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What I've always been curious about was whether Apple's engineers reached out to Kodak when designing the iphone's camera?

It would seem logical that Kodak could have potentially been a possible supplier.

Kodak and Apple already collaborated on a camera, back in the early 1990s:


Kodak? Around 2005 when the iPhone hardware spec was being designed? They had completely lost the digital camera game by then.

I had a Kodak digital camera in 2003. It was no better or worse than competing consumer digital cameras - i.e. it was a usable but mediocre affordable snap cam.

I think where Kodak lost it was failing to bring high end technology into compacts. Kodak had a big stake in professional digital cameras before 2000. It's completely wrong to say they weren't in the market. In fact they almost owned it. The first professional digital bodies were being sold by Kodak in 1991, and the former sensor division is still going under another name.

But they didn't seem to understand that the same technology was going to move into affordable prosumer cameras, and eventually into consumer snap cameras.

They certainly didn't understand it was going to move into mobile phones, where it would kill consumer film cameras. And they totally failed to anticipate photosharing culture online.

To be fair, I think almost everyone underestimated mobile. I had a Nokia 9500 Communicator with a camera at around the same time I had the Kodak. The quality was pretty bad, and there was nowhere near enough bandwidth to consider photo sharing.

Now I have an iPhone with a camera which can give an old SLR a run for its money, and photo sharing is no problem.

The difference is that Kodak were creating products - technological artefacts for a single purpose.

Jobs and co were creating a culture - a set of experiences that include hardware, software, marketing, and media attention.

Culture companies are much more likely to kill product companies in the same niche than vice versa.

> Now I have an iPhone with a camera which can give an old SLR a run for its money

Absolutely not. Older DSLR had lower resolution, but level of detail is not all there is to image quality. Dynamic range, bokeh, control over perspective, the ability to take pictures of moving targets at higher iso without the picture becoming too grainy and the ergonomics are all things that even a 15 years old DSLR can do better than an iPhone 6s. You just can't get pictures like these out of a smartphone : http://i.imgur.com/kV2CfBE.jpg http://i.imgur.com/0jugE5B.jpg http://i.imgur.com/2bV1HJz.jpg

These all come from a Nikon D1h, samples from dpreview. The D1h was released in 2001. Nowadays, even the lowest end DSLR will outperform it in almost every single way, apart from build quality. Even so, that old top end camera still outperforms smartphones where it counts from the point of view of art photography. In 2001, I still used film cameras because good DSLR like the D1h were out of my reach, but these days, even a $300 DSLR will just obliterate anything you could do with a smartphone.

And then there's the fact that most casual photography is taking pictures of other humans, and that the wide angle lens of smartphones distort perspective and make people weird up close. The iPhone has a 30mm equivalent which is very unsuited to taking pictures of people. http://fotografeando.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/focal-len...


You can see here how even the 35mm is plainly inadequate compared to the 50mm focal length.

I think TheOtherHobbes' statement about iPhones giving old SLRs a run for its money is quite insightful -- not as a pure technical comparison, but more about what consumers value from cameras.

The Nikon D1h, Canon 1D, etc... definitely has better bokeh, dynamic range, perspective control, etc than even the best smartphone camera on the market the today, but consumers just don't care that much about actual photographic quality. They see a DSLR today and think "bulky", "another set of batteries I need to charge", and "how do I share photos to Snapchat with that thing?"

Most smartphone cameras are more than good enough for daylight shots, selfies or Instagram, and if you are not into photography, that's good enough.

I don't know about that. I got excellent results over ten years ago from a digital camera, at night, of fireworks. My favorite shots: http://boston.conman.org/2003/07/04/p100048.jpg http://boston.conman.org/2003/07/04/p100049.jpg (this one, the launch of the mortar failed and it exploded at ground level) http://boston.conman.org/2003/07/04/p100059.jpg http://boston.conman.org/2003/07/04/p100066.jpg

I will grant you that I might have trouble getting the shot of the racing car with my current crop of digital cameras. But the other two ... I guess I'm not just seeing the difference.

> Now I have an iPhone with a camera which can give an old SLR a run for its money, and photo sharing is no problem.

Well, the iPhone may be nice if you're near the object you want to photograph and it's a bright sunny day, but:

- it horribly sucks at low-light photography, you can't just screw an iPhone to a camera tripod to get a beautiful shot of the night sky

- there are CF and SD cards with WiFi support, which can be used in virtually any camera

- good luck taking a good distance shot with an iPhone

- good luck putting an iPhone onto a stabilizer (e.g. Steadicam)... and no, software can't replace that.

> Now I have an iPhone with a camera which can give an old SLR a run for its money

Modern smart phone cameras are very very good.

But you can change the lens on SLRs, and that's something you can't do on iPhone.

And you can change the aperture and shutter speed on an SLR, which gives you a lot of control over the image.

Wide, telephoto, and macro lenses for the iPhone.


The miniature bayonet mount is really nicely done.

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