Celluar phone photography-boon or bane?

bykfixer

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FAA8A2B2-1B8D-4E17-A3F9-34ACF43692CF.jpeg

Here was one of the photos.
To most it is simply a road under construction. To the environmental guy in the audience the client was speaking to it shows to the right we have planted grass on the slope and have measures in place to halt mud from entering drop inlets where the opening is a foot or more above the ground.

To the traffic safety guy it shows we meet the 4 foot buffer space required between work and cars. That the orange barrels are clean, bright and evenly spaced.

To the engineer it shows gravel base is installed and waiting for pavement. That a safety wedge next to pavement is in place. That drop inlets are installed and if you notice a light gray stripe that means an under drain system is installed.

In the distance is a road sign showing what street is near so they get a sense of where the photo was taken. And it shows it was a nice sunny morning based on the shadow angles and blue cloudless sky.
 

AstroTurf

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my daily use includes several pix of my work.

an overal pic, a closer pic, and an even closer pic that reveals serial and model numbers.

i repeat the process upon completion of the job too.

all are saved for future reference.
 

knucklegary

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Here in CA we have highway sections with underground drainage systems but those are in large metropolitan areas. Outside large cities most highway storm water runoffs are open concrete swales that divert water into tributaries
 

bykfixer

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About a decade ago I joined a camera club for tips on getting my gear and my brain more in sync. I learned a lot from the members. I even showed a person a tip or two. As time wore on I lost interest in photography and no longer participated in the club.

I still get emails from them and occasionaly communicate with the club members. Each month they have a subject of the month like "take photos for one hour in a 10' x 10' area"……

This month's event is a take photos for 3 hours with 9 topics……with cellular phones. Knowing some of the members I predict some pretty goods photos will result.
 

aznsx

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About a decade ago I joined a camera club for tips on getting my gear and my brain more in sync. I learned a lot from the members. I even showed a person a tip or two. As time wore on I lost interest in photography and no longer participated in the club.

I still get emails from them and occasionaly communicate with the club members. Each month they have a subject of the month like "take photos for one hour in a 10' x 10' area"……

This month's event is a take photos for 3 hours with 9 topics……with cellular phones. Knowing some of the members I predict some pretty goods photos will result.

Since I almost exclusively shoot natural terrain / landscapes and wild animals, they'd probably think I'm boring:)...but I might enjoy some tech talk, and could certainly stand to learn a lot. For me the hobby is no longer about chasing the last percent or two in performance, or equipment acquisition, or any of that stuff. Now all the joy is about the getting out and shooting, and what I bring home. I don't visit photo forums much (if ever...) - I usually just grab my camera and head outside instead. My equipment is over a half dozen years old, and it's still better at doing what it does than I am at doing what I do (if that makes sense:). I'm also still learning - every time I go out!

I still don't do the phone camera thing though. I have a decent (albeit aging), tiny 'P&S' with good features for my belt if I don't want to carry an SLR. I'll say this though: if it took today's phone / camera technology to get some people interested in photography (again) and get them out there shooting stuff and enjoying it, then it is a good thing!

EDIT: I'll also add that for me the biggest benefit of technological advance has been 'digital' making it affordable for me to shoot ENOUGH to get better at it, and the ability for me to enjoy some of my favorites viewing them on my HDTV.
 
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SCEMan

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I've been a camera enthusiast for around 40 years using a variety of SLRs & DSLRs. Even shot weddings for a while. Switched to bridge cameras when I also needed to take video of my daughter performing at recording-prohibited venues (cruise ship shows/night clubs, dinner theater etc.) for demo material. I ruled out cellphone cameras since they lacked discrete capability (no viewfinder), zoom range and tactile button controls. But for photography I have used them regularly when traveling to supplement my dedicated DSLRs successfully, and their handiness is a great asset.

I recently picked up a iPhone 13 Pro and so far its performed beautifully. Might even replace my "pocket" DSLR as my casual travel companion.

