Sunrise and the Smartphone

I’m a big fan of proper in-camera work with little or no post processing. I’m also a huge fan of convenience, so I really, really want my iPhone to perform well especially for sunrises and sunsets, but it simply doesn’t do well enough for me (so far).

If you reduce the images to social media size (and sharpen a little), an iPhone and a large-sensor, full-fledged camera look pretty close…

…which is probably why so many who only publish in social media are quick to pronounce the end of the big camera, but depending on what you value* the results might not be what you want if you look closer.

*mood, noise, character, sharpness, black performance, does it look good seen large?, future proofing**, etc.

**What about after social media? Future proofing is making sure what you have will stand usage in the future such as walls covered in digital wallpaper, 3D projection, direct retina projection, etc.

These are 100% crops without any enhancements. (Keep in mind both cameras shot through a slightly dirty kitchen window.)

Here is another example with a different iPhone model. (and the window is still slightly dirty.)

Some might say that the latest smartphones fix these issues, but I get requests to help with a lot of phones at my NGO from both staff and the large committees that visit our NGO, plus all the parents that I encounter photographing our kids, and 90-95% are not the latest smartphone. Most are 2-3 years old.


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