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Is the iPhone 'Years' Ahead of Android In Photography? (9to5mac.com) 408

Former Google senior vice president of Social, Vic Gundotra, said that Android phones are years behind the iPhone when it comes to photography. In a Facebook post, Gundotra said: "The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple." 9to5Mac reports: In response to a comment suggesting that the Samsung S8 camera was even better, Business Insider spotted that Gundotra disagreed. He said that not only was Apple way ahead of Samsung, but Android was to blame. From Gundotra's Facebook post: "I would never use an Android phone for photos! Here is the problem: It's Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos? It's because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS. Also the greatest innovation isn't even happening at the hardware level -- it's happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago -- they had had 'auto awesome' that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc... but recently Google has fallen back). Apple doesn't have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it. Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android."
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Is the iPhone 'Years' Ahead of Android In Photography?

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  • Flame Bait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johnsie ( 1158363 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:05AM (#54918517)
    Ah, the good old Apple vs Android argument. Always good for click/flame bait on tech "news" sites.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I haven't been over to the firehose in a long time. Have they added the "+2 Flamebait" option yet?
    • Re:Flame Bait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:38AM (#54918593)
      It's ridiculous to begin with. Comparing a specific phone to a platform? Has there ever been a requirement for Android hardware vendors to only manufacture phones with good cameras?
      • Re:Flame Bait (Score:5, Informative)

        by coastwalker ( 307620 ) <acoastwalker.hotmail@com> on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:18AM (#54918701) Homepage

        Like most generalizations it applies "in general" to lowest common denominator users. So yes maybe a walled garden appliance works very competently. If that is what you need, then it is indeed the best. If you want a choice of applications to use with your camera then it definitely is not the best. The guy is just spouting marketing speak, or half truths as most critical thinkers will concur.

      • Re:Flame Bait (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@ w o r l d 3 . net> on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:42AM (#54918773) Homepage Journal

        The iPhone camera is decidedly middle of the pack for high end phones. It's competitive but far from the best overall. If there is any overall champion it's the Google Pixel camera, which really is light years ahead with their computational photography system that has moved beyond just faster electronics and marginally better lenses. It's also by far the fastest.

        The iPhone camera is good, don't get me wrong. It tends to end up looking artificial, especially in low light conditions, due to the heavy processing that Apple does. But as a point-and-shoot it's fine and gives generally good results most of the time. It just can't match the HDR ability of a Pixel or Samsung camera.

        • yes its flame bait

          yes correctly interpreting the colours is pointless since apple has forged them previously to make it "look better"

          what complete and utter rubish this man espouses clearly he cant even use the platform he helped create...

        • by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @08:38AM (#54918985) Homepage
          Not clear Pixel is better than the Apple. Long comparison of different kinds of photos at cnet: https://www.cnet.com/news/goog... [cnet.com]

          Their bottom line is:

          If you tend to shoot portraits and that's what matters to you most, the iPhone 7 Plus is an obvious choice. Portrait mode is dSLR-esque, and we only expect it to improve by the time it gets a public release. But if brighter colors, sharper detail throughout the backgrounds of photos and capable low-light photography is more important, it's the Pixel. I have to admit, I initially thought Google over-promised on its new flagship -- especially after those disappointing Nexus cameras -- but I was wrong. It's a new chapter for Google phones and this one earned its name.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@ w o r l d 3 . net> on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @10:21AM (#54919465) Homepage Journal

            What makes the Pixel camera so great is that it gets really good results with just point-and-shoot. You don't have to think about lighting or trying to hold it super steady for maximum HDR or whatever. And sure, the iPhone might give slightly better results in portrait mode with good illumination and no touch-up afterwards, but if light is poor or you are willing to press the one-touch fix button in the gallery app then the chances are that the Pixel will give better results for you.

            My ultimate test is my black cat. It's rare for a phone to be able to get good pictures of him where you can even see where his limbs are. Normally he's just a big ball of black fur on phones.

    • This article is the geek equivalent of talking shit. ANDROID PHONES REPRESENT!
    • I would take this article more seriously if it wasn't referenced on 9to5mac. News site focused on Apple products, prefer Apple products.

      Now I have an iPhone and I am in generally happy with it and I have no serious intentions to switch to Android. But I would take the response more seriously if it came from a more neutral source, or an admittance from a pro-Android source.

