‘Can’ you tell a difference?

I took this photo with an iPhone and along with the Flickr app sent it to the cloud.  From the cloud I loaded the URL to WordPress and here is the result.

I’m thinking I may take the iPhone as my camera.  The phone will be doing maps and GPS, music, audio books, etc. already.  If I can eliminate carrying the camera that’s one less thing to deal with.  By loading the photos to the cloud they’ll be saved.  I know you guys that are into photography wouldn’t consider doing this but for a hack like me maybe it’s a good option.  Any thoughts or advice?

BTW, the iPhone isn’t connected to cell service or data.  It’s used as an iTouch, wi-fi only.

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7 thoughts on “‘Can’ you tell a difference?

  1. Gary, I think iPhones are awesome little devices. And in good light, they make great cameras, especially with a few apps to boost contrast/crop etc… Snapseed is a good free app to start you off, and offers loads of creative control. (http://www.snapseed.com/)

    My only concern is battery life – and this depends on how much you use it as a GPS. Without GPS, and left on Airplane mode, life is good. Using Gaia goes through battery life really quickly. Maybe one of those battery booster packs would be useful, just so you don’t even have to worry about it. It will add some weight, but if I was using it as my primary device for all things gadgety, I think it could be useful. I heard the Mophie Juice packs are good, and the iPhone 4/4s ones are discounted.
    If you’re feeling flush, this protective case/extra juice packs looks pretty fancy!
    http://www.otterbox.com/iPhone-4/4S-Defender-Series-with-iON-Intelligence/apl2-i4sun-ion,default,pd.html

    1. Thanks, Cass. I am aware of the battery life issue. As you know, I’ll use the Gaia GPS app. I’ll only turn on the GPS when I need to see where we are. A friend in ABQ loaned us a booster battery so we’re good there. I’m expecting to be able to charge the phone every day or two, at least in northern Europe. I’ll check out snapspeed.

  2. Hey Gary,

    You’ve heard me say that the single most important piece of kit that I ever bring on a tour is the iphone. Everyone is so jaded already, but it should still be astonishing–compared to ten years ago, say–that now just about everything gadget-wise anyone would need is in your palm. I did all my writing (including an academic journal article that was just published), emailing, web research, navigating, reading, movie-watching, translating, most photo editing and more on the phone while in SA. I can completely understand why pro’s like Cass carry a MacBook Air, but I’m not tempted.

    And as you probably know, a good 20% of my photos on that trip were shot with the phone. I’m definitely an evangelical zealot about the devices. But, hm, the only camera with you? I’m not sure about that. I think you can get around the battery issue, and you can download self timer apps, and the built in functionality of the camera is decent. The thing is, though, all your photos will have a certain feel. I don’t necessarily mean technically and as a result of limitations of depth of field and zoom, which is true, too. Rather, all the iPhone photos will be roughly “in the middle” in terms of emotional tone, if that makes sense. Even a modest little camera like the one you had in Arizona is able to capture a bit of perspectival emotional angles; things that, technically speaking, are mistakes or reflections of the limitations of the little camera can still “say” something. The iPhone tends to smooth over such things.

    I dunno. Maybe there are a thousand Instagram feeds that prove me wrong (I do, by the way, consume a great deal of Instagram to learn from all the talented shooters out there), but, speaking for myself, I’d rather pack a small point and shoot– a Canon S110 these days — than rely wholly on the phone. And I’m pretty psychotic about going light.

    Obviously, it’s all relative, since identical logic can used to argue for Cass’s big camera rig.

    Finally, for what it’s worth, I think the Flickr plan is great, as, no matter what, you’ll likely take a lot of great pictures with the phone.

    Joe

    1. Thanks, Joe, I value your opinion. I talked to a couple of friends who use both the iPhone camera and a decent camera and it seems everyone agrees that it’s definitely worth it to have a dedicated camera.

      I looked at the Cannon S110. Impressive little camera. One online shop has it for 113.00. Funny, the original idea to limit stuff now has me considering buying more stuff. 🙂

  3. You may remember I have the Samsung galaxy note and it has all the features you mention. The advantage is that you can take spare chargeable batteries (and it has a big screen which is very useful) so you can last longer without charging. It’s probably a similar price to the iPhone (i.e. maybe a bit expensive to buy if you already have the iPhone). It’s my most valuable tool (apart from the bike!); an excellent smartphone. Adequate photos for my purposes.
    The go pro is reasonably small and good for action footage on the bike ( a luxury item though).

    1. Hi Nick, thanks for being here! Yes, I remember your phone well. We considered it. If I were going solo, and light and fast, it would probably be my first choice.

      We’ve decide to go ahead and take our camera. Everyone I asked about recommended a stand alone camera, at least for a trip like this.

  4. Hi Guys, I know you are going light but I’m glad you decided to bring at least one good point and shoot camera, it will be easer , faster and a better quality in my humble opinion. I also love the idea of a go pro, which will always be on your helmet and not take up any precious
    bag space. Maybe thats a bit selfish though because I know we would all love to see some action videos! Have a fantastic ride! We’ll be seeing you in Spain!

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