Can a smartphone really be a great camera?

The fact is that smartphone cameras are getting, well, smarter!  As an avid photographer, I own many different cameras, but over the last year or so I’ve found the iPhone 4 to be an awesome point and shoot camera- so much so that I’ve completely ditched my old point and shoot.

In all reality, the resolution (5 megapixels), the aperture (f2.8), the color saturation, the noise reduction, etc… in the iPhone 4 puts it on par with many great point and shoot cameras.  And now the iPhone 4S takes it up a notch adding 3 more megapixels and an extra half stop or so on the aperture.  This just means that more of us will soon be saying goodbye to our point and shoot cameras (good riddance).

Over the past year or so, I’ve carried my iPhone 4 with me just about everywhere and still do.  As a photographer, this has let me explore a new level of creativity because it means that wherever I see a photo opportunity, I have a great camera on me to take advantage of it.  The photo you see here in my post were taken with my iPhone 4, with no post editing.  I’m still blown away by the quality achieved with this multi-purpose tool.  It’s really going to change photography forever.

But what about enlargements?  I know that a lot of photographers out there are wondering if today’s best smartphones can take photos that have enough resolution and sharpness for 16”X20” and 24”X36” prints.  I can say without a doubt, “YES” you can make amazing enlargements with a smartphone.  Well, at least in my humble opinion. One of the primary reasons I take photos is to fill my home with memories that I’ve created.  And using Walgreens Photo, I’ve made multiple enlargements, including poster prints just from images that I’ve taken with my iPhone 4.  They look incredible, especially with a little matting and a glass frame.  Friends and family are shocked when I tell them that much of the art in my home was shot on an iPhone!  Even better, Walgreens is putting high-resolution poster printers in thousands of local stores across the country.  This means that I can get enlargements made in under an hour (and to think that I used to wait weeks for these to be printed).

1000memories.com recently mentioned on their blog that 10% of the world’s photos were taken in just the last year!  That’s amazing considering that photography  has been around for over 185 years!  But, I believe it.  Since making the iPhone 4 my primary camera, I’ve take more pictures than at any other time in my life.  I suspect many of you too have experienced this same phenomenon.  So go big, enlarge those photos, and enjoy!

By: Ben Weiss

 

**Photographers Tip!

When you’re uploading photos to photo.walgreens.com make sure you select full resolution in the upload settings.  This will ensure that the full resolution image gets sent to the store and that you get the most beautiful enlarged image possible.  If you choose to upload using the Walgreens app, your images will only be 1024x768px, enough resolution for a 4×6 print, but not adequate for any enlargements.  I encourage you to upload your photos on walgreens.com in full resolution for the best enlargements.

4 Responses to Can a smartphone really be a great camera?

  1. Just sold my point and shoot camera for the same reason. The iPhone 4S has a great camera and is always with me.

  2. I’m looking for a place to have a photo enlarged on a piece of fabric so I can make a blanket from it. Do you know any place that does this?

  3. Are there any plans to upgrade the App to allow full resolution uploads? The App is awesome, but the pictures from a 3GS come out horrible when uploaded via App compared to email at Actual size and then upload full resolution on walgreens.com, but that process totally defeats the beauty of the App.

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