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Dan Chung live blogs from the Olympics with iPhone and Snapseed

By dpreview staff on Aug 1, 2012 at 23:06 GMT

Following on from the discussions about Dean Mouhtaropoulos' decision to use a Panasonic to capture the Olympics, here's further support for the 'it's the photographer, not the gear' argument. Photojournalist, videographer and dpreview contributor Dan Chung has been capturing the Olympic experience with his iPhone. In conjunction with some binoculars, a clip-on Schneider lens and the Snapseed processing app, he's been live-blogging from the games. The images are understandably small but present a fascinating, near-live insight into what's happening in London.

Comments

Total comments: 145
12
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Aug 9, 2012)

Anyone can get better results with HTC
(best camera on mobile phone)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Patrickhk
By Patrickhk (Aug 7, 2012)

Under poor shooting condition, gear is also important. Mr. Chung uses some binoculars because of distance issue. FYI, a high quality binocular, like a LEICA Ultravid 10x42 HD costs over US$2,000. Using a smartphone with a binocular does need very high shooting skill because you need to focus manually and it is very difficult to pan a binocular and a smartphone.

0 upvotes
GFVS
By GFVS (Aug 6, 2012)

Irony. The linked page with the images can't be viewed on an iPhone.

1 upvote
Wayne B.
By Wayne B. (Aug 5, 2012)

Think photographers are snobs? Check out the high-end stereo folks!

1 upvote
AmateurSnaps
By AmateurSnaps (Aug 5, 2012)

This whole thing was a viral for iphone.

The pictures are what you would expect, good for a smartphone, but nothing more.

2 upvotes
Davidgilmour
By Davidgilmour (Aug 4, 2012)

Phtographers are the biggest snobs I have ever met in my life. If the iPhone would cost $8,000 everybody would be raving!

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 4, 2012)

Some snobbery is GOOD, you know. Else, you wouldn't have someone to discriminate between Chef-Boyardee & real cooking. And the cost has nothing to do with it, I have an Olympus E-PL1 that I paid barely $210 for WITH the lens, it has to do with the fact that smartphone cameras (the new Nokia being a POSSIBLE exception) are basically glorified Chef-Boyardee machines.

1 upvote
SM7
By SM7 (Aug 9, 2012)

larry, I don't think snob means what you think.

0 upvotes
axian
By axian (Aug 4, 2012)

Pretty impressive and revolutionary. In the next Olympics maybe everyone will shoot with iPhones professionally?

0 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Aug 4, 2012)

Then it must be a piece-o-cake for Muhtaropoulos and his G5. And probably next Olympics will be shot entirely with mirrorless!

Can't wait!

0 upvotes
Alberto Battelli
By Alberto Battelli (Aug 3, 2012)

It's like cooking a chicken in the microwave.

3 upvotes
crisno1
By crisno1 (Aug 3, 2012)

The points I see in this project, are:
1. This is nothing but an advertisement for Iphone.
Apple have a smart non standard and effective way to advertise their products. This article is a very good example.
2. ”It's not the camera, but the lens” in this case, binocular as telephoto lens, wide angle adaptor for fish eye efects.
If Dan would like to convince me that ”it's not the camera but the photographer” I suggest him to shot a wedding with a smart phone as a next project, and name it ”wedding album shot with a smart phone” without mentioning the brand.
I also suggest him to use the new 41mp smart phone for abil
ity to heavy crop the images.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (Aug 4, 2012)

I got it. All nice photos are smart advertisement for camera.

1 upvote
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Aug 4, 2012)

I only partly agree.
There are some adaptors that allow you to mount a reflex lens onto the iPhone, but they are rubbish.
What good can a professional lens do if you're limited by that cheap small plastic thing in front of the sensor?
And then you're limited by the sensor itself.
No, I think that shooting with a cameraphone, even with binoculars and fancy add-ons is still shooting with a cameraphone, all the good and the bad of it.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zoran K
By Zoran K (Aug 3, 2012)

I am impressed.

3 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Aug 9, 2012)

Are you going to buy an iphone now?

0 upvotes
danstern
By danstern (Aug 3, 2012)

Way to go Dan Chung- nice to see some out of the box thinking. Shows talent + creativity + taking advantage of an opportunity = results. A few Picasso quotes come to mind: All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Also another: Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

6 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Aug 4, 2012)

I don't see "... in conjunction with some binoculars, a clip-on Schneider lens and the Snapseed processing app, he's been live-blogging..." as eliminating the unnecessary.

