My case against the Point-and-Shoot: the iPhone 5 [Editorial]

When you think of the iPhone 5, what are some of the first things that come to mind? For me, near the top of that list is how great the camera is. I use my iPhone’s camera all the time – but I also have a dedicated point-and-shoot camera from Sony. One thing I’ve noticed is that, recently, I’ve been neglecting to use the point-and-shoot in favor of simply pulling out my iPhone to take a few shots. Along with the portability, the 8MP lens takes some fantastic photographs, and with the surplus of editing applications available in the App Store for prices ranging from Free to $19.99 and up, there isn’t even a reason to wait until I get home to edit and post the photos. I’m constantly on the go, and photography is a very strong hobby of mine. So whenever I see a quick situation I think would make a nice photo, I will pull out my iPhone 5 and capture the moment. (Click any picture to see it full size.)

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Above is a great example of a photo taken and edited solely on the iPhone 5. I took that photo during a photo shoot that I was doing with my girlfriend, just to see how the iPhone would fair in the evening lighting conditions. Then, after seeing the photo to turn out quite well – considering the less-than-ideal lighting – I decided to try editing it in Aviary, a free photo editing application found in the App Store. What you see above is the result. Now, I must mention, out of the 21 pictures in this article (all included in the gallery below), this is the only edited one. The rest are purely pulling out the camera, and snapping a quick picture. I wanted to show one with editing though to make a further point agains the main idea of this – the point-and-shoot in being replaced by smartphones – and show that you can do something with smartphones that you can’t do on a point-and-shoot camera.

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What is something else you can’t do on most point-and-shoot cameras? Panoramic photographs. Above is a picture I took on my iPhone just after school, one day. I was out on assignment taking photographs for my Yearbook class, when I happened to be standing directly at the front, and thought, “Wow, it would be cool to take a panorama of this.” Thanks to the iPhone 5′s (and other smartphone’s) camera application, you can. So that is what I did, I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and took this picture in about 20 seconds (I went slow as to make sure it ended up good). The resulting product, as seen above (click to see the full 8272 x 2526 picture), is an extremely high resolution for a mobile device’s camera. After taking this, I uploaded it to my computer (via the every-so-handy Dropbox) and was simply amazed at the clarity of it. While point-and-shoot cameras don’t gave a low quality necessarily, they also can’t take this high resolution of a panoramic photo.

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My last case for the iPhone 5 (before the gallery of all the photos) is simply this: Lenses. The iPhone has an extremely large accessory base, and there are endless manufacturers looking to cash in on the success of the smartphone market. ōlloclip being one of the best known, and my personal favorite, makes a lens attachment for the iPhone 5 that includes a fisheye, macro, and wide angle lens – all in one simple, pocketable, and easy to use accessory. The picture above was taken with the macro lens, and as you can see, it’s crisp as could be. In the gallery below, you will also find some shots taken with the fisheye lens attachment. This field of lens accessories for the iPhone 5, ranging from lenses, to tripods, and more, makes me wonder why I would need to carry around a point-and-shoot camera if I already have something just as good – and sometimes better – right in my pocket, at all times.

Overall, I just don’t feel the need to have a point-and-shoot anymore, considering how far smartphone cameras have come. Before, when smartphones had 2MP or even lower resolutions, then a dedicated point-and-shoot made perfect sense. I also own a DSLR, the Canon Rebel T3i (as I said, photography is a hobby of mine). For the reviews that I post on here, I tend to use that as my camera of choice for taking the pictures of the product. However, for one, I used my iPhone to see if anyone would notice or point out that they weren’t the same resolution as my past reviews. No one did. Not even when I asked friends and family to take a look at the article, telling them that something about it was different than my others. Still, to no avail, no one recognized that the pictures were in fact taken on a mobile device, and not my professional grade camera. If you are interested, that review was of the Mojo Vogue Removable Battery Case for iPhone 4/4S. All the pictures of the device in the case were taken using nothing but my iPhone (the ones where the case is sitting on a black desk were taken on the DSLR, in comparison).

Now I’m curious, do you still feel the need for a dedicated point-and-shoot camera? If so, what are your reasons? I have ditched mine in favor of my iPhone 5, with good reason. Check out the gallery below for more shots taken only on the iPhone 5. Also, tweet me @TiP_Kyle any great pictures that you have taken with your smartphone, I’d love to see them!

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