Photography is a blessing. I enjoy it - always.

In fact, I enjoy it so much that I, along with my family often bear a travel tax: a tripod and several lenses. The image above, taken 31 December, 2011 at sunset in Granada Spain is but one example of the joy I find when capturing images on God's glorious earth.

Alhambra at sunset is sublime.

The Alhambra images were captured with a tripod supported Canon 5d3 (or was it the 2 then?) + 90mm TS-E lens. A tripod is often essential when capturing interesting low light moments.


While waiting for just the right sunset moment combined with an illuminated Alhambra, I was not terribly surprised to see this photographer, just to my left:

This "iTographer" added a Schneider iPro lens to his iPhone. Slick.

I named this page's directory after my forecast that the iPhone 6s, due in 2 years (assuming Apple continues its present numbering scheme), would represent a watershed moment in the battle between traditional pocket, 4/3 format, DSLR cameras and smartphones. (It is likely worth digging into the Camera & Imaging Products Association - CIPA - production numbers). Lloyd Chambers published a summary last month.

Have we arrived at that (inflection) point today with the imminent availability of the iPhone 5s (Photo Gallery)?

"Fake Chuck Westfall" sees the writing on the wall:
The smart phone industry is becoming a force to be reckoned with. And the only way you can compete is by offering better image quality - something that's an advantage of the lager sensor in compact cameras and DSLRs that phones will never have.

Soon uncle Bob will be making 41 and higher megapixel images at the events you cover. You can't impress clients by showing up with your puny 36MP D800 that captures grainy images and requires a dedicated heavy duty tripod to take sharp images. Nor will the grainy, mushy and digital looking 20MP images from the 70D be enough. The only way your images will surely be able to stand out is with the smooth looking images, even at very high ISO in low light situations, where uncle Bob's images will start to look like crap. And with beautiful saturated colors free of digital noise and artifacts, where uncle Bob's images will look dark and grainy as xxxx and completely washed out.
The breadth and depth of photography related iPhone accessories and software is stunning. Here are a few that have caught my eye, and iPhone:
Schneider iPro Lens


Camera+ app

Almost DSLR

AutoStitch Panorama

Photoshop Express

SnappyCam (up to 60fps)

Lens Flare App

Really Right Stuff iPhone 5 Case

Filmic Pro Video app Impressive!

Tilt Shift Video via Charles Arthur Related: Toy Soldiers, a favorite Tilt-shift example.


22 April 2015

iPhone Landscapes:
These atmospheric scenes have an almost painterly quality. They all feature in the photographer's new book, #iPhoneOnly, and current exhibition at Hebden Bridge's Snug gallery. Here he describes the thinking behind each shot.
20 March 2015

Ellen Emmerentze Jervell
By 2011 Leica was profitable and promising enough that private-equity firm Blackstone Group bought a 44% stake for an undisclosed price. Leica’s “reputation for excellence and innovation” was a big factor, said Axel Herberg, senior managing director at Blackstone.

Since then, Leica’s sales have risen around 35%, to €337 million in its most recent fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. The company doesn’t disclose profits.

A bigger challenge to Leica than the billion smartphones sold world-wide annually is the development of less expensive but high-quality cameras with interchangeable components within the brand from makers including Sony,Panasonic and Olympus, said Wee Teck Loo, head of consumer electronics at market survey firm Euromonitor.

“Camera manufacturers must crank up their technological developments,” he said.

For Leica, that means products like two high-quality cameras that are larger than the M series—and priced between $16,900 and $25,400 without a lens—that will soon hit the market.
14 March 2015

So You’ve Got It, But Do You Use It? by Rad Drew


9 March 2015

When we observe our customers, most of the change is not at the time of shooting but at the point of image review.

6 March 2015

Standalone camera: Shot (Dead) By iPhone Om Malik
This is bad news for camera companies which have always thrived on the amateurs and pro-amateurs buying the gear they see in the hands of professional photographers (most of them are often coddled by the big camera companies.)

