DPReview’s take on the new iPhone cameras:

  • 48MP sensor
  • faux telephoto crop mode (πŸ˜’)
  • portraits in photo mode

Apple got me with a new feature list last time, and I went for a Pro on the theory that I’d give it a shot as a daily driver. There’s the part of me that doesn’t want to be on the abjectly wrong side of history when whatever it is that represents the Berlin Wall coming down moment of iPhoneography triumphalism happens. OTOH, I’m comfortably in a demographic where people pretty much expect that every choice I make will be on the wrong side of history any minute now, if not ten years ago, so whatevs.

But going for a nice iPhone last year meant I’ve spent the last year paying very close attention when I take pictures with my phone, and I’ve come down on the side of “it’s fine when it’s what I have” — “the best camera is the one …” etc. — but if you said “you’ll never shoot with anything besides the best iPhone, unless you’re willing to suffer a 10 percent loss in annual earnings until you die” I’d stop eating out as much. I’d consider the loss of a finger or two of my choice. I’m just not there yet on phone photography.

A certain kind of commentator wants to make this an objective quality or numbers game, and I can’t get on board with that. I can make fine images with a phone. I don’t like the way it feels to make fine images with a phone. I am happy for people who like shooting with phones. I am comfortable with the take that most people can’t tell the difference anyhow, and that those images they create will never live anywhere besides a phone or tablet. When I saw that my dad had taken the preview of one of my photos, stretched it out in PaintShop and printed it to an ailing $65 inkjet and stuck it in a Wal-Mart frame on his living room wall, I both died and was reborn in that moment: It was good enough for him.

I just prefer having a more traditional camera at my side. I like having physical controls. I like the feel and motion of shooting with a camera to my eye. It is worth it to me to shoulder the burden of making room in my bag or on my shoulder to have that kind of camera with me.

If I’m traveling super light, there’s the Ricoh GRIII or the Fujifilm X100V. If I have the space and capacity for real or at least better glass, there’s the Fujifilm X-T5. The Ricoh can literally fit in one of my pockets, and either it or the Fujifilm X100V go fine in a sling or with a light strap.

I am not sure there’s anything besides the improvements to the camera that can get me to notice a flagship iPhone, and I’d rather be shooting with something else anyhow, so I think I will sit ‘em out this year.