iPhone vs Camera

iPhone vs Camera

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of ditching all but one of my cameras and just use the camera built in to my iPhone.


An iPhone can untether the photographer because you have a full stack setup of a camera, a digital darkroom to process images and a publishing studio in your pocket.

You can point and shoot with your iPhone to make images, use Apple Photos to edit or a third-party app like VSCO or Snapseed to process them and then publish the keepers to your website or social media.  

Millie in downtown Chicago 2019 shot with iPhone 11 Max

The Negative:

If an iPhone has the same quality imaging as a standard digital camera what can be so bad about that?  More screen time on your phone and more distractions can be bad. You'll experience neither of these when using a dedicated camera.

But... an iPhone is a perfect camera for almost everyone

If most of your images are uploaded to social media or just stored on your phone or in a cloud you don't need another camera. An iPhone is perfect for this. You aren't printing your photos and almost 50% of your images aren't seen again until a few years later and you say "Oh yeah...I remember that" then you delete it.

When the time comes for a family portrait and you want to print archival-quality images, then you can dust off your DSLR camera.

Most of us don't need better image quality or the largest sensor we need photo shoot ideas, imagination and creativity to make our images stand out.

Digital and Film

I love shooting film photography because every frame costs money and I need to take my time to enjoy the process as opposed to shooting thousands of digital shots and hope for the best. I try to find the best of both worlds by creating my own film emulations. For the past ten years I've developed my own film aethestic to try and duplicate my favorite film stock (see below.)

The issue with digital photos is that almost all of them will die in the darkness of your hard drive. They won't die alone because there are thousands of images that will never see the light of day again.

All of that to say this: I think I've found my photo mojo again with a new project. I am going to blend the film and digital concept starting this weekend. I will go out for a photo walk with the iPhone and limit myself to only 36 shots, the same as a roll of 35mm film. I will then develop them in my digital darkroom using only one film stock aethestic and finally, pick my favorites and have them printed on archive paper. I'm looking forward to the hybrid process and now the weekend cannot come soon enough.

Oh, and I can't wait to buy the iPhone 14 Pro Max later this year so I can use my iPhone 13 Pro Max as a camera only and not worry about dropping my new phone when shooting.