      Fanboys have a habit of twisting a disadvantage into a full advantage. Much like how back in the Power PC days. Apple use to show how the

      • Fanboys have a habit of twisting a disadvantage into a full advantage. Much like how back in the Power PC days. Apple use to show how the Power PC processor had handled a few Photoshop filters better than Intel chips, while the Intel Chips were in general faster overall.

        As someone who did a lot of Intel and PowerPC programming back then, including optimized PowerPC and x86 assembly. PowerPC was technically faster even for general code. About 20% for CPUs of the same clock rate. Although I had many years more experience with x86 assembly, PowerPC also provided unique optimization opportunities that helped specialized code. Where Intel won overall was not having the better performing hardware (again, comparing CPUs with the same clock rate), rather they had a higher clock ra

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:08AM (#54918525) Homepage

    If you use a DSLR to make family photos in restaurants, then yes, your phone has replaced your DSLR.

    • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:20AM (#54918557)

      The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7

      Translation: Hipsters who used to use a $1,000 DSLR as a $70 point-and-shoot are now using a $1,000 iPhone as a $70 point-and-shoot. The DSLR isn't going away any time soon for anyone who cares about proper photography.

      • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:22AM (#54918705)
        Nothing replaces big glass and its ability to collect light. And, Gundrota's "computational photography" doesn't need a phone - it's just post-processing.

        Sounds like the guy responsible for the huge success of Google+ isn't happy about the small size of his golden parachute.
      • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @08:24AM (#54918927)

        The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7

        Translation: Hipsters who used to use a $1,000 DSLR as a $70 point-and-shoot are now using a $1,000 iPhone as a $70 point-and-shoot. The DSLR isn't going away any time soon for anyone who cares about proper photography.

        Neither are point and shoots. I recently went to the Goodwood FoS with a mate. I had a 4 year old Canon P&S (albeit a quite good one), he had the latest Samsung. He was astounded after the level of quality in my shots of fast moving cars. Furhter more, I can get my camera out of pocket and powered on in less time than it takes me to open my camera app on my Nexus 5 (and yes, I've got a shortcut on the shortcuts bar... I probably should replace it with maps or something as I hardly ever use the camera, but I digress). The P&S simply had better optics, a faster shutter, an optical zoom, faster focusing actuators and better processor and image sensor.

        Whilst it's 100% true that having a better camera wont make you a better photographer, the reverse isn't true. No amount of talent in the world can get good shots out of bad cameras. As the old saying goes, a poor craftsman blames his tools but the corollary is a good craftsman buys better tools. Things have gone back to the way they were, DSLR's are the domain of professionals, P&S are the domain of amateurs, phones are good for non photographers or when you dont have a camera handy.

        • No amount of talent in the world can get good shots out of bad cameras.

          Well I remember an article in a Sunday newspaper, probably 25 years ago, where David Bailey was given a £10 disposable camera (remember those?!) and asked to see what he could do with it. The results were pretty good.

        • by unimacs ( 597299 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @11:56AM (#54919965)

          Whilst it's 100% true that having a better camera wont make you a better photographer, the reverse isn't true. No amount of talent in the world can get good shots out of bad cameras. As the old saying goes, a poor craftsman blames his tools but the corollary is a good craftsman buys better tools. Things have gone back to the way they were, DSLR's are the domain of professionals, P&S are the domain of amateurs, phones are good for non photographers or when you dont have a camera handy.

          Photography is a hobby of mine. I have a DSLR, two SLRs with some great lenses, a Rangefinder, and a Yashica medium format camera. What I consider to be my best photograph ever was taken with a VGA resolution digital camera from 90's.

          I frequent a photography forum that has a portion of it dedicated to photos taken with phones. Photographers of all sorts post photos there and it contains some fantastic pictures. A DSLR has some specific advantages that very often aren't required.

          Further, too many people have this mistaken notion that SLRs and now DLSRs represent the ultimate in professional quality cameras. They do not. They are themselves a compromise for the sake of affordability and convenience just as phone cameras are. Just like phone cameras, as technology has improved you give up a lot less by choosing a DSLR over a medium or large format camera than you used to.

        • I recently went to the Goodwood FoS with a mate. I had a 4 year old Canon P&S (albeit a quite good one), he had the latest Samsung. He was astounded after the level of quality in my shots of fast moving cars.

