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- DSLR Owners love Their Smartphone Camera as much as You do
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Rene Ritchie: I'm Rene Ritchie and this is "Vector." Vector is brought to you today by Mint Mobile. Mint Mobile lets you pay much, much less for premium wireless service in the US, including 4G LTE high-speed data. Right now, if you pay for three months you get three months free. You can also get free first class shipping on any purchase at MintSIM.com by using promo code VTFreeShip. VT like Vector, free ship.
Thank you, Mint Mobile.
Joining me today is Carolina Milanesi. Did I say that right?
Carolina Milanesi: Yes. Perfect.
Rene: You are an analyst. I know people should be familiar with you but in case they're not could you give us a little taste of your background?
Carolina: Sure. I've been an analyst for consumer tech for longer than I would like to admit to you. I was based in the UK to start with. I spent 14 years overall with Gartner which is a big IT consultancy company, looking at consumer behavior and consumer tech.
More looking at forecasting and market share, and then sitting in an odd part of Gartner where I was trying to make sense of us as users within an enterprise environment. Then I went off and decided to do two years of really looking at consumer.
I joined Kantar Worldpanel doing pure consumer research and realized very quickly that there was actually a gap in this market for somebody who understands the industry, but also understands how to do consumer research. That's how I ended up at Creative Strategies working with Ben Bajarin and really trying to pull those two things together.
Rene: I love what you and Ben and just... There's different kinds of analysts. Some analysts, especially financial analysts, you never know really who they're serving or what they're saying. But I love the kind of work you do because it's always focused on the things that I want, or the things that consumers want.
Carolina: Well we're happy to oblige.
Rene: You had an article up. Did it go live last yesterday, or Wednesday?
Traditional cameras vs. smart cameras
Rene: This is one of the things that interests me, most recently is this shift. They've always had this thing about the best camera is the one that you have with you and that was the iPhone. Traditionally, it was on you and you could take photographs. Maybe it wasn't a DSLR, but you didn't have to carry these huge, expensive bodies, and these big, glass lenses and all of that.
Increasingly, these phones are getting better. You looked at the juxtaposition of traditional cameras and modern smart cameras. Is that a fair way to put it?
Carolina: Yeah. The survey was generic. The study was about a thousand people in the US, across different segment of the market, so early adopters, mainstream, and mass market, if you like, consumers. We had a good chunk of people in that panel that said that they still own and use actively, a DSLR.
I started to cross-reference the data. I ended up doing my article specifically on that, because I found some interesting tidbits that are counterintuitive to what one might think. You think if you are using a DSLR, you're somewhat of a purist, and therefore you're going to hate a camera phone.
It turns out actually you don't. That was what was surprising, how much more of a driver for DSLR owner versus a consumer that only relies on a camera phone, how much the camera plays a role in deciding which device they're buying, which you wouldn't think because you say, "Well, you have a DSLR, so why'd you care what the camera in your phone is like?"
It turns out if you like taking pictures, then you care about whatever camera is with you across your day.
Rene: I found that's particularly true for me. For example, I've been doing photography for years. I did it back when -- kids, cover your years -- film was a thing. You had to take a ton of pictures and develop them. If they weren't good, it wasn't like delete, delete, delete, delete. You spent a lot of money developing those photos. [laughs]
Rene: It was a lot of overhead, so it really was a choice. Then I moved to Canon DSLRs. The last DSLR I owned I still have, a 5D Mark III. I love that camera, but I haven't picked it up as often since the iPhone 7 Plus came out.
Rene: I think that's what it is. It's interesting. Even one of the things that we were asking was more a touchy-feely question about how you feel about the camera. What does the camera in your phone does for you? DSLR owners were saying, "It's always in my pocket, so it allows me to take pictures that I could not have taken with a DSLR, not because of technology, but because simply I didn't have it with me."
