Can we throw out our DSLR Cameras?

Cell Phone Photography Featured Pic

I am only just catching up and discovering how photographers can use iPhones and iPads. I have been using an DSLR camera for years with a couple of specialised lenses and have been thrilled with the quality of the photographs. The downside is that they are large and cumbersome to carry around and I have to come back into the studio in order to access my computer to apply post processing techniques and then share them on my social sites.iPhoneNot so with the iPhone which boasts an 8 megapixel camera and the iPad, a 5 mega pixel camera. I got the bug for using these in my studio where I teach art to young people every week. I started to enjoy the ease of using my iPhone for photographing the student’s work as it was always with me and very lightweight.  Then, I was very lucky to be given an iPad for my Birthday and have started to use this for making videos of the students doing their artworks. I still feel a bit awkward using the iPad as a camera due to its larger size. I enjoy the apps which can result in better quality photographs with a myriad of filters and enhancements all at the touch of a button or slider using the same device. This has a lot going for it in today’s fast pace where we seem to always be in a hurry to get things done. The sheer convenience and immediacy of having everything at our fingertips without having to switch devices or even walk into another room is rather appealing.  But… should we lay to rest our DSLR cameras?

I know that my SLR camera and lenses have acquired their first ever coat of dust since I have been enjoying my new Apple appliances but am I happy with the quality of the photographs? Yes and No.

These cameras will never replace a top quality SLR camera with dedicated lenses and really at the end of the day they cannot possibly be designed to do so in a singular device that does a whole lot of other things aside from taking pictures. I am not having a go at Apple as this was never their intention. They are very good for computer screen and Internet viewing but not good enough if you are looking for professional photographs which look spectacular blown up to large sizes with the end results printed.

The retina display on these devices is so good that what we see on the screens of Apple iPhones and iPads look spectacular but can be misleading when we want to do other things with our photos and import them into other software programs such as Photoshop.

Retina Display is a brand name used by Apple for liquid crystal displays which they claim have a high enough pixel density that the human eye is unable to notice pixelation at a typical viewing distance

I know that I have fallen into this trap because what I perceive as a great, clear photograph on my iPhone due to the retina display, does not look nearly as good when I view it in Photoshop for instance and I have been disappointed with the results. Having said this, Apple were probably not considering photographs taken by their devices to go beyond these limitations which are more than adequate for photo sharing and viewing on the Internet… But there are other options….

Add-on lenses for the iPhoneolloclip-iphone-lens - can we throw out our SLR cameras?

I literally stumbled on these iPhone camera additions so obviously some photographers out there thought that there must be a way to enhance the camera technology already built into the Apple devices. So… let me introduce you to some lenses, yes you heard that right, you can attach lenses to your iPhone camera.

There are various brands available but Teresa Franco, a young photographer who was featured in an article by Photojojo re. her macro photography, shared her favourite choice of lenses and apps to obtain her high quality macro photos using an iPhone.

Dandelion Seed with dew drop  ladybeetle by Teresa Franco

Macro Photography by Teresa Franco

Teresa reveals that she uses “Squidcam, Photojojo, and Olloclip macro lenses. I love my i.Trek Super Mount (a phone tripod adapter). I use it by itself. It’s great for stabilizing your iPhone when you’re very low on the ground.

Ok, so let’s take a closer look at what Teresa is using:-

Squidcam – a company based in Sacramento

Fish Eye, Wide Angle and Macro Lenses for the iPhone 4 & 5

squidcam case and lensesquidcam_card_grande

Very clever lenses which attach via a leggo style brick.

The Olloclip 3-in-1 iPhone Lens

olloclip-iphone-lens 2olloclip-iphone-lens close-up

Here is the small clip with a lens on either side that fits onto the corner of your iPhone 4/4S. With that, you have access to three lenses all at once: Fisheye and a Wide Angle/Macro combo lens.

Photojojo iPhone and Android Lens Series

 photojojo lens setcell phone lens by photojojo
cell-phone-lenses photojojo

The Photojojo lenses even fit onto the iPad camera

Pro quality Fisheye, Telephoto, Wide Angle and Macro cell phone lenses.

Example Photographs

photo taken with photojojo macro lens fish eye photojojo example

l t r: photos courtesy of Photojojo with macro and fisheye lenses

photojojo wide angle photo example photojojo telephoto lens example

l to r: photos courtesy of Photojojo with wide angle and telephoto lenses

All of these products look excellent and I am tempted to try them out as they certainly raise the bar when it comes to using cell phones as cameras.

I would be very interested to hear from anybody who has used these lenses and what your opinion is. If you have time please share your comments below.


Lesley is a trained artist, qualified teacher and amateur photographer who specialises in wildlife. This site includes her online shop which stocks her original fine art, photographic prints and products. She welcomes comments and feedback on this site.

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