People used heavy film cameras, awful lenses, rusty shutters amidst a raging war to take incredible pictures (Magnum photographers). If they had iPhone cameras back 50 years ago, they'd kill to get such a small camera system in their pockets.
Good photography (and cinematography) is largely a conceptual thing - put the right brain behind the tools, however limited, and they'll produce incredible content. This is hardly surprising. It is the Jimmy Hendrix equivalent of using an eBay cheapie to shred incredible music. Or look up Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi film shot with a total budget of $7000. No shit!
It’s also the difference between a random bike and something really well maintained with tires pumped to perfection. Super expensive bikes won’t get you to the Tour de France, but it sure makes riding a lot easier
SLRs have enormous sensors. The largest common sensor size in computer vision is 1". That's smaller than micro 4/3. APS-C and full frame are huge. Big sensor means more photons, which means less noisy images. Combine that with a big ol' lens and a good processor and you get nice well-exposed images without any effort.
People are disappointed by phone images because they take snaps indoors or in low light, and their pictures come out grainy and noisy. In the iPad Pro advert the scenes are lit so brightly that the sensitivity of the sensor is basically meaningless.
For studio photography, the lighting is more important than the camera. I once brought a pro-grade DLSR, a $400 entry-level DSLR, and a final-gen film SLR to the same shoot, and created images with all three using the same lighting setup. The difference in results wasn't immediately obvious.
Modern camera phones have good sensors, so if you drop one into an otherwise-professional studio setup, you'll get good results.
You think? I'm amazed by the photos I get on my phone (Pixel) and that my wife takes with her iPhone. The low light performance is especially shocking.
I used to have an SLR and sometimes I think about getting a Leica just because they are beautiful, but if I'm honest my phone is a better camera than I really need.
So I appreciate the quality of mobile phone photography in such a small form factor
I think the core of the issue that I am getting at is how the average consumer spends thousands of dollars on their gear. Pixel peeping, gear talk, MTF curves, the bokeh battle, the whole culture is preoccupied with the details. And yet, they don't have anything to show for it in terms of results. To me personally, it doesn't bring joy. Joy to me is creating something incredible that is avant-garde, unique and something that gives me goosebumps. To others, amazing gear brings joy so there is something to be said about consumer spending in form of stress therapy.
The other point is that it creates an artificial barrier to newcomers where there is so much chatter about this gear and that gear.
After all, what do we do but capture fleeting moments in a living world? Looking at moments, captured, we experience the same spark, the same life, that the photographer saw. We connect, as humans. That's powerful.
The lenses, cameras, and phones that we love to obsess over are great. I love gear as much as the next person. But gear is dead, where the world around is brimming with life. And to obsess over the gear at the expense of the art waiting for us outside the window and over the hill is to lose something precious.
"Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography.""
Having said that, depth of field versatility is only one tool, and often it's a hindrance rather than a help (e.g. we're trying to find the hyperfocal depth and maximize depth of field). For a wide gamut of photography realms such as landscape photography, city life, etc, it is absolutely true that a modern smartphone can compete with any SLR and create perfect results.
What the lenses do is give you more options for photo taking in situations where your phone cameras have difficulty. This is usually to do with tricky light situations. For example, having large, fast lenses for night time shooting.
If I was just shooting vanilla day time photos in well lit situations I could make extremely passable photos with any of the modern iPhones.
Blessedly the topic of conversation changed.
I once had to help judge a couple of photo contests where members of the general public sent in pictures. They were taken on everything from low-end telephones to high-end mirroess rigs. 99.95% of then were utter crap, regardless of the platform. Poorly lit. Out of focus. Half the subject out of frame.
People will spend $3,000 on new camera gear when they should be spending $200 on a basic photography class at a camera store or community college.
Bought a DLSR camera a while back and enrolled in a weekly photography class at a film school for a year. Now I barely touch this camera. It's pretty bulky and I can take equally nice shots using my smartphone camera (good enough for sharing with friends and for own memories).
The only times I would want to use a DLSR camera over my smartphone is when I intend to make a big print of the photo, so I care a lot more about the resolution.
You cannot get a decent amount of control with a phone.
Want to shoot at 1/15 and get partial and intentful motion blur? Want to do night time street photography, shoot at 1/60, 2.0f and cap the iso at 3200 max?
A phone may be OK for a selfie, but any kind of real artistic expression beyond really basic photography concepts and you won't get far.
> Poorly lit.
Better cameras capture more light.
> Out of focus.
Better cameras auto-focus faster and choose target points better.
> Half the subject out of frame.
High resolution cameras can capture an image for later cropping without early zooming.
Tools are rarely a problem. The person using the tool is more often the problem.
This is the equivalent of someone wondering if they should the latest MacBook or the latest Surface to do some very basic sysadmin.
It doesn't matter!
Said otherwise, with total result as the sum of contributing factors like tools_factor + skill_factor + luck_factor + …, the partial derivative of tool is not significant.
Maybe the conversion was not about achieving or improving a task, but idle talk for social purposes?
Anything can be meaningless if you axiomatically don't care about it.
Personally, I find no value in that, but I respect differences of tastes.
Those are the factors which make Nat Geo photos look like they do.