My husband is a big photography nerd. Same thing. He had a 7 Plus. He likes candid pictures, so in that way you have the ability to always have it with you, but also not make it so obvious that you're shooting this big thing towards a person, or an animal, or something that you want to take a candid picture of.
Rene: Also, what I found was DSLRs, yes, you can absolutely carry them around, but first you have to carry them around. They're bigger. I needed extra room in my bag. I had to have the lenses with me, because sometimes I wanted a fast 50, for example, or sometimes I wanted a macro. Sometimes I wanted a telephoto.
Carolina: You have to be committed, right? [laughs]
Rene: Yeah, it's a whole separate enterprise. Also, to shoot with them is non-trivial. I used to shoot WWDC or other keynotes with them. It is heavy holding that camera for an hour to two hours shooting that.
Also, when we would do video production, everything, from putting on a stabilization rig or a steady camera thing, it is heavy. It requires more equipment and more physical effort.
Carolina: It's interesting that you're talking about the effort in not just for size, but also, you were pointing even with film. If you take a picture that you don't like, with film it's not like you can even go back, because by the time you take the picture and you develop, days have gone past.
What was interesting for a DSLR owner, where you saw the difference. When we asked, what are the features that you want in your next camera? DSLR owners were, "I want better image stabilization, better low light," but they did not want more software that would allow the camera to basically take the shot for you.
Whereas the average consumer that only relies on the camera wants that pain taken away from them. They want more software. They want to get a great shot, not to take one, which is a subtle difference, but the difference that makes a photographer versus a non-photographer.
Rene: That's very true. I love how you said that, "Take a great shot versus get a great shot." That's a much simpler way, because I used to put it speed to good enough photo was the job of the phone camera. You had to take it from your pocket, get to it quickly, and get the photo before it was gone. It was for capturing those moments.
Where with a camera you needed artistry. You would set it up and wait for that bird, or you would get everyone together and make sure their faces were, "Everyone's smiling. All right, the flash..." It was a completely different process. I love how you're phrasing that.
For a while I was hoping Apple would do Camera Play, where they'd come to a deal with Nikon or Canon and they would take over the camera interface, similarly to how they take over the car interface or the TV interface with AirPlay and CarPlay. Now that you say that, it strikes me that maybe they would like the connectivity options, but they probably would like all the ISP options.
Carolina: I wonder, because some vendors have tried that. Samsung has tried that and, to some extent, Huawei has, as well, where you have auto mode or you can actually set up all the settings.
For some reason, I'm not a great photographer of DSLR and such, but there's a difference, in my view, in manipulating some of the knobs that you have on the camera. Do that on a phone screen is not quite the same. It ends up frustrating people, versus actually helping.
Rene: Some of the executives at the companies that make these amazing smart camera phone things, they're longtime Leica, Lica, Layca? That's like GIF and JIF. I'm going to get in trouble no matter how I say it -- or otherwise high-end photography nerds.
They will unbox a new Leica camera the way that reviewers unbox new phones. [laughs] They love that stuff, and it's because of the tactility of the buttons, and the knobs, and the levers. It's an incredibly different, very analog process, where you're manipulating light, position, angle, and all these things in the glass, and with those knobs. That is a very different feeling.
Carolina: It's quite fascinating. Some of the consumers that we interviewed, 43 percent of them, are taking pictures every day, which is a lot. When you look at what they take pictures of, it was interesting because we didn't have many Gen Z, because there's always a problem when you do studies to go under 18. Selfies were not one of the big categories.
What was fascinating was actually that one biggest categories, sceneries was the big one, and the other one was information, which is definitely not something that you would use your DSLR for. I made the little joke in my article saying we're not making memories often, but we are actually helping our memory.
It's taking pictures of stuff that we want to remember, it might be a pair of shoes that we see, or a receipt. Or, if you're working like I do, and you're often in presentations, you take pictures of slides. Half the panel was taking pictures of that kind of stuff, which is interesting.
Rene: So many whiteboard pictures, Carolina.