Don't be naive.
This is purely marketing and PR. For iPhone, Snapseed and for Chung.

3 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Aug 3, 2012)

My personal take on this is a little different and what I think is a bit down to earth.

Every now and then I'll meet another parent who makes the comment that they wish they had a "good camera" like my dSLR. They are under the impression that if they had a "good camera" they would get better pictures of their kids, and then they go on to mention how bad their compact camera is. And they don't even consider trying to take good pictures with their compact camera.

I try to tell them, with a few tips-and-tricks, their compact camera can take amazing pictures. But they aren't convinced. Which is a shame, because they are losing a lot of opportunities to get better pictures of their kids with the camera that they have now. But they just don't believe.

I'm going to share this article on my personal Facebook page with my friends to show what a professional can do with a less than "awesome" camera . . .

4 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Aug 9, 2012)

Remember to mention the binoculars and snap on lens, the app, etc...

0 upvotes
AD in KC
By AD in KC (Aug 3, 2012)

Gotta weigh in.

I think it's perfectly fine that a guy is taping a phone to his binoculars and posting the photos to a blog. Why not. My only worry is that there is a strong popular pressure to accept everything as "good enough". It's an extension of the "anti-intelectualism" we've been famous for since Andrew Jackson's time. And it's not just in photography, but in English - you're just being arrogant if you worry about using "your" in the wrong place. Or go to Home Depot and look at the quality of building materials available. These athletes spend a great deal of their time and energy and resources getting to the olympics. I'm happy to see Canon and Nikon rolling out their best for the occasion as well.

5 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 3, 2012)

Yes, exactly. To far too many people, there's no sense of standards anymore. So when you clarify, even gently and respectfully, the proper usage of "its" vs "it's" when it's a statement like "That camera sure chews through its battery" (NOT "it's") you're called the "grammar police" etc. I'm more of a 2+5=7 and it's not even up for discussion sort of person, & I think we need MORE of that sometimes.

2 upvotes
doctor digi
By doctor digi (Aug 3, 2012)

Being an ignorant ass is seen as a badge of honour these days. I get told I know nothing when I, for example, point out it's "number of people" not "amount of people". We may as well all go back to caveman-speak. After all, wasn't that "good enough" to indicate your thoughts and intentions?

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 3, 2012)

Funny discussion, that is exactly the same for the french language. In fact, people who care about "good standards" in photo as well as in our ability to speak correctly, must realize they are not so isolated as they think. It's just that an "acting minority" has succedeed in just 20 years in making the "silent majority" believe they became too few to be considerated.

Perhaps that time has come to rise again, gentlemen !

1 upvote
Shengji
By Shengji (Aug 4, 2012)

I guess the return argument, and not one I necessarily subscribe too is that use of the English language should follow the rules. Spelling and grammar can either be correct or incorrect. There is not much room for opinion.

In photography, the question "Is this a good photograph" is entirely based on context and opinion. It is a question which cannot be answered without knowing why the photograph was taken and even if you know the context, you still cannot give a blanket answer which applies to every human being in existence.

0 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (Aug 4, 2012)

> My only worry is that there is a strong popular pressure to accept everything as "good enough".

This is just to balance off the standard sentiment here: nothing is good enough.

0 upvotes
Color Blotch
By Color Blotch (Aug 4, 2012)

>> My only worry is that there is a strong popular pressure to accept everything as "good enough".

> This is just to balance off the standard sentiment here: nothing is good enough.

It's never a good idea to balance one nonsense with another one.

0 upvotes
elRicardo
By elRicardo (Aug 3, 2012)

And what about this photographer going the way of retro, using nothing less than a Graphlex (as far as I can see), to shoot the olympics?

https://plus.google.com/u/0/111834234095682920754/posts/FG8r9ckKvvY

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 3, 2012)

It seems a little extreme... but the result of the experience might be interesting.

0 upvotes
26081989
By 26081989 (Aug 3, 2012)

I did not expect images this great from a communication device coupled to some binoculars. Dan Chung showed me it is actually possible. Bravo!

4 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Aug 3, 2012)

Dan Chung will do anything as long as you pay him.

2 upvotes
belard
By belard (Aug 3, 2012)

Yes, it's called "being a professional".

8 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Aug 9, 2012)

It can also be called some other things...

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Aug 3, 2012)

So many awesome pictures, to see, thank you! He is definitely a clever talented and hard-working guy (I am envious lol)!

