By: Sarah LeBlanc
Since I purchased my first iPhone in 2012, I have not touched my old Nikon camera. With a device that allows me to edit and post my selfies to Facebook from the palm of my hand, why would I?
I was thrilled, then, when Apple announced on Tuesday that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would be released with photographic improvements that rival those of professional cameras. Elements such as an optical stabilization system that will help keep videos and images stable, as well as Focus Pixels used in cameras from companies such as Sony and Fujifilm, will all be included in the new iPhone.
With updates like these, are expensive professional cameras even necessary in photojournalism?
Unfortunately, with the higher quality of the new iPhone cameras and the availability for additional enhancements through networked lenses and photo apps like Hipstamatic, I believe that cameras, and staff photographers for that matter, are in danger of being replaced by the all-encompassing iPhone. Last year, mobile photography was one of the Chicago Sun-Times’ reasons for laying-off its entire photographic staff.
The emerging accessibility of cutting-edge photos without the need to purchase a separate and expensive camera has also allowed reporters, as well as the public, to take and post pictures of anything from breaking news to beautiful scenery directly to news sites or social media. As Robinson Meyer from The Atlantic writes, “the smartphone camera is part of a global proliferation of photography.”
With the new iPhone cameras more user-friendly, accessible and convenient, separate cameras are simply becoming unnecessary as the iPhone embodies the epitome of versatility. Will the new iPhone finally render the camera obsolete, or are cameras still perceived as the more professional option for news agencies?