Photographer Compares an iPhone 11 Pro Against His $13,000 Camera

iPhone 11 Pro steps in the ring against Fuji GFX 100 in the other corner. David versus Goliath. Can you guess which of the images is shot on a mobile phone? No, it's not a trick question.

Ten years back, such an article would have been inconceivable. But today, we've seen mobile devices step up their game and try to compete with the quality and look of images from cameras that are considered not just for professionals, but for high-end productions: medium format cameras. This is the case with photographer Josh Rossi, who takes a bold step to compare his $13,000 Fuji GFX 100 against the iPhone 11 Pro. If you think it matters, the Fuji has 100 MP, while the iPhone has 12 MP. Both devices are shooting in raw mode. Ross shows the original photos without any color or contrast corrections and the versions after a few minor tweaks. The results are really surprising. The photographer also creates a poster with an image shot on the iPhone. You can see the result at the end of the video.

With the advancement of the mobile phones, photographers that rely entirely on the technical advantages of their cameras, such as shallow depth of field and resolution, will have to either step down or find a greater advantage to market themselves with. Today, non-professionals are able produce shallow depth of field with a device that can also make calls.

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45 Comments

Michael Comeau's picture

The iPhone Pro looks pretty damn good.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Not a fan, not an owner, but I can say the same.

I definitely don’t need my A7iii now! Jk jk jk :)

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

FIne ! Stop using crap but expensive camera ! Get an iPhone !

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

That's what we preachin'

Spy Black's picture

Poor guy, got rooked into spending $13,000 when all he had to do was buy an iPhone...

Don’t forget the iPhone 11 pro costs more than many DSLRs, more even than some full-frame cameras. It’s not a cheap option.

And the usability still sucks ass.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Because you can call someone or post an image to Facebook or Instagram, which you can't do with a DSLR :)

But you can also do those things with the $100 phone you can buy with the money left over after buying a real camera instead of the iPhone 11 Pro.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

One of the Youtube comments got it right, "Photoshop vs $13,000 camera".

Wonder Woman's picture

Amazing, the stain on the woman's shirt was tack sharp with both cameras

Maybe the future for image professionals is with fixing all the camera phone images.

Id like to see the e comparison with out-of -camera jpegs. The raws from many cameras don't necessarily look great . Taking the raw image skips a lot of Apples computational treatment as well .

I'd really like to see what the built in prcesssing csn do .

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Watch the video. He shows the raws.

EL PIC's picture

I got them both right via my Small I iPhone 8 display ... but it took a second look.
Re do this this with a more normal or larger picture size to represent an 11 x 14 then a 30 x 50 and you will know why more buck is more bang.
I often use my IPhone but not for large prints.
My I phone is the only Mirrorless I need .. hear that Nikon Canon Sony and all you Fstooper GearHeads ???

Motti Bembaron's picture

There are dozens of Youtube articles comparing photos between smartphones of all kinds and DSLR's but I guess it's iPhone so it warrants a post :-)

David Pavlich's picture

A couple of things. First, just about every comparison I've seen like this has images taken under either good outdoor lighting or controlled indoor lighting. Second, how about making some 20X30 prints?

I would guess that most of those that buy a $13000 MF camera aren't concerned about how the shots look on a phone or computer screen. Yes, the I-phone takes good images, but if you're going to make a fair comparison, shoot the phone under conditions that the MF camera is in its element, say, high contrast images with deep shadows and bright hilites.

Or, go to an air show, leave the $13000 camera at home and take a D500 and a 200-500 Nikon lens, about $3000 new. Now the prices are a lot closer, but the results will tell a much different story than the above video.

I should’ve done a comparison video last month when I was in Yellowstone between my dslr and a iphone 11 Pro and see if people could tell the difference, I’m betting 100% would be able. I don’t think a phone will be replacing my 1dx2 and 600 F4 IS II anytime soon.

Jan Kruize's picture

Yhaaaaawn.......

Dude, if you are photoshopping images, you cannot use them to compare anything. Your title is just another form of click bait.

I’m not sure of your point. I could likely scan old Kodachrome images and edit them in PS and also achieve medium-format quality.

Mark MC's picture

I've long been an advocate of mobile phone cameras and as their tech improves don't knock them, plus they are always with you and they can pay your bills! Still need my long fast lens for tech stuff so DSLR is here to stay but iPhone 11 Pro Max is a dream.

Jeremiah Griffin's picture

Not trying to be rude, but...yawn? Everyone's known this for years. Is it really that big a deal anymore?

Take the iPhone on a real shoot. Challenging lighting/dynamic range, tight crops, or big prints.

Hell, drop it and see how well it does compared to a proper mirrorless or dslr. This is kinda just boring.

Keith Meinhold's picture

Ridiculous. An iPhone is fine to compare stills in a video / viewing on screen, maybe even a portrait. Lets see how a detailed landscape compares or a largish print, how about a product shot for a brochure where you need to create a believable clipping mask around some detail. What counts most is the photographer, some things no $13k or iPhone camera can't compensate for.

Adriano Brigante's picture

The Iphone fake blur around the hair is still horrendous. Dead giveaway.

Dustin Wenger's picture

This. The iPhone still can't handle the edge details to make portrait mode look realistic.

dred lew's picture

To be fair, no phone can... yet. Give it a couple more years for the computational photography to iron out its kinks and it will kick a traditional camera’s ass.

Kenneth Muhlestein's picture

1: i got them both right viewing on my 6 inch cellphone screen. The differences would be way more obvious on my computer screen. 2. When i learned that you photoshopped the iphone image, i immediately stopped the video. Congrats, i am a victim of clickbait.

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