Photography Explained

Can You Take Professional Photos With A Phone? With A Phone? Really?

June 15, 2021 Rick McEvoy Episode 72
Photography Explained
Can You Take Professional Photos With A Phone? With A Phone? Really?
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Photography Explained
Can You Take Professional Photos With A Phone? With A Phone? Really?
Jun 15, 2021 Episode 72
Rick McEvoy

 Can You Take Professional Photos With A Phone? With A Phone? Really? Hi and welcome to Episode 72 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m your host Rick, and in each episode I will explain one photographic thing to you in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. And not Google.

Here is my answer
You can take professional photos with a phone. Lenses on phone cameras offer high quality image capture, which combined with the software built into phones enable you to take professional photos with your phone. To a point. There are however a number of limits on this which I will explain.

What do I mean by professional photos?

I mean photos that you sell, that are of a high enough quality to be used by clients. OK? These are photos that, before phone cameras evolved into what they are now, would have been taken on “professional cameras”. Yes that is professional with me doing air quotes with my hands.

Listen for more, or check out the transcript and even the blog post - so many ways to find out more!

What’s next?
Glad you asked! In Photography Explained Podcast 73, 19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone.

What to ask a question?
Head over to the Want Me To Explain Something? page on the Photography Explained website and fill the form in and you are done!

Check out my my blog
Check out my photography blog where you will find lots more photography stuff all written by me.

Did you enjoy this episode?
If you did please do the following, which will help me and not take too much time.
·         Rate and review my podcast
·         Subscribe
·         Tell anyone you think might like my podcast

Thank you very much for listening and see you on the next episode.

Rick McEvoy – Photography Explained Podcast

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Rickmcevoy)

Show Notes Transcript

 Can You Take Professional Photos With A Phone? With A Phone? Really? Hi and welcome to Episode 72 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m your host Rick, and in each episode I will explain one photographic thing to you in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. And not Google.

Here is my answer
You can take professional photos with a phone. Lenses on phone cameras offer high quality image capture, which combined with the software built into phones enable you to take professional photos with your phone. To a point. There are however a number of limits on this which I will explain.

What do I mean by professional photos?

I mean photos that you sell, that are of a high enough quality to be used by clients. OK? These are photos that, before phone cameras evolved into what they are now, would have been taken on “professional cameras”. Yes that is professional with me doing air quotes with my hands.

Listen for more, or check out the transcript and even the blog post - so many ways to find out more!

What’s next?
Glad you asked! In Photography Explained Podcast 73, 19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone.

What to ask a question?
Head over to the Want Me To Explain Something? page on the Photography Explained website and fill the form in and you are done!

Check out my my blog
Check out my photography blog where you will find lots more photography stuff all written by me.

Did you enjoy this episode?
If you did please do the following, which will help me and not take too much time.
·         Rate and review my podcast
·         Subscribe
·         Tell anyone you think might like my podcast

Thank you very much for listening and see you on the next episode.

Rick McEvoy – Photography Explained Podcast

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Rickmcevoy)

Can you take professional photos with a phone? With a phone? Really?

Hi, and welcome to Episode 72 of the Photography Explained Podcast. I'm your host, Rick, and in each episode, I will try to explain one photographic thing to you in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details.

What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience, and not Google.

Before I go on, if you have a question you would like me to answer just go to photographyexplainedpodcast.com/start.

Quite concerned that I still can't say photography explained first time, especially as I'm reading off the screen. That's all a bit of a worry, isn't it?

Anyway let's get into this. Here is what I like to call the answery bit.

You can take professional photos with a phone. Lenses on phone cameras offer high quality image capture, which combined with the software built into phones enable you to take professional photos with your phone. To a point. There are however a number of limits on this which I will explain.

What do I mean by professional photos?

I mean photos that you sell, that are of a high enough quality to be used by clients. OK? These are photos that, before phone cameras evolved into what they are now, would have been taken on “professional cameras”.

Yes that is professional with me doing air quotes with my hands. Great on an audio only medium I know.

Why would you? Why would you try to take professional photos with a phone?