The glass absolutely limits potential and conversely good lenses can claw back a bit from disadvantage in the other aspects.
Ask yourself how many Nat Geo photos were taken with a $100 Yongnuo 85mm lens versus a $15,000 Canon 200-400.
magnum photographers didn't had "awful" lenses, the lenses they had were incredible for the time and still today they are incredible and a used 50mm Leica lens from 50 years ago is still worth more than an entire iPhone today, new iPhone.
And that's if they were using the "amateur" 35mm film, medium format (120mm), was even better.
What they lacked in technological sophistication, they compensated in just BIG FAT glass and BIG FAT photosensitive area compared to a phone today, and less versatility (no zoom, e.g., no through the lenses focusing, e.g.)
You really don't understand, tech can do many things, but it can't surpass physics.
This means that your cannot control one of your 3 parameters of the exposure triangle, which is a big limitation. Also it leads to the user not being able to control the depth of field. A smartphone camera sensor is still too weak/small to offer good low light performance and your lens isn't sharp enough to allow for radical cropping.
Those are things that amateurs/non-enthusiasts don't realize but lead to any old 35mm film camera being much more capable in the hands of a skilled photographer. That being said, research on computational photography is currently making big steps and could narrow that gap quite a bit.
I still have a snap (digital) camera to shoot things I can't with a phone. The pictures aren't as good.
As a side point: what do I mean by can't shoot on a phone? On a whitewater raft; climbing; on a multi-week backpacking trip (only one small, spare battery needed); sleeping in the snow; has controls that can be used via feel while wearing gloves; non-digital zoom. These are all niche applications and while adaptors (cases) can be found to use a phone in these situations they are much worse than just getting the right tool for the job. Which sits unused on my desk more than half the time.
For stop motion animation, there is an app called just “stop motion” which is pretty good. It is free, but there are some in-app purchase upgrades that may be worthwhile.
We like to start kids off shooting 2D scenes, with the camera up above the table. You can balance your phone on a stack of books for free, or for about $35 (IIRC) you can get a gadget from amazon that is like the arm from a clamp-on desk lamp, but with a selfie-stick-style phone/tablet holder instead of a lamp. Either way, I recommend grabbing the earbuds that came with the phone/tablet and plugging those in, because you can use the volume buttons as a shutter release that won’t jiggle your whole set up.
(Both iMovie and Stop Motion are available for iDevices of all size. I don’t know what is available for Android, but I am sure there are options.)
Apple has a habit of adding and removing and re-adding features to its base programs, so I’m not sure if it’s still available in Mojave. Might be worth a check.
Six year old kids can do amazing things, as long as their environment doesn't railroad them down boring paths.
If a person can do something good with any old piece of kit, doesn't that say more about the person than the kit?
If you tried to film this advert on a VGA webcam and edit it on an Amiga I don't think you'd get results this good no matter how skilled the person was.
It may take someone skilled to get the best out of the kit, but they're showing that they kit doesn't limit you.
The thing about better cameras is that they just give you more options, features, flexibility etc. - but if you don’t know anything about the craft, you won’t be much better off with a $50,000 camera vs. a $500 one!
Yes I agree, that's not really highlighted in an advert though.
If a camera has one feature, you use that one feature. You cant tell from a film that's used that one feature whether the camera was expensive or cheap. Especially when the point of the film was to show off the camera, and that one feature.
It was mind numbing and tedious editing when I had a pentium 4 editing to VGA resolution
now its like 1080P on my laptop and things go super fast. 2K, 4K, 8K has zero utility for me so this is perfect.
Ipads are also fast enough, but I like the idea of having a fast enough networking connection to still render on more powerful machines nearby or in the cloud
I understand the filming part, though iPad probably does not offer any advantage of mobile cameras.
But is there a need to edit on iPad? Any laptop with a proper desktop UI is much more powerful for this purpose.
I don't do video, but a photographer (Ted Forbes) who's YouTube channel I really enjoy released a video yesterday about how he's switching to LumaFusion and gave some reasons and thoughts on why.
But if you want to cut bolts in real life you should probably use a bolt cutter...
* It doesn't sit well in your lap. So if you don't have a table and you want to type that's annoying
* It's not a great environement to code and run tools
I wish it could fix these issues, but in truth I'm wondering if it could without becoming a laptop.
I'm not sure why there isn't a better detachable keyboard/tablet system out there. One of the main reasons I still travel with a tablet and a laptop (even if it's only a small Chromebook) is that the laptop is so much more ergonomic to just grab and stick on my lap which I often even do in, say, a hotel room even if there's a table available.
Ask a pro photographer what he would prefer:
1. a cheap entry level DSLR and ultra-expensive light setup
2. the most expensive DSLR and cheap household light setup
Most would pick 1.
When watching YouTube videos and Kickstarter videos where amateurs are trying to pass themselves off as pros, the most common and grievous error has nothing to do with the image, it's the sound that's all fucked up. Unplug the refrigerator and get a proper microphone! Digital cameras have come a long ways in 20 years, but onboard mics are still garbage.
There have been great (and even award winning videos) shot on iPhones (or even cheapo dslrs/compacts) with no "professional lighting" or just natural light.
A random example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyr9NwyszNY