Rad A. Drew Photography: A Dozen Reasons Why Your iPhone Could Be Your Main Camera!

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Saturday, November 18, 2023

A Dozen Reasons Why Your iPhone Could Be Your Main Camera!

iPhone 15 Pro Max, Portrait Mode

In the 13 years I've been photographing with the iPhone I've gotten use to comments like these.

  • Did you make a version of this photo with your real camera, too?
  • Do you have a real camera, too?
  • Oh, so that's just an iPhone photo?
  • No way you made that with an iPhone!
For many years now, in some circles, the iPhone has been the Rodney Dangerfield of cameras. It just don't get no respect.

But things are changing as the latest iPhones offer some of the features and benefits of our big cameras  and in a much lighter, more compact package!

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Here are a dozen reasons why you may consider making your iPhone your main camera.
  1. Portrait Mode; The ability to make portraits of people and pets with a shallow depth of field

  2. Macro Mode: The ability to make macro photos with the native camera

  3. Live Mode: The ability to create long exposures of waterfalls or moving clouds handheld, without the need for a tripod or neutral density filter.

  4. Live Mode: Photograph people or pets and switch to Portrait Mode after the photo is made, to create a soft blur behind the subject

  5. Panorama Feature: The ability to create extraordinary panoramas in both horizontal and vertical orientation.

  6. RAW; The ability to create in RAW format for more resolution and better quality prints. (for more, see my video tutorial, How I Did It!™ Create and Process RAW on Your iPhone.

  7. 48mp file size; The iPhone 14 Pro and 15 Pro create 48mp RAW files when shooting with the main camera (1x, 24mm lens).

  8. The ability to create Infrared photos with your iPhone. (For more details, visit or join our Facebook group, Open Group: Infrared on the iPhone! or see my video tutorial, How I Did It!™, Create Infrared Photos with Your iPhone.)

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  9. Nightmode; Our iPhone camera senses when it's dark and activates Nightmode which determines settings and then fires for a duration of 1-10 seconds handheld, and up to 30 seconds when on a tripod. The images created during the timed duration are "stacked" using what is referred to as computational photography. Each image created has noise, but that noise is random, appearing in different locations on each photo. When the photos are stacked together, the noise disappears, leaving a sharp, noise-free night photo.

  10. Video improvements; you can now record in several video formats, including HDR and LOG. These improvements along with greater stability, make the iPhone an excellent video camera.

  11. Multiple lenses; the iPhone 15 Pro now has three lenses with 7 focal lengths, including a macro lens and a 120mm optical telephoto.

  12. We now have Topaz Photo AI; For those with earlier iPhones that produce smaller images and don't have ProRAW capability, we now have the desktop image enhancement software, Photo AI from Topaz Labs. (Available here.) Photo AI has corralled three Topaz tools – DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI – into one new tool called, Photo AI. I often run my iPhone images through this software to eliminate noise and to enlarge images before printing.
iPhone 15 Pro Max has a macro mode 
and six different focal length options 
from 13mm ultra-wide to 120mm telephoto.

Imagine all the gear you'd need to carry to do this many different types of photography with your traditional camera!

Infrared Photo with 720nm Infrared Filter
15 Pro Max, Native Camera, Nightmode

While I'm not yet ready to give up my Fuji camera's entirely, I find that I'm photographing more and more with my iPhone, especially now that I no longer have to sacrifice image quality for the advantages of portability. I recently returned from nearly three weeks in the Calabria region of Italy and (I'm a little embarrassed to say) I've yet to download my Fuji images. Everything I've posted and shared from that trip so far has been from my iPhone 14 Pro Max or the iPhone 12 Pro Max!

Whichever device you choose, it's important to remember that the most important feature of any camera is the "loose nut" behind the viewfinder! The new technology is great and fun and sparkly and all, but it's no substitute for our creativity and imagination.