It's the world's most popular camera, the one you always have with you, it's both powerful and liberating, oh and by the way the iPhone is capable of capturing awesome images. With increasing high-quality features, smartphones have evolved into serious image capture devices for both still images and movies. The iPhone has led the way in this photographic revolution since its launch in 2007. Recently Apple cofounder and iPhone visionary Steve Jobs has been posthumously inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame for outstanding contribution to the artistic community and the industry around it, most notably due to the invention of the iPhone.
As smartphone camera technology advances, so too are the image editing apps that are becoming highly sophisticated; rich in features that achieve professional results rivalling the creative power of professional desktop packages. Combined, this equates to a staggering range of photographic firepower that unassumingly sits in our pockets. Add in the further capabilities to manage, make high quality movies, share, stream and collaborate, then not only is this device a one-stop camera and digital darkroom but is additionally supported by an extensive communications centre and highly efficient back office.
The convenience and connectivity of the device is the main reason that most casual photographers start to take photos on their smartphones. The majority of mobile photography are snapshots of daily life. A recent search on Instagram for the hashtag #cats returned over 35 million results. Uploading shots to social media is a quick and easy way to share selfies, life events and family moments. Users revel in getting positive comments and likes on their photos whilst interacting socially in global communities through their shots.
At the start it was all too easy to miss the potential of creating serious work on mobile devices - the selfie ruled. As the sharing platforms have grown and matured, mobile photographers have found increased inspiration to explore, experiment and become more creative. The iPhone is a recognised art form with prestigious international photography contests such as the annual iPhone Photography Awards, now in its tenth year, showcases iPhone photography on a global stage.
I've been shooting on an iPhone since 2012, within two years I was capturing more images on my iPhone than my Canon DSLR, to the point where today, the iPhone is my preferred camera device. I'm not making the case that an iPhone or similar device will create technically better images than a professional level camera, there are numerous situations that require high-end cameras to produce high-res photographs. I am convinced however that the iPhone creates images that have to be considered as serious alternatives in many other situations. After all, expensive gear does not necessarily make you a better photographer.
Apple are known to have a small army of engineers perfecting just the camera elements of the iPhone. Underscoring the tech giant's commitment towards improving mobile photography, the company are expanding on the 800 engineers who already work on iPhone camera-related technologies with a new dedicated research lab in France where a dedicated team of up to 30 researchers and engineers will work on improving image sensors for both the iPhone and the iPad. With a reported 200 pieces making up the iPhone camera and 24 billion operations to capture a single image, this technology is due to get better and further establish itself as the camera of choice for the masses.