1 EAGLETON NOTES: The iPhone as a Camera

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Thursday, 4 August 2016

The iPhone as a Camera

Adrian commented recently on one of my posts that "It looks great but a pity you used a camera phone and not a camera. Age comes to us all."  I wasn't clear what age had to do with the price of tripe because I would have though the youngsters rather than oldies like me would be the phone camera generation. I suspect, though, that Adrian has a misconception about modern camera phones. I use my iPhone as a camera all the time: usually for matters of record and for things I want to share with family and friends via WhatsApp, Telegram or iMessage or the like. Most of the time, though, I use my Canon bridge camera or my Pentax K-3.

I'm not suggesting that a phone camera will produce the best photographs but then many of the photos I take with my K-3 don't come up to Adrian's exacting standards (or even my less exacting ones).

However here's a selection which demonstrate what is possible using an iPhone even with my limited abilities.

Flats in central Wellington, New Zealand
Probably the Ground Beetle Carabus clathratu. Grimshader, Isle of Lewis
Glowering clouds over the mouth of the sea loch at Grimshader
The tip of my Parker ball point pen
A Diptera. I wouldn't even know where to start trying to identify which one
The same Diptera
?
Can anyone guess, or does anyone know, what I photographed in the last image? It's not something obscure. I'd be surprised if readers don't use them frequently. 

41 comments:

  1. iPhone/smartphone cameras have improved a lot since the first ones, my present Sony Xperia has a very good camera too, I just find it a bit harder to handle in some situations (although the opposite is just as true at other times...)

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    1. Absolutely Monica. I couldn't agree more.

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  2. I was going to say shrunken head, then I saw that I was wrong. And I for one don't use a lot of shrunken heads. My phone (sadly not an iPhone) takes a photo a split second after I've pressed the button, by which time the baby/horse/leaf or whatever has moved. Frustrating.

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    1. Might not be a correct answer but undoubtedly it's going to be the most original!

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    2. Absolutely the most original Frances. We were planning the museum yesterday but didn't quite make it!

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  3. My mobile phone is still the 1st iphone, and its camera is really only an "emergency" camera in my eyes. The one I use for nearly all pictures that later appear on my blog is a relatively old Lumix model; certainly not up to scratch, plus used by me and not by someone who knows what they are about when it comes to photography. But the pictures I take are enough to fulfill my personal requirements - I am not an aspiring artistic photographer, but simply want to keep reminders of places and times I have enjoyed, and share them with my blog readers.
    My sister's mobile phone takes rather good quality pictures, I think.

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    1. PS: Your pictures here are really good examples of what your mobile phone camera can do!

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    2. Meike so much depends on what one wants to do with photos. Most people, including me, use cameras with far more lenses and possibilities that we ever use them for. The most important thing is the pictures we take and a £5000 camera won't make bad pictures good ones.

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  4. I'll have to watch for the next post to find out about the last photo. My camera is a way beyond my ability.

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    1. The answer lies in the first comment Red.

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  5. Well, I know it's not a goat poo. lol --- I guessed a peppercorn and as I scrolled down to make mention of it, I saw Fi's first comment. I think your phone takes pretty decent photos, actually!! Better than my own, but you know ... as much as I have been stuck in Canon mode for the past few years - I'm ready to just capture what I want to, with whatever I want to, how I want to ... and share it, if I want to. I'm allowing myself to become much less perfectionistic in how I share my images. Never enjoying my own criticisms. ;) I do wish that I had more time to come back into this world of blogging ... I so want to. It's tough keeping up with the conversation on a regular basis here. Facebook is so much easier, but this is much more of a welcome - warmth - friendliness and real. Facebook is a billboard. Blogworld is a shared journaling. Greetings, my friend!

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    1. Wonderful to get a comment from you Heather. As you say there is a world of difference between blogging and Facebook. Blogging does require a great deal more time and effort though. Your portrait photos are good whatever camera you use though because you have the innate ability to catch people at the right moment and in the way that shows them off best.

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  6. It looks like a prune to me, or a dried fruit of some variety.

    I don't care what type of camera you use. Your photos are brilliant! Never have a doubt about, Graham! :0

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    1. Thank you Lee, that's most kind. It's a peppercorn.

