The iPhone's Camera Evolution and Why It Has Revolutionized Photography Forever

The iPhone's Camera Evolution and Why It Has Revolutionized Photography Forever

We have all seen the comparison from one iPhone to the next as the newest tech is announced and the previous model is shot off as outdated and useless. This time we look at the evolution of mobile shooting and the tech that brings us into a new era of photography. Looking all the way back to the first iPhone and the quality of image versus the newest flagship from Apple, the iPhone 6, it's remarkable how far we have come and it excites me to see where we can go from here.

This evolution is where we look outside the box. Apps like Cortex Cam have helped me push the limits of the iPhone's sensor and get images packed with detail that I would have never gotten simply with the native camera app. Having built my photography career around the mobile photography explosion and shooting for clients with nothing more than my iPhone, it reiterates the fact it's not about the gear you use, but the creative eye and execution. Of course, the use of these images has mainly been for social, including campaigns via Instagram. That limitation in quality is a large reason I am able to get away with fewer pixel counts in the images I have sent to clients for use across all social media platforms. Now, that doesn't mean the other portion of my clients have not used these images for magazines and even 48 x 48 inch prints for personal projects. There are a few ways around the pixel peepers, and it comes in the development of new technology and smarter apps.

Though, this evolution (or revolution) has done more than just replace the larger cameras we use with the phones in our pockets. It has also replaced career veteran staff photographers at places like the Chicago Sun Times with Instagram wielding photographers and also pushed entire corporate campaigns on social networks to use influencers with large followings on Instagram. It's a change I full-hardily accept and a challenge that has been placed upon all of us competing in the market of product photography and corporate campaign work (though not limited to just those two).

Something I learned very early on in my career as a designer was to continue to grow, and to compete in the industry you must evolve. Now is a better time than any to be sure you are evolving with the trends and keeping up with the younger generations who seem to be born with the knowledge of how software works whereas we've just been slowly fed little by little as the tech comes out.

These images below are the example that technology is always changing and it's up to you whether you are able to evolve with them or continue where you are today. Either way, it's stunning to imagine making a living using nothing more than my phone's camera. I will be sure to keep pushing those new boundaries on my Instagram.


Macro Full Size


Backlit Full Size


Daylight Full Size


Portrait Full Size


Sunset Full Size

Low Light

Low Light Full Size

[via Snap Snap Snap]

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Bavarian DNA's picture

iPhone camera software is a great one in comparison to others for a low light processing, but not in far from some flagships, I recently did my own quick test between Galaxy note 4 and iPhone 6, 100% crop shows how Samsung process the image and how iPhone did it. I have to say without cropping the Galaxy is much better in terms of sharpness and brightness. What I miss is the manual control in iPhone camera ( I don't own now iPhone though)

Edward Porter's picture

RAW and full manual control are now available with the release of Android 5. The Panasonic CM1 also provides a programmable manual focus ring and dedicated camera button for quick access.

Paulo Macedo's picture

My OnePlus One shoots RAW DNG has a great camera, but somehow I feel like the iPhone has a better software when it comes to colour processing and noise reduction. Sometimes i get really impressed by how good the pictures came out of my iPhone 5C. I am still trying to find panoramas as good as the ones my iPhone did. Still, i love what my OnePlus One is capable of, and as a programmer and geek, i find the Android System more "open" to know, it's in our blood..geeks...

The iPad is rubish and i think it deserved something better. I have one, amazing tool for iBooks, surfing the web and mail...but the camera i would not mind the previous version of the iPhone camera on the newer iPads. Like the iPhone 5 camera on the iPad 4 and so on.

Oh and if you, by any chance think that the iPhone cameras are any good, you should check out the Nokia Lumia or Microsoft Lumia cameras...those are the best on the market PERIOD!

Anonymous's picture

I think we have to be grateful more to sony then applications ... Because in mine humble opinion Sony is the biggest inventor on the field of sensors for cameras.