Malaysia - XPro2 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max (LR)

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greenrice Junior Member • Posts: 27
Malaysia - XPro2 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max (LR)

Like many, just finished first trip since 2 year lock-down in the Philippines.

Brought my XPro 2 with only two lenses:

  • 16mm F2.8
  • 35mm F1.4

Also, I had my iPhone X, and my GF had her new iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Went through KL, Singapore, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in about 21 days.

Lens use

70% of my shots were using 16mm. I like this format for street shots, landscapes, beach, wildlife etc. I can always crop in post. Distortion is an issue when snapping portraits.

30% with my 'magic' 35mm. Is there any photo the 35mm can't make look excellent? I only took this out when specifically doing portraits. I find it a pain to swap lenses on the street - esp. during the brutal heat that we experienced - just no fun. Love this lens but to fit anything in the frame I feel like I have to back away a million miles. So no snaps in the bar or pics of partner over dinner.

(I did use it as a poor-mans-zoom though - when photographing Proboscis monkeys in Bako National Forest). It enabled me to get photos my 16mm never could of some of the monkeys up in the tree limbs.) I now fully understand the need for a zoom lens.

iPhone

Sad (but very true)... I had thought the most used english phrase between vacationing couples was 'look at that' - but on our trip it became 'can I borrow your phone'...

The iPhones' super wide-angle lens was just delightful. Capturing more than I ever could have wished for. Especially places like Petronas towers, the Merlion, beaches, city parks, and just about any building etc. Adds a very unique perspective to a photo without something chintzy like fish-eye.

Additionally, her iPhone was able to (like Harry Potter magic) take photos in even the lowest of light. Avoid white-out (from bright sky behind a subject), and very few pictures had any blur.

Finally, used both my iPhone X and 13 in a waterproof camera bag for snorkeling - and not even a question - the 13 outperformed the X in every way possible. Capturing the fish or coral and much better lit. (Next time will get a GoPro for that)

Conclusion

I was looking at what Fuji prime would match her 0.5 wide angle. I guess it's 13mm (which doesn't exist). The 14mm is rather old.

More than that, personally - we're always walking around and I'm old (or at least feel old) and often get tired (esp in the heat). I just can't see me stopping to take a picture of GF in front of some banana trees and changing my lens from 16mm to 13mm (or even all three). First of all she would start hurling a string of Tagalog curses at me.... Having the ability to quickly take the photo in multiple formats on her phone allowed me to capture the moment far better than my X system - where I would have lost the shot.

Caveat

When it comes to quality, hands down the Fuji system won the day - WHEN I managed to do everything right, and the camera-gods smiled down on me. iPhone just doesn't come close to what the 35mm can do (even in portrait mode). The vivid, crisp, natural light with bokeh.. Just fantastic. The 16mm as well captured some good photos - when there wasn't operator blur. There is some kind of 'soul' in my 'good' Fuji shots that are just missing from the iPhone.

We have a 7 month trip coming up (if restrictions will allow it) and I'm really starting to think hard about my Fuji system:

Pros

  • 35mm (and even 23mm) captures just beautiful portraits
  • Love the mechanical beast strapped to my wrist. So much more tactile and fun to use. Feeling rather steam-punk once the leather case is on etc.
  • Allows me to take the time to focus more (and think about the photo) as I search for something to act as a tripod
  • More room for error in post-processing as larger file size
  • Self-identify (emotionally) with camera (this is me, I am this) - whereas feel nothing for a phone.

Cons

  • Even my big cargo pants struggle with multiple lenses knocking my knees all day
  • My vision is bad, but corrected with contacts/glasses - the view finder is unusable for me. iPhone much easier to see.
  • Intimidating to some people on street - everyone is used to phones coming up and snapping away - almost invisible
  • Two to three times more ruined photos (my errors), motion blur, wrong settings, small screen where you 'think' you got a great shot only to find mess when you get it home
  • Movies, time-lapse, slow-mo etc - compared to iPhone.
  • An epic horror-show of an app to transfer files from camera to phone (takes hours)
  • RAW was a plus, but now iPhone has it
  • I take photos mostly for fun, posting online, memories, and hobby. I will never print them large format.

There is some value in 'just wanting to get the photo, or capture the moment' without having to think about the technical. The missed photos still haunt..

I mean, for me it's not really a matter of 'if' anymore - but 'when'.. Hardware can only see so much improvement. Software is rather unlimited. AND - it's always with you, and every few years you get a whole bunch of new features and improvement.

Thoughts?

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