iPhone or “Real” Camera? Which is better?

Author: Amy Horn

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between an iPhone image and a “real” camera image? Well, here is the test. I was waiting in a Northern Arizona University parking lot for students to arrive for a field trip and I noticed ice. For those that don’t know me, I love capturing images of ice. Instantly, I grabbed my iPhone 7 and built in camera app, placed the phone about 2 inches away from the ice and captured several photos. I still had a few minutes before leaving with the students, so I grabbed my new Olympus OM-D E-M1 MarkII with the 12-100mm lens (sensor equivalent 24—200mm). I zoomed in to 100mm (200mm equivalent) and stood about 12 inches above the ice and shot several images. Both shots were taken with non-macro lenses and here are the comparison images:

Both images are straight out of the camera. You might notice a slight difference in white balance from the different systems auto white balance. Unfortunately, I did not compose the images identically, but, can you tell which image is the iPhone image? Take my iPhoneography/Smart Phone photography class to learn the answer. Not really! The image on the left is from the iPhone and the image on the right is from the Olympus. When I examined these images close up, I have to say the only difference I saw was the white balance! Decide for yourself and compare your smart phone to a “real” camera. Sometimes that mobile phone can be quite a powerful option.

It’s not too late to join Amy in her iPhoneography/Smart Phone Photography class March 25! Follow the link to register.

 

Amy Horn is a lecturer of photography at Northern Arizona University and an instructor for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops. View her current teaching schedule at ahpw.org or horndesigns.com.

Instagram: amyhornphotographer
Facebook: Amy Horn: Horndesigns Photography

2 thoughts on “iPhone or “Real” Camera? Which is better?

  1. Amy, thanks for writing this and for your experiment. To my eye, the dynamic range is greater with the Olympus. How does a comparison of the histograms of these images look? Also, and I am generalizing here, but I understand that when you zoom in with a smartphone the resolution of the image is decreased significantly – something like taking the 12 mp sensor down to 3 or 4 mp. Is this correct?
    Tom

    Like

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