          The point and shoots and DSLRs take better pictures because they use larger sensors. Most phone camera sensors [steves-digicams.com] are 1/4" or smaller. The P&S sensors have several times the area. The DSLR and mirrorless sensors have several tens of times the area. More area means better low light sensitivity

      • But what if I really want diffraction limited [cambridgeincolour.com] low res low dynamic range photographs taken with low quality fixed aperture lenses captured with a noisy little sensor.

        Even setting that aside I would still prefer a DSLR over a cellphone or point and shoot camera because with a cellphone you are stuck with one lens and a fixed field of view where as the DSLR gives you options. While I don't have a DSLR I still have an old film SLR with a selection of really good lenses ranging from a 17mm fish eye up to a 500
      • by sootman ( 158191 )

        I'm not saying DSLRs are going away, nor am I saying an iPhone will shoot as well as a DSLR in all conditions, but serious photography CAN be done with an iPhone, as these three magazine covers show.

        http://nypost.com/2017/04/15/c... [nypost.com]

        http://bgr.com/2017/02/17/ipho... [bgr.com]

        https://techcrunch.com/2017/04... [techcrunch.com]

        As always, the talent matters more than the tool.

    • There is a little known technique for comparing cameras. You take pictures from both under the same conditions and examine the differences. Maybe Apple is so many years head this technique doesn't apply?
    • by zardie ( 111478 )

      Nope! I don't see my Canon 1DX Mark II + 35mm f/1.4L II being replaced by my iPhone any time soon... and the photos I get from family at restaurants are gorgeous compared to what I can do with a phone camera.

  • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:08AM (#54918527)
    Buy a camera. If your iphone camera is so great let's see it zoom without losing resolution, or focus some place else. Thought so. Those photos look just like photos from anything. You can tweek them with software all you like but it's essentially a filter. Your iPhone camera is just as limited as any other smart phone camera and showing off glowy pics of your kids isn't going to change that.
  • But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xlsior ( 524145 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:14AM (#54918543) Homepage
    ... There is no reason why 'Samsung camera' on a Samsung phone couldn't be equal or better than the iPhone camera - just because it may take them time to convince Google to add it to an official api doesn't preclude Samsung from implementing it themselves. Sounds more like iPhone fanboy rambling than a genuine issue.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:15AM (#54918545)

    Betteridge's Law of Headlines clearly states that the answer is 'no' to any headline containing a question. Betteridge's Law proves that the iPhone is not years ahead of Android in photography. Period. End of discussion.

    • You misunderstand the adage. It doesn't state that the answer will be 'no' - it simply states that the answer 'can' be 'no'. It proves nothing.

  • Apple is ahead. For instance, the current MacBook is a marvel of technology and the exact notebook I would want. I *will* take others a few years to catch up. However, I don't want to spend 1400 Euros on a device like that, so my 2011 MB Air will have to do for another few years - which I know it will relyably do.

    Same goes for iPhones. Yeah, some things are ahead, but then again, my Moto G5 Plus has a pretty good camera and pretty good software for handling the images. I couldn't really say the the iPhone o

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:27AM (#54918561) Journal
    I heard this line of argument before. It used to be Gartner earning its pay from Microsoft arguing that "anything open source can not be up to date ipso facto". Lots of theoretical argument about how streamlined it is to have just one vendor for all applications on a PC, how the look and feel is great, and the UI is inconsistent between various vendors, how much training cost will be saved (very important fudge factor in the bogus total cost of ownership calculations) etc etc.

    Competition? bah! Humbug!. Choices? No one needs them.

    Here this guy is trying to convince us that people who care about photography who mess with SLR cameras, aperture, speed and all those things are easily daunted by a few choices in the Apps.

    The very same Microsoft which was so dismissive of choices became an ardent supporter of competition and consumer choice when it came to standards. With straight face it argued its deliberately misnamed OOXML "standard" is a good because you need competition between "standards"!

    This guy is a photographer. He has just discovered what innovation can be packed on the processing side. Probably he was messing with RAW format picture because he would never "trust" the default jpg converter packed in Nikon and Canon. Now suddenly he is all ga-ga about software doing one button click post processing.

    It is very much possible he is a good photographer. He should stick to his area of expertise and stop assuming being good, or even a great photographer, makes him an expert on computers, software and open source.