4 upvotes
Russell Fielding
By Russell Fielding (Aug 3, 2012)

I don't get the negativity about this. It's an interesting experiment. Obviously he's had to cheat a bit by using the binoculars, but that in itself is interesting. I didn't know that was possible. Trying different ways to get the best out of a phone cam. Showing good pics can be achieved. Most people in the crowd will be using either a compact digicam or a phone cam. This shows what can be achieved with experimentation and a good eye. There will be tens of thousands of pixel perfect images of the Olympics online for those who desire that sort of thing. This is something different. (Although it'd have been interesting to try the new Nokia Pure View 808 without the binoculars.)

2 upvotes
Stefan Gunnarsson
By Stefan Gunnarsson (Aug 3, 2012)

By the way, do anyone knows what binoculars he is using or have suggestion on other lenses that you can use and still get decent photos with the iPhone?
Stefan

0 upvotes
Stefan Gunnarsson
By Stefan Gunnarsson (Aug 3, 2012)

This is great.
I hava a Canon 7D with lots of nice lenses, I also have a Canon S95.

But as the proverb:
"the best camera is the one you bring along"
Thats why I take a lot great pictures on my iPhone.

It is inspiring to see Dan force him self to push the limits with the iPhone.
For many purposes it is good enough!

I really like when people push the limits to make this blog or to record a whole film or record a music record only using the iPhone or such!

Dan and others , keep up the great work - never mind some people whining and nagging:)

Stefan

2 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Aug 3, 2012)

I think this shows that
a) You don't need pro gear to take a good shot. It takes imagination and an eye and skills to use what you have well. How clever using the binoculars! Lol!
and
b) smartphone cameras have come long way. Todays smartphone camera is the modern box brownie.

4 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Aug 3, 2012)

I feel a point will be proved if he uses a smartphone solely for all pictures in a year; job and recreation. Well, is he frustrated with the device yet, or did his skills with it eventually allow him to take the most amazing photos with it?

Though Dan covered several events, still once it's done he doesn't need to confine himself to the iPhone for the points to make on a blog. And as for these pics, several are good enough to make one think twice it was a phone, while most others.... yeah, no second looks

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (Aug 3, 2012)

Many "photographers" here really had a big problem against iPhone or any smartphone users. Many of these "photographers" really complain on the technicalities side of photography like resolution, pixels, white balance. Is photography for these complainers is all about pixels, resolution, etc..? I guess they thought if they had the "best" and most expensive camera equipment out there, they feel like they're "professionals" and a good photographer. I guess these people complain against people using iPhones to create photographs can't create great photos from a "crappy" cameras...

6 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 3, 2012)

And worse, they can't make a meaningful/moving image with their "greatest and baddest" pro camera that is currently sitting in their closets while they are busy reading gear reviews and arguing on blogs about photography... :)

2 upvotes
makeitworst
By makeitworst (Aug 3, 2012)

BFD .... you mean the iPhony that is a rip-off of the 2007 PRODUCTION LG Prada shown 9 months before the first peek of a mock up iPhony at MW???

1 upvote
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (Aug 3, 2012)

I look at a photo and either I like it or I don't, mostly based on composition. I think many on this site have a different method.

1. Did they nail focus
2. Is it sharp
3. Is it clean at 100% view
4. Is the white balance spot on
5. Is it high resolution
6. Was it made with the best gear? (extra points if same gear I own)
7. Is the exposure exactly right (if not, it should be pushed at least 4 stops and be as clean as if you had exposed it correctly, one speck in the shadows and it's crap)
8. How did the sensor in the camera that snapped said photo fair on DXO?

Then if those criteria are met, and only then, actually look at the subject and decide whether you like the photo or not.

Nice photos Dan.

4 upvotes
Suntan
By Suntan (Aug 3, 2012)

The title says it all. Bla, bla, Guy uses iphone at Olympics, bla, bla.

When was the last time a photographer wanted to be primarily known for the camera he uses? That's right, when he's going out of his way to make a hipster comment about technology.

I'd have a lot more appreciation for his effort if he used a higher quality camera, then transferred or uploaded the pics to his phone (or other mobile device) for posting in near real time. You know, like what the umpteen thousand other professional photographers are doing because they are taking their job seriously over there.

-Suntan

7 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 3, 2012)

Exactly, exactly, EXACTLY!! I wish there were not just a "like" button but a "Yes! Yes! Yes!" button, I would so be clicking it.