Apple’s new “Shot on iPhone 6″ campaign makes the situation doubly dangerous for these companies — an average person sees beautiful photo taken by Cole Rise on their way to work. It was snapped on an iPhone 6. And like me, they wonder — can I take that photo? Aspiration, does the rest.
26 February 2015

Mayflower Concepts Presentation PDF 8MB

How to tackle the collapsing camera market (video)
While the common understanding is, that the photo market is declining either due to the cameras in smartphones - or due to market saturation - Heino Hilbig showed in his presentation in front of PMA members, that there are other reasons behind the actual market recession. As well he showed, how the industry members could counterattack the resent situation.
25 February 2015

Software injection - Prediction: The Age of the Standalone Still Camera is Coming to and End for all but PROS by Vincent LaForet:
The key is that the software on those smartphones, and the social media platforms and instant connection to the web – ARE BETTER and cannot be overcome by camera companies that fail to integrate software within their camera bodies going forward.

The software that is installed on those smartphones and iPhones and what you can do with it supersedes the advantage that any once camera system alone gives you for most of us – professionals will continue to need speciality lenses, lights, and larger megapixels to differentiate themselves from the masses. (So if you’re a professional you can breathe, this article is not necessarily aimed at you… but the truth of it is: it IS. more on that later.)

The engineering power and ideas behind the variety of photo / video and more important the social media software that can be installed on your phone is simply too powerful to ignore. Just remember to turn on airplane mode before you start your next masterpiece…
11 February 2015

Digital Camera Trends Through 2014

Damien Demolder
Head in the sand

Canon and Nikon have both stood quite apart from the compact system camera quest, and both waited a long time to demonstrate that they realized the CSC existed at all. Nikon has, admittedly, made more of a go of it than Canon, producing 10 Nikon 1 series bodies since 2011, but clearly neither manufacturer has managed to capture a share of the CSC market that reflects their respective dominance in DSLR or, indeed, in photography as a whole.
29 November 2014

Canon Raises Profit Outlook, Despite Falling Camera Sales:
“We aren't planning to compete face-to-face with smartphones,” said Chief Financial Officer Toshizo Tanaka at a news conference. “Instead, we will sell cameras that can provide quality that smartphones cannot give.”

The Japanese office-equipment and camera maker expects the digital camera market to stop contracting this year or next, and sales to start showing “healthy growth of around 5%” afterward, Mr. Tanaka said.

For the current year through December, the company cut its sales target for interchangeable-lens digital cameras to 6.5 million units from 7 million, while maintaining its target for compact digital cameras at 9.5 million units.
14 November 2014

Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we've come

28 September 2014

A remarkable interview with Masaya Maeda - Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations at Canon.

It is fascinating that Canon would introduce - in late 2014 - a $1,799 camera that lacks wifi or another wireless interface method. The comments are worth reading.

23 September 2014

iPhone 6 & Sports Photography

18 September 2014

Austin Mann's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Camera Review in Iceland.

The iPhone 6's New Camera Could Forever Change Filmmaking

28 August 2014

Hyperlapse, Instagram's New App, Is Like a $15,000 Video Setup in Your Hand by Cliff Kuang

The Invention of the "Snapshot" Changed the Way We Viewed the World by Clive Thompson

10 July 2014

The future photograph by Sam Gerstenzang

3 July 2014

Imaging in 2014 by Benedict Evans

19 June 2014

iOS 8 Manual Camera Controls

8 June 2014

The mirrorless digital camera is aimed at people who want to take more than selfies. But as clever as the technology is, it remains a niche market.

7 June 2014

Time Lapse Photography with an iPhone 5s on iOS 8.

31 May 2014

Robin Jasmer:
I am French and live in Denmark. I take pictures with my iPhone 5 and edit them with photoshop express app on the iPhone. I don't use a Mac or PC to edit my pictures. I do it as a hobby and amateur, during my free time. I started about a year ago and I enjoy it a lot. Thanks to all the professionals and artist photographers who appreciate my work, it motivates me tremendously to rise up to their level of professionalism.
27 April 2014

Leica T type 701 camera iOS app now available: Leica News & Rumors

Snapping Good Photos with your Phone by James Hill

LensBaby: Sweetspot Lens for Mobile

7 April 2014

National Geographic Photo Contest: Milan Duomo from Novecento Modern Art Museum taken "with an iPhone".

2 April 2014

"Snapping" iPhone images among Russian units in Crimea:
As Tyler Hicks, Noah Sneider and I walked and drove among these remolded Russian units, I snapped images using my iPhone that showed details of a force in the midst of an upgrade – encrypted tactical radios in the hands of low-level troops, new or specialized firearms, and state-of-the-art electronic jamming equipment being transported along the Crimean roads. (When the Russian forces launched operations against Ukrainian bases, phones in the area often went dead.)

