicated cameras. You have to pick your compromises.

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