LRH

1 upvote
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Aug 3, 2012)

Since everyone else is using a high-end camera for coverage, there's no need to have anymore of those users at the games, so a few here and there playing with their phones or other toys without sweating over all the missed shots is fine, because everyone else got the shots they needed to.

1 upvote
Dames01
By Dames01 (Aug 3, 2012)

Well all those other pros are surely doing a fine job using a traditional approach, but I think it is great to see one person doing it differently.

2 upvotes
Suntan
By Suntan (Aug 3, 2012)

@Nishi and Dames01,

How many thousands of small time news photographers didn't get a press pass, yet this guy gets to frolic around having a fun time with his cell phone?

There are entire sports in the Olympics that don't get much coverage, but at least this guy gets to press his cell phone up against the underwater viewing panes during the swimming meet.

-Suntan

0 upvotes
alexzn
By alexzn (Aug 3, 2012)

@Suntan: Dan gets a press pass at the Olympics and you don't precisely because he can get a great picture with an iPhone, and you most likely won't even with a $5K camera. That's why a guy showing up at the Olympics with a big camera and a backpackful of lenses does not get an automatic press pass...
@Larry: That's why LeBron James will kick your b$tt with el-cheapo ball from Target, that's why Michael Phelps will outswim you even if he wears a diver suit. Its called talent, skills and professionalism, and nothing that you see flogged on DPR is going to get you any of those.

5 upvotes
Daniel L
By Daniel L (Aug 3, 2012)

Seriously, these images make news how? Hope he didn't waste all the time taking mobile-grade pictures during 4-year once event.

0 upvotes
Cincojoe
By Cincojoe (Aug 3, 2012)

WOW this site amazes me. You call yourselfs photographers? Really? Shouldnt you be supporting a fellow photographer no matter what he used to take the photos? They are photos. Just that. Nothing more. A moment captured in time. You guys are nothing but gear heads that pixel peep and totally miss out on the big picture. I can only hope you're not like this in your everyday lives and I surely hope you don't act like this around your children if you have any. WOW.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
17 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 3, 2012)

Well, I would suggest that someone who calls himself a photographer, has front-row access to photographing the likes of Michael Phelps, LeBron James, and untold other top-notch athletes during a once-every-four-years event--and then proceeds to use a TOY camera for doing so despite having vastly better equipment readily as his disposal--I'm sorry, but that just seems silly to me, and like it or not, I'm calling them on it. It's nothing personal at all, but come on--if I were a chef & had the chance to prepare fine meals for important people at an event like this, I wouldn't heat up Chef-Boyardee in a pot on a hotplate & call myself a gourmet chef.

I am so serious about this, if I were to have a daughter getting married now (she's 5, way too soon) and I were to hire someone to photograph it vs doing so myself, I would interview them for their opinion on this topic, & if they disagree with me--I DON'T CARE how good they are, I won't hire them. I'm dead serious.

3 upvotes
wrider
By wrider (Aug 3, 2012)

You are so right. The gear heads will never get it. They live in a different world. They have no idea what this article is about or what you are saying. They aren't even real photographers.
Excellent post. Keep it up!.

4 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 3, 2012)

"if they disagree with me--I DON'T CARE how good they are, I won't hire them. I'm dead serious."

You are a real pro.

8 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Aug 9, 2012)

Blaufeld - nice job quoting out of context. did you read the entire post?

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Aug 2, 2012)

Some great images ...you guys do know these are downsized for a blog right?
But, people tend to get really defensive when they throw so much money at an item thinking it will make them better photographers.

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 3, 2012)

It won't make you a better photographer, but you may get better pictures.... ;)

Seriously though, you would probably have to be good to use equipment this bad and get away with it...

1 upvote
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 3, 2012)

"Better" as in "like a postcard", yes.
"Better" as in "having more meaning/able to create an emotional response", no.
;)

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Aug 2, 2012)

Heard this young, talented piano player the other day. He created magic with a Pearl River. Can't wait to hear him again on a Steinway...

4 upvotes
wrider
By wrider (Aug 3, 2012)

Exactly.

1 upvote
Color Blotch
By Color Blotch (Aug 2, 2012)

Hey, great shots, I'm going to put one as wallpaper on my desktop! Oh, snap, the icons on my desktop are smaller than pixels on that image...

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Aug 2, 2012)

Way to exaggerate...

1 upvote
Color Blotch
By Color Blotch (Aug 3, 2012)

I admit I wasn't scientifically accurate (if that isn't painfully obvious). It doesn't change the fact that people who appreciate photography outside of web-sized snaps going to feel some limitations with pictures taken with i-something.

