If there is one saying in photography that is perhaps the truest it is the old "The best camera you own is the one you have in your hand". What exactly that means is simple. When the moment comes, not just any moment, but that compelling point in time Henry Cartier Bresson would call "The Decisive Moment", then it doesn't matter what camera you have as long as you have one to capture that moment. It is one of those axioms of documentary photography that goes hand in hand with "F8 and be there".
In this day and age of course nearly everyone has a camera with them. Be it an iPhone or a Leica M240, nearly everyone walking the streets of someplace like Manhattan has a camera of some type on their person. The question becomes if they really know what to do with them. It is great that today nearly any event of note will have a vast sea of images associated with it, but how many of those images are worth looking at? Photography is more than just owning a camera and understanding some software, it is knowing instinctively how to create a compelling image no matter what you have in hand.
Of course since this is the Internet and the vast majority reading this want to know exactly what I use and why, it may seem the last two paragraphs have been nothing but a flow of non information that they've heard before. Like any good entertainer I shall of course give you what you want in a moment, but let me finish my platitudes with the following;
It doesn't matter what camera you use, as long as you get the results you want....
Personally I use Android based systems for my mobile work. In a later article I'll go over all the software and reasoning behind that decision, but suffice it to say that I personally find Android a bit more flexible and suited to what I like to do. Does that mean that iOS sucks? No. It means for me I prefer the abilities of the Android OS. It is basically a power users OS, while iOS is much more a consumer OS. Both work very well and everything I will discuss over these articles is capable on both platforms.
The shot above I created using my Galaxy S5 and Snapseed 2.0 for post work. Can you create a shot just like this using an iPhone? Of course and just as easily. If there is one thing I can suggest no matter the platform used is to find a better camera app than the one the phone provides. On my Galaxy I use an app called Camera FV-5. It's a great app, doesn't cost much, and depending on the phone gives you a plethora of functions including the ability to shoot in DNG Raw for those who cry to the heavens "JPG SUCKS!!!! You Can Only Shoot A Photo If It Is In RAW!!!! " or some such nonsense. The reason I recommend getting a better camera app is that most give you better control over what you shoot. Now I'm not talking Instagram or VSCO or anything like that. What I'm discussing is an app that gives you near DSLR control over your phone. On iOS I will recommend an app called 645Pro as it gives nearly the same options as Camera FV-5. While it cannot save DNG, it does have an option to save files as 16bit TIFF which can be just as good when doing post work.
This brings us to post processing options. Here things get a little tricky as most post processing apps on either mobile platform of note don't support DNG or TIFF. How do you get these nice hi res images into something like Snapseed 2.0 or Adobe Photoshop Touch? I'll discuss that next week....