    • The best part? Google was far ahead, but that's not possible, because Android is limited because it has more options. The worst part? The world is full of people who will read what he wrote and believe it must be true, because ex-Google guy said it, so no need to even think about it.
    • by Lt.Hawkins ( 17467 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:27AM (#54918717) Homepage

      This guy, btw, is the guy behind Google+.

      The very same Microsoft which was so dismissive of choices became an ardent supporter of competition and consumer choice when it came to standards. With straight face it argued its deliberately misnamed OOXML "standard" is a good because you need competition between "standards"!

      According to Wikipedia:

      "Gundotra joined Microsoft in 1991 and eventually became General Manager of Platform Evangelism. His duties included promoting Microsoft's APIs and platforms to independent developers and helping to develop a strategy for Windows Live online services to compete with Google's web-based software applications.

      Gundotra joined Google in June 2007, after taking a one-year delay due to a Microsoft employee non-compete agreement.

      So given the dev cycle for Office 2007 and OOXML, it very much could have been THE SAME GUY pushing OOXML.

      Which just makes your post awesome!

    • It used to be Gartner earning its pay from Microsoft arguing that "anything open source can not be up to date ipso facto".

      I do think it's worth acknowledging that there will at least tend to be different strengths/weaknesses to different development models. For example, I think it's fair to say that open source software tends to have a little bit of a "design by committee" feel, since projects are often, at least to some extent, literally designed by a committee.**

      Similar, I think there's truth to the idea that FOSS doesn't tend to be cutting edge stuff. It's far easier for a company like Apple or Microsoft to make a bold d

  • by Nocturrne ( 912399 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:28AM (#54918565)
    The post is flame bait, whatever. Sony phones have cameras that are years ahead of the iphone. That said, nobody who knows anything about photography expects a phone to replace a DSLR. The sensors and lenses simply cannot be even remotely similar, due to size limitations in phones.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      The post is flame bait, whatever. Sony phones have cameras that are years ahead of the iphone. That said, nobody who knows anything about photography expects a phone to replace a DSLR. The sensors and lenses simply cannot be even remotely similar, due to size limitations in phones.

      This,

      Considering its from 9to5mac, we can safely assume that the article is biased fanboy fellatio.

      However we can apply Betteridges law of headlines as well as reality and say no. No simply because Iphones still don't automatically adjust the orientation of the picture based on the internal Gyro. If I'm holding my nexus 5 upside down, it'll automatically rotate the picture to the orientation I'm holding my camera. Meanwhile, my Iphone holding colleague has sent me another upside down picture (fortunat

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      I often find myself taking photos with my middle-of-the-road phone because it's the camera I have with me at the time. The sensor in this phone is much better than the point and shoots I used to own (much better bit depth and low-light performance, for example), though of course modern point and shoots have updated their sensors too.

      The one feature I miss dearly from my point-and-shoot: optical zoom. It's useless trying to photograph far away objects with a wide-lens phone.

  • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:30AM (#54918571) Homepage

    I mean he should know better than me but... Samsung are in control of the hardware and software, there no reason why they can't write drivers all the way down to the camera itself and then expose that to their app only. Infact that's how things like the fingerprint sensor worked pre-official Android support - they had Samsung-specific API. That API happened to be open for all to use but it doesn't have to be, if they were to write their own private API that would be fine. I believe to be certified they would have to expose the camera to Android standard interface too for other apps to use, but there is nothing stopping them doing extra shiny things with their own software that Android doesn't natively support.

    • but there is nothing stopping them doing extra shiny things with their own software that Android doesn't natively support.

      It seems you read my mind. Look, this man is just trolling. Wasn't he fired by Google a few years ago?

      Methinks he's just been paid. Where does he work now BTW?

  • by Lisandro ( 799651 )

    As far as cellphone photography (???), Google's own Pixel/Pixel XL has very likely the best camera out there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Odd post, Gundotra isn't a photographer. But we all have opinions.

    I'll trust my wife's opinion, because she *is* a professional food photographer. When we're out to dinner and she just has to make a photograph (usually of *my* food, but I'm well used to this now), she typically bypasses her iPhone 7 and asks for my Pixel XL. Why? She says she can make better photographs, get a smoother response especially in the shadows, with the Pixel. But she'll be one of the first to tell you that the difference is reall

    • Came here to extol the camera on my Pixel XL. Just about every review puts it in first place even against Apple and Samsung's best.

