iPhone Photography: A huge opportunity for the camera industry
There is no doubt in my mind that the latest smartphone cameras allow inexperienced users to produce flattering pictures which, in many cases, lead to a new-found interest in photography and a desire to own a more traditional camera.
My iPhone 7 Plus has one of the best sensor/lens implementations with its two lenses and faux bokeh-effect subject isolation in portrait mode. I've made the point many times that this flattery can also deceive. There is no getting away from the small sensor in the iPhone 7 Plus and its obvious limitations for any serious work that is intended to be viewed larger than a phone or tablet screen. But, the encouraging thing is that it appears that smartphone photography is brining in new converts and encouraging them to consider buying a better camera.
The 2017 iPhone Photography Awards demonstrate the scope for creating impressive work on a smartphone. There are some great shots here. I suspect many of the photographers are experienced and are using their iPhones as an additional tool rather than as a sole photo-taking device. But the message is there. You can take brilliant photographs using the iPhone. Above all, a smartphone is the epitome of the "best camera" in the sense that it is the camera you always have in your pocket.
Last week we learned that sales of cameras are again on the rise after over five years of decline. While it's too early to proclaim a trend, I think this is an encouraging sign that the effect of the iPhone (and other smartphones, of course) is positive rather than negative. Instead of killing the camera industry, the overt excellence of iPhone photograph is introducing a whole new generation to the pleasures of using a real camera.