0 upvotes
alexzn
By alexzn (Aug 2, 2012)

To the a...holes posting snide comments about this: when was the last time you took a picture with your expensive gear that was half as good as those posted by Dan Chung? When was the last time you got half as many good pictures as are in that blog? Probably not in your whole lifetime. Losers...

Dan- Congratulations with a great image stream, you proved that gear is not a limitation when it is in good hands. Of course that goes poorly on a gadget frak site like DPR.

5 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 2, 2012)

Well I'm one of the "a-holes" & proud of it.

Just because I wasn't hired by the AP or whoever to cover the Olympics doesn't make my opinion or the others irrelevant. This notion you're applauding is hardly new, the adage "no photographer is as good as the simplest camera" goes back decades. Even so, it's also always been the case that when a person got their first "snapshot" camera, at some point they realized that they wanted to do more, to create something that would make one go "wow." They then IMMEDIATELY set their sights on a camera better than their current Polaroid etc so as to have a camera that really matches their aspirations, and they left the Kodak Instamatics in their rear-view-mirror **immediately**. It isn't about being "gear obsessed," it's about having gear that's commensurate with your aspirations, skill level, or both.

Why deliberately dumb yourself down just to make a silly point? You don't see Michael Phelps swimming at the Olympics in an Intex pool, do you?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
threeOh
By threeOh (Aug 2, 2012)

The point is that after a couple of cameras post-Instamatic, the vast majority of photographers have a camera that out resolves their peak competency. Yet they continue to spend untold amounts of money on gear. This is a refreshing look at a photographer whose skills out resolves the camera.

5 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 3, 2012)

And you should be very grateful because cameras would not be half as cheap and capable if all these "a-holes" didn't buy them. However I know quite a few very capable "a-holes" who could probably do a pretty fair job as well.

I presume you drive a Trabant because you are not a paid racing driver, so your car is probably a lot faster than you.....

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Cincojoe
By Cincojoe (Aug 3, 2012)

Well go ahead and post some photos for us to see. Show us your skills. Let's all pixel peep them and tear apart how you took and them and how we all could have done better. Go ahead, post some. That's what I thought.

1 upvote
mwhyte
By mwhyte (Aug 3, 2012)

Quote from - larrytusaz

"Why deliberately dumb yourself down just to make a silly point?"

-------

The reason why one would limit oneself with less capable gear is to challenge yourself....to push the gear and yourself to the limit....sometimes seeing what you can do with limited gear or tools forces you to think in new and creative ways...

I am with most here and say bravo...these are great shots....sure perhaps a bit noisy or of lower res...but the emotion and energy caught in these pictures far outweigh any technical downfalls...

Great shots overall...

Michael!

4 upvotes
wrider
By wrider (Aug 3, 2012)

Thank you for making sense and understanding the original intent of these pictures. We live in a world of nit pickers and pixel peepers who don't even know or like people like Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell. I have heard some of these fools complain about both of these photographers because they were out of focus or there was some distortion in their images.
There is no way to get through to them, either.

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 3, 2012)

Well pardon me for thinking that a shot that's out-of-focus, noisy, pixelated is not just "technically sharp"--it's JUNK. Your point of view will be good news to my relatives around here who can't get a picture free from blur if you gave them a Nikon D7000 set on "green auto" mode.

"Duh, your photos aren't blurry, they're just 'different.' " Yeah, right.

0 upvotes
alexzn
By alexzn (Aug 3, 2012)

Some of the best Cartier-Bresson shots are blurry, but they work because they work emotionally. There is a diference between a shot that is technically good, and a great shot, sometimes they are two different things. Just because you can make sharp properly exposed images out of the Nikon D7000 does not always make you a great photographer. You need something else, an eye and the ability to express what your eye sees in a 2D image. On the flip side, a vast majority of out-of-focus shots are indeed junk. But the point that these iPhone images prove is that you dont need to have a D7000 to bring your vision to the people. Look around at the DPR forums, they are full of perfectly composed, well-exposed and bitingly sharp photos of streets, cats, plants, and kids that are mind-numbingly boring, because people who take them have no talent, and compensate by investing mega$$s in the professional level kit. I am not against it, I have a very good camera myself.

1 upvote
Caleido
By Caleido (Aug 4, 2012)

"Of course that goes poorly on a gadget frak site like DPR."