      My wife's Nikon DSLR is of course better than all of them, but for casual photography you can't beat the Pixel.

  • "Here is the problem: It's Android."

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but unless a multi-billion dollar global megacorp like Samsung is legally beholden to Google's Android OS, the one to blame here is Samsung.

    Don't like being held back? Then develop your own damn mobile OS and innovate. Your competition sure as hell did.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:40AM (#54918599)
    Now that's just weird - "fcamera" AKA Frankencamera was a project started by MIT that came out on a variety of non-apple platforms (including android) quite a few years ago and it provided all that you see on the default apple camera app now and more.
    I really don't know how this article made it past the editor since it shows nothing other than ignorance of what's available on other platforms, or even cross-platform including apple.
    • Let's face it - stories like this give opportunities to debunk corporate bs, so anyone doing any research might find it and come away better informed. Now that snopes.com is having problems getting its' domain back, we're going to need a whole slew of sites debunking corporate shills talking sh*t.

  • Apples and Oranges (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sciengin ( 4278027 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:44AM (#54918613)

    Iphone is Hardware, Android is Software. How could a serious comparison be made?
    Yes, I am aware that the writer probably meant "Iphone is years ahead of smartphones running android" but that just shows the faults in his argument.

    Imagine I make a movie-grade camera which runs android (not too far off, considering the wealth of functions those cameras tend to have): Boom, now "Android" is at least 30 years ahead of any Iphone.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Marketing doe not care about serious comparisons or about truth for that matter. And as this is obviously a paid-for marketing piece...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How apple users are bewildered by to many options when taking photos.

  • by 404 Clue Not Found ( 763556 ) * on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:47AM (#54918619)

    You guys aren't giving Apple enough credit. And before you accuse me of shilling, let me say I don't own any Apple products -- not one. I have a Google Pixel and love it. It does have a great camera. But I'm also a photographer, and what Apple has done is significant.

    They brought "depth of field" to small-sensor photography, and that is no easy task. "Depth of field" is what gives you that effect of a foreground in focus and a blurry background (or vice versa, like in some movie transitions). Normally, to get that shallow a depth of field, you'll need a combination of 1) a big sensor and 2) a big lens and 3) ample ambient lighting so you can shoot with the big lens's aperture wide-open. Apple managed to make it work without any of those three things.

    They did this by combining photos shot simultaneously with the iPhone's two cameras, each with a different field of view, into a sort of depth map, and then applying a blur filter over the parts of the photo it identifies as the background. That is a combination of great engineering and computational magic, and shouldn't just be dismissed out of hand. It is the only feature I envy of iPhones, and if I weren't tied to the Google ecosystem so much, I would consider switching just for this alone.

    Yes, it's true that you can get better photos with a DSLR. To photographers, not all background blur is created equal. There is a name for this, "bokeh", which is the aesthetic quality of the background blur. Really amazing lenses like Canon's 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.2 are prized for their bokeh, despite not being able to zoom at all. But to get that kind of quality, you need to spend hundreds (if not thousands) on gear, take it with you in a 3-lb package, and know how to focus, meter, half-hold the shutter and shoot -- which takes at least a few hours of training for most people.

    Apple shrank all that down to a button in a phone. It's not perfect, the bokeh is kinda meh, but sometimes good enough is good enough. No other phone to my knowledge has tried to do this. It might be similar to the technology Lytro light field cameras use (but I'm not sure). All in all, this is *actually innovation* and not just a minor spec upgrade, the kind of thing we should be lauding in the often-stagnant cell phone industry. At the end of the day, this is a pretty fucking huge leap forward for cell phone photography, and they deserve credit for that... even if I hate to admit it.

    • You guys aren't giving Apple enough credit. And before you accuse me of shilling, let me say I don't own any Apple products -- not one. I have a Google Pixel and love it. It does have a great camera. But I'm also a photographer, and what Apple has done is significant.

      They brought "depth of field" to small-sensor photography, and that is no easy task. "Depth of field" is what gives you that effect of a foreground in focus and a blurry background (or vice versa, like in some movie transitions). Normally, to get that shallow a depth of field, you'll need a combination of 1) a big sensor and 2) a big lens and 3) ample ambient lighting so you can shoot with the big lens's aperture wide-open. Apple managed to make it work without any of those three things.