Here's an out-of-the-pocket shot I took yesterday walking in the neighborhood.
IMG_8522.jpg
 

bykfixer

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At one point AZ I was using a fairly automatic point n shoot film camera where it decided everything was in focus (ie small aperature hole) and how to meter the light. It had a few "settings" like sports (read fast shutter speed), portait (large aperature hole for blurry background) birthday mode (huh?) and fake lighting (street lights, flourescent lights, cloudy day etc). Once I understood how those things changed things in the camera physically I could use those settings to get shots in low light for example using portrait due to the big aperature hole letting in more light with quicker shutter speed or sports for the built in super fast shutter speed to capture moving objects without blur.

Instead of reading some 2# book about digital cameras for dummies I read a pocket guide on the mechanix of aperature, shutter speed and how they affect how those create characteristics of a photo. Once I went DSLR those things were so far over my head I just lost interest in the world of photography. Between cars and flashlights it was an easy thing to do. Plus I really suck at car pictures.

The iPhone does a pretty good job at point n shoot but it fairly limited in its stock platform. There are apps (I'm told) that let you dial in stuff but I prefer to use it stock and live with the limitations. Photos like HSE showed above are easy to achieve, but for macro or super crops with small details in focus they just aren't physically capable. So I get out the DSLR at those times. Overall the iPhone does about 99% of what I'm looking for but that 1% is just not available. Knowing that allows the freedom to not be locked into carrying around 10 pounds of gear.
 

bykfixer

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E1C5C788-C981-4FA5-AA29-B2A3BEA10A35.jpeg
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Taken with an HTC phone a few years back.

Really grainy photos resulted in low light back then but to pull out a small, flat object from a shirt pocket and snap these was huge at the time.
 
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bykfixer

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Panasonic used to make a digicam that was 7mp, which was huge at the time. The pix had a lot of noise in less than ideal lighting but it sure did take some nice pictures. As each model progressed they had more and more megapixels yet the noise remained until one model that went backwards and cut the megapixels down to half of the previous model. It was about as popular as warts but it sure did take some mighty fine photos without all the noise of the previous models.

The thing I liked about the Panasonic was it interperated what I saw very well. If I took a picture by campfire light the photo was about as bright as campfire light without me having to adjust anything. I shot in RAW, which it processed really slowly so it sucked for action shots where you may take 2 or 3 photos in a few seconds while it took about 5 seconds to process 1 photo. And the software it came with was able to absolutely erase most of the noise. It got white balance pretty correct as well.

Oh but then I went the digital SLR route and those things always wanted to make things bright, bright, bright. Like my lit by campfire photos would look like they were shot in daylight unless I did a lot of adjustments before taking the picture. Eventually I learned to program memory settings to have it ready for night pix or day pix with one somewhere in between.

My photography buddies were all chasing megapixels and boy they took some nice pictures. I just never could achieve the satisfactory results with the digital SLR camera that I got using that Panasonic digicam. Now I did grab some once in a lifetime pictures with my Nikons that the Panasonic would have missed such as an eagle youth swooping down to the water and snagging a fish and I got just before, when it hit and just after.

Trouble I have with the celphone cam is perspective. The lens takes on a fisheye aspect unless it is held level with the subject as it tries to be an 14mm to 300mm lens. I bought the iPhone 12 pro max ultra mega or whatever it's called for the larger sensor size. More info per megapixel is what I prefer over more megapixels, much like Panasonic did back in the earlier 2000's. At first I was amazed at some of the photos but it too does the interperate thing where all too often it thinks I wanted a look that would be more bright when what I was after was less bright. I wanted the picture to match what my eyes saw. Example would be I took a photo of an object lit by a 2 lumen flashlight but the result looks like I used 25 lumens……no, no, no.

The batteries of the Panasonic quit taking a charge and they are of a proprietary form Panasonic no longer produces. The aftermarket ones lasted about as long as a Duracell alkaline and quit taking a charge with only a few dozen charges so my 2005-ish digicam sits in a closet with the Canon AE-1, Rebel G and some 1970's Pentax gear.
 
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Joined
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Panasonic used to make a digicam that was 7mp, which was huge at the time. The pix had a lot of noise in less than ideal lighting but it sure did take some nice pictures. As each model progressed they had more and more megapixels yet the noise remained until one model that went backwards and cut the megapixels down to half of the previous model. It was about as popular as warts but it sure did take some mighty fine photos without all the noise of the previous models.

