Linda & the Singapore Skyline - iPhone 7 Plus vs. Canon DSLR Comparison
We spent an awesome evening with the beautiful Linda (who is also a fantastic HMUA) taking pictures at Marina Bay Sands along the Singapore 🇸🇬 skyline. Although we've shot there many times before, we thought it would be fun to try some different perspectives and see what we could cook up.
Having recently picked up an iPhone 7 Plus in the amazing 'new' jet black color (amazing, because we haven't seen something like this since the iPhone 3), we thought it would be fun to see how far things have come with smartphone cameras as I've never actually used one on an actual portrait shoot, except maybe for behind the scenes shots. Just for comparison, we used a Canon 5D Mark III, and the closest lenses we had to compare with (for focal lengths) were the 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.2 (versus the iPhone's 28mm f/1.8 and 56mm f/2.8 equivalent). We've seen a few other articles doing a basic comparison but there's nothing like taking the cameras out for a spin yourself and really getting feel for it, on top of applying your own post-processing to the pictures.
Of course, we weren't expecting the pictures from the iPhone to be better (and they weren't), but we were impressed with the picture quality even after lining them up side by side with pictures taken with the Canon. Especially with the iPhone 7 Plus, you're now getting basically 2 lenses built into the camera, plus Portrait mode which lets you take pictures with background blur. So all in all, I came away really impressed with how much photo taking power you can now pack in a camera that you'll basically be taking everywhere with you. Although for the most part it won't be good enough for professional use, it should be more than good enough to capture awesome pictures in bright enough conditions at a high enough level to be impressive.
Just about everyone we showed the iPhone pictures to were wowed even though they could still see the difference between them and the Canon shots when lined up side by side.
A few observations on the iPhone camera, some of which will be pretty obvious, but which we thought we'd share anyways:
1) When using Portrait mode on the iPhone to achieve background blur, you really need *a lot of light* to take decent shots. This shoot was done from 5-7pm on an overcast day and we didn't feel there was enough light to make it work well. That said, in brighter settings, it is pretty amazing you can pull off a blurred effect with an iPhone! It isn't the same as a DSLR's blur (bokeh) by any means, which you can especially tell by out of focus lights which don’t turn into circular shapes with the iPhone.
2) Don’t use Portrait mode on moving subjects, you can sometimes get weird looking pictures.
3) The 2x zoom mode (using the iPhone's 56mm lens) is noticeably not as good in low light as the default (wide) lens on the iPhone, you'll notice more grain in the picture.
4) We were impressed with the Quad-LED True Tone flash. It is powerful and really packs a punch (it'll have you seeing bright lights for moments after) and is great for group portraits in dimly lit restaurants, balancing out exposures decently.
TLDR - not comparable with a DSLR but really, really impressive for a pocket camera which you’ll be able to carry around literally everywhere with no hassle!
Anyways, on to the pictures! iPhone pictures will come first followed by their DSLR comparison shot!