Carolina: You used to take off the pieces of paper on those old-fashioned, and then you would store them somewhere in your office, and you never went back to them. Same things with the pictures. [laughs] We're changing the mode, but we're not changing the habit.
Too. Many. Photos.
Rene: My camera roll on my phone is a digital wasteland. There's probably some value in there, but the sheer volume of it makes extracting that...I need some sort of machine learning algorithm. That's what memories do, I guess. I forget what the HTC version was called where it...
Carolina: That is really a good point, because I was actually trying to find a picture of my previous dog the other day to show to somebody. It took me 10 minutes, because on the iPhone I have over 8,000 pictures. It's ridiculous.
Unfortunately, I'd say Apple is still lagging a little bit compared to Google Photos, as far as being able to search your pictures. If I put Spike, which was the name of my dog, it would bring up some pictures, but not all of them. Given how much we're reliant on this feature, we will want to have more, and make sure that things are recognized and done for us.
That's definitely one of the things where I don't want to be there and tag all the pictures of my dogs one by one. I want the device to know. I tell you once, "Go and figure out how many times you see a white dog with a black patch on his eye. It's the same dog."
Rene: It's funny, because we had this problem with the web and we had this data, where first you don't have data, so you solve getting it. Then you have too much data, so you start doing search. Then there's too much to search through, so you start doing algorithms, then you start doing machine learning.
Then you get to assistants, which are supposed to be smart enough to figure out the parts that you need to keep, and which parts you can junk. [laughs] We keep creating more and more layers of complexity and problems.
Carolina: The other big part that we saw is obviously that people are sharing what they're taking. Be it Snapchat, on Instagram, or Facebook, everybody, not just early adopters, even your average Joe is sharing a few times a month, about 30 percent of them, to about 8 percent of them that does it daily. I'm sure if we went to Gen Z that proportion was much higher than that.
From analog to digital to computational photography
Rene: It's interesting, because we went through this transition from analog cameras to digital cameras, from film to bits and pixels. Now we're going towards computational photography. They were both phenomenal transitions for me. I did a picture book back in the old days. It cost me thousands of dollars, and it took me months to get the photos, sort through the photos, scan the photos, arrange it, all of those things.
Now, when I went to digital, I could do a book in a couple weeks because it was captured digitally, it was sorted digitally, it was laid out digitally. Now that it's computational, that was the thing for me, because the photos, there were compromises to be made. There still are, but I can do things like depth effect now on an iPhone on iPixel. I can do lighting effects on an iPhone.
It's not perfect, and it doesn't work all the time, but it further reduces the amount of time that I have to go for a DSLR, the same way my original DSLR, even though it wasn't that good back then, reduced the amount of times I had to go to an optical camera.
Carolina: Absolutely. I actually made this comment the other day on Twitter because I was going through some old pictures of early camera phones. I couldn't get over how bad those pictures were. We have gone miles and miles in today's technology from where we started, and it's just a handful of years.
It was early 2000 when we started experimenting a little bit in Europe with Ericsson, with the first camera phone, which had an add-on. Really bad, but yet, at the time, exactly to your point, we had that power of having a camera always with us. We knew it was inferior to a stand-alone camera, but it was that power of being able to take a picture whenever we wanted to.
Whenever we saw something that it was worth taking a picture of. Or maybe it wasn't, and we just did it because we could. The quality today is amazing. It really is fascinating to see not just what you capture, but then how you can manipulate what you capture afterwards.
It's interesting to see, also, where the industry's going. There are different paths that vendors seem to be taking. Google more on software and processing post-picture, versus Apple doing it while you are taking the picture. It'll be interesting to see what the results are going to be like, and if the paths remain separate or they merge at some point.
Rene: The old joke was that Nokia hung a giant lens on their phone, almost like a face hugger, and then Apple would do it at the ISP. Because Nokia wanted to capture as much light as possible, and then Apple would do it at the ISP.
