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?

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*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.

Oh Just 3D Print It.

There's an article over at Geek.com regarding a new type of Beehive. It's a big deal because it's a beehive with a tap. That means you don't disturb the bees so much when collecting. Imagine the extra convenience and less stress placed on the bees.

Anyway that isn't the point. The point to note is currently the last comment by commentator 'TR'.

Looks like after someone gets one they can 3D scan and print the parts to make another. Ooh, I didn’t say that...
— TR (Geek.com commentator)

3D printers are public knowledge, but how many are out there? Well Gartner says:

The latest forecasts from Gartner on 3D printers worldwide sales are 108,151 units in 2014 and 217,350 units in 2015. This number will then more than double in 2016, 2017 and 2018, when he is expected to exceed 2.3 million units sold.
— http://www.favorangels.com/global-sales-of-3d-printers-will-double-in-2015/

Even with expected sales accounted for up to 2017, we are still not talking the first year of iPhone 1 numbers (5.4 million Q3 2007-Q3 2008). But what TR's comment illustrates is the disruption 3D printing is going to create. TR mentions 3D printing the beehives because the creator of the beehive is selling the beehives with taps for over $400 USD.

TR's comment already takes for granted a technology that's already been enabling people to circumvent typical everyday transactions that occur today.

If you have one of those 3D printers or know somebody with one, there's no need (as a beekeeper) to buy it. We are on the cusp of everybody downloading anything they want. If you thought the music industry was being buggered by Napster (because the value of music dropped as soon as there was an alternative and inexpensive delivery method being used), what do you think will happen when actual everyday objects lose their value from people printing their own? Even NASA has been emailing blueprints for tools up to the International Space Station.  

So why will we even need money? What happens to our current economic, manufacturing and value systems? These beginner questions, along with the changes coming from automation that was discussed in episode 29 of JPG is going to force us to change our society in ways we aren't taking into consideration today.