You do realize this article is about someone using gadgets to take a photo, just to show he can take photos with it, create a buzz and especially mention the brands he used?

The irony.

0 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Aug 2, 2012)

What Dan Chung really proved is the limitation of the iPhone. Just compare to other professional photos like those on olympics.org and you can see what's lacking:

. Resolution
. Athlete's face expressions
. Actions at their peak
. Sharpness for low light actions
. Subject isolation

Now imagine what the pics look like without binoculars and the clip-on Schneider lens, and without Dan Chung. Actually you don't have to, there are plenty of them from the audience posted on Flickr and Facebook. Horrid.

7 upvotes
wrider
By wrider (Aug 3, 2012)

OK, great.
Thanks for expressing your opinion.
You don't get it.
Thanks for playing.
Next.

4 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 3, 2012)

I'm next, and YOU (wrider) don't get it. You do not DARE insult photography & the potential excellence of it by deliberately using a Fisher Price-esque TOY when you're at the freaking OLYMPICS with a front-stage pass. For crying out loud man--do you see LeBron James playing hoops with $10 shoes from Payless going "I"m here to challenge myself" or "a good basketball player doesn't get obsessed about the shoes he wears, if he's any good he can play barefooted on hot concrete?"

Do you see Michael Phelps swimming in a drainage ditch saying "I want to see how good I can swim without the ideal, perfect standardized pool?" Maybe we need to see Tiger Woods (or whoever we now say is the world's best golf player) playing golf using a plain wooden pool from a broom. Maybe we should ask the marathon runners to see how fast they can run jumping in a potato sack.

The opinion of "dylanbarnhart" is dead-on, the others advocating this silliness--**YOU** don't get it. ***NEXT***

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
alexzn
By alexzn (Aug 3, 2012)

Yepp, Larry, you just don't get it. There are plenty other photographers shooting the Olympics with pro-sports kits. This is a different experiment, and you got to give Dan props for trying it, as a challenge, as an experiment. As for taking the place of other photographers, well, 100% f people on this site would never get a press pass at the Olympics, because they suck, even if you give them a 600mm Canon lens with a 1D. Dan earned his press pass an not by using an iPhone. So, chill out. As for you picking your daughter's wedding photographer based on his/her gear- well, luckily, this will be her decision, not yours, otherwise you will get crappy perfectly exposed pictures. Maybe news to you, but good photography takes talent, not just technique.

4 upvotes
Bok7h
By Bok7h (Aug 2, 2012)

Some good thumbnails ;)

4 upvotes
Gary Leland
By Gary Leland (Aug 2, 2012)

Ho Dan Chung! I hope you are having a blast! What are you proving? You are proving that no matter what camera we own, what we can afford, we can have fun with photography and create photos that we can look back on with great memories. Yes you could do better with a more "professional" piece of equipment, we all know that, but I really appreciate what you have done with what you have been given! Great talent, the oportunity to be there, and lot's of just plain hard work. I do not have a TV. I would have missed the Olympics once again. But these were a treat. Too bad you could not have been everwhere at once. :)
Thank you very much. You inspire me to work harder at my photography. After all, is'nt hard work what the Olympics are all about?

2 upvotes
wrider
By wrider (Aug 3, 2012)

See everyone.
Here is someone who gets it and can express himself well.

great post!

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 2, 2012)

I'm sure that no matter how much I spent on clubs, Tiger Woods would whip me every time using a single, cheap 5 iron. But what if he were trying to win the open?

Professional photography is fiercely competitive, and gear helps provided you have the talent and experience to exploit it.

Dan Chung having a bit of blogger fun says more about how pointless having expensive gear is if you just post on the web. Not exactly news though, is it?

What do you think he would use if he was working for Sports Illustrated?

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (Aug 2, 2012)

And when was the last time you bought Sports Illustrated (other than the swim suit issue)? All those high quality yellow cover National Geographic magazines are where? Self help stores won't even accept them for free. Point is that the way in which consumers aquire images has changed and very few people seem to care about the super high res glossy images any more. It is very sad because I am one of those people but I can't expect the people producing media for consumers to cater to the minority when I am not willing to pay the premium. So we all get stupendis amounts of medium quality images for a bargain. Just the way it is.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Aug 2, 2012)

Well, its true that sport has now been overtaken by video, since most people catch up on video news feeds. But there are still touchlines full of long lenses.

And for that matter plenty of magazines containing great photography, just not the ones we probably all remember as being known for it.