The iPhone, though a limited photographic tool, did offer advantages over a traditional camera in the peculiar circumstances of Crimea. Not only was it unobtrusive, but when a phone signal was available I could swiftly email photographs to an inbox, an easy safeguard against Russian troops or the armed men who worked with them who stopped journalists and demanded that images be deleted, a common occurrence on the peninsula in recent weeks. The images could then be posted on Instagram, creating a public record for sources to help analyze.
2 March 2014

Fuji's new remote camera control app. Use cases and App Store / Google Play links.

16 February 2014

Hostile. Change is Hard. Canon, Nikon and the inevitable iOS SDK. A Lifeline.

What next for Canon & Nikon by Drew Gardner

9 February 2014

Is the DSLR Dead for Online Video? - DJ Clark:
“I honestly think we are beyond the DSLR now,” Dan argues, as dedicated large sensor video cameras and compact mirrorless alternatives have come in to replace the slightly awkward DSLR.

“If you are going for a well-paid TV job you are going to use a camera that is dedicated to that and then [for online multimedia work] the compact camera systems are arguably a better tool than the DSLR as they are cheaper, smaller, lighter and more likely to have the right video functions.”

Dan sees cameras such as the Panasonic GH3 or Sony A7 as being well-suited to students looking for a camera with both good stills and video capabilities on a modest budget.

Not everyone has given up on the DSLR for video. On a recent assignment for National Geographic Online in the south of Egypt, Matt Ford went with the Canon 5D mkIII for his video: “I go for the DSLR because if I am going on a shoot and I already have a lot of lenses and bodies that I am using for still photography, if my primary camera goes down, I still have a lot of backups.”
1 January 2014

Goodbye Cameras by Craig Mod
But it seems clear that in a couple of years, with an iPhone 6S in our pockets, it will be nearly impossible to justify taking a dedicated camera on trips like the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.

One of the great joys of that walk was the ability to immediately share with family and friends the images as they were captured in the mountains: the golden, early-morning light as it filtered through the cedar forest; a sudden valley vista after a long, upward climb. Each time, I pulled out my iPhone, not the GX1, then shot, edited, and broadcasted the photo within minutes. As I’ve become a more network-focussed photographer, I’ve come to love using the smartphone as an editing surface; touch is perfect for photo manipulation. There’s a tactility that is lost when you edit with a mouse on a desktop computer. Perhaps touch feels natural because it’s a return to the chemical-filled days of manually poking and massaging liquid and paper to form an image I had seen in my head. Yet if the advent of digital photography compressed the core processes of the medium, smartphones further squish the full spectrum of photographic storytelling: capture, edit, collate, share, and respond. I saw more and shot more, and returned from the forest with a record of both the small details—light and texture and snippets of life—and the conversations that floated around them on my social networks.

9 December 2013

The Last Days of the DSLR by Michael Hession.

5 December 2013

Leigh Turner @LeighTurnerFCO Photographs, walks and travels Europe and Central Asia using the "same old i5.... Or occasionally 3".

Anne Wheaton:
With the plane flying straight, I set my phone to panoramic to capture Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.
24 November 2013

Rise of the Smartphones by "Fake Chuck Westfall"

8 November 2013:

Phones Imperil Fancy Cameras: Shipments of High-End Models Are Falling as Mobile Devices Gain in Popularity

Cameras Succumb to Smartphone Juggernaut

Smartphones Destroying High-End Camera Sales

Prepare Yourselves for a New Landscape

Are Camera Apps Enough for Photo Enthusiasts?

28 October 2013:

Consumer DSLRs "dead in 5 years" with more discussion, here.

23 October 2013:

Of Personal Computers & Cameras by Thom Hogan.

10 October 2013:

iPhone 5s & Sports Photography?

More 5s Sports Photography: Let's go inside

October 8, 2013

iPhone 5s image

Tap for a larger version. I used a Photoshop "auto-level" command on this image.

National Geographic Photographer Jim Richardson took his iPhone 5s to Scotland.

For now, Canon's TS-E lenses, the 135 f2 and the 70-200 ii keep me on the dslr farm, as it were. How long?

I do enjoy the Sigma DP-2m as well.

My iPhotography Journey

Jim Zellmer
Madison, WI
Last Updated 22 April 2015