My Next Camera

I don't even have my new iPhone 6S+ yet and I'm already telling people on Periscope when I'll logically upgrade (the plan was for the iPhone 8S+ btw).

Before I broke my iPhone 4S, I wanted to go from the 4S to the first 12 megapixel iPhone, I nearly did if it wasn't for my own stupidity. I then waited it out with a second hand iPhone 5, I could have easily made that 4S last four years. Surely I can do it again with my 6S+? I don't see why not when the specs of the new iPhone is orders of magnitude more powerful. This new iPhone should have an easier task of servicing me for another four years. 

Or will it?

The iPhone 6S+ has finally bested the camera in my iPhone 5. When will it best my 16 megapixel Fuji X100 S? Or has it already if you compare the all round capabilities of the iPhone to the Fuji?

How Quickly Can I Replace my Standalone Camera?

My metrics for doing so would be through a combination of picture quality being 'good enough' and various workflow scenarios. A standalone camera might have more megapixels and the ability to shoot RAW, but if this documentary is anything to go by, or this one, it won't matter. I think I will find myself neglecting my Fuji X100 S camera now more than ever, never mind the next camera purchase. The 5 minute short film shot in 4K from the phone in the first link easily illustrates the strengths of the iPhone over a dedicated camera at various market segments.

Since I don't shoot with super high end gear, my setup is ripe for disruption. When I documented the Hong Kong protests of 2014, I brought both cameras to the streets, I made sure the "professional" photos were taken with the Fuji. This mindset and habit is going to change once I have the 6S+.

I Want to Shoot Unburdened Again and Then Some*.

I remember switching from Canon in 2012 to Fuji to simplify my workflow, I'll gladly do it again if it means carrying less and becoming more agile while travelling or with post-processing. 

Disruption is going to hit harder and sooner, Apple are operating at an amazing pace, they control the software platform to cultivate new apps, and can absorb new features into the phone for a marginal increase in price. From this point of comparison can I even justify a new Fuji camera for the cost of a new iPhone? The value of an iPhone is growing with each release. As a Fuji fan, is there even any point waiting for a camera with decent video capabilities? (4K is the requirement at least for now please Fuji Gods). 

This Isn't Earth-Shattering New News.

iPhone photography is serious stuff I find myself wanting in on and it seems others are already. Lens based artists have always made these seismic jumps, even against ridicule from stalwarts, jumping when switching from large format to 35mm, 35mm to digital and now as digital photography transitions over to people opting for their phone instead of a dedicated camera setup. Some people use their smartphone instead of a desktop or laptop, so why not their camera as well?

I also remember all kinds of gear talk at University (conversations of which I happily partook in) and it was always about which gears was best. The lecturers, sensing a level of bullshitting they've heard year after year from students, informed us on how out in the real world, no one would ever ask what somebody shot with if the client brief was met. To quote God in Futurama "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all".

This was true even before I graduated, everything rested on the work not with what you shot with. Let's put that to the test again shall we?


*This feels like a natural fit for me as well because I'm incessantly trying to cut away the inessential, and importantly I work for myself when it comes to my own photography work.

Update:- This article where a Swiss TV station is replacing their equipment with iPhones.

Second update:- Lee Morris of Fstoppers has compared the iPhone 6s against his own Nikon DSLR gear. The iPhone wins in IDEAL SHOOTING CONDITIONS (please listen to what he has to say before jumping off at the deep end).

Third update:- The guys over at 'On Taking Pictures' have a great discussion on this very topic.

Periscope and Possibilities

“Yeah I know what a periscope is”.

“No, Periscope is an app, you should live stream your exhibition for those who can’t get here”.

This week I have hit Periscope hard. I have found myself watching rednecks pull a tree with an estate car, random Periscopes involving weed, John J. Legere - the CEO of T mobile dropping comments in a Periscope about tips to make better Periscopes (as if they are different from other broadcasts ;-)), I even tried to pitch to a producer from Hollywood with my time travel story and I told one young lady that one of her eyebrows were bigger than the other.

There is so much randomness on Periscope. It’s potentially Youtube in scope, but live and much more ephemeral.

It has only two months old and already one Periscoper has 40 million hearts, that means collectively we have tapped the screen 40 million times just to enjoy his periscope (that’s how it’s done to show appreciation). He is on course to hit 200 million by 2016.

Some people are clearly moving faster than others, understanding how to capitalise on this new social network. Others not so much, with them expecting viewers to entertain them with their presence in their periscope.

If the camera is pointed at you, you’re the performing monkey I’m afraid and you need to figure out how to perform.

That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out this week.

You just have no reason not too when you’re given so much in an app. Just three months ago I wouldn’t know what it really took to set up a live stream other than some possible extra hardware and playing with software settings, I don’t even want to pretend I knew the price and cost of time for all that. Now I don't need to. I can neglect all that. I jest need a name for my broadcast.

I know for starters I can live stream my podcasts, that already changes the dynamic of the show and build the audience, I’ve also started very informal workshops with Periscope, to understand the discovery mechanism inside Periscope. I even have repeat viewers already (once somebody follows you they are notified of your next broadcast).

Even without ‘Periscope’s first engineer’ jumping into my broadcast to discuss some of the workings of the app, I’m already looking forward to seeing how this personal live streaming (our own TV station) is going to change how we share ourselves with one another.

I would like a native iPad app though.

If you use Periscope, you can find me on there as 'Jonathan J K Morris'.