Photojournalism on the whole is not resolution obsessed. The D4 is "only" 16MP. 12MP D3s's are still widely used. Most phonecams come quite close to that already. But at ISO3200 a phone cam cannot even make a convincing HDTV image.

And I can't see landscape photographers switching to low resolution solutions any time soon.

0 upvotes
chipmaster
By chipmaster (Aug 2, 2012)

Can you, Yes
Will it yield pictures to share the moment, Yes

What is more interesting is how limting was the tool, did the photographer enjoy the process at all after the fact he showed he could do it.

For facebook or sharing on the web fine, for getty images, SI, or just for the callange how boring is that!

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Aug 2, 2012)

This looks more like an "I can do this with one hand tied behind my back" bet. Some of the images are great, some are mediocre, many suffer (imo) from poor subject isolation due to the large depth of field or lack of dynamic range to capture the event, and some of the really cool shots are function of the positioning afforded to pros.

I think it's an interesting study simply because it shows you what the limits are with a talented photographer. Despite a couple of really great shots, the majority have the flat look of very limited equipment. They would be useful as a way to dress up an otherwise text-only narrative but do not make for a compelling photo-blog.

(note: I have an iPhone 4 and one of the standout features is the camera. It's awesome to have "all the time," but it stays in my pocket when I have another camera with me)

8 upvotes
toomanycanons
By toomanycanons (Aug 2, 2012)

OK, I checked out his pics. OK snapshots with the equivalent of a decent point and shoot. Made possible only because his employer told him "we're going to experiment here. Use your iPhone and let's see what happens", not "and make sure you get the shot". Great work if you can get it.

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 2, 2012)

I would hate to have a boss like that. I'm probably being "all talk no action," but I dare say I would even REFUSE to do as he asked, I'd tell my boss "I'm not using some PHONE to take photos at the Olympics, I've got a Nikon/Canon so & so I'm using THAT. If you want iPhone pics so bad, take 'em yourself, or grab someone from the stands & have THEM do it."

2 upvotes
jeans
By jeans (Aug 3, 2012)

Guess how many photographers used their best equipment, got superior images and no one ever hears about them? Sometimes PR is as important as the actual results - if not more so. Both the agency and the photographer got mentioned a lot, so their goal was achieved. Being better known means more future jobs / higher price taken for the same assignments. In the business sense - a job well done! As far as photography goes - meeeh...

1 upvote
stanginit
By stanginit (Aug 2, 2012)

the iphone takes decent throw aways.

3 upvotes
Dames01
By Dames01 (Aug 2, 2012)

Not in the hands of Dan Chung it doesn't...

2 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Aug 2, 2012)

What if it was in the hands of Ms. Dudedeleedoo from Alaska? Are it still great shots, or just ordinary cell phone pic(k)s?

(as a side note: I think mr. Dan Chung is one of the best reportage dslr videographers out there.)

0 upvotes
Dames01
By Dames01 (Aug 2, 2012)

With an iphone you get a decent camera as well as s/w to quickly manipulate and publish the images on-line.In the hands of a professional photographer, this to me seems like the perfect combination for writing a blog covering a live sports event...

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dmanthree
By dmanthree (Aug 2, 2012)

Like the G5 Olympic photos, these are fine at 460px wide, and the shooter has concentrated on taking actions shots where he can easily predict the action. When I see some G5 or iPhone shots of a soccer match that rival those taken by a pro with high-end gear,I'll be impressed. Neither camera is useful for taking shots of quickly moving subjects and continous AF. I like Chung's shots, but they illustrate a very skilled shooter who is living within the limitation of his tools, not the capability of the tools.

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 2, 2012)

Quite agree with you. The photographer is very good and the tool not-so-bad... so let see what can be produced when we combinate the two, something like that: http://youtu.be/hk5IMmEDWH4

Or when a Paris Opera or Vienna Philharmonic super-solist is challenged to play his best on an entry-class violin. It can be fun, even interesting but could it make the deal when it comes to high standard concerts where every client wants to get his money's worth ? The doubt is allowed.

0 upvotes
nigelf
By nigelf (Aug 2, 2012)

I somehow don't think that all the photog used was just an iphone, i bet he shot a load with his "normal equipment"....though methinks the "little cam" can now be added to the list of "normal" equipment looking at these results!

0 upvotes
Tom Goodman
By Tom Goodman (Aug 2, 2012)

A spate of articles lately on this site touting the use of devices other than the highest end professional ones are consistent with the "Challenges" in another area of DPR. Both groups underscore the irrelevance of equipment in making an appealing/arresting/mystifying/compelling image while also confirming that anyone is capable of making a few good pictures no matter what camera he or she uses.