Because Google had no idea what hardware you were capturing with, it would suck everything up to the cloud and do Auto Awesome on whatever it could.
Rene: Now it's more subtle. It's amazing to me because 5, 10 years ago you had to make a choice. You could choose between Nikon and get really good low light, or Canon and get much better video, but nobody was doing everything. Now I spent a week with the Pixel 2 XL and I got to compare it to the iPhone X. They both do portrait mode, but they do it so differently.
People who haven't used them, for the iPhone, you go to the camera. You see portrait there. You either tap or swipe to it. You see the depth effect on the screen, so you can position yourself, or if you see a defect you can turn a little bit. You can try to capture what you see.
Apple is doing its version of ML on that, of machine learning, extracting the depth map, and doing all these things to give you what looks like a portrait mode picture, a bouquet picture. They're doing it a little bit artistically, because they're using a custom desk blur that has different settings for low light and for [inaudible 18:04] , all these different things.
They're also doing, I want to call it playing a game. They're taking the noise that's inherent to lower light, and they're trying to make it look like grain so it looks more artistic, where on the other side, with Google, they don't have two lenses, so they're hijacking the dual-pixel face focus system on the camera, but that means they can't do a live preview.
I was a little bit lost at first. I launched it. I couldn't find portrait mode because it's not apparent on the screen. You have to go to the menu. I saw it, and I tapped it, and because I was used to the iPhone, I didn't see any portrait mode, so I thought it was broken.
I tried it again, and I looked at it. I tried it again. I took a couple of photos just in case. I didn't see it. I went to the camera roll, and because it has to do it in post-process, I didn't see it either. I went back, then I went it back to camera roll and waited, and about three seconds later, it worked.
It did a phenomenal job, but it made very different choices. Apple to me is overly blurred around the edges, where Google looks sometimes like a paper cut out. Google is very mechanically accurate, where Apple is making deliberate...Apple will change the warmth of a picture if it thinks it looks better. That blows out the highlight, but gives you better skin tones.
It's 10 years later, and instead of Canon or Nikon, I have Apple or Google, but no one's giving me everything. [laughs]
Carolina: I know. It is interesting. I had a similar kind of comparison with the Note 8 and the iPhone. It was S8 Plus at the time that I was comparing to. I posted some picture on Twitter, and it was exactly that debate between people who say, "This looks better."
The Note 8 picture looked better, crisper, but then if you zoomed into the detail, it was a picture of my daughter that I posted as a comparison. She was wearing stripy trousers -- pants, sorry. We're not in England...
Rene: No, trousers fine.
Carolina: You cannot see the definition of the line, whereas with the iPhone, the picture was not as crisp, but you could definitely see those stripes really coming forward. It's fascinating what people like. The lights, the tones, are different as well.
With Samsung, everything is super bright. It loses a little bit of that natural part of the color. Some people love it, and some people don't. It's like TVs, if you're like, "How black can the black be?" Some people want black to be really, really black.
Rene: I think that's absolutely true, and I had the same reaction. I put up a picture of my godson where one with the Pixel 2 XL, one was taken with the iPhone X, and one was taken with a Canon 5D Mark III with a fast 50, I think the 1.4 50-millimeter lens.
To my eyes, empirically, objectively, the Canon just blows it away, because it's not even a fair fight. It's such a big sensor, and it's optical bouquet. It's not being computer simulated. I can understand why, some people liked the Pixel 2 XL better, because it rendered things that the camera would have thrown away.
It made sure everything was...What's the right word? It didn't blow out anything, even when the lens would have done it. It tried to preserve a lot of details. It didn't blur around the edges or the hair the way that the DSLR did. You could see individual hair strands, and people responded to that.
They thought it was more detail, again, even though the DLSR wouldn't, where Apple did blow out some of the highlights, but the skin tones were so good, even compared to the DLSR. In some ways, I guess they're "doing some things better than a DSLR," but to me, that's utterly subjective. That has to be what you personally like better in a photo at that point.