It's madness, isn't it? Well, why not is what I say.

If there's a load less faff, time and lugging gear around, and the photos are there instantly for you to do whatever you want with them, which these days is to post them on social media for them to be ignored by billions of people. Ha-ha

It's always with you. Your phone is always with you.

Okay, that might be a big generalisation there, but for most people, this is the case. So there is that. And you can't fit a camera into a trouser pocket. See how carefully specific I was there.

I once said something about fitting your phone into a pocket and somebody came back and said, oh, I can get it in my coat pocket no problem.

I was like, yeah, that's not really what I meant.

OK - is a phone as good as a DSLR or mirrorless camera?

Well the old saying is the best camera is the one you have with you. So if you have your phone with you, and not your camera, then yes, it is.

Why it is better?

If you think about it. it's better than no camera.

Is a camera phone really as good as a (air quotes) “professional camera”?

Yes and no. Okay, it can be but with a phone, you are limited.

What are we limited by them? Well, this might not be the obvious first thing to say.

Handling.

My Canon 6D fits in my hands so naturally, and the things that I need on it are all in a logical place. I've used it for years and can pretty much operate it with my eyes closed. Well apart when I make the composition that is - I haven't mastered the art of that yet.

It's one to work on, isn't it?

I hate the handling of my iPhone.

I genuinely do. I want to start with this - I've had to put it in a case as it's so smooth, there's nothing to hold on to. Sometimes I experiment with thinking, can I use my phone without the case? So what I do is I'll just go a couple of hours at home and I just drop it left right and centre it is so smooth and slippery. So much for design - it's just ridiculous.

I also find it awkward take a photo with my phone.

I mean sure it's great for personal stuff, snaps and all that stuff. But I've taken lots of photos over the course of the day, trust me I've tried it once, and it became very unpleasant.

Right moving on lenses.

The lenses on phones are not the same standard. Well, mainly because they're so small. How can they possibly be?

Now think about it.

I think it's entirely unreasonable to even expect them to be as good as cameras to be honest with you. I mean, you can buy lenses that you place in front of the camera lens that give you more options which is good.

But it's virtually impossible for them to be as good as camera lenses. I mean the lenses I use on my Canon 6D are excellent, bespoke designed pieces of optical brilliance.

Now I'm not being paid to say that. Maybe next year.

 Next point sensor size.

The sensors in phones are not as good as they are in cameras. They're brilliant. Don't get me wrong. But there's so, so much more.

I mean a lot smaller. I've done episodes before where I've compared micro four thirds, cropped sensor and full frame camera sensors, and explained the difference, and why full frame camera sensors are better.

Phone sensors are much, much smaller than micro four thirds sensors. But having said that, every year, the gap seems to close.

In general terms in photography, the bigger the sensor, the higher the quality of the image. And I put down here fact, just to prove the point, that's a fact.

In general terms, the bigger the sensor, the higher the quality of the image. There are millions of variables, but that generally is the case.

Noise.

Yeah, noise is the stuff that you see in the shadows that makes photos look horrible. It's similar (ish) to grain in film, and you get blotches or splotches of colour. Yeah, nicely put - blotches or splotches, I must remember that one.

This used to be a real problem, but again, it's getting less and less of an issue with each and every evolution of the technology, ah, technology.

The technology gap, every year the gap is closing.

And the technology is evolving so quickly and so utterly impressively, that there surely must come a point where a camera and a phone are the same. I think it's inevitable.

But you'll always have that difference with the optics from a camera to a phone – well I hope so anyway.

Time

  • 5 years ago, we might have been thinking about this.
  • 10 years ago, this wouldn't have seemed remotely possible.
  • 21 years ago, it was physically impossible as the first camera phone was released in, wait for it, the year 2000!

Yeah, that's the first camera phone. And when I say camera phone, yeah, there were phones with cameras before then, this was the first consumer phone with a camera in it.

Look to see what the photos are like from one of them these days.

So the answer

Okay, so it's a no from me to the question. But it's a partial no, it's not that simple. It never is in photography is it?

