I’ll admit, I do like having the newest gadgets to play around with, but I’ve always been a firm believer that equipment does not matter. A fancy camera isn’t going to make you a good photographer nor will it allow you to take amazing photos. It’s how you use your equipment, and the emotion you capture in the photo.
My every day camera is my iPhone. It goes with me everywhere I go (seriously, I practically bathe with this thing) and is super light. I don’t feel weird walking in a sketchy part of a neighborhood because I’m not flashing around some giant camera. I feel safer walking around a sketchy neighborhood when I have my iPhone because it’s my phone. I try and take my 5D out when I can, but when I use it, it’s for very intentional purposes. If I’m not using it on a professional photo shoot, I better be hiking somewhere hella cool because otherwise I’d rather save my back and only bring my small, lightweight iPhone.
Equipment can make a difference, yes, but I would argue and say it’s not the model or brand, it’s simply taking the photo with what you have. There are tons of beautiful cameras out there that I dream of, and then I see this jaw dropping photo a fourteen year old took with a little point and shoot film camera you buy from Walmart, and I think to myself, why am I standing in a camera store with no money (or money I shouldn’t spend) when I could be out shooting?
And, so, the iPhone:
I took the above photo with my iPhone 5s, and I took the below photo with my Canon 5d III:
Right of the back, the iPhone shot came out way cleaner. Yes, when I took the photo with my canon, I choice a low f-stop because I wanted a lot of depth of field, causing the foreground to be blurred. I then picked up my iPhone and took the same photo and walked away without checking either. Then I got home and looked at each photo and realized that I preferred the iPhone shot by far. The nice thing about the iPhone is that it does everything for you. It has HDR on it which leaves you with a generally even exposed image. When shooting something far away like I did, there’s also not much depth of field. I could have taken a similar shot with my canon, but since I didn’t check my image before I left, I didn’t bump my f-stop to a higher number. Looking back, I wish I would have because I almost find the blur distracting, rather than an enhancement to the photo. My eye still goes straight to the waterfall in the first image.
Below are the same two images but edited. The iPhone image is first with an iPhone edit, followed by the Canon image which I edited in Lightroom.
I ended up being happy with the Canon photo I took, but not until I edited the photo quite heavily (which took foreva eva). The iPhone 5 image I hardly had to edit at all (which gave me more time to take photos).
Here’s another example:
Looking above, yes, the photo taken with my Canon may have more pixels, but overall, the unedited iPhone photo is much brighter and crisper looking than the Canon one.
All this to be said (and shown)… shoot with whatever type camera or camera phone you have! Don’t worry whether yours is the newest and hottest thing or not. Focus on light, composition and emotion. That’s how you’ll get a great photo.
PS: And just to drive the point home, even a wedding can be photographed with an iPhone ;)