iPhone Vs. Pro Camera Challenge

Patrick and I decided to create a video series where we compete to see who can come up with the best image based on a set of randomly chosen rules. This week, one of us got to use an iPhone and the other had the entire studio at their disposal.

Because I won the official "rock, paper, scissors" competition, Patrick was forced to shoot on his iPhone while I reached for the Nikon D850 and Tamron 70-200mm

Patrick certainly could have used any sort of cheap lighting, but we didn't have any around so he used the modeling lights on our Profoto D1s. To spice up his shot he added a bit of smoke that added an overall mood and accentuated his hair light. To top it off, Patrick added an extreme color grade which I'm sure will cause some debate.

For my shot, I decided to use strobes. I knew I was going to be moving lights all over the place so I decided to use our wireless B1s. Being that I was making this up on the spot, I decided to start with a single beauty dish off to the side and then build up the lighting after that. After adding a grid to the dish I added a giant fill card on camera left. I then added a strip box for a very faint hair light, and finally, I added a third B1 firing into the ceiling to fill in some of the dark shadows and add a bit of light to my background. I was worried that Patrick had created a really funky looking shot with his smoke so I decided to choose a final shot that had some over-the-top hair. 

So now it's up to you guys to decide who won this competition. Click on each image and give them a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If this video and post get a lot of engagement we will continue doing these sorts of competitions.

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Previous comments
Juan José González Cruz's picture

I choose Patrick creation. It shows once more that it doesn’t matter the gear you use but the creativity and technical knowledge of the photographer. I think Lee has comparable knowledge and creativity but he was distracted by the fact that Patrick’s smoke shot, would win the challenge.

Matt Schrupp's picture

I was going to go with Patrick's photo but when they mentioned that Lee's photo made her look mature I agreed with that! So I choose Lee's photo because of that reason. Both great photos though!

Calin Andra's picture

For me, Lee is the winner.

Johannes H's picture

I prefer Patrick's shot. Better pose, and I also like his lighting better, albeit it is a bit dark. Great job! Looking forward to your next challenge video.

John E's picture

What a fun comparison. Thanks guys. If you consider the handicap of Patrick using a phone, I have to give the win to Patrick. He worked really hard to compensate for the shortcomings of his gear and his skill showed in the finished product.
Without considering the handicap, just straight side-by-side comparison, I give the win to Lee. He has perfect lighting, great pose, and lots of creativity without too much manipulation in post. A very professional shot. Would love to see the same contest shot outside, without studio lights.

Kine H's picture

Patricks, as it has a bit of mystic and a fairytale ambiance ^^ Easier to remember
The kind that I love ^^

Valdis Krumins's picture

Well I think the comparison would be more fair if you tried to color grade them about the same, not differently..
(Sorry for my fast grade example...)

Usman Dawood's picture

With similar colours I'm gonna have to pick Patricks, sorry Lee.

Steve Cullen's picture

Patrick for the win! (Sorry Lee)

Lee Morris's picture


Yannick Desmet's picture

I'll go with Patrick's shot. Just because I think he really made it stand out that you can make a good picture without very expensive equipment. And a little dissapointed with Lee's shot. Altough I love flying hair, I didn't see anything to make the equipment stand out. Such a picture can easily be made with a Canon 450D.
And there is too much negative space (for me) Making it vertical could have changed my opinion.

Hope you guys don't take that to seriously and negative.
As some told as well. A pity Patrick didn't shoot in RAW, he could have used VSCO to retouch the picture or LR
And would be nice to see results of the Samsung smartphone cameras. Outdoor, the Iphone is better, but indoor I've had the opinion it shoots quite a lot better.

I like such kind of posts guys, keep it up

Usman Dawood's picture

Definitely Lee's shot :)

Leo Tam's picture

I like the idea of Lee's shot, but there feels like something missing... Her face kinda just floats in a weird way. Patrick's invokes more feeling

Bakari Taylor's picture

Both shots are great but I give the nod to Patrick.

Curt Alexander's picture

Not surprisingly, anyone's preference is subjective, but the fact that Patrick's I-Phone visual was so sophisticated makes the bigger point that in limited cases, expensive equipment is not necessary. But, I'd guess that most people who rely on I-Phone pictures don't have a lot of equipment to supplement their work the way Patrick did.

Tristan Pope's picture

Lighting is everything. I did a comparison of the Sony A7R iii vs iPhone X https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fPlcmPB3u8

Sometimes the limitations of the gear we have inspire creativity and Patrick truly nailed that.

Karino Ariza's picture

Both shots are awesome, i want to see this challenge again but swapped the gears, i like the way each look, really elegant but in my opinion i will go with Patrick's shot, Not because he had an iPhone but the creativity he used, and it gives Lee the opportunity to have a glimpse, what he was doing because of the smoke.. but i really liked patricks shot with the blue cool effect instead of the warmer feel.

David Lazo's picture

I vote Lee Morris. Both pictures have nice photo composition but Lee Morris's picture is better by a long shot. Quality is Quality. That picture can definitely go in a portfolio!

Jeremy Martignago's picture