      That's all so well and so good, especially if you're just snapping your kids right in front of you, it gives nice results, no arguments. You say you are a photographer though, would you consider replacing your camera with an iphone for any kind of significant work? Thought not.

      • by TuringTest ( 533084 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:17AM (#54918695) Journal

        You say you are a photographer though, would you consider replacing your camera with an iphone for any kind of significant work? Thought not.

        So what? The point in GP's post is that this technique has been made point-and-click, and therefore now available to people without the knowledge or equipment to do it the professional way.

      • by Lt.Hawkins ( 17467 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:42AM (#54918769) Homepage

        OP literally dedicated a paragraph to point out that a DSLR is better overall, so I don't get your snark. He'd clearly not do what you propose.

        But the best camera is the one you have with you, and 99% of the time, for 99% of people, that's the camera on the phone. Most photographers had long ago figured "decent depth of field needs a real lens and a wide aperture. It's physics and optics." which is 100% still true, but Apple managed to approximate the effect on a phone in a good enough way that, while the technical quality (pixel count, optical sharpness, optical clarity, etc) isn't too different, the aesthetics of many pictures just got a notable kick.

        Cool is cool, regardless of platform. I'm still sticking with my Nexus, but i'll give Apple a tip of the hat when appropriate.

        • He did and my line was more directed at TFA than himself. Probably could've put that across better. You're right though, the best camera is the one you have and with your phone you're mostly taking relatively close up anyway and the better that can be then the better it is.
    • Depth of field is some artsy-fartsy garbage like black-white instead of color.
      In video games its a crude hack to mask the failures of the engine, together with motion blur and 30fps for "cinematic experience".

      Let the viewers decide for themselves what details in the photograph is important to them.

      What counts is the picture quality, the light sensitivity of the sensor combined with its resistance to optical noise (common problem with smaller CCDs).

      Honestly this argument that DoF contributes to the quality r

      • Wow ... way to completely miss the point .... and show total lack of comprehension of the physics of lenses
    • They did this by combining photos shot simultaneously with the iPhone's two cameras, each with a different field of view, into a sort of depth map, and then applying a blur filter over the parts of the photo it identifies as the background. That is a combination of great engineering and computational magic

      It may be a great feat of engineering, but not what (DSLR) photographers are looking for.

      Yes, it's true that you can get better photos with a DSLR [...] which takes at least a few hours of training for most people.

      So, in short: DSLRs are for people who appreciate the absence of digital shenanigans, who know what they are doing, and are prepared to invest money and time to learn how to use their tools. I fail to see how the iPhone is introducing the end of the DSLR, except for those who did not need a DSLR in the first place.

    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @08:14AM (#54918883)

      They brought "depth of field" to small-sensor photography, and that is no easy task. "Depth of field" is what gives you that effect of a foreground in focus and a blurry background (or vice versa, like in some movie transitions).

      I think you meant to say HTC and LG brought "depth of field" to small-sensor photography on Android two years ago.

      And yes, the iPhone camera sensors, which are made by Sony, are pretty good also.

    • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwater.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @10:59AM (#54919645) Homepage

      (disclaimer: iPhone (4) owner and photographer)
       
       

      To photographers, not all background blur is created equal.

      True among that minority of photographers that use bokeh as an artistic tool. Very true among the much larger number of people owning a camera seeking to justify themselves and the amount of money they spent and equating the same as skill and talent. (Look! My photo has cool bokeh! That makes it good! And me cool!) The quality of the bokeh is also popular among reviewers as it's something that can be tested and easily displayed on a computer screen. All this lends an air of excessive importance to something that's but one tool in a photographer's toolbox and is really only useful in a narrow range of circumstances.
       
      The term wasn't even invented until the late 90's. And even then, it's use was relatively limited until the rise of photo sharing sites and the need for mediocre photographers to differentiate themselves from other mediocre photographers. As a result, it's become something like the 0-60 ratings you see in car magazines... Something few people use in the real world, but which has become a mistaken proxy for quality because of [cool|wow|sexy] factor.
       

      Apple shrank all that down to a button in a phone.

      And they did all that because bokeh is fashionable. And because it's fashionable, the ability to create it lends a mistaken sense of overall capability to the camera and creates a mistaken sense of accomplishment in the wielder because it "looks professional".
       

      No other phone to my knowledge has tried to do this.

