Thoughts About a Phone Camera Photo

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    My wife just showed me this shot taken early this morning of our younger son Philip holding his 2 month old baby sister Isabella:

    Phone Camera Photo by Amin Sabet, on Flickr

    In relatively low light, her iPhone 5S chose f/2.2, ISO 320, and 1/15s for this photo. I imagine that a typical "entry level" Canon or Nikon APS-C camera with kit zoom would have chosen f/4.5 (2 stops slower f-number), 1/60s (two stops slower shutter speed), and ISO 5000 (4 stops higher ISO) with a very similar resulting image.

    I know the old photo dawgs often repeat in photography forums that holding the camera out in front, away from the eye, is asking for camera shake. I've found that it very much depends on one's technique as well as the camera. In particular, tiny light cell phones lacking any shutter vibration lending themselves to great results at very slow shutter speeds, even without any sort of image stabilization.
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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Here's another one from a couple days ago where her iPhone chose f/2.2, ISO 400, and 1/15s:


    This time, the typical APS-C DSLR with kit lens would have likely picked f/4.5, 1/60s, and ISO 6400. I actually think the movement of my older son makes for a nice motion blur at 1/15s.

    The overall point is that under many circumstances, a DSLR and kit lens on "auto" isn't going to do much better than a good phone camera.
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  3. TheRubySusan

    TheRubySusan SC Top Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    Henry, IL
    Real Name:
    What a beautiful photo, whatever took it!

    I think more about how I'm holding the camera - be it cellphone or DSLR - than I used to, especially if it doesn't have a viewfinder, and I've learned to shoot with the cellphone when I'm sure I'll get nothing keepable and am frequently surprised yet puzzled - how did it pull that off? "tiny light cell phones lacking any shutter vibration" clears a lot up for me. Thank you!
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  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    A light tap on a touchscreen also induces less force on a camera body than pressing a physical shutter button.
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