The iPhone 4S and professional photography

We all know the iPhone 4S camera can replace most point and shoot cameras in a heartbeat. But what about for professional photography? Does it make the cut for on the go photography or does it still leave something to be desired?

Ryan Bolger, a personal friend of mine, is a professional photographer and local gallery owner. He has been patiently waiting to pick up an iPhone until he thought Apple got the camera feature right. I suggested that he pick up the iPhone 4s and give it a chance as a camera to use while on the go.

Over a month later he has nothing but positive things to say about the iPhone 4S camera and the quality of the images that it produces.

So I've been holding out for years. I've had an upgrade ever since the original Iphone came out & I decided that I was going to wait until the camera was where I wanted it & knew it could be. The iPhone 4S has changed my creative life in a very big way. The App Store has also opened up my eyes to a whole new creative & visual world. The ability to capture, ratify, & share my creative life with a few simple taps has helped me in my quest of trying to make the world a better place through my art.

Within the first week of my new marriage to this phone I took over 2,000 photographs. I'm amazed at the detail & the versatility of the iPhone 4S' camera. I've even used it on some paid client assignments. That's how much I trust it as a professional photographer.

I just read an article last night that photography was one of the things Steve Jobs aimed to re-invent. As a guy whose life revolves around photography and has since childhood, you've already done this Sir. So thank you Steve Jobs and thank you Apple.

Be sure to hit Ryan's gallery of photos at the link below. The first 200 to 250 photos are all taken and edited on his iPhone 4S.

Source: RJB Imagery

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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The iPhone 4S and professional photography

21 Comments

These are great pictures but I think it'd be useful to know how many of these are untouched (either by photoshop or by some kind of image filter iPhone app). I mean if we are comparing apples to apples, we should be looking at un-edited iphone 4s pics vs. un-edited DSLR pics.

That would be the dream right there.... wouldn't it Saice?WOW can you imagine that graceful product? I can only attempt to try...that could be a total game changer if done right....there's only one way...& it def is the Apple Way!

out of the 5,000+ images that I have taken with Iphone 4s thus far....I've taken every single one of them with the stock camera...I see how some apps allow you to take an image through it....I import from my camera's roll and run it through whichever app. Yes I used Instagram to edit a lot of the images on my blog simply because it's fun & I fancy it quite a bit.BUT I do notice Instagram layers the imagery with a bunch of "Stuff" and downgrades the quality of the actual Iphone Camera Image.... I'll start to upload a few straight up from the stock camera for ya my friend.What do you enjoy the most about the Iphone 4s Camera Charlie?

I would love to upload a few that were straight from my phone....there are quite a few that are straight up and original. Yes you will see a lot from Instagram and other apps that I use such as "360" & "pro HDR".I have embraced the app store for my iphone photography.The reason being I just enjoy that fun creative process of adding personality to my images.I also enjoy the fact of being able to share my work instantly by posting the stills to my facebook,twitter, and my blog with one button. Now my real work with the big cameras I'm a real old school kind of purest about the editing with that. Rarely will you see my non iphone photography with a bunch of wild and cool filter effects, tricks, and all that....for me iphone 4s allows me to have fun with all that real creative stuff. I can live out my inner Gorge Lucas with apps like "8mm" and pretend like I'm working for Chicago newspaper during the 1970's with apps like "Instagram" haha. I find it all to bring me great creative photographic joy!

I would love to upload a few that were straight from my phone....there are quite a few that are straight up and original. Yes you will see a lot from Instagram and other apps that I use such as "360" & "pro HDR".I have embraced the app store for my iphone photography.The reason being I just enjoy that fun creative process of adding personality to my images.I also enjoy the fact of being able to share my work instantly by posting the stills to my facebook,twitter, and my blog with one button. Now my real work with the big cameras I'm a real old school kind of purest about the editing with that. Rarely will you see my non iphone photography with a bunch of wild and cool filter effects, tricks, and all that....for me iphone 4s allows me to have fun with all that real creative stuff. I can live out my inner Gorge Lucas with apps like "8mm" and pretend like I'm working for Chicago newspaper during the 1970's with apps like "Instagram" haha. I find it all to bring me great creative photographic joy!

