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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70 Comments

Previous comments
eric Gallant's picture

If the red was toned down in Patrick's photo it would be the winner, I have to go with Lee's

Patrick Hall's picture

It's funny...this is the toned down version haha! The original vibe I was going for was sort of a Rihanna album cover (don't know the name of it) and it was super red. I still stand by my decision on the post production though :)

GI PAMPERIEN's picture

dang, you guys look like you could be ready to slop the hogs back whar i cum frum....

GI PAMPERIEN's picture

yuh, iphone looks ok, even maybe as good as a dslr on a little screen, but what about bumping it up? huh? for real?

Chris K.'s picture

That was a fun comparison!

You should come to FL and compare it to my red ;)

Alexios Pappas's picture

As much as I love Patrick's intuition on creating awesome lighting conditions, A. Lee you took an amazing almost commercial/fashion photo & B. Lets be honest we would never leave a mobile phone camera to win over our cameras (it is just not there yet) :P

Tam Nguyen's picture

I'd like to vote for Patrick's second image, the one that has the cooler feel to it. That one was legit.

Patrick Hall's picture

Is no one going to comment on Lee's edit of this youtube featured image? Why is our skin magenta? Don't act like you don't see that!

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I actually see a magenta skin on lots of the videos recorded on that gray wall. At least it's a deemed a fashionable color combination :)

Patrick i think wins.

Great shot from both. I prefer Lee's shot, it's the hair and body position that did it for me.

Brad Delaney's picture

I like Lees Shot better. Its just different with the wild hair. Id be interested to see which one the model likes better. I think she might go Patricks because it makes her look younger and its not as wild. It really depends on the purpose and what they would be used for ultimately ?

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Neither were pushing the envelope, both shots are well within any camera's capabilities.
But I prefer the top one, in the second one due to the pose or maybe the angle or the flying hair her head looks too big compared to narrow shoulders.

iPhone and model lights - 1
Nikon with strobe - 0

Alex Armitage's picture

I liked Patrick's original shot better, but it's very possible had I not seen it, the red wouldn't have bothered me so much. Then again you likely thought she looked too warm because you were physically there during the shoot and she likely wasn't as warm. I personally liked the warm look. Funny how much seeing the actual scene influences style choices.

I'd like Lee's shot just a bit better if the hair on the left wasn't as crazy. Like if the only part in movement was the section below her mouth.

These are very critical responses and I actually liked them both. Kinda cheated with lights that cost more than the phone though :P

I liked Lee's shot on the larger context.

Normally, I would choose Lee’s photo because it appeals to me visually. But, because I believe in the “less is more” mantra, I greatly appreciate Patrick’s end result in having used a simple iPhone 7. Both images are good. And quality wise, Lee’s “stands out”, but how could it not with the gear that he used.. But all pro studio lighting aside, I think that Patrick maxed out the iphone’s range very well.
So, Patrick takes this one. Sorry, Lee.
To better days!

I'm going to go with Lee's shot. I really like the way the hair is wacky, but the model's expression is almost serene. I also like the details and the colour treatment. Nothing wrong with the way Patrick's shot is set up, but it's a little too soft for me and the eyes have lost a lot of detail.

Patrick pretty well done but finally dslr win with great lighting

Tyler Finley's picture

I think Patrick took this one but I do prefer the "blue" edit to the image a little more. I think the hair in Lees was a little much but there had to be some the in the series that had enough movement in the hair but not over the top. Question, why not use something like the Lightroom mobile app to shoot on the iphone? can control focus, WB, exposure ect a lot better then the native camera app.

In the video, I was much more pleased with the natural colors on both images. But that's just me. ^_^
(Watching all your cool vids and registered just now to vote.)

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!

For me, Lee is the winner.

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.

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)

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