The problem is that few photographers who command our ongoing interest are capable of making one let alone many series of appealing/arresting/mystifying/compelling images over a long period of time and those who do emphasize vision not equipment. What camera did Bill Brandt use? Harry Callahan? Ray Metzker? Cindy Sherman? Manuel Bravo?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
zanypoet
By zanypoet (Aug 2, 2012)

Yes, as the adage goes, it's not the arrow, but Indian ... but still, even the crappy arrow has to shoot straight ala iPhone4.

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Aug 2, 2012)

As has been said countless times, the best camera in the world is the one you have with you there and then.

Saying "what wonderful photos, you must have a really professional camera" is on the level with saying "wonderful food, you must have a really advanced food processor" or "you run really fast, you must have really great shoes"...

0 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 2, 2012)

Ah, the hobby wannabees... Delight of the marketing department.. ;)

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
vin 13
By vin 13 (Aug 2, 2012)

try running a marathon in wellies!

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Aug 2, 2012)

Or in Hush Puppies !

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 2, 2012)

I do believe runners make a point to get shoes appropriate for marathon or sprint running, as opposed to buying them from "Payless." I doubt you see LeBron James running up & down the court in flip-flops yelling to Coack K "hey, a good basketball player can play wearing ANYTHING." I doubt the chefs at the 5-star restaurants in London are preparing their meals using Stouffer's "Meal in a Bag" cooked in a garage-sale skillet over a campfire. I don't see Michael Phelps swimming in a drainage ditch.

I'm not a professional, merely a "hobbyist," but when I went to the Ozark Mountains last week, knowing nice landscapes awaited me, I used an Olympus E-PL1 and Nikon D5100, NOT my phone's camera--not even for silly snaps of us eating in a cafe. Such is beneath decent photography if you ask me. Call me an "elitist" all you want, I don't care. And no, saying "if you really cared, you'd taken a D800 or medium format" is NOT saying the same thing.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (Aug 2, 2012)

I would really like to see how he made the binoculars/iphone setup.
Has anyone a link?

1 upvote
Nmphoto
By Nmphoto (Aug 2, 2012)

Like I said with the G5. All you people out there that think if you guy the best gear available you become a good photographer. Think again. It does not matter what you use. A good photo is a good photo regardless of what you use. I have seen some terrible photos taken with D4's and 1D's using the best glass. And....welcome to the digital age, where 90% of your photos will be viewed at around 2 megapixels. When was the last time you printed one of your photos larger than A3 ?

1 upvote
Valen305
By Valen305 (Aug 2, 2012)

Very true. Its one of the reasons I use a Fuji X10 with an Eye-Fi wireless card now for candids, travel etc.

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Aug 2, 2012)

Sadly so many of you miss the point...

And have been missing it for ages.

Many of the readers of this site are camera users first, and photographers a far distant second, if at all.

For us taking a good photo is entirely secondary to the experience of owning the gear that would be capable of taking a good photo - should we for some strange reason desire to do so - oh and if we had the technical and aesthetic skills to do so.

Now try and tell us it's not the gear!!

And as for "the best camera is the one you have with you".
Phooey.
The best camera has superlatively large or small numbers in the specification section of brochure or catalog and more acronyms than a bowl of alphabet soup.

An iPhone in the pocket is not worth a D4 in the locker.

Anything else is falls within the purview artists or - gasp - photographers and we want nothing to do with it or them.

Why would you want to sully a perfectly good - or, even better, superlatively good camera with photography?
:)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
wrider
By wrider (Aug 3, 2012)

So basically you are saying that you missed the point of the article entirely and decided to just write a rant about how gear heads rule?

OK Then.

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Aug 3, 2012)

No that's not what I am saying at all.

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Aug 2, 2012)

Hahaha!
I was among the critics of the "Moutharopoulos stunt", but here I must acknowledge that the photos are so masterfully taken that their quality is not so important anymore.

Ok, they are small and all that, but boy, are they beautifull! This man is a talent - and he wants to become a videographer (and at least reduce his commitment with "pure" photography), as he stated before!

I also imagine that here he was the one to chose his tool, not Panasonic marketing office, and I see the advertising message as less intense or at least less direct: the iphone stands for "smartphone with a camera", it's not even the one with the better camera out there.

Two thumbs up!

9 upvotes
Total comments: 145
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