Carolina: I agree. I think it all boils down to exactly that, what looks better in your eyes. What is interesting is, it's definitely Apple has stopped quite a bit not just the Shot with an iPhone campaign, but they mention a few times that the iPhone is the most used camera in the world. That came through very clearly in our study, where iPhone users do take pictures more than anybody with their devices.
I was able to [inaudible 22:24] the data by Samsung users, DSLR users, and iPhone users. They are the group that takes the most pictures on a daily basis. They're also the ones that share the most pictures, and they want more from their camera. I think that it's not just the marketing line that Apple is using, it's true that consumers, iPhone users, have become extremely reliant on their camera.
The best best camera
Rene: It feels like there was a shift in the industry a few years ago across vendors, where previously, the whole the best camera is the one you have with you, but now they want to make those best cameras as good as possible. I guess theoretically, they want to make the best camera you have with you also the absolute best camera.
I don't think you can really compete, again, because cameras still like depth. Eventually computers might be powerful enough, but there's still something about a big sensor and a big lens. They are active from Google to Samsung to Apple to Huawei all the vendors. They are putting a lot of time and effort in making those cameras really good.
Carolina: I agree. I think it goes back to what you were talking about before, and how we transitioned to digital. You're not just relying to take the odd shot here and there, you are preserving a memory. You're taking a picture to share with your loved ones and family. You're also giving a lot of information to some of these people, [laughs] some of these companies, right?
The better the pictures that you take, and then you store, it's a big industry behind it for different reasons. Now the camera has also developed to be not just a camera for a picture, but you start to see the world through that camera, and so the value of it is expanding.
Not just for AR, but think about the lens that you have with Google and Samsung, too, where you point the camera to a piece of information, a picture, or a bottle of wine, and machine learning and AI will tell you what that is that you're pointing to, a landmark or whatever else is there. It really is a lens onto the world, that we are more and more dependent on.
Rene: It's interesting, you're doing full-on data ingestion with the lens, and I guess that ultimately is the self-driving car problem, you've got to be able ingest the world, understand the world, and then live it and react to the world.
Carolina: Absolutely, navigate get through it.
Rene: This, you're navigating, "Is this wine any good or not?" but it's still a navigational [inaudible 25:12] .
Carolina: I still would like to taste it versus just [laughs] having the phone to tell me.
Rene: It's true. We saw that -- I forget the name of that app that Google bought. It was a while ago, where you'd hold it up to a street sign, and it would translate the street sign for you. Those are all super useful things, and AR now is incredibly useful, because it puts all these...
I remember it was coming for years, we were just talking about it, like the layer browser. It would overlay bits of data on to your camera, but now it's gotten to the point where in alternate realities being overlaid onto your camera.
Carolina: Samsung has that through their Bixby lens. I was in Korea, and I was pointing the phone to a sign that I was trying to decipher. It was a crude translation, but I understood what it was. It was very helpful at the time.
Everything seems to be making the world a little bit easier to navigate, which is interesting, given where we are today in looking at politics and everything else. We have technologists trying to bring us together in our human side that, unfortunately, seems to be coming in the way of the moment.
Rene: That's true, and when you flip it around, I guess, almost literally, because you go to the front face, we also have these cameras now that are identifying us. You have the iris scanner on Samsung. You have the TrueDepth camera on an iPhone X. There's a variety of companies that just do straight image capture identification.
It reminds me of how step by step all these things like Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana, they all made the microphone smart. Before, it would just record or transmit what you say, but now it starts to understand it. Touch ID and the other fingerprint sensors made the button more aware, because instead of you just pressing it, it knows who's pressing it.
Now we have that with the camera system where previously, it was looking, and it could detect faces and optimize image capture for faces, but now it's starting to understand who's face that is, and be able to operate on it.
