Are phones a serious tool for photography?

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Even celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz prescribes to that idea and when asked which one she recommends to her friends, she replied the iPhone. Hailing it as the “snapshot camera of today” on NBC’s Nightly News, she hit the headlines, but should we really be surprised that one of the modern masters has succumbed to smartphone photography? It would be foolish to deny that it’s convenient, instant and a real multi-tasker.

“Being able to edit on the fly makes it possible to share almost real-time,” says Dutch photographer Eelco Roos (www.croyable. com), who shoots exclusively with an iPhone. “Different manufacturers have sent me phones to persuade me that theirs work just as well, but up to this point, nothing comes close to the possibilities of an iPhone,” he continues. “This has to do with the camera, but apps play a big part in this as well.” Speaking of apps, Roos is an avid Instagrammer, with over 370,000 followers and a loyal army on Twitter too (@eelcoroos), who can stay upto- date with his shots. “People question my statement, iPhone only, all the time. I take it as a compliment,” he says. And when you look at his stream (@croyable), it’s no wonder – each capture is like a square window into a world of breathtaking natural beauty.

The technology is far from perfect though, and Roos identifies room for improvement. “Maybe one day we will be able to use different apertures, which would make them almost as good as DSLRs,” he says. “Of course, smartphones have much smaller sensors but if used online, you can’t really see the difference.” The media are thinking along the same lines, too. “Press agencies are using crowd-sourced photos for breaking news items online and I think this trend will continue,” he says. “With photojournalists being able to share newsworthy photos real-time, the quality of photos wouldn’t even suffer.”

While smartphones have a long way to go in terms of features and image quality, the ability to edit and post photos instantly, alongside the fact that they are always with you certainly adds to the notion that they are an increasing tool for serious picture-taking.