The thing I liked about the Panasonic was it interperated what I saw very well. If I took a picture by campfire light the photo was about as bright as campfire light without me having to adjust anything. I shot in RAW, which it processed really slowly so it sucked for action shots where you may take 2 or 3 photos in a few seconds while it took about 5 seconds to process 1 photo. And the software it came with was able to absolutely erase most of the noise. It got white balance pretty correct as well.

Oh but then I went the digital SLR route and those things always wanted to make things bright, bright, bright. Like my lit by campfire photos would look like they were shot in daylight unless I did a lot of adjustments before taking the picture. Eventually I learned to program memory settings to have it ready for night pix or day pix with one somewhere in between.

My photography buddies were all chasing megapixels and boy they took some nice pictures. I just never could achieve the satisfactory results with the digital SLR camera that I got using that Panasonic digicam. Now I did grab some once in a lifetime pictures with my Nikons that the Panasonic would have missed such as an eagle youth swooping down to the water and snagging a fish and I got just before, when it hit and just after.

Trouble I have with the celphone cam is perspective. The lens takes on a fisheye aspect unless it is held level with the subject as it tries to be an 14mm to 300mm lens. I bought the iPhone 12 pro max ultra mega or whatever it's called for the larger sensor size. More info per megapixel is what I prefer over more megapixels, much like Panasonic did back in the earlier 2000's. At first I was amazed at some of the photos but it too does the interperate thing where all too often it thinks I wanted a look that would be more bright when what I was after was less bright. I wanted the picture to match what my eyes saw. Example would be I took a photo of an object lit by a 2 lumen flashlight but the result looks like I used 25 lumens……no, no, no.

The batteries of the Panasonic quit taking a charge and they are of a proprietary form Panasonic no longer produces. The aftermarket ones lasted about as long as a Duracell alkaline and quit taking a charge with only a few dozen charges so my 2005-ish digicam sits in a closet with the Canon AE-1, Rebel G and some 1970's Pentax gear.

It is rare that I take a picture I truly like that I don't post process a little whether from the phone, or DSLR. Cell phone cameras are good at wide dynamic range due to the use of computational photography and what we have called for many years now HDR. They take a ton of pictures at a variety of shutter speeds and composite them together. Apple, Google, etc. have far bigger camera R&D budgets compared to Canon or Nikon for computational photography. Some of the newer Mirrorless cameras do pretty good HDR, like the Nikon Z7 iii. They can already achieve pretty good dynamic range in a single shot, HDR pushes that farther.
 

bykfixer

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I used to see HDR photos as an avant garde thing since most were exagerated and had a sureal look to them when done by many photographers I'd talk to. But then one day I saw how an iPhone (4 iirc) got the brights correct while still getting the shadows pretty good. "BING!" Now that's a proper HDR for a change.

Yet my old (2011) Nikon gear has so much more detail where it really counts. I did some promo pictures with a cellular phone then a D7000 and the difference was striking. I needed details the cel-cam just would not provide.
 

fulee9999

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I always wanted to take HDR pictures since I first saw one, the usual abandoned factory with rusty equipment and the sun while everything in the shades is also lit kind of deals, but usually my HDR pictures turned out just as a blurry mess.. BUT six years ago I bought an android phone that could do manual shutter speed photos, and I was pretty amazed at what a simple phone can do
( went up the roof in a thunderstorm :) )

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Dave_5280

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I love my iPhone 12 Pro Max and camera. The time lapse is nice at night. Day pictures are great and video. My wife was a professional photographer for decades using large format film cameras - Hasablads mostly and she likes it. She shoots better than I do on it, always will. I got a nice waterproof bag for it from Niteize - Case
Great to take to the beach, even though I’ve read the phone is pretty waterproof, I want to protect it. I’ve shot through the bag window but get better shots pulling it out. So I wear it around my neck and will leave the top unzipped to pull it out as needed, and zip it if water or waves come in on a walk.

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