      No other phone relies so heavily on selling sizzle instead of steak than the iPhone. No other phone has to rely so heavily on marketing to retain it's market share.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Fuck the iPhone.

    Let me tell you about my grandparents. They used to love photography. They had a decent little pocket camera they'd take with them wherever they went. They'd snap tons of photos of just about everything. Some of them were really good too, but the majority of it had to do with family outings and events. Over the span of maybe 10 years, they collected about 130GB worth of JPGs. If you ever needed anything from a previous party or something, getting photos was only a phone call away.

    Then, one d

  • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @06:57AM (#54918637)

    = = = Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? = = =

    That makes no sense whatsoever. I have an iPhone and I have 8 or 10 camera apps. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, including the standard Apple Camera app. In fact over the last 3 releases Apple has been opening up more of the camera APIs and functions to app developers, resulting in more camera apps rather than fewer.

  • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @07:02AM (#54918661)

    Wasn't Google years ahead in photography with its Pixel? (Except for some other, specific problems like the price point)

    And then.. Vic falls into his own trap: When he says the iPhone is ahead, is he talking about hard- or software? While ignoring the difference on that side of the iOS/Android fence, he not only differentiates that for Android, he also gives that as the reason!

    But when there are Android phones with crappy cameras and phones with top end hard- and software (like his Samsung example or my Pixel example), how does the phone operating system decide if a phone is ahead or behind iPhone?

    It makes sense to have the iPhone as a benchmark as there aren't many hardware models.

  • iOS is built to run on a specific set of hardware with very specific set of camera components. Thier applications are compiled practically down to the assembly language level. You can easily be take it down to the bare metal programming level if you want. So you app can be highly optimized for speed and functionality because you are locked into a specific set of platforms.

    Android takes more the Java approach of 'write once, run anywhere.' You can write and app once and will run on multiple generations of

  • Why else would we get to read obviously paid-for propaganda pieces about its supposed massive superiority?

  • "If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone."

    No! If you truly care about great photography you have dedicated purpose built camera. You to not use your phone for quick snap shots only, not for anything you'd take the time to think about composition for.

    Finally you certainly don't do your post processing on the device. You use a PC/Laptop/Macbook etc with real photo editing software, and large color corrected screen to see what the heck you are actually doing.

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @08:30AM (#54918947)

    Having owned numerous Nexus devices and numerous iPhones - I've used both.

    My wife noticed that the pictures I took with my 5X and 6P were just nicer than the pictures taken with our iPhone 6S and 7.

    And I suck at photography - but somehow the nexus cameras enabled a half-ass photographer like me to take pretty decent pictures.

    I prefer iPhone for everything else, but cameras on Android, generally, are pretty damn good.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @02:33PM (#54921003) Journal

    Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.

    Bleh. Caveat: I happen to carry both -- an iphone work phone and an android as my personal phone. Side bar: The *only* good thing about the iphone's skinny, slippery, difficult to grasp anodized case is that it slips into the belt pouch next to the android phone without too much shoving. Further caveat: I make part of my living through photography.

    Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, stop fooling yourself and get a real camera.

    Yes, the iphone takes good photos in bars, it recognizes faces and does some tricks with focusing and does a good job calculating average exposure and doing automatic noise reduction. And you can do cute things like add floppy ears and cat noses. As long as you're sharing to an app that ios knows about, sharing is relatively easy once you learn the tricks. For most people, this is good enough. Thus, "The end of the DSLR for most people". Remember that once upon a time, "most people" thought 110 film was great because the cameras were small and easy to carry around. "Most people" wouldn't recognize bokeh if it was biting them on the neck. The iphone, and let's face it, any midrange-or-higher Android phone already does better at photography than what most people need. But let's be real here: That's very different from "truly caring about great photography".

    So yeah, my next camera is totally gonna be an iphone. No wait, it isn't. Because I really *do* care about great photography.

  • by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @02:57PM (#54921121)

    "If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone"

    Pretty sure I read that as "If you truly care about great photography, you own a Camera"

    Yes, iPhones take great pictures (for a cellphone), but even the newer ones can't touch my old Nikon P50, let alone a proper DSLR. If the argument is the number of Mpixels, please hand over your geek card right now.

  • by Shompol ( 1690084 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2017 @03:12PM (#54921195)
    Can it beat this Android phone made by Huawei + Leica [dpreview.com]? Didn't think so.

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