Smarter smart cameras
Carolina: Face ID, for somebody who hasn't tried it, it is mind-blowing, the ease of how quick it works. I wrote a piece a while ago about why I was actually happy when it didn't work, because it wasn't supposed to work. At the very beginning, when people were trying to spoof it with saying if they were recognized with no hat and the beard, and no beard.
I made a joke that in the morning, pitch black, the first thing I do when I wake up, kind of with one eye open, I reach for my phone, and Face ID didn't unlock my phone. I was lying on a pillow, no makeup, eyes squinting, my hair was all over the place. [laughs] But I wouldn't want Face ID to open my phone at that point, because, hopefully, I don't look like me, [laughs] on a good day.
It's fascinating, and to me, when it doesn't work, it actually increases my confidence that it's working the way it's supposed to be working.
Rene: Mine learned. In the beginning, it would not open, and now I sort of reach for it, and I have one eye squinted closed. I'm looking, and it's like, "OK, I've seen this picture of you. You've put your password in enough that I know that this is a variation of you." [laughs]
Carolina: It's true. I'm also as blind as a bat, so...
Rene: Yes, me, too. We're often too close. I think what you don't realize is you have to be a certain distance away, and I'm so nearsighted that I end up holding it an inch away from my face, and all I see is wall behind you.
Carolina: One eye, yeah, exactly. It's fascinating, and I think that the initial, maybe pause that some consumers have had moving away from Touch ID, once you try Face ID, you don't know how you really lived without it up until now. Touch ID worked great, but now, in comparison, it seems like such a step back, going to a phone that does have it.
I notice it when I go to my iPad. I'm like, "Oh, damn, I need to do this thing."
Rene: Originally, the iPad didn't have Touch ID, and you'd figure out, "Why is this not...? Oh, I have to put in a pass code," and now you're looking at it, "I've got to use Touch ID." It's amazing.
To end us off where we started, are these features the things that are additionally possible with these devices with cameras? For example, taking a selfie with the DSLR is a challenge. There's no security involved. There's no lenses like you get with Snapchat, with Instagram, or with other things. There's no AR components to them, at least not really.
Does that change the dynamics? I know you said you didn't include Gen Z. I'm going to get you...
Rene: ...no matter what I call them, centennials, in the mix. But even for older generation people, does it feel like while there are better photo captures, there are more and more unit taskers?
Carolina: For lagers, it was interesting that all the new things like filters, like 360 cameras, they really couldn't care less about it. They just wanted more improvement on traditional things like low light, better zoom. But for the early tech, low light was a big one, but also, smarter camera features, as I said, to take better pictures, and also editing, being able to put filters afterwards and enhance the camera more.
You saw the difference between for things like filters, those matter more to people that were sharing on social media the most. You see a high correlation of, "I want filters, stickers, and everything else that I can add to a camera, being able to write on it," and the link to social media. People that take pictures to take pictures care less about that.
The future of computational photography
Rene: Where do you see this going? To me, there's been this steady progression where a camera phone, a smart phone, and a phone with a camera attached to it, I don't know what, the connected cameras. I don't know what they are, [laughs] what the kids call them these days.
They do maybe 10 percent what my DSLR could do, and then 20, and then I think around 2010, they started to be able to do maybe 40 percent. Now maybe they're up to 50 percent, but it's the 50 percent that I really care about, and the extra, I will still go get my DSLR for family portraits and for really important things, but I don't get it very often.
Maybe it's sitting there, angry at me, on the shelf right now, I don't know. Do you think that will increase? Do you think we'll hit hard limits of what we can do on really thin sensors, with machine learning or computer vision, or do you think we have no idea where all this is going yet? [laughs]
Carolina: We might hit a limit, but if you think of where we are today, and you go back at the very beginning of the camera phone market, everybody was arguing that you will never ever get to the quality that DSLR were at. It's interesting, because camera phones progress, and that puts pressure on traditional cameras, and they try to leap forward.