I use my phone and my camera, my camera takes the client shots and my phone does all of these things,

  • Behind the scenes shots
  • Behind the scenes videos
  • Photos for social media
  • Videos for social media
  • Photos of my gear
  • Videos of my gear
  • Photos of me taking photos (at arm’s length!)
  • Videos of me taking photos
  • Social media output
  • Creation of images, graphics, etc.

So there's a lot that it does on a professional shoot.

And my camera?

My camera is just there taking photos. So next bullet point this.

What do I do?

I've just told you how I use both and respect the fact that my cameras a camera, and my phone is a wonderful multi use device. My phones more like a Swiss Army knife, my cameras is the camera. And I'm happy with that.

Right the talky bit.

So that was the black and white bit. Hey, see what I did there - I like that?

But does this really matter? Let's put some context to this. You can take great photos with a phone. Certainly, you can take photos good enough to get a client. And if you have a client who's happy with the photos that you take with an iPhone, fantastic (sorry, other phones are available).

Let's be honest here - if the photos look good enough to the person who's paying for you to take them, (easy for me to say) they are good enough.

And if you think about, something I need to tell you. I've never been asked by a client what camera I used to take the photos with, or what lens?

So why should a client ask if you took them with a phone or a camera?

You see, that's that thing that we always forget is if the photos are good enough, nobody will know what you took them with, which is good, isn't it?

It's all that matters in theory, are the photos good enough?

I've never offered photos taken with a phone to a client myself, and I'm not thinking of doing this (just yet). But it has got me thinking, I'm not gonna lie to you.

I don't think we're there yet. But it has got me thinking

if it were possible, if I could turn upon a shoot with just my phone, I mean, that would be amazing. That would be so, so cool. And then I just take the photos in Lightroom, and then when I get back to my computer they're already there. Wonderful.

And then, reality kicks in, and I remember some things.

A photo looks fine on a small screen, but might not look fine blown up. Or once you've cropped a good way into a photo, which I do from time to time, and need the resolution.

With a phone you do not have the same immediate control of the three elements of the exposure triangle, aperture, shutter, and ISO. And that is a lot of things that I control using these, so is very important to me.

Whereas aperture and shutter they're the important ones to me, mainly aperture. But with my phone, I don't even know if I could change the aperture. I don't know if I can change the ISO, I don't need to change the shutter. It just you just take photos.

And that's the plus side.

You don't have to worry about that with a phone. You just take the photo, and all this stuff's done for you. I think that really is the future of photography. It's not all these dials and knobs and everything. Right, my one line summary

You can take professional photos with a phone, but phones do not replace cameras. Not yet. Not for me. But one day. Well I said one day they will, one day, they may or more likely cameras will evolve into something smaller and more similar to how a phone works.

Next episode, Episode 73.
How to take better photos with a phone explained in less than 10 minutes. Well, this is another logical thing for me to explain following on from this episode. And once again, another three ideas of future episodes have appeared during the creation of this episode, and one of them has given me an idea of some which I think is really good.

Going weekly

I'm going weekly with the blog, with the blog? With the podcast. My blog is already weekly at rickmcevoyphotography.com, and I am going weekly with the podcast, not twice a week.

I'll let you know more about that in a few episodes time, but I'm going to go from twice weekly to weekly.

Just wanted to say you know, having just made the decision.

Okay, I'm done.

Thank you for listening to my small but perfectly formed and hardly error free podcast. To find out more about the podcast and do stuff to help me check out photographyexplainedpodcast.com/start.

Brought to you by

This episode was brought to you by optimism and the enjoyment of creating stuff like this really. No really, I genuinely love doing this. It's great. I'm looking forward to going weekly because the quality will be better than it is at the moment, which was something I was thinking about for a number of weeks. Right. I'm going to stop there.

I've been Rick McEvoy thanks again very much for listening to me and for giving me 10 ish minutes of your valuable time, more like 13 and a half! and I will see you on the next episode.

Cheers from me, Rick.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

phone, photos, camera, photography, lenses, explained, episode, professional, podcast, weekly, sensors, splotches, aperture, blotches, rick, camera lens, client, image, shutter, high enough quality