'Smartphone camera use on the rise among pro photographers'

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Karim Ghantous, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. 11 percent of the surveyed photographers use a smartphone camera for approximately 50 percent of their pro images. Smartphone use for professional images is also on the rise, with 31 percent saying they use the smartphone more now than they did 12 months ago.

    Study: smartphone camera use on the rise among pro photographers

    I can't speak for everyone but I know that I could have used a modern iPhone for some of the work I had some years ago. The trick is that you have to find a minimum standard. For me, it's the iPhone XS. The jump from X to XS was significant and made the XS and its successors acceptable to use for certain applications.

    You'd be surprised how good a phone can be. Even an older model can do a lot for non-professional applications. But, if you treat your phone's camera like a disposable camera, you'll get disposable results.
    mickeysimpson likes this.
  2. Its just to small to hold it steady and precise framing and zooming are problematic.
    But its just fine for "professional" use on Instagram.
  3. Nothing new! Everybody uses smartphone cameras. In fact all my photos taken for work are with a smartphone..
    mikemorrell likes this.
  4. Smartphone photo-systems (especially on top-of-the-line models of major brands) are getting better all the tim, with multiple lenses and 'smart' software. Though the lenses and image sensors are of course tiny compared to FF cameras. But I can well imagine some photographers using them professionally in some situations or types of work. Being able to 'travelling light' can be an advantage. So does the ease with which 'live' photos can be shared/published. And smartphones can be less obvious/intimidating in some situations than a large DSLR +lens and rucksack. Allowing a photographer to blend in more easily.

    I fully agree with @Nick D. on the downside and difficulties using a smartphone without a tripod. Especially on manual exposure, adjusting settings can be fiddly compared with a larger camera. So I guess it depends on the situation. But the (smart) automatic exposure does a pretty good job too.
    movingfinger likes this.
  5. Painters who used watercolors didn't necessarily try to imitate what painters who use oils had done.

    Photographers who will come to use smartphone cameras differently from how they used dslrs will likely be of more interest to me than those who simply try to get them to perform like dslrs or imitate what's been done with other cameras for decades.

    Modern photography, in a sense, was born when Pictorialism (which, for many reasons, felt it had to imitate painting to be considered a "true" art) was rejected and the camera began to be used as its own unique instrument producing its own unique look.
    mikemorrell and movingfinger like this.
  6. Sad that so many new photographers will never know the pleasure of using a fine, precision, dedicated photographic instrument. Whip out that phone, take a dozen nearly identical photos, save every one and make everybody look at every one. Asked a woman about her dog the other day and she took out her phone showed me a dozen photos of his tumor surgery.
    gungajim and movingfinger like this.
  7. But you're not describing photographers, are you?
    mikemorrell likes this.
  8. They seem to think they are.
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    There might be people who would hire someone with a smart phone for a photo job, but most would expect any professional in any field of endeavor to have and use professional tools.
  10. Not my experience. Most people who've shown me pics of their dogs on their phone don't think of themselves as photographers. You must run into a different class of people than me.

    In any case, what does it say that you're sad about it and they seem blissfully happy with what they're doing?

    In photography, perspective is important. From their perspective, you look old and they may think that's sad. From your perspective, what they're doing is sad. I call it misperception and a waste of time.
    movingfinger and Sanford like this.
  11. "58 percent use the smartphone to take photos that support their own business, for example, website photos or social media posts. 20 percent use phones for behind the scenes type of work."

    That doesn't sound like paid work to me. For example, a quick snap of a lighting setup or as a substitute for a polaroid, or to document some other part of the process, isn't really 'professional' use if the picture never gets sold or used by a client. That's just a visual notebook.
    movingfinger and Jochen like this.
  12. Its more likely to carry a smart phone than a cable release and both do the same job.
  13. A classic camera just makes you take more photos. My Nikon D300 (12mp) is out performed by just about everything on the market, phone or camera but it just feels good to use. Evokes memories of happier times at big crowded events.
    gungajim likes this.
  14. I must give Karim an award for posting the most irrellevant posts.
    Gerald Cafferty likes this.
  15. Although photography has been my hobby since around 1968, I only began taking it more seriously in the last 3+ years. I have a distinct bias – preference – for my DSLR (Canon 5D Mark III) over my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy s9+). I do occasionally take pictures with my smartphone when I do not have my DSLR with me and find the photo quality acceptable.

    I find that the smartphone to be very awkward in my hands and difficult when changing settings – it is a royal PIA. My DSLR feels exceptionally good in my hands and I find it easy to manage the settings. I will likely purchase the Canon R5 at the end of 2020 or soon thereafter depending on how well it appears to perform for those brave enough to be first in line.

    IMHO smartphones still have some distance to go before they match the capabilities of DSLRs, but they it is undeniable that they will achieve significant hardware and software improvements in the next few years. Even so, while they offer small and lightweight options, I believe that they will remain very awkward for many photographic situations.

    Sanford likes this.
  16. I still love my dslr and use it more for taking photos than my iPhone. But what you describe are some of the reasons I like the phone. For me, it’s a more casual tool and the fact that handling it is less precise than my “pro” camera offers me the opportunity (and challenge) of using it differently. I think differently with it, compose differently, and focus on different things when I use it. I tend to be more immediate with it. For me, it’s become an ADDITION, not a substitution.
  17. Hi Sam. I agree - generally the DSLR is more "pro" photographic tool while the smartphone is more of a casual photographic tool. That said, I think the tide has started to turn where we will see smartphones, or similar more advanced devices, become commonplace for "pro" photographers and videographers within 5 years. Technology waits for no one. You expressed very well your approach to using your smartphone, an opportunity, challenge, creativity, intimacy, etc... May you continue to integrate you smartphone in new and creative ways.
  18. How's he doing?
    Ludmilla likes this.
  19. This was a while ago, I believe he passed.
  20. I am not sad about that! I love the cameras for what they are but I understand that many just want to take the pictures. There is no joy in using the camera for them. It's the result that counts. For the tumor surgery I doubt that you can take better photos than what she already got with her phone.

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