What I've found fascinating about camera phones, if you think about other markets, wearable being a good example, but now with smart speakers, too, where the traditional device, watches and speaker, had to become smart or add that part that from a tech perspective, you were coming in and you were stealing from that angle.
From a camera phone perspective, you remember when camera vendors freaked out and said, "Oh, my God, we need to add connectivity." They thought that by adding WiFi connectivity and some of them cellular that would be it, that that was the only thing that they needed to do in order to be competitive.
That wasn't it, so it's not really. At least at the beginning, it wasn't about being connected. It was more about the immediacy of taking a picture and having that in your pocket in a form factor that was really fitting in your pocket, not something that you still needed a bag to take with you.
Now, I think that all the other things that we do with our camera, we don't see them as different. The fact that I can take a [inaudible 34:05] , a portrait picture, but then I can also scan a bar code, and it opens my phone because of Face ID, is all seen as the camera. The power of that, I think, is bigger, and it will stay bigger than any DSLR will be able to do.
Rene: I think that's brilliant, and one of my favorite things is just that in this era, there's so much that is non-destructive, that I can filter or remove the filter, depth or remove the depth, change lighting or remove the lighting that I changed. One of my older jobs was fixing things in post in Photoshop, like an advertiser didn't want a car in a picture.
Rene: It took hours to brush that car out of the picture, and now, there's so much you can do, and retaining the original and modifying it, it's almost like you can play. I know it makes speed-to-capture great, but it also allows you to play and experiment. If you don't like the depth or the lighting or something, you can just turn it off. To me, that's liberating.
Carolina: Yeah, but at the same time, for people who actually their pleasure is to take 10 minutes to take that shot, camera phones will never replace that, and I...
Rene: No. You want to get it in the lens.
Carolina: Absolutely, and so for those people, it might be that they use it less, but when they use it is important to them, and so they'll continue to upgrade their lenses and follow that part of the technology development, but it's a different kind of beast in my mind.
Rene: In my head, when we were at the iPhone event, and Apple was talking about portrait lighting, I was quickly going through if they did portrait mode last year, and portrait lighting this year, are we going to see portrait backgrounds in iOS 12, and then a few minutes later went to the demo area. They were already doing it in the Clips app.
It showed the acceleration curve, to me, is like it's not that this stuff is getting harder as they do more of it, but in some ways, it's getting easier as they do more of it.
Carolina: Absolutely. I ask myself every year, especially this year, why I pay for my daughter to have her picture taken at school, because I can do a better job.
Carolina: And much cheaper than that, too.
Rene: I've thought the same thing. Carolina, if people want to follow you, read your writings, or just talk to you on social, where can they go?
Carolina: They can find me on Twitter @Carol_Milanesi. I have a Wednesday column on tech.pinions.com, talking about everything tech and consumer.
Rene: Thank you so much, Carolina. I really appreciate it.
Carolina: It was a pleasure. Any time.
Rene: You can find me @reneritchie on Twitter, Instagram. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
Talk about camera phone, I still think the Nokia 1020 and the Lumia 950 are better than the iphone......
Up to and including the release of the iPhone 7/Plus I'd agree with you, but the 8 has a very good camera indeed and the first one on an Apple phone that comes anywhere close to being as good as its competitors. Whilst the 950 and and 1020 are excellent in daylight, the likes of the iPhone 8/X best them in low light.
I'm really getting a bit tired of this shibboleth, "computational photography." You don't call photography photos that are faked to the point of being unrecognizable. This portrait lighting nonsense with the iPhone X (which I have) is terrible. You can't "Photoshop" in a different direction to light. You can make edges lighter and darker. It's not the same thing. Shadows don't look right, things get sketchy really fast. Where does this stuff end? You don' t like your photos from the Grand Canyon, so you green screen yourself and place your likeness in stock photos shot by landscape photographers? Because once you start down that "computational" rat hole, what comes out is not fuzzy bunnies.
Give it time. For some shots, it works really well. I have seen some breathtaking ones.
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