Posts like these annoy the hell out of me. No phone camera will ever replace a professional grade photography camera.

Why? It's the eye behind the camera, not the camera, that counts. Sure, a pro grade camera gives more options but it is not needed to take world class photographs; which is the point the post is making.

For many types of shots, the iPhone camera is great, but shots that require variable zoom and especially for action shots, where both ready-to-press speed and actual shutter speed matter, no -- it is not even close.
And that's ok -- the iPhone camera does not compete for those uses, nor should it, as it would necessitate compromises in the rest of the device. Its camera is good enough for most typical shots, and it is always in my pocket. If I am going somewhere I know could use a "real" camera, I take that too.

of course not but the advancement on what we are able to do with quality results from a gadget that makes phone calls is unreal & it is in our pockets and always on us. Think about it this way a couple years ago people would have paid a lot more then $200 to be able to have a camera that records life in full 1080 p HD video....now people can create and share with total ease. I'm not saying a phone can replace a high end DSLR with fine glass.But I bet they are going to do nothing but inch closer to being able to do so.Look at what Iphones are doing to the point & shoot market....DSLR sales have actually increased over the past few years....at the end of the day I just think it's grand that so many people nowadays have the ability to take a picture or capture a video.We are living in some of the most creative times....it's just fun to be a part of it. Would you agree buddy?

Of course not but the advancement on what we are able to do with quality results from a gadget that makes phone calls is unreal & it is in our pockets and always on us. Think about it this way a couple years ago people would have paid a lot more then $200 to be able to have a camera that records life in full 1080 p HD video....now people can create and share with total ease. I'm not saying a phone can replace a high end DSLR with fine glass.But I bet they are going to do nothing but inch closer to being able to do so.Look at what Iphones are doing to the point & shoot market....DSLR sales have actually increased over the past few years....at the end of the day I just think it's grand that so many people nowadays have the ability to take a picture or capture a video.We are living in some of the most creative times....it's just fun to be a part of it. Would you agree buddy?

This post isn't saying that a phone camera will ever replace a pro camera. And like other posters have said, it's not the gear. It's the photographer. Kinda like how iPhone photos have been used for photojournalism and made it into major publications like Time, NatGeo, etc....so whatever you do, don't dismiss the iPhone as a viable camera.

Here's where I would use my Iphone when I'm capturing a wedding. I use the Iphone 4s to take a photograph of the back LCD of my Canons & then I can text an image to the bride or groom or post one online. Sometimes when I'm capturing with a DSLR I'll capture a frame with the Iphone too add some story to it with an app and bam...a cool moment has just been created. I'm able to share capturing a love story instantly.... it's great! Families,Friends,Brides & Grooms love it....from my stand point I'm able to visually bring people to the shoot with me. A wedding,a Chicago street or alley,a serene coastal beach sunrise or to the middle of a deserted landscape. It's my paintbrush that allows me to paint my photographic life as it happens.

haha never...at least not right now.... for me Iphone 4s simply is another creative photographic outlet....but from where the world was 5 years ago with cell phone cameras and where we are now..it's amazing where it can all be taken in the future.....I find it all to be very interesting and it def is a ton of fun for me

In my experience, any camera in the hands of a good photographer will lead to great results, and any camera in the hands of a poor photographer will lead to poor results.

After looking at his album, I must say that's the case here. The pictures look great because of his eye, but look like s##t from a digital quality point of view, grainy, lacking definition etc
The indoors November 14h look like pictures taken with an old 1.3MP feature phone. Just look at his September and August pictures, the ones not taken with a phone, and there is a HUGE difference in quality.
Kudos to the photographer, that proved that any camera in the right hands can take great pics.

Try that with a Galaxy S II and see how that works. It won't. This is one area where the iPhone 4S clearly has the edge and was well worth the wait on launch day.

Going thru a filter is touching them. Your not seeing the photo, in it"s raw form. Now there is no way. that this camera will ever compare to a DSLR but, it is still a great camera.