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  7. Oh...I've just read Fi's comment above. I was way off the mark! lol

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    1. And I've just read your second comment Lee. I think it's a dried seed so you're not far off the mark.

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  8. Damn Fi; I was hoping to sound knowledgeable.

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    1. Yes Cro. I thought it was a lot harder than it appears to have been.

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  9. i'd be very happy with that rare beetle photo whatever I took it on!

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    1. CJ it's one of the advantages of always having the phone in my pocket.

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  10. You are correct on all points. I never realised how good they are. All the weight I lug around and I really ought to just sell the lot and get a phone.

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    1. Of course, Adrian, a phone would never do everything that you demand of a camera but they can do quite a lot for the average person.

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    2. But I only print a couple of snaps a year. I only sold six of last years run of ten. Just about paid for being a self publicist and staved off bankruptcy for being a plonker. The head on insect pictures are a sure fire seller. I bet a pound to a shilling that taking a snap of a lace wings wing wouldn't sell at all. Wish I could remember what I printed last year. The folk that did them will know.

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  11. I use the camera on my phone about as often as I use peppercorns - once every year or two I expect. I wonder if meat/dairy eaters use pepper more or if I'm just clueless regarding what to do with it. We do go through a lot of spices in general.

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    1. That surprises me Helen. As you know I cook a lot of non-meat (or fish) dishes but ground peppercorns feature very highly in my cooking along with a lot of herbs and a few spices (unless I'm making curries which tend to require many more). On the other hand I use relatively little salt.

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    2. It seems that Wikipedia agrees with you - apparently everyone else is using pepper regularly.

      I too use very little salt, but we get through an enormous amount of ground cumin - perhaps that's my equivalent.

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    3. Helen it sounds like cumin is your pepper! I use quite a lot of cumin too.

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  12. I think it might be a single peppercorn... and I swear I didn't look at the comments above. As for i-phones, many people carry them in their pockets or handbags so they are commonly available for capturing particular moments or incidents... in a way that "real" cameras aren't.

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    1. I believe you implicitly YP. I may disagree with some of your views but I would trust your sincerity every time. Your comment on cameras is, in my view, spot on.

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  13. The best camera is the one you have with at the time you need one and that is often the phone camera. You have proved they are very versatile. However, if you are concentrating on photography tether than recording an incident then a DSLR would be the way to go.

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    1. Diane I always have my phone with me and usually have either my DSLR or my bridge camera nearby as well. For matters of record (as compared to 'proper' photos) I use my iPhone more and more.

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  14. You can't make a call on your big camera, and I find the phone is always at hand where the camera is not. You just need a macro lens now to attach to your iPhone to have some real fun.
    Of course, I can't afford an iPhone.

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    1. P.S. That is a beautiful beetle

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    2. That's a very good point Carol. You can't receive messages either and I'd be completely lost without those assets to hand. Having had a cellphone since 1991 (think brick) I'd be lost without it now. I have an 'Easy-Macro' lens. There are more sophisticated (and expensive) ones but this is simplicity itself and has served its purpose for three phones now.

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  15. I just got my first iphone and hadn't really thought that it might take half decent photos. I've just figured out how to send a message so it might be a while before I learn how. Never was in the same ballpark as you with photos so I'll be happy with so-so results.

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    1. Pauline you take lovely landscape photos but you have one talent I've never had and never will have: portrait photography. I've been with you and seen you operate to get them and have been lost in admiration.

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    2. PS Think musicians in Northland, soldiers in Scotland and police in Brazil!

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  16. Wow, some of these are every bit as good as the pictures I've seen on placards in London, showing amazing shots taken with an iphone. Notably the close up of the ground beetle. My camera phone pictures are nothing like as good as this. Possibly because my phone is sometimes used to amuse small people who have sticky fingers which can't do the lens much good. The glowering sky and sea really grab me. I have deliberately not read the comments, so I can guess what the last object is. I would say a peppercorn. Now I will read back on the comments and see if I am right!

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    1. I knew I remembered seeing a comment from you Jenny which mentioned photos and I've just realised which post it was on. I had to comment because you have taken some absolutely stunning photos with your phone. I have one on my wall to prove it and I've sent you at least one card using one of your own photos which was brilliant. The odd thing about the peppercorn is that I would never have guessed in a million